Biology and pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba

Parasit Vectors. 2012 Jan 10;5:6. doi: 10.1186/1756-3305-5-6.


Acanthamoeba is a free-living protist pathogen, capable of causing a blinding keratitis and fatal granulomatous encephalitis. The factors that contribute to Acanthamoeba infections include parasite biology, genetic diversity, environmental spread and host susceptibility, and are highlighted together with potential therapeutic and preventative measures. The use of Acanthamoeba in the study of cellular differentiation mechanisms, motility and phagocytosis, bacterial pathogenesis and evolutionary processes makes it an attractive model organism. There is a significant emphasis on Acanthamoeba as a Trojan horse of other microbes including viral, bacterial, protists and yeast pathogens.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acanthamoeba / pathogenicity*
  • Acanthamoeba / physiology*
  • Acanthamoeba / ultrastructure
  • Acanthamoeba Keratitis / diagnosis
  • Acanthamoeba Keratitis / parasitology
  • Acanthamoeba Keratitis / therapy
  • Amebiasis / diagnosis
  • Amebiasis / parasitology*
  • Encephalitis / diagnosis
  • Encephalitis / parasitology*
  • Encephalitis / therapy