Acanthamoeba – Granulomatous Amebic Encephalitis (GAE)

Background of Acanthamoeba

Acanthamoeba was initially established as the factor for human being disease in the early 1970s. This genus will cause Three medical syndromes: granulomatous amebic encephalitis, disseminated granulomatous amebic condition and amebic keratitis. People who develop GAE or disseminated problem are often immunocompromised, where as those that have amebic keratitis are generally immunocompetent. Disseminated disease and GAE have a poor diagnosis, and treatment strategies aren’t well described. Acanthamoeba keratitis can be a perception threatening condition which has a favorable prognosis when diagnosed and is treated earlier in the disease course.

What is Acanthamoeba?

Acanthamoeba is a microscopic free existing ameba in the atmosphere, but not usually causes infection. When infections occurs, however, it can be very severe and eyesight threatening. The ameba can be found around the globe in the atmosphere in water and soil. The ameba may be spread into the eye via contact lens use, cuts, and skin injuries or by being inhaled in to the lungs. Many people will be exposed to Acanthamoeba in their life-time, however few can become sick from this exposure.


What is the Granulomatous Amebic Encephalitis?

A severe infection in the brain and spinal-cord which usually only occurs in individuals having a compromised immune system.

Disseminated infection can affect skin, sinuses, lungs, and other body organs alone or in combination. It might be more common in individuals with a compromised immune system.

Symptoms of Acanthamoeba

Acanthamoeba keratitis

The symptoms of Acanthamoeba keratitis can be quite similar to the symptoms of some other more common eye infections. The symptoms that may last a few weeks to months, won’t be the same for everyone and can include:

  • Eyes pain
  • Eyes redness
  • Blurred vision
  • Eyes sensitivity to light
  • Some Sensation in the eye
  • Excessive tearing

Eyes infection with Acanthamoeba never been proven to cause infections within other parts of the human body.

Granulomatous Encephalitis

Acanthamoeba may cause a serious, in most cases deadly, infections in the brain and spinal-cord known as Granulomatous Encephalitis (GAE).

When infected, an individual may suffer with severe headaches, stiff neck, nausea or vomiting, fatigue, confusion, loss of attention to people and environment, lack of balance and physical control, seizures, and hallucinations. Signs and symptoms progress more than many weeks and death usually happens. Skin infection usually do not always lead to disseminated disease.

Disseminated infection

Acanthamoeba may also cause a skin lesion and disseminated infections. These infections often occurs in people with a compromised immune systems.

Prevention from Acanthamoeba

These instructions should be followed by every contact lens user to help to reduce the risk of eye infections, including the Acanthamoeba keratitis:

  • Regularly visit for your eye examinations.
  • Wear and replace contact lenses as a schedule prescribed by your eye care expert.
  • Remove the contact lenses before doing any activity that involve contact with water, showering, using  hot tub and swimming.
  • Wash your hands using soap and water and don’t forgot to dry before handling contact lenses.
  • Clean the contact lenses as per instructions from your eye care provider and the manufacturer of lenses.
  • Store re-usable lense in the proper storage case.

Who is at the risk for infection with Acanthamoeba?

Acanthamoeba keratitis can be common that individuals who uselenses, howeveranybody can have the infection. For those who wear contact lenses, some practices mayraise the risk of having Acanthamoeba keratitis:

  • Storing and handling contact lenses improperly
  • Disinfecting the contact lenses improperly
  • Swimming, use of hot tub and showering with wearing contact lenses
  • Having a contact with contaminated water
  • Have a past diagnosis of of trauma to the cornea


Earlier medical diagnosis is important for efficient treatment of Acanthamoeba keratitis. The infection is generally diagnosed by an eye medical specialist based upon symptoms, growth of the ameba from the scraping of your eyes, and viewing the ameba with a procedure named confocal microscopy.

Granulomatous Amebic Encephalitis anddisseminated infections are usually more hard to diagnose and so are usually at advanced stages when it is diagnosed. Lab tests are useful in the diagnosis process of GAE involve brain scans, biopsies and spinal taps. In disseminated condition, biopsy of the involved sites may be useful in the diagnosis.

Treatment For Acanthamoeba

Earlier diagnosis is important for efficient treatment of Acanthamoeba keratitis. Variousprescribed eye medicines are available for treatment. But, the infection may be hard to treat. The best treatment optionfor everyaffected person should be determined by an eye doctor. In case youthink your eye might be infected with Acanthamoeba, see an eye doctor without delay.

Skin infectionwhich aredue to Acanthamoeba but have not spread to yourcentral nervous system (cns)will be successfully handled. As this is a serious infection and the individuals affected normally have weaker immune systems.

Most all casesassociated with the brain and spinal cord infection with Acanthamoeba are critical.

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