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Acta Parasitologica

, Volume 63, Issue 2, pp 393–396 | Cite as

Presence of Acanthamoeba in the ocular surface in a Spanish population of contact lens wearers

  • Javier Rodríguez-MartínEmail author
  • Pedro Rocha-Cabrera
  • María Reyes-Batlle
  • Atteneri López-Arencibia
  • Ines Sifaoui
  • Aitor Rizo-Liendo
  • Carlos J. Bethencourt-Estrella
  • José E. Piñero
  • Jacob Lorenzo-Morales
Article

Abstract

Pathogenic strains of Acanthamoeba are causative agents of a sight-threatening infection of the cornea known as Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) which mainly affects contact lens wearers and it is commonly related to poor hygiene of contact lenses and their cases. Moreover, treatment of AK is complex due to the existence of a highly resistant cyst stage and if not diagnosed early has poor prognosis, leading to blindness and/or keratoplasty. Even though AK is increasing worldwide as well as awareness among patients and clinicians, it is still a poorly studied pathogen. Additionally, a remaining question to be answered is whether these opportunistic pathogens are present in the ocular surface of healthy contact lens wearers since they are the main group at risk.In order to carry out this study, sterile Schirmer strip tests were collected from a group of individuals all of them contact lens wearers who were attending a local ophthalmology clinic in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. The collected samples (100 eyes of 50 patients) were cultured in 2% Non-Nutrient Agar (NNA) plates and positive plates (16) were then cultured in axenic conditions for further analyses. Molecular analysis classified all isolated strains belonged to Acanthamoeba genotype T4 and osmotolerance and thermotolerance assays revealed that all strains were potentially pathogenic. In conclusion, the ocular surface of contact lens wearers included in this study was colonized by potentially pathogenic strains of Acanthamoeba and should be considered as a risk for AK infection in this region and worldwide.

Keywords

Acanthamoeba Schirmer test detection ocular surface contact lens 

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Copyright information

© Witold Stefański Institute of Parasitology, Polish Academy of Sciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Javier Rodríguez-Martín
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Pedro Rocha-Cabrera
    • 1
    • 3
  • María Reyes-Batlle
    • 1
  • Atteneri López-Arencibia
    • 1
  • Ines Sifaoui
    • 1
  • Aitor Rizo-Liendo
    • 1
  • Carlos J. Bethencourt-Estrella
    • 1
  • José E. Piñero
    • 1
  • Jacob Lorenzo-Morales
    • 1
  1. 1.University Institute of Tropical Diseases and Public Health of the Canary IslandsUniversity of La LagunaTenerifeSpain
  2. 2.Clínica NivariaTenerifeSpain
  3. 3.Department of OphthalmologyHospital Universitario de CanariasTenerifeSpain

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