Thursday, October 31, 2013

Acanthamoeba: Terror in the Eyes

Lurking in Earth’s soil, bodies of water, as well as swimming pools and tap water, Acanthamoeba has quite the nefarious mission. If successful, this microscopic organism will infect a victim’s brain and spinal cord causing vomiting, confusion, hallucinations, blindness, and eventually death.

In 2010 a study was published in BMC Microbiology’s journal stating that after a group of locusts (aged 15-30 days) were injected with Acanthamoeba, they displayed infection of the brain and a 100% mortality rate within 11 days. But locusts aren’t the only organism that can be affected by this deadly amoeba.

Humans are at risk for contracting this mean little amoeba, though it is classified as a “rare disease” by the CDC. There are basically two ways in which Acanthamoeba enters the body, through an open wound or nostrils (Disseminated infection), or directly into the eye from contamination, each scenario producing varying consequences.

To read the more about these terrors, see:

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