Vannella sp. harboring Microsporidia-like organisms isolated from the contact lens and inflamed eye of a female keratitis patient
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Viable Hartmannella sp. and two strains of Vannella sp. – but no Acanthamoebae– multiplied on NN-agar inoculated with pieces of the contact lens from a female keratitis patient. Within the cytoplasm of one Vannella isolate, intracellular parasites could be observed whose earliest stages were developing within the nucleus, resembling those Microsporidia-like parasites seen within Vannella isolated recently from a warm tapwater system. This assumption was also confirmed by electron microscopy. In swabs taken directly from the cornea, Pseudomonas aeruginosa were identified, but they did not yield any growth of amebas in culture. However, cocultivation of parasite-free Vannella strains with the above-mentioned swab matter resulted in infected amebas harboring the same intracellular parasites seen before. This infection could be established only if the corresponding spores were present as infective agents in the swab matter. The successful treatment of the patient with antibiotics supports the assumption that P. aeruginosa was the main cause of the corneal ulceration. The extent to which the Microsporidia-like organisms may have been involved in the development of keratitis remains a matter of discussion.
KeywordsElectron Microscopy Successful Treatment Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Contact Lens Keratitis
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