We examined the inhibitory effect of matcha green tea (Camellia sinensis) and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg; the most abundant catechin in tea) on the vegetative growth and encystation of Acanthamoeba castellanii T4 genotype. The sulforhodamine B (SRB) stain-based colorimetric assay and hemocytometer counting were used to determine the reduction in A. castellanii trophozoite proliferation and encystation, in response to treatment with C. sinensis or EGCg. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) microscopy was used to analyze chemical changes in the trophozoites and cysts due to C. sinensis treatment. Hot brewed and cold brewed matcha inhibited the growth of trophozoites by >40% at a 100 % concentration. EGCg at concentrations of 50 to 500 µM significantly inhibited the trophozoite growth compared to control. Hot brewed matcha (100% concentration) also showed an 87% reduction in the rate of encystation compared to untreated control. Although 500 µM of EGCg increased the rate of encystation by 36.3%, 1000 µM reduced it by 27.7%. Both percentages were not significant compared to control. C. sinensis induced more cytotoxicity to Madin Darby canine kidney cells compared to EGCg. FTIR chemical fingerprinting analysis showed that treatment with brewed matcha significantly increased the levels of glycogen and carbohydrate in trophozoites and cysts.
Keywords: Acanthameoba castellanii; Camellia sinensis; cyst; epigallocatechin gallate; matcha green tea; trophozoite.