Acanthamoeba castellanii belonging to the T4 genotype may cause a fatal brain infection known as granulomatous amoebic encephalitis, and the vision-threatening eye infection Acanthamoeba keratitis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the antiamoebic effects of three clinically available antidiabetic drugs, Glimepiride, Vildagliptin and Repaglinide, against A. castellanii belonging to the T4 genotype. Furthermore, we attempted to conjugate these drugs with silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) to enhance their antiamoebic effects. Amoebicidal, encystation, excystation, and host cell cytotoxicity assays were performed to unravel any antiacanthamoebic effects. Vildagliptin conjugated silver nanoparticles (Vgt-AgNPs) characterized by spectroscopic techniques and atomic force microscopy were synthesized. All three drugs showed antiamoebic effects against A. castellanii and significantly blocked the encystation. These drugs also showed significant cysticidal effects and reduced host cell cytotoxicity caused by A. castellanii. Moreover, Vildagliptin-coated silver nanoparticles were successfully synthesized and are shown to enhance its antiacanthamoebic potency at significantly reduced concentration. The repurposed application of the tested antidiabetic drugs and their nanoparticles against free-living amoeba such as Acanthamoeba castellanii described here is a novel outcome that holds tremendous potential for future applications against devastating infection.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.