Acanthamoeba spp

Jadwiga Winiecka-Krusnell

Opportunistic and facultative parasites of genus Acanthamoeba belong to the group of primary free-living amoebae widely distributed in nature - in water, air, and soil. The organisms are well adapted to adverse environmental conditions and are resistant to disinfectants. They play a part in the cycling of nutrients by grazing on bacteria on biofilms. Acanthamoeba species may also act as reservoir hosts for human pathogens like Legionella pneumophila, being responsible for maintaining, protecting, and transmitting pathogenic bacteria in the environment. Some of the Acanthamoeba species are pathogenic to humans. The disease may present as granulomatous amoebic encephalitis (GAE) or disseminated invasion localized in different tissues in immunocompromised individuals or as Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) in immuno-competent, soft contact lens wearers.

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