Nucleic acid amplification assay (PCR) for the detection of Acanthamoeba DNA, the reference laboratory will also attempt to culture for Acanthamoeba.
To aid in the diagnosis of Acanthamoeba keratitis, which is made based on the clinical picture and the detection of Acanthamoeba DNA from corneal scrapes or contact lenses.
Acanthamoeba keratitis is rare but serious infection of the cornea of the eye caused by Acanthamoeba that if left untreated can lead to vision loss and/or blindness.
Acanthamoeba are a type of microscopic single-celled organism known as amoeba, which can be found widely in the environment (e.g. bodies of water (rivers, lakes, oceans, pools & hot tubs) as well as domestic tap water and soil.
Contact lens and /or wash fluids.
Scalpel blades from corneal scrapes / needles & biopsies.
Sterile container, e.g. white top universal pot (see picture)
Dry samples (i.e. samples other than contact lens fluid) should be covered in approximately 200ul of sterile saline.
Sent to reference laboratory – Diagnostic Parasitology Laboratory, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Up to 7 working days once received at the reference laboratory.
Please contact the microbiology laboratory.