Efficacy of miltefosine for topical treatment of Acanthamoeba keratitis in Syrian hamsters
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Acanthamoeba keratitis is a painful corneal infection and difficult to treat because no sufficiently efficient drug has yet been available. The aim of the study therefore was to assess the therapeutic potential of miltefosine on Acanthamoeba keratitis-infected hamster eyes. The cornea of hamsters were infected with Acanthamoeba hatchetti, a human corneal isolate. On the fifth day, all the cornea were microscopically examined in order to determine the degree of infections (G, from 0 to 3). Four groups were then prepared: miltefosine (160 μM); 0.1% propamidine isetionate plus 0.02% polyhexnide; infected control (0.05% ethanol in PBS) and a non-infected control (0.05% ethanol in PBS) groups. The treatment was continued for 28 days. After the treatment, the cornea were excised and used for Acanthamoeba culture to investigate the presence of Acanthamoeba growth. Miltefosine treatment yielded much higher cure scores than propamidine isetionate plus polyhexanide. On the last day of treatment, 85% of the miltefosine-treated eyes were graded as G0; no changes were observed in the uninfected control group eyes; G3 eyes showed only a partial improvement. Furthermore, no Acanthamoeba cells could be recovered from the miltefosine-treated eye samples. Miltefosine appeared to hold necessary therapeutic properties for the treatment of Acanthamoeba keratitis.
This work was supported by Orphanidis Pharma Research GmbH, Wilhelminenstr. 91/IIf, 1160 Vienna, Austria. The authors also thank Prof. Ali Fazil Yenidünya for his invaluable contribution in the preparation of the manuscript.
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