Acanthamoeba Keratitis: An Emerging Disease Gathering Importance Worldwide?

Trends Parasitol. 2013 Apr;29(4):181-7. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2013 Feb 21.


Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) is increasingly being recognized as a severe sight-threatening ocular infection worldwide. Although contact lens wear is the leading risk factor for AK, Acanthamoeba parasites are also an important cause of keratitis in non-contact lens wearers. Diagnosis of AK is challenging, and the available treatments are lengthy and not fully effective against all strains. The pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba is still under study, and the identification of the key factors involved in this process should be useful for the development of fully effective therapies. This review focuses on recent developments on AK pathogenesis and diagnosis as well as novel strategies for the evaluation of anti-amoebic agents that could be applied in the near future against these pathogens.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acanthamoeba / pathogenicity*
  • Acanthamoeba / physiology
  • Acanthamoeba Keratitis* / diagnosis
  • Acanthamoeba Keratitis* / epidemiology
  • Acanthamoeba Keratitis* / parasitology
  • Acanthamoeba Keratitis* / therapy
  • Contact Lenses / adverse effects*
  • Contact Lenses / standards
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Risk Factors