18S rDNA sequencing aided diagnosis of Acanthamoeba jacobsi keratitis -A case report.
ABSTRACT: Identification of Acanthamoeba cysts and trophozoites in cases of keratitis is traditionally done with microbiological techniques such as smear examination with 10% potassium hydroxide (KOH) and culture. Double walled cyst with hexagonal inner wall is characteristic of Acanthamoeba. We report a unique case of a 9 year old boy who presented with dense anterior corneal stromal infltration, which on smear examination showed atypical double walled spherical cysts, leading to a diagnostic dilemma. An 18S rRNA gene-based PCR done on the growth on culture, subsequently identifed a rarely reported species of Acanthamoeba. The patient was advised combination therapy with polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB 0.02%) and chlorhexidine (0.02%) eye drops. Three weeks post treatment, the keratitis resolved with scarring and vascularisation and visual acuity improved to 20/60. At 8 weeks follow up Best corrected visual acuity further improved to 20/30 with contact lens.
Project description:Acanthamoeba castellanii is a free-living protozoan pathogen capable of causing a blinding keratitis and fatal granulomatous encephalitis. Current treatment generally involves an hourly application of polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB) over a period of several days but this is not entirely effective against all strains/isolates. The tolerance mechanisms of PHMB in Acanthamoeba cells remain unclear. In this study, we found that the mRNA expression level of disulfideisomerase domain containing protein (PDI) increased rapidly in surviving cells of the highly PHMB-tolerant Acanthamoeba castellanii strain, NCKH_D, during PHMB treatment, but not in the ATCC standard strain. After PDI-specific silencing, NCKH_D was found to be more vulnerable to PHMB treatment. The results described above show that PDI is an important gene for PHMB tolerance ability in a highly PHMB-tolerant strain of Acanthamoeba and provide a new insight for more efficient medicine development for Acanthamoeba keratitis.
Project description:Current treatments for Acanthamoeba keratitis rely on a combination of chlorhexidine gluconate, propamidine isethionate, and polyhexamethylene biguanide. These disinfectants are nonspecific and inherently toxic, which limits their effectiveness. Furthermore, in 10% of cases, recurrent infection ensues due to the difficulty in killing both trophozoites and double-walled cysts. Therefore, development of efficient, safe, and target-specific drugs which are capable of preventing recurrent Acanthamoeba infection is a critical unmet need for averting blindness. Since both trophozoites and cysts contain specific sets of membrane sterols, we hypothesized that antifungal drugs targeting sterol 14-demethylase (CYP51), known as conazoles, would have deleterious effects on A. castellanii trophozoites and cysts. To test this hypothesis, we first performed a systematic screen of the FDA-approved conazoles against A. castellanii trophozoites using a bioluminescence-based viability assay adapted and optimized for Acanthamoeba The most potent drugs were then evaluated against cysts. Isavuconazole and posaconazole demonstrated low nanomolar potency against trophozoites of three clinical strains of A. castellanii Furthermore, isavuconazole killed trophozoites within 24?h and suppressed excystment of preformed Acanthamoeba cysts into trophozoites. The rapid action of isavuconazole was also evident from the morphological changes at nanomolar drug concentrations causing rounding of trophozoites within 24?h of exposure. Given that isavuconazole has an excellent safety profile, is well tolerated in humans, and blocks A. castellanii excystation, this opens an opportunity for the cost-effective repurposing of isavuconazole for the treatment of primary and recurring Acanthamoeba keratitis.
Project description:Confirmation of Acanthamoeba keratitis by laboratory diagnosis is the first step in the treatment of this vision-threatening disease. Two real-time PCR TaqMan protocols (the Rivière and Qvarnstrom assays) were developed for the detection of genus-specific Acanthamoeba DNA but lacked clinical validation. We have adapted these assays for the Cepheid SmartCycler II system (i) by determining their real-time PCR limits of detection and amplification efficiencies, (ii) by determining their ability to detect trophozoites and cysts, and (iii) by testing a battery of positive and negative samples. We also examined the inhibitory effects of a number of commonly used topical ophthalmic drugs on real-time PCR. The results of the real-time PCR limit of detection and amplification efficiency of the Rivière and Qvarnstrom assays were 11.3 DNA copies/10 microl and 94% and 43.8 DNA copies/10 microl and 92%, respectively. Our extraction protocol enabled us to detect 0.7 Acanthamoeba cysts/10 microl and 2.3 Acanthamoeba trophozoites/10 microl by both real-time PCR assays. The overall agreement between the assays was 97.0%. The clinical sensitivity and specificity of both real-time PCR assays based on culture were 100% (7 of 7) and 100% (37 of 37), respectively. Polyhexamethylene biguanide was the only topical drug that demonstrated PCR inhibition, with a minimal inhibitory dilution of 1/640 and an amplification efficiency of 72.7%. Four clinical samples were Acanthamoeba culture negative and real-time PCR positive. Our results indicate that both real-time PCR assays could be used to diagnose Acanthamoeba keratitis. Polyhexamethylene biguanide can inhibit PCR, and we suggest that specimen collection occur prior to topical treatment to avoid possible false-negative results.
Project description:Identification of Acanthamoeba cysts and trophozoites in ocular tissues requires considerable expertise and is often time-consuming. An 18S rRNA gene-based PCR test, highly specific for the genus Acanthamoeba, has recently been reported in the molecular diagnosis of Acanthamoeba keratitis. This PCR assay was compared with conventional microbiological tests for the diagnosis of Acanthamoeba keratitis. In a pilot study, the PCR conditions with modifications were first tested on corneal scrapings from patients with culture-proven non-contact lens-related Acanthamoeba, bacterial, and fungal keratitis. This was followed by testing of corneal scrapings from 53 consecutive cases of microbial keratitis to determine sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values of the assay. All corneal scrapings from patients with proven Acanthamoeba keratitis showed a 463-bp amplicon, while no amplicon was obtained from patients with bacterial or fungal keratitis. Some of these amplified products were sequenced and compared with EMBL database reference sequences to validate these to be of Acanthamoeba origin. Out of 53 consecutive cases of microbial keratitis included for evaluating the PCR, 10 (18.9%) cases were diagnosed as Acanthamoeba keratitis on the basis of combined results of culture, smear, and PCR of corneal scrapings. Based on culture results as the "gold standard," the sensitivity of PCR was the same as that of the smear (87.5%); however, the specificity and the positive and negative predictive values of PCR were marginally higher than the smear examination (97.8 versus 95.6%, 87.5 versus 77.8%, and 97.8 versus 97.7%) although the difference was not significant. This study confirms the efficacy of the PCR assay and is the first study to evaluate a PCR-based assay against conventional methods of diagnosis in a clinical setting.
Project description:Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) is a rare sight-threatening corneal infection, often reporting from contact lens wearers. An asymptomatic human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected Thai male without history of contact lens use complained foreign body sensation at his left eye during motorbike riding. He had neither specific keratitis symptoms nor common drugs responding, which contributed to delayed diagnosis. By corneal re-scraping, Acanthamoeba-like cysts were detected by calcofluor white staining and agar culture. The etiological agent obtained from the culture was molecularly confirmed by Acanthamoeba spp.-specific PCR, followed by DNA sequencing. The results from BLAST and phylogenetic analysis based on the DNA sequences, revealed that the pathogen was Acanthamoeba T4, the major genotype most frequently reported from clinical isolates. The infection was successfully treated with polyhexamethylene biguanide resulting in corneal scar. This appears the first reported AK case from a non-contact lens wearer with HIV infection in Thailand. Although AK is sporadic in developing countries, a role of free-living Acanthamoeba as an opportunistic pathogen should not be neglected. The report would increase awareness of AK, especially in the case presenting unspecific keratitis symptoms without clinical response to empirical antimicrobial therapy.
Project description:We report the case of a 76-year old Filipino male who presented with pain, redness, and blurring of vision of the right eye. Corneal scraping was done and sent to the St. Luke's Research and Biotechnology Group for detection and identification of the infectious agent. Morphological detection was performed by allowing the organism from the scraping to grow in 1.5% non-nutrient agar plate with heat-killed E. coli. Trophozoites with acanthopodia and double-walled cysts characteristic of Acanthamoeba were observed within the first and second week of observations, respectively. Molecular identification of the amoebae at the genus level based on the presence of Acanthamoeba-specific amplimer S1, ASA.S1 confirmed the morphological identification. Genotyping through sequence revealed that the organism belonged to T4, which is the genotype commonly present in the eye of keratitis patients.
Project description:Background:Polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB) eye drops are a frequently used medication to treat Acanthamoeba keratitis. In the absence of marketed PHMB eye drops, pharmacy-compounding units are needed to prepare this much needed treatment, but the lack of validated PHMB stability data severely limits their conservation by imposing short expiration dates after preparation. In this study we aim to assess the physicochemical and microbiological stability of a 0.2 mg/mL PHMB eye drop formulation stored in two kinds of polyethylene bottles at two different temperatures. Methods:A liquid chromatography coupled with diode array detector stability-indicating method was validated to quantify PHMB, using a cyanopropyl bonded phase (Agilent Zorbax Eclipse XDB-CN column 4.6 × 75 mm with particle size of 3.5 ?m) and isocratic elution consisting of acetonitrile/deionized water (3/97 v/v) at a flow rate of 1.3 mL/min. PHMB eye drops stability was assessed for 90 days of storage at 5 and 25 °C in ethylene oxide sterilized low density polyethylene (EOS-LDPE) and gamma sterilized low density polyethylene (GS-LDPE) bottles. The following analyses were performed: visual inspection, PHMB quantification and breakdown products (BPs) screening, osmolality and pH measurements, and sterility assessment. PHMB quantification and BP screening was also performed on the drops emitted from the multidose eyedroppers to simulate in-use condition. Results:The analytical method developed meets all the qualitative and quantitative criteria for validation with an acceptable accuracy and good linearity, and is stability indicating. During 90 days of storage, no significant decrease of PHMB concentration was found compared to initial concentration in all stored PHMB eye drops. However, BP were found at day 30 and at day 90 of monitoring in both kind of bottles, stored at 5 and 25 °C, respectively. Although no significant variation of osmolality was found and sterility was maintained during 90 days of monitoring, a significant decrease of pH in GS-LDPE PHMB eye drops was noticed reaching 4 and 4.6 at 25 °C and 5 °C respectively, compared to initial pH of 6.16. Discussion:Although no significant decrease in PHMB concentration was found during 90 days of monitoring in all conditions, the appearance of BPs and their unknown toxicities let us believe that 0.2 mg/mL PHMB solution should be conserved for no longer than 60 days in EOS-LDPE bottles at 25 °C.
Project description:Acanthamoeba is a free-living ameba that is found throughout the world and that causes encephalitis, keratitis, and cutaneous infections in humans. It has two stages in its life cycle: a trophic stage and a resistant cyst stage. We describe here the ability of Acanthamoeba cysts to survive desiccation for more than 20 years.
Project description:Polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB), a broad spectrum disinfectant against many pathogens, was used as a stabilizing ligand for the synthesis of fairly uniform silver nanoparticles. The particles formed were characterized using UV-visible spectroscopy, FTIR, dynamic light scattering, electrophoretic mobility, and TEM to measure their morphology and surface chemistry. PHMB-functionalized silver nanoparticles were then evaluated for their antimicrobial activity against a gram-negative bacterial strain, Escherichia coli. These silver nanoparticles were found to have about 100 times higher bacteriostatic and bactericidal activities, compared to the previous reports, due to the combined antibacterial effect of silver nanoparticles and PHMB. In addition to other applications, PHMB-functionalized silver nanoparticles would be extremely useful in textile industry due to the strong interaction of PHMB with cellulose fabrics.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4> Acanthamoeba spp. are one of the free-living amoeba that spread worldwide causing keratitis. Owing to the increase in the use of lenses, whether for medical or cosmetic purposes, the incidence of disease increases every year. Contamination of the lenses with the Acanthamoeba trophozoites or cysts may lead to eye infection and cause sight-threatening keratitis in human. We isolated Acanthamoeba spp. from new lenses, used lenses, and contact lens disinfecting solutions and identified them based on morphological characteristics and molecular test. <h4>Methods</h4> New and used lenses and contact lens disinfecting solutions were cultured on monogenic media. Light and scanning electron microscope was used to identify Acanthamoeba spp. morphological features. Genotype identification was also evaluated using PCR sequencing of 18S rRNA gene specific primer pair JDP1 and JDP2. <h4>Results</h4> A hundred samples were examined, 29 (29%) were infected with Acanthamoeba spp. That belonged to two strains of Acanthamoeba (Acanthamoeba 41 and Acanthamoeba 68). 18S rRNA of the Acanthamoeba 41 had 99.69% sequence identity to Acanthamoeba castellanii clone HDU-JUMS-2, whereas Acanthamoeba 68 had 99.74% similar pattern to that of Acanthamoeba sp. isolate T4 clone ac2t4 that are morphologically identified as Acanthamoeba polyphaga. The obtained data revealed that the isolated strains belong to T4 genotype that was evolutionarily similar to strains isolated in Iran. <h4>Conclusions</h4> Cosmetic lenses and disinfectant solutions are a major transmissible mode for infection. This genotype is common as the cause of Acanthamoeba keratitis. To avoid infection, care must be taken to clean the lenses and their preservative solutions and prevent contamination with the parasite.