Author(s): Ibrahim YW, Boase DL, Cree IA
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Abstract Despite being a relatively rare disease in comparison with other forms of infectious keratitis, Acanthamoeba keratitis is a potentially blinding disease. Wide variations in the incidence of Acanthamoeba keratitis have been reported in both developed and developing countries. At the same time that contact lens wear was found to be responsible for the spread of the disease in developed countries, Acanthamoeba keratitis was considered a rare disease in developing countries compared with fungal and bacterial keratitis. In recent decades, the risk of getting Acanthamoeba keratitis has increased because of the increased proportion of contact lens wearers. This article introduces the different factors affecting the epidemiology of Acanthamoeba keratitis worldwide, presents a chronological review of the literature, and shows the progressive spread of Acanthamoeba keratitis in the last two decades in different geographical areas of the world. A detailed comparison of the incidence of the disease as reported in different studies in different countries is made. The impact of contact lenses and other factors, such as hot weather, virulence of Acanthamoeba strains, water sanitation and quality, the occurrence of environmental disasters such as flooding, and the wide environmental presence of Acanthamoeba cysts on the incidence of the disease, are discussed. In addition, the ability of Acanthamoeba cysts to resist different harsh conditions is reviewed.
This article was published in Ophthalmic Epidemiol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology