Acanthamoeba keratitis with symbiosis of Hartmannella ameba

Am J Ophthalmol. 1998 May;125(5):721-3. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9394(98)00026-9.


Purpose: To report a case of severe amebic keratitis in which both Hartmannella and Acanthamoeba were isolated simultaneously from the same lesion.

Method: Case report. The deep corneal lesion was scraped for cytopathology and isolation of the pathogens. We tested the in vitro sensitivities of the pathogens to several drugs.

Results: Cultures of the corneal scrapings and of the solution in the patient's contact lens storage case were positive for Acanthamoeba E9 cysts and trophozoites. Hartmannella ameba coexisted with Acanthamoeba in the cornea. When tested in vitro, Acanthamoeba trophozoites were sensitive to both miconazole nitrate and natamycin, while cysts were sensitive only to natamycin. However, the patient did not respond to these antiamebic drugs.

Conclusions: This case suggests that Acanthamoeba is not the only origin of amebic keratitis. Hartmannella may also cause severe drug-resistant keratitis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acanthamoeba / drug effects
  • Acanthamoeba / isolation & purification*
  • Acanthamoeba Keratitis / parasitology*
  • Acanthamoeba Keratitis / pathology
  • Acanthamoeba Keratitis / therapy
  • Animals
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Contact Lenses / adverse effects
  • Contact Lenses / parasitology
  • Cornea / drug effects
  • Cornea / parasitology*
  • Cornea / pathology
  • Cornea / surgery
  • Female
  • Hartmannella / drug effects
  • Hartmannella / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Keratoplasty, Penetrating
  • Miconazole / pharmacology
  • Miconazole / therapeutic use
  • Middle Aged
  • Natamycin / pharmacology
  • Natamycin / therapeutic use
  • Symbiosis


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Miconazole
  • Natamycin