Some Acanthamoeba species are distributed in natural and man-made environments, in a wide range of soil and aquatic habitats, also in clinical settings. The amphizoic organisms can exist as facultative parasites - causative agents of serious human disease, Acanthamoeba keratitis. The vision-threatening eye disease occurring particularly in contact lens wearers is reported with increasing prevalence in different regions of the world. The amoebic keratitis is difficult to diagnose as clinical symptoms are similar to those observed in other eye diseases. Moreover, bacterial, viral, fungal, and amoebic co-infections frequently occur; also amoebae act as carriers for ~ 20 species pathogenic for humans, e.g. from Pseudomonas, Legionella, Mycobacterium and Escherichia genera; thus the corneal disease is frequently misdiagnosed. Complex etiology, late proper recognition of amoebic infections, and the exceptional resistance of Acanthamoeba cysts to chemicals are important factors influencing diagnostic and therapeutic difficulties. Surgical interventions are needed as an alternative treatment in refractory Acanthamoeba keratitis. It should be taken into consideration that the knowledge and awareness of increasing threat generated by the amphizoic amoebae are still insufficient. This compilation presents selected aspects of eye disease that is becoming the increasingly significant for human health worldwide.
Part of the book: Advances in Common Eye Infections