The pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba keratitis

Microbes Infect. 1999 May;1(6):437-43. doi: 10.1016/s1286-4579(99)80047-1.


Free-living amoebae of the genus Acanthamoeba produce a progressive, blinding infection of the corneal surface. The pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba keratitis involves parasite-mediated cytolysis and phagocytosis of corneal epithelial cells and induction of programmed cell death. Acanthamoeba spp. elaborate a variety of proteases which may facilitate cytolysis of the corneal epithelium, invasion of the extracellular matrix, and dissolution of the corneal stromal matrix.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acanthamoeba / growth & development
  • Acanthamoeba / pathogenicity*
  • Acanthamoeba Keratitis / parasitology*
  • Acanthamoeba Keratitis / pathology*
  • Animals
  • Cornea / pathology
  • Humans
  • Mice