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Korean J Parasitol > Volume 57(4):2019 > Article
The Korean Journal of Parasitology 2019;57(4):341-357. doi: https://doi.org/10.3347/kjp.2019.57.4.341
Acanthamoeba in Southeast Asia – Overview and Challenges
Chooseel Bunsuwansakul1, Tooba Mahboob2, Kruawan Hounkong3, Sawanya Laohaprapanon4, Sukhuma Chitapornpan5, Siriuma Jawjit4, Atipat Yasiri6, Sahapat Barusrux1, Kingkan Bunluepuech1, Nongyao Sawangjaroen7, Cristina C. Salibay8, Chalermpon Kaewjai9, Maria de Lourdes Pereira10, Veeranoot Nissapatorn1
1School of Allied Health, Southeast Asia Water Team (SEA Water Team) and World Union for Herbal Drug Discovery (WUHeDD), Walailak University, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand
2Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
3Department of Microbiology, Princess of Naradhiwas University, Narathiwat, Thailand
4School of Public Health, Walailak University, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand
5School of Energy and Environment, University of Phayao, Phayao, Thailand
6Chulabhorn International College of Medicine, Thammasat University, Pathum Thani, Thailand
7Department of Microbiology, Prince of Songkla University, Songkhla, Thailand
8College of Science and Computer Studies, De La Salle University-Dasmarinas, Dasmarinas City, Cavite, Philippines
9Faculty of Medical Technology, Rangsit University, Pathum Thani, Thailand
10Department of Medical Sciences & CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials, University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal
* Corresponding Author: Veeranoot Nissapatorn, Email: nissapat@gmail.com
Received: April 21, 2019;  Revised: July 18, 2019;  Accepted: July 18, 2019.
Acanthamoeba, one of free-living amoebae (FLA), remains a high risk of direct contact with this protozoan parasite which is ubiquitous in nature and man-made environment. This pathogenic FLA can cause sight-threatening amoebic keratitis (AK) and fatal granulomatous amoebic encephalitis (GAE) though these cases may not commonly be reported in our clinical settings. Acanthamoeba has been detected from different environmental sources namely; soil, water, hot-spring, swimming pool, air-conditioner, or contact lens storage cases. The identification of Acanthamoeba is based on morphological appearance and molecular techniques using PCR and DNA sequencing for clinico-epidemiological purposes. Recent treatments have long been ineffective against Acanthamoeba cyst, novel anti-Acanthamoeba agents have therefore been extensively investigated. There are efforts to utilize synthetic chemicals, lead compounds from medicinal plant extracts, and animal products to combat Acanthamoeba infection. Applied nanotechnology, an advanced technology, has shown to enhance the anti-Acanthamoeba activity in the encapsulated nanoparticles leading to new therapeutic options. This review attempts to provide an overview of the available data and studies on the occurrence of pathogenic Acanthamoeba among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members with the aim of identifying some potential contributing factors such as distribution, demographic profile of the patients, possible source of the parasite, mode of transmission and treatment. Further, this review attempts to provide future direction for prevention and control of the Acanthamoeba infection.
Key words: Acanthamoeba, clinico-epidemiology, medicinal plant, molecular, nanotechnology, Southeast Asia
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Acanthamoeba: Biology and Pathogenesis  2010 June;48(2)
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