eISSN: 1644-4124
ISSN: 1426-3912
Central European Journal of Immunology
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SCImago Journal & Country Rank
2/2020
vol. 45
 
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abstract:
Review paper

Acanthamoeba – pathogen and vector of highly pathogenic bacteria strains to healthy and immunocompromised individuals

Anna Borecka
1
,
Agata Bielawska-Drózd
2
,
Bogumiła Skotarczak
3
,
Małgorzata Adamska
3
,
Piotr Cieślik
4
,
Małgorzata Antos-Bielska
1
,
Ewa Skopińska-Różewska
1
,
Katarzyna Donskow-Łysoniewska
1

1.
Military Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Warsaw, Poland
2.
Military Centre of Preventive Medicine, Modlin, Poland
3.
Department of General and Molecular Genetics, Faculty of Biology, University of Szczecin, Szczecin, Poland
4.
bioMérieux Poland, Warsaw, Poland
Cent Eur J Immunol 2020; 45 (2): 228-232
Online publish date: 2020/07/27
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Acanthamoeba is a free-living protist pathogen, which is present in every place on Earth. 50 to 100 percent of the adult population has serum antibodies, specific for Acanthamoeba antigens. Acanthamoeba is an etiological agent of keratitis and encephalitis diagnosed in human. Acanthamoeba keratitis occurs in healthy persons and may lead to visual impairment and blindness, because corneal infection with this parasite fails to induce cell-mediated immune response due to the absence of resident antigen-presenting cells in the cornea. Systemic immunization with Acanthamoeba antigens induces Th1 cell-mediated immunity and serum IgG antibody, but do not prevent the development of keratitis. Immunization via mucosal surfaces stimulates IgA antibodies in tears and protects against the development of keratitis.

Amoebae feed mainly on bacteria, fungi, and algae. By transferring intracellular bacteria, amoeba contributes to the spread of diseases dangerous to humans. Some microorganisms have evolved to become resistant to protist, since they are not internalized or able to survive, grow, and exit free-living protists after internalization. In many cases, the bacteria inside living amoebae survive longer, and multiply better, showing higher virulence. There is a hypothesis, which assumes that Acanthamoeba and symbiontic bacteria survive and multiply better in moist soil, rich in nitrogen compounds, particularly in the vicinity of the root systems of Alnus glutinosa, infected with nitrogen-fixing bacteria Frankia alni. Impact of soil environment created by nitrogen-fixing bacterium Frankia alni on specific relations between protists Acanthamoeba and highly pathogenic bacteria strains in Alnus glutinosa habitats in Poland continue to be established.
keywords:

Acanthamoeba, endocytobionts, Coxiella burnetii, Francisella tularensis, immune response, Alnus glutinosa

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