This is a preview and has not been published.

Isolation and molecular characterization of Acanthamoeba spp. from Iraqi patients with Keratitis


  • Muna B. Aldin Department of Forensic Science, College of Science, University of Alnahrain, Baghdad, Iraq.
  • Naksheen M. Ardalan Department of Biology, College of Science for Woman, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq.
  • Khudair Abbas Jassim Ibn Al Haitham Teaching Eye Hospital, Alwiyh, Karadah, Baghdad, Iraq.



Acanthamoeba spp., Contact lenses, Corneal infections, Eye, keratitis


     Isolation and molecular characterization of Acanthamoeba spp. related corneal infections in Iraqi Patients. A total of 96 samples from corneal scraps and contact lenses were gathered from corneal patients for the current trial, which runs from November 2020 to May 2021. All plates were checked, classifying them as positive or negative morphologically identification of Acanthamoeba spp. where PCR analysis, which entails the targeted amplification of nucleic acids, has been carried out, and where The 18s rRNA gene's DF3 region was the focus of the isolated strains' sequences. Three patients had Acanthamoeba spp. infections, according to the findings. then the sequence analysis was performed using the NCBI tool, which showed the presence of 2 different genotypes, two strains were grouped into the T3 genotype, one from T4, then they were registered in GeneBank under number accession (MZ427912, MZ349042) respectively. To our knowledge, these are the first reported cases of Acanthamoeba keratitis in Iraq.


Download data is not yet available.


Sun, X. Acanthamoeba keratitis diagnosis and treatment. Springer. 2018.

Cope JR , Collier SA, Schein OD, Brown AC, Verani JR, Gallen R, et al. Acanthamoeba Keratitis among Rigid Gas Permeable Contact Lens Wearers in the United States, 2005 through 2011. Ophthalmol . 2016; 123(7): 1435–1441.

Elsheikha HM, Siddiqui R, Khan NA. Drug discovery against acanthamoeba infections: Present knowledge and unmet needs. Pathogens. 2020; 405(9): 1–17. .

de Lacerda AG, Lira, M. Acanthamoeba keratitis: a review of biology, pathophysiology and epidemiology. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. 2021; 41(1):116–135.

Corsaro D, Walochnik J, Köhsler M, Rott MB. Acanthamoeba misidentification and multiple labels: redefining genotypes T16, T19, and T20 and proposal for Acanthamoeba micheli sp. nov. (genotype T19). Parasitol Res. 2015 ; 114: 2481–2490 . https://doi:10.1007/s00436-015-4445-8.

Zhong J, Li X, Deng Y, Chen L, Zhou S, Huang W,et al. Associated factors, diagnosis and management of Acanthamoeba keratitis in a referral Center in Southern China. BMC Ophthalmol. 2017; 17(175): 1–8.

Alkharashi M, Lindsley K, Law HA, Sikder S. Medical interventions for acanthamoeba keratitis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015; 2: CD010792.

Chidi A E. Use of photodynamic therapy for the treatment of localised infections of Acanthamoeba keratitis. Ahamuefula Erebosi. Ph D Thesis. University of Sunderland, Edinburgh. 2020.

Robles AG, Villatoro LS, Molina, MO, Morales JL, Palomo AM. Acanthamoeba royreba: Morphological features and in vitro cytopathic effect. Parasitol. 2013; 133: 369–375.

Mahdi WA, Dawod YT, Al-Qadhi, BN. Survey study of intestinal parasites on Fresh vegetables collected from some Baghdad Sales and its role in human infection. Baghdad J Sci. 2013; 10(1): 32-40.

Morales JL, Khan NA, Walochnik J. An update on Acanthamoeba keratitis: diagnosis, pathogenesis and treatment. Parasite. 2015; 22(10): 1-20.

Garajová M, Mrva M, Vaškovicová N, Martinka M, Melicherová J, Valigurová A. Cellulose fibrils formation and organisation of cytoskeleton during encystment are essential for Acanthamoeba cyst wall architecture. Sci Rep. 2019; 9(1): 1–21.

Bursle E, Robson J. Free living amoebae and human disease. Microbiol Aust. 2016; 37(1): 20–24.

Salman SS, Ardalan NM. Evaluation of Amygdalin (B17) and Cucurbita pepo (Pumpkin seed) Activity Against Blastocystis from Diarrheic Patients in Baghdad, Iraq: in Vitro Study. Baghdad J Sci. 2020; 19(1): 16-25.

Erdem E, Evcil Y, Yagmur M, Eroglu F, Koltas S, Ersoz R. Non-contact lens use-related acanthamoeba keratitis in Southern Turkey: Evaluation of risk factors and clinical features. Eur J Ophthalmol. 2013; 24(2): 164–172.

Li W, Wang Z, Qu J, Zhang Y, Sun X. Acanthamoeba keratitis related to contact lens use in a tertiary hospital in China. BMC Ophthalmol. 2019; 19(1): 1–6.

Maycock, Nicholas JR, Jayaswal R. Update on Acanthamoeba Keratitis: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Outcomes. Cornea. 2016; 0: 1–8.

Muchesa P, Leifels M, Jurzik L, Hoorzook KB, Barnard TG, Bartie C. Coexistence of free-living amoebae and bacteria in selected South African hospital water distribution systems. Parasitol Res. 2017; 116(1): 155–165.

Rayamajhee B, Subedi D, Won S, Kim J, Vijay A, Tan J, et al. Investigating domestic shower settings as a risk factor for Acanthamoeba Keratitis. Water. 2020; 12(12): 3493.

Maghsood AH, Sissons J, Rezaian M, Nolder D, Warhurst D, Khan NA. Acanthamoeba genotype T4 from the UK and Iran and isolation of the T2 genotype from clinical isolates. J Med Microbiol. 2005; 54 (8):755-759.

Karyagdi TK, Mohammed SA, Hassan HF. Molecular comparison of free -living amoeba isolated from Iraqi, Iranian and Turkish waters. Iraqi Sci J. 2020; 61(7): 1622-1632.

Aykur M, Dagci H. Evaluation of molecular characterization and phylogeny for quantification of Acanthamoeba and Naegleria fowleri in various water sources, Turkey. PLoS One. 2021; 16: e0256659. http://doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0256659.

Esboei BR, Fakhar M, Saberi R, Barati M, Moslemi M, Hassannia H, et al. Genotyping and phylogenic study of Acanthamoeba isolates from human keratitis and swimming pool water samples in Iran. Parasite Epidemiol. 2020; 11: e00164.

Alver O, Baykara M, YÜrÜk M, TÜzemen NÜ. Acanthamoeba Keratitis and Acanthamoeba Conjunctivitis: A Case Report. Iran J Parasitol. 2020; 15: 272.

Mahmoudi MR, Zebardast N, Masangkay FR, Karanis P. Detection of potentially pathogenic free-living amoebae from the Caspian Sea and hospital ward dust of teaching hospitals in Guilan, Iran J Water Health. 2021; 19: 278–287.

Nasef MH, El Emam SY, Elshorbagy MS, Allam WA. Acanthamoeba keratitis in egypt: Characteristics and treatment outcomes. Clin Ophthalmol. 2021; 15: 1339–1347.

Dendana F, Sellami H, Trabelsi H, Neji S, Cheikhrouhou F, Makni F. et al. Acanthamoeba T4 genotype associated with keratitis infections in Tunisia. Parasitol Res. 2013; 112: 401–405. https://doi10.1007/s00436-012-3149-6.

Zbiba W, Ben AN. Acanthamoeba keratitis: An emerging disease among microbial keratitis in the Cap Bon region of Tunisia. Exp Parasitol. 2018; 192: 42–45.

Carnt N, Hoffman J, Verma S, Hau S, Radford C, Minassian D, et al. Acanthamoeba keratitis: confirmation of the UK outbreak and a prospective case-control study identifying contributing risk factors. Br J Ophthalmol. 2018; 102: 1621–1628.

List W, Glatz W, Riedl R, Mossboeck G, Steinwender G, Wedrich A. Evaluation of Acanthamoeba keratitis cases in a tertiary medical care centre over 21 years. Sci Rep. 2021; 11: 1–10.

Randag AC, Rooij JV, Van Goor AT, Verkerk S, Wisse RPL, Saelens IEY, et al. The rising incidence of Acanthamoeba keratitis: A 7-year nationwide survey and clinical assessment of risk factors and functional outcomes. PLoS One. 2019; 14(9):1-12.

Init I, Lau YL, and Fadzlun AA, Foead AI, Neilson RS, Nissapatorn V. Detection of free living amoebae, Acanthamoeba and Naegleria, in swimming pools, Malaysia. Tropical Biomedicine 2010; 27 (3): 566-577. .

Carnt NA, Subedi D, Connor S, Kilvington S. The relationship between environmental sources and the susceptibility of Acanthamoeba keratitis in the United Kingdom. PLoS One. 2020; 15(3); 1-11.