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  1. Kusrini E, Hashim F, Gunawan C, Mann R, Azmi WNNWN, Amin NM
    Parasitol Res, 2018 May;117(5):1409-1417.
    PMID: 29532220 DOI: 10.1007/s00436-018-5814-x
    This work investigated the anti-amoebic activity of two samarium (Sm) complexes, the acyclic complex [bis(picrato)(pentaethylene glycol)samarium(III)] picrate-referred to as [Sm(Pic)2(EO5)](Pic)-and the cyclic complex [bis(picrato)(18-crown-6)samarium(III)] picrate-referred to as [Sm(Pic)2(18C6)](Pic). Both Sm complexes caused morphological transformation of the protozoa Acanthamoeba from its native trophozoite form carrying a spine-like structure called acanthopodia, to round-shaped cells with loss of the acanthopodia structure, a trademark response to environmental stress. Further investigation, however, revealed that the two forms of the Sm complexes exerted unique cytotoxicity characteristics. Firstly, the IC50 of the acyclic complex (0.7 μg/mL) was ~ 10-fold lower than IC50 of the cyclic Sm complex (6.5 μg/mL). Secondly, treatment of the Acanthamoeba with the acyclic complex caused apoptosis of the treated cells, while the treatment with the cyclic complex caused necrosis evident by the leakage of the cell membrane. Both treatments induced DNA damage in Acanthamoeba. Finally, a molecular docking simulation revealed the potential capability of the acyclic complex to form hydrogen bonds with profilin-a membrane protein present in eukaryotes, including Acanthamoeba, that plays important roles in the formation and degradation of actin cytoskeleton. Not found for the cyclic complex, such potential interactions could be the underlying reason, at least in part, for the much higher cytotoxicity of the acyclic complex and also possibly, for the observed differences in the cytotoxicity traits. Nonetheless, with IC50 values of
    Matched MeSH terms: Acanthamoeba Keratitis/parasitology
  2. Anwar A, Abdalla SAO, Aslam Z, Shah MR, Siddiqui R, Khan NA
    Parasitol Res, 2019 Jul;118(7):2295-2304.
    PMID: 31093751 DOI: 10.1007/s00436-019-06329-3
    Acanthamoeba castellanii belonging to the T4 genotype is an opportunistic pathogen which is associated with blinding eye keratitis and rare but fatal central nervous system infection. A. castellanii pose serious challenges in antimicrobial chemotherapy due to its ability to convert into resistant, hardy shell-protected cyst form that leads to infection recurrence. The fatty acid composition of A. castellanii trophozoites is known to be most abundant in oleic acid which chemically is an unsaturated cis-9-Octadecanoic acid and naturally found in animal and vegetable fats and oils. This study was designed to evaluate antiacanthamoebic effects of oleic acid against trophozoites, cysts as well as parasite-mediated host cell cytotoxicity. Moreover, oleic acid-conjugated silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) were also synthesized and tested against A. castellanii. Oleic acid-AgNPs were synthesized by chemical reduction method and characterized by ultraviolet-visible spectrophotometry, atomic force microscopy, dynamic light scattering analysis, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Viability, growth inhibition, encystation, and excystation assays were performed with 10 and 5 μM concentration of oleic acid alone and oleic acid-conjugated AgNPs. Bioassays revealed that oleic acid alone and oleic acid-conjugated AgNPs exhibited significant antiamoebic properties, whereas nanoparticle conjugation further enhanced the efficacy of oleic acid. Phenotype differentiation assays also showed significant inhibition of encystation and excystation at 5 μM. Furthermore, oleic acid and oleic acid-conjugated AgNPs also inhibited amoebae-mediated host cell cytotoxicity as determined by lactate dehydrogenase release. These findings for the first time suggest that oleic acid-conjugated AgNPs exhibit antiacanthamoebic activity that hold potential for therapeutic applications against A. castellanii.
    Matched MeSH terms: Acanthamoeba Keratitis/parasitology
  3. Anwar A, Yi YP, Fatima I, Khan KM, Siddiqui R, Khan NA, et al.
    Parasitol Res, 2020 Jun;119(6):1943-1954.
    PMID: 32385711 DOI: 10.1007/s00436-020-06694-4
    Acanthamoeba causes diseases such as Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) which leads to permanent blindness and granulomatous Acanthamoeba encephalitis (GAE) where there is formation of granulomas in the brain. Current treatments such as chlorhexidine, diamidines, and azoles either exhibit undesirable side effects or require immediate and prolonged treatment for the drug to be effective or prevent relapse. Previously, antifungal drugs amphotericin B, nystatin, and fluconazole-conjugated silver with nanoparticles have shown significantly increased activity against Acanthamoeba castellanii. In this study, two functionally diverse tetrazoles were synthesized, namely 5-(3-4-dimethoxyphenyl)-1H-tetrazole and 1-(3-methoxyphenyl)-5-phenoxy-1H-tetrazole, denoted by T1 and T2 respectively. These compounds were evaluated for anti-Acanthamoeba effects at different concentrations ranging from 5 to 50 μM. Furthermore, these compounds were conjugated with silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) to enhance their efficacy. Particle size analysis showed that T1-AgNPs and T2-AgNPs had an average size of 52 and 70 nm respectively. After the successful synthesis and characterization of tetrazoles and tetrazole-conjugated AgNPs, they were subjected to anti-Acanthamoeba studies. Amoebicidal assay showed that at concentration 10 μM and above, T2 showed promising antiamoebic activities between the two compounds while encystation and excystation assays reveal that both T1 and T2 have inhibited differentiation activity against Acanthamoeba castellanii. Conjugation of T1 and T2 to AgNP also increased efficacy of tetrazoles as anti-Acanthamoeba agents. This may be due to the increased bioavailability as AgNP allows better delivery of treatment compounds to A. castellanii. Human cell cytotoxicity assay revealed that tetrazoles and AgNPs are significantly less toxic towards human cells compared with chlorhexidine which is known to cause undesirable side effects. Cytopathogenicity assay also revealed that T2 conjugated with AgNPs significantly reduced cytopathogenicity of A. castellanii compared with T2 alone, suggesting that T2-conjugated AgNP is an effective and safe anti-Acanthamoeba agent. The use of a synthetic azole compound conjugated with AgNPs can be an alternative strategy for drug development against A. castellanii. However, mechanistic and in vivo studies are needed to explore further translational values.
    Matched MeSH terms: Acanthamoeba Keratitis/parasitology
  4. Ithoi I, Mahmud R, Abdul Basher MH, Jali A, Abdulsalam AM, Ibrahim J, et al.
    Trop Biomed, 2013 Mar;30(1):131-40.
    PMID: 23665719 MyJurnal
    A total of 10 out of 65 cornea swab samples from cats with eye symptoms showed Acanthamoeba-like morphology after cultivation. By PCR and DNA sequencing of Acanthamoeba diagnostic fragment 3 (DF3), all 10 isolates from the positive samples were categorized into two homologous groups of AfC1 (PM1, PM2, PM3, PF6, KM7, KF8, KMK9) and AfC2 (PM4, PM5, KFK10) due to the presence of bases A(354) and G(354), respectively. Furthermore, DF3 of AfC1 and AfC2 showed 100% similarity with Genbank reference isolates with the accession numbers DQ087314, EU146073 and U07401, GU808323, which were Acanthamoeba castellanii strains genotype T4 originating from human keratitis. This finding suggests that A. castellani strains have the capability to infect cats and human under favorable conditions.
    Matched MeSH terms: Acanthamoeba Keratitis/parasitology
  5. Abjani F, Khan NA, Yousuf FA, Siddiqui R
    Cont Lens Anterior Eye, 2016 Jun;39(3):239-43.
    PMID: 26675112 DOI: 10.1016/j.clae.2015.11.004
    Acanthamoeba cysts are highly resistant to contact lens disinfecting solutions. Acanthamoeba cyst wall is partially made of 1,4 β-glucan (i.e., cellulose) and other complex polysaccharides making it a hardy shell that protects the resident amoeba. Here, we hypothesize that targeting the cyst wall structure in addition to antiamoebic compound would improve the efficacy of marketed contact lens disinfecting solutions. Using chlorhexidine as an antiamoebic compound and cellulase enzyme to disrupt cyst wall structure, the findings revealed that combination of both agents abolished viability of Acanthamoeba castellanii cysts and trophozoites. When tested alone, none of the agents nor contact lens disinfecting solutions completely destroyed A. castellanii cysts and trophozoites. The absence of cyst wall-degrading enzymes in marketed contact lens disinfecting solutions render them ineffective against Acanthamoeba cysts. It is concluded that the addition of cyst wall degrading molecules in contact lens disinfecting solutions will enhance their efficacy in decreasing the incidence of Acanthamoeba effectively.
    Matched MeSH terms: Acanthamoeba Keratitis/parasitology
  6. Aqeel Y, Siddiqui R, Farooq M, Khan NA
    Exp Parasitol, 2015 Oct;157:170-6.
    PMID: 26297676 DOI: 10.1016/j.exppara.2015.08.007
    Acanthamoeba is an opportunistic protist pathogen that is responsible for serious human and animal infection. Being one of the most frequently isolated protists from the environment, it is likely that it readily encounters microaerophilic environments. For respiration under anaerobic or low oxygen conditions in several amitochondriate protists, decarboxylation of pyruvate is catalyzed by pyruvate ferredoxin oxidoreductase instead of pyruvate dehydrogenase. In support, Nitazoxanide, an inhibitor of pyruvate ferredoxin oxidoreductase, is effective and non-mutagenic clinically against a range of amitochondriate protists, Giardia intestinalis, Entamoeba histolytica and Trichomonas vaginalis. The overall aim of the present study was to determine in vitro efficacy of Nitazoxanide against Acanthamoeba castellanii. At micromolar concentrations, the findings revealed that Nitazoxanide neither affected A. castellanii growth or viability nor amoeba-mediated host cell monolayer damage in vitro or extracellular proteolytic activities. Similarly, microaerophilic conditions alone had no significant effects. In contrast, microaerophilic conditions together with Nitazoxanide showed amoebicidal effects and inhibited A. castellanii-mediated host cell monolayer damage as well as extracellular proteases. Using encystation assays, it was observed that Nitazoxanide inhibited trophozoite transformation into cysts both under aerophilic and microaerophilic conditions. Furthermore, pre-treatment of cysts with Nitazoxanide inhibited A. castellanii excystation. These findings are important in the identification of potential targets that could be useful against parasite-specific respiration as well as to understand the basic biology of the life cycle of Acanthamoeba.
    Matched MeSH terms: Acanthamoeba Keratitis/parasitology
  7. Siddiqui R, Aqeel Y, Khan NA
    Cont Lens Anterior Eye, 2016 Oct;39(5):389-93.
    PMID: 27133448 DOI: 10.1016/j.clae.2016.04.004
    Acanthamoeba castellanii is the causative agent of blinding keratitis. Though reported in non-contact lens wearers, it is most frequently associated with improper use of contact lens. For contact lens wearers, amoebae attachment to the lens is a critical first step, followed by amoebae binding to the corneal epithelial cells during extended lens wear. Acanthamoeba attachment to surfaces (biological or inert) and migration is an active process and occurs during the trophozoite stage. Thus retaining amoebae in the cyst stage (dormant form) offers an added preventative measure in impeding parasite traversal from the contact lens onto the cornea. Here, we showed that as low as 3% DMSO, abolished A. castellanii excystation. Based on the findings, it is proposed that DMSO should be included in the contact lens disinfectants as an added preventative strategy against contracting Acanthamoeba keratitis.
    Matched MeSH terms: Acanthamoeba Keratitis/parasitology*
  8. Kang AY, Park AY, Shin HJ, Khan NA, Maciver SK, Jung SY
    Exp Parasitol, 2018 Sep;192:19-24.
    PMID: 30031120 DOI: 10.1016/j.exppara.2018.07.009
    Amoebae from the genus Acanthamoeba are facultative pathogens of humans and other animals. In humans they most frequently infect the eye causing a sight threatening infection known as Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK), and also cause an often fatal encephalitis (GAE). A mannose-binding protein (MBP) has been identified as being important for Acanthamoeba infection especially in AK. This lectin has previously been characterized from Acanthamoeba castellanii as consisting of multiple 130 kDa subunits. MBP expression correlates with pathogenic potential and is expressed in a number of Acanthamoeba species. Here we report the purification of a similar lectin from Acanthamoeba culbertsoni and the production of a monoclonal antibody to it. The A. culbertsoni MBP was isolated by affinity chromatography using α-D-mannose agarose and has an apparent molecular weight of 83 kDa. The monoclonal antibody is an IgM that is useful in both western blots and immunofluorescence. We expect that this antibody will be useful in the study of the pathology of A. culbertsoni and in its identification in clinical samples.
    Matched MeSH terms: Acanthamoeba Keratitis/parasitology
  9. Siddiqui R, Aqeel Y, Khan NA
    Antimicrob Agents Chemother, 2016 11;60(11):6441-6450.
    PMID: 27600042 DOI: 10.1128/AAC.00686-16
    For the past several decades, there has been little improvement in the morbidity and mortality associated with Acanthamoeba keratitis and Acanthamoeba encephalitis, respectively. The discovery of a plethora of antiacanthamoebic compounds has not yielded effective marketed chemotherapeutics. The rate of development of novel antiacanthamoebic chemotherapies of translational value and the lack of interest of the pharmaceutical industry in developing such chemotherapies have been disappointing. On the other hand, the market for contact lenses/contact lens disinfectants is a multi-billion-dollar industry and has been successful and profitable. A better understanding of drugs, their targets, and mechanisms of action will facilitate the development of more-effective chemotherapies. Here, we review the progress toward phenotypic drug discovery, emphasizing the shortcomings of useable therapies.
    Matched MeSH terms: Acanthamoeba Keratitis/parasitology
  10. Mungroo MR, Tong T, Khan NA, Anuar TS, Maciver SK, Siddiqui R
    Int Microbiol, 2021 Aug;24(3):363-371.
    PMID: 33754231 DOI: 10.1007/s10123-021-00171-3
    Acanthamoeba keratitis is a sight-endangering eye infection, and causative organism Acanthamoeba presents a significant concern to public health, given escalation of contact lens wearers. Contemporary therapy is burdensome, necessitating prompt diagnosis and aggressive treatment. None of the contact lens disinfectants (local and international) can eradicate Acanthamoeba effectively. Using a range of compounds targeting cellulose, ion channels, and biochemical pathways, we employed bioassay-guided testing to determine their anti-amoebic effects. The results indicated that acarbose, indaziflam, terbuthylazine, glimepiride, inositol, vildagliptin and repaglinide showed anti-amoebic effects. Compounds showed minimal toxicity on human cells. Therefore, effects of the evaluated compounds after conjugation with nanoparticles should certainly be the subject of future studies and will likely lead to promising leads for potential applications.
    Matched MeSH terms: Acanthamoeba Keratitis/parasitology*
  11. Abjani F, Khan NA, Jung SY, Siddiqui R
    Exp Parasitol, 2017 Dec;183:187-193.
    PMID: 28919333 DOI: 10.1016/j.exppara.2017.09.007
    The aim of this study was (i) to assess the antimicrobial effects of contact lens disinfecting solutions marketed in Malaysia against common bacterial eye pathogens and as well as eye parasite, Acanthamoeba castellanii, and (ii) to determine whether targeting cyst wall would improve the efficacy of contact lens disinfectants. Using ISO 14729 Stand-Alone Test for disinfecting solutions, bactericidal and amoebicidal assays of six different contact lens solutions including Oxysept®, AO SEPT PLUS, OPTI-FREE® pure moist®, Renu® fresh™, FreshKon® CLEAR and COMPLETE RevitaLens™ were performed using Manufacturers Minimum recommended disinfection time (MRDT). The efficacy of contact lens solutions was determined against keratitis-causing microbes, namely: Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Acanthamoeba castellanii. In addition, using chlorhexidine as an antiamoebic compound and cellulase enzyme to disrupt cyst wall structure, we determined whether combination of both agents can enhance efficacy of marketed contact lens disinfectants against A. castellanii trophozoites and cysts, in vitro. The results revealed that all contact lens disinfectants tested showed potent bactericidal effects exhibiting 100% kill against all bacterial species tested. In contrast, none of the contact lens disinfectants had potent effects against Acanthamoeba cysts viability. When tested against trophozoites, two disinfectants, Oxysept Multipurpose and AO-sept Multipurpose showed partial amoebicidal effects. Using chlorhexidine as an antiamoebic compound and cellulase enzyme to disrupt cyst wall structure, the findings revealed that combination of both agents in contact lens disinfectants abolished viability of A. castellanii cysts and trophozoites. Given the inefficacy of contact lens disinfectants tested in this study, these findings present a significant concern to public health. These findings revealed that targeting cyst wall by using cyst wall degrading molecules in contact lens disinfecting solutions will enhance their efficacy against this devastating eye infection.
    Matched MeSH terms: Acanthamoeba Keratitis/parasitology
  12. Anwar A, Soomaroo A, Anwar A, Siddiqui R, Khan NA
    Exp Parasitol, 2020 Aug;215:107915.
    PMID: 32461112 DOI: 10.1016/j.exppara.2020.107915
    Acanthamoeba castellanii is an opportunistic protozoan responsible for serious human infections including Acanthamoeba keratitis and granulomatous amoebic encephalitis. Despite advances in antimicrobial therapy and supportive care, infections due to Acanthamoeba are a major public concern. Current methods of treatment are not fully effective against both the trophozoite and cyst forms of A. castellanii and are often associated with severe adverse effects, host cell cytotoxicity and recurrence of infection. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop new therapeutic approaches for the treatment and management of Acanthamoebic infections. Repurposing of clinically approved drugs is a viable avenue for exploration and is particularly useful for neglected and rare diseases where there is limited interest by pharmaceutical companies. Nanotechnology-based drug delivery systems offer promising approaches in the biomedical field, particularly in diagnosis and drug delivery. Herein, we conjugated an antihyperglycemic drug, metformin with silver nanoparticles and assessed its anti-acanthamoebic properties. Characterization by ultraviolet-visible spectrophotometry and atomic force microscopy showed successful formation of metformin-coated silver nanoparticles. Amoebicidal and amoebistatic assays revealed that metformin-coated silver nanoparticles reduced the viability and inhibited the growth of A. castellanii significantly more than metformin and silver nanoparticles alone at both 5 and 10 μM after 24 h incubation. Metformin-coated silver nanoparticles also blocked encystation and inhibited the excystation in Acanthamoeba after 72 h incubation. Overall, the conjugation of metformin with silver nanoparticles was found to enhance its antiamoebic effects against A. castellanii. Furthermore, the pretreatment of A. castellanii with metformin and metformin-coated silver nanoparticles for 2 h also reduced the amoebae-mediated host cell cytotoxicity after 24 h incubation from 73% to 10% at 10 μM, indicating that the drug-conjugated silver nanoparticles confer protection to human cells. These findings suggest that metformin-coated silver nanoparticles hold promise in the improved treatment and management of Acanthamoeba infections.
    Matched MeSH terms: Acanthamoeba Keratitis/parasitology
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