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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 231285, 8 pages
Research Article

Emerging Threats for Human Health in Poland: Pathogenic Isolates from Drug Resistant Acanthamoeba Keratitis Monitored in terms of Their In Vitro Dynamics and Temperature Adaptability

1Department of Medical Biology, Medical University of Warsaw, 73 Nowogrodzka Street, 02-018 Warsaw, Poland
2Department of Invertebrate Zoology, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
3One Health Center, Berry College, School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences, Mount Berry, GA 30149-5036, USA
4Department of Ophthalmology, SPKSO Ophthalmic Hospital, Medical University of Warsaw, 13 Sierakowskiego Street, 03-709 Warsaw, Poland
5Center for Pathophysiology, Infectiology and Immunology, Institute of Specific Prophylaxis and Tropical Medicine, Medical University of Vienna, Kinderspitalgasse 15, 1090 Vienna, Austria
6Clinic of Cranio-Maxillo-Facial and Oral Surgery and Implantology, 4 Lindleya Street, 02-005 Warsaw, Poland
7Department of Disaster Medicine, Warsaw Medical University, 81 Żwirki and Wigury Street, 02-091 Warsaw, Poland
8Chair and Department of General Biology and Parasitology, Medical University of Warsaw, 5 Chałubinskiego Street, 02-004 Warsaw, Poland

Received 7 September 2015; Revised 25 October 2015; Accepted 27 October 2015

Academic Editor: Stefano D’Amelio

Copyright © 2015 Lidia Chomicz et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Amphizoic amoebae generate a serious human health threat due to their pathogenic potential as facultative parasites, causative agents of vision-threatening Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK). Recently, AK incidences have been reported with increasing frequency worldwide, particularly in contact lens wearers. In our study, severe cases of AK in Poland and respective pathogenic isolates were assessed at clinical, morphological, and molecular levels. Misdiagnoses and the unsuccessful treatment in other ophthalmic units delayed suitable therapy, and resistance to applied chemicals resulted in severe courses and treatment difficulties. Molecular assessment indicated that all sequenced pathogenic corneal isolates deriving from Polish patients with AK examined by us showed 98–100% homology with Acanthamoeba genotype T4, the most prevalent genotype in this human ocular infection worldwide. In vitro assays revealed that the pathogenic strains are able to grow at elevated temperature and have a wide adaptive capability. This study is our subsequent in vitro investigation on pathogenic Acanthamoeba strains of AK originating from Polish patients. Further investigations designed to foster a better understanding of the factors leading to an increase of AK observed in the past years in Poland may help to prevent or at least better cope with future cases.