Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 23 in total

  1. Anwar A, Numan A, Siddiqui R, Khalid M, Khan NA
    Parasit Vectors, 2019 Jun 03;12(1):280.
    PMID: 31159839 DOI: 10.1186/s13071-019-3528-2
    BACKGROUND: Species of Acanthamoeba are facultative pathogens which can cause sight threatening Acanthamoeba keratitis and a rare but deadly brain infection, granulomatous amoebic encephalitis. Due to conversion of Acanthamoeba trophozoites to resistant cyst stage, most drugs are found to be ineffective at preventing recurrence of infection. This study was designed to test the antiacanthamoebic effects of different cobalt nanoparticles (CoNPs) against trophozoites and cysts, as well as parasite-mediated host cell cytotoxicity.

    METHODS: Three different varieties of CoNPs were synthesized by utilizing hydrothermal and ultrasonication methods and were thoroughly characterized by X-ray diffraction and field emission scanning electron microscopy. Amoebicidal, encystation, excystation, and host cell cytopathogenicity assays were conducted to study the antiacanthamoebic effects of CoNPs.

    RESULTS: The results of the antimicrobial evaluation revealed that cobalt phosphate Co3(PO4)2 hexagonal microflakes, and 100 nm large cobalt hydroxide (Co(OH)2) nanoflakes showed potent amoebicidal activity at 100 and 10 µg/ml against Acanthamoeba castellanii as compared to granular cobalt oxide (Co3O4) of size 35-40 nm. Furthermore, encystation and excystation assays also showed consistent inhibition at 100 µg/ml. CoNPs also inhibited amoebae-mediated host cell cytotoxicity as determined by lactate dehydrogenase release without causing significant damage to human cells when treated alone.

    CONCLUSIONS: To our knowledge, these findings determined, for the first time, the effects of composition, size and morphology of CoNPs against A. castellanii. Co3(PO4)2 hexagonal microflakes showed the most promising antiamoebic effects as compared to Co(OH)2 nanoflakes and granular Co3O4. The results reported in the present study hold potential for the development of antiamoebic nanomedicine.

    Matched MeSH terms: Acanthamoeba castellanii/drug effects*
  2. Anwar A, Shahbaz MS, Saad SM, Kanwal, Khan KM, Siddiqui R, et al.
    Eur J Med Chem, 2019 Nov 15;182:111575.
    PMID: 31415900 DOI: 10.1016/j.ejmech.2019.111575
    We report one-pot synthesis of a series of new 3-aryl-8-methylquinazolin-4(3H)-ones (QNZ) and their antimicrobial activity against Acanthamoeba castellanii belonging to T4 genotype. A library of fifteen synthetic derivatives of QNZs was synthesized, and their structural elucidation was performed by using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and electron impact mass spectrometry (EI-MS). Elemental analyses and high-resolution mass spectrometry data of all derivatives were found to be in agreeable range. Amoebicidal assays performed at concentrations ranging from 50 to 100 μg/mL revealed that all derivatives of QNZ significantly decreased the viability of A. castellanii and QNZ 2, 5, 8, and 13 were found to have efficient antiamoebic effects. Field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) imaging of amoeba treated with compounds 5 and 15 showed that these compounds cause structural alterations on the walls of A. castellanii. Furthermore, several QNZs inhibited the encystation and excystationas as well as abolished A. castellanii-mediated host cells cytopathogenicity in human cells. Whereas, these QNZs showed negligible cytotoxicity when tested against human cells in vitro. Hence, this study identified potential lead molecules having promising properties for drug development against A. castellanii. A brief structure-activity relationship is also developed to optimize the hit of most potent compounds from the library. To the best of our knowledge, it is first of its kind medicinal chemistry approach on a single class of compounds i.e., quinazolinone against keratitis and brain infection causing free-living amoeba, A. castellanii.
    Matched MeSH terms: Acanthamoeba castellanii/drug effects*
  3. Baig AM, Lalani S, Khan NA
    J Basic Microbiol, 2017 Jul;57(7):574-579.
    PMID: 28466971 DOI: 10.1002/jobm.201700025
    Here we describe features of apoptosis in unicellular Acanthamoeba castellanii belonging to the T4 genotype. When exposed to apoptosis-inducing compounds such as doxorubicin, A. castellanii trophozoites exhibited cell shrinkage and membrane blebbing as observed microscopically, DNA fragmentation using agarose gel electrophoresis, and phosphatidylserine (PS) externalization using annexin V immunostaining. Overall, these findings suggest the existence of apoptosis in A. castellanii possibly mediated by intrinsic apoptotic cascade. Further research in this field could provide avenues to selectively induce apoptosis in A. castellanii by triggering intrinsic apoptotic cascade.
    Matched MeSH terms: Acanthamoeba castellanii/drug effects
  4. Boonhok R, Sangkanu S, Norouzi R, Siyadatpanah A, Mirzaei F, Mitsuwan W, et al.
    Parasitology, 2021 08;148(9):1074-1082.
    PMID: 33966667 DOI: 10.1017/S0031182021000718
    Cassia angustifolia Vahl. plant is used for many therapeutic purposes, for example, in people with constipation, skin diseases, including helminthic and parasitic infections. In our study, we demonstrated an amoebicidal activity of C. angustifolia extract against Acanthamoeba triangularis trophozoite at a micromolar level. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images displayed morphological changes in the Acanthamoeba trophozoite, which included the formation of pores in cell membrane and the membrane rupture. In addition to the amoebicidal activity, effects of the extract on surviving trophozoites were observed, which included cyst formation and vacuolization by a microscope and transcriptional expression of Acanthamoeba autophagy in response to the stress by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Our data showed that the surviving trophozoites were not transformed into cysts and the trophozoite number with enlarged vacuole was not significantly different from that of untreated control. Molecular analysis data demonstrated that the mRNA expression of AcATG genes was slightly changed. Interestingly, AcATG16 decreased significantly at 12 h post treatment, which may indicate a transcriptional regulation by the extract or a balance of intracellular signalling pathways in response to the stress, whereas AcATG3 and AcATG8b remained unchanged. Altogether, these data reveal the anti-Acanthamoeba activity of C. angustifolia extract and the autophagic response in the surviving trophozoites under the plant extract pressure, along with data on the formation of cysts. These represent a promising plant for future drug development. However, further isolation and purification of an active compound and cytotoxicity against human cells are needed, including a study on the autophagic response at the protein level.
    Matched MeSH terms: Acanthamoeba castellanii/drug effects*
  5. Nakisah MA, Ida Muryany MY, Fatimah H, Nor Fadilah R, Zalilawati MR, Khamsah S, et al.
    World J Microbiol Biotechnol, 2012 Mar;28(3):1237-44.
    PMID: 22805843 DOI: 10.1007/s11274-011-0927-8
    Crude methanol extracts of a marine sponge, Aaptos aaptos, collected from three different localities namely Kapas, Perhentian and Redang Islands, Terengganu, Malaysia, were tested in vitro on a pathogenic Acanthamoeba castellanii (IMR isolate) to examine their anti-amoebic potential. The examination of anti-Acanthamoebic activity of the extracts was conducted in 24 well plates for 72 h at 30 °C. All extracts possessed anti-amoebic activity with their IC(50) values ranging from 0.615 to 0.876 mg/mL. The effect of the methanol extracts on the surface morphology of A. castellanii was analysed under scanning electron microscopy. The ability of the extracts to disrupt the amoeba cell membrane was indicated by extensive cell's blebbing, changes in the surface morphology, reduced in cell size and with cystic appearance of extract-treated Acanthamoeba. Number of acanthapodia and food cup was also reduced in this Acanthamoeba. Morphological criteria of apoptosis in Acanthamoeba following treatment with the sponge's extracts was determined by acridine orange-propidium iodide staining and observed by fluorescence microscopy. By this technique, apoptotic and necrotic cells can be visualized and quantified. The genotoxic potential of the methanol extracts was performed by the alkaline comet assay. All methanol extracts used were significantly induced DNA damage compared to untreated Acanthamoeba by having high percentage of scores 1, 2, and 3 of the DNA damage. Results from cytotoxicity and genotoxicity studies carried out in the present study suggest that all methanol extracts of A. aaptos have anti-amoebic properties against A. castellanii.
    Matched MeSH terms: Acanthamoeba castellanii/drug effects*
  6. Anwar A, Rajendran K, Siddiqui R, Raza Shah M, Khan NA
    ACS Chem Neurosci, 2019 01 16;10(1):658-666.
    PMID: 30346711 DOI: 10.1021/acschemneuro.8b00484
    Central nervous system (CNS) infections caused by free-living amoebae such as Acanthamoeba species and Naegleria fowleri are rare but fatal. A major challenge in the treatment against the infections caused by these amoebae is the discovery of novel compounds that can effectively cross the blood-brain barrier to penetrate the CNS. It is logical to test clinically approved drugs against CNS diseases for their potential antiamoebic effects since they are known for effective blood-brain barrier penetration and affect eukaryotic cell targets. The antiamoebic effects of clinically available drugs for seizures targeting gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) receptor and ion channels were tested against Acanthamoeba castellanii belonging to the T4 genotype and N. fowleri. Three such drugs, namely, diazepam (Valium), phenobarbitone (Luminal), phenytoin (Dilantin), and their silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) were evaluated against both trophozoites and cysts stage. Drugs alone and drug conjugated silver nanoparticles were tested for amoebicidal, cysticidal, and host-cell cytotoxicity assays. Nanoparticles were synthesized by sodium borohydride reduction of silver nitrate with drugs as capping agents. Drug conjugated nanoconjugates were characterized by ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis) and Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopies and atomic force microscopy (AFM). In vitro moebicidal assay showed potent amoebicidal effects for diazepam, phenobarbitone, and phenytoin-conjugated AgNPs as compared to drugs alone against A. castellanii and N. fowleri. Furthermore, both drugs and drug conjugated AgNPs showed compelling cysticidal effects. Drugs conjugations with silver nanoparticles enhanced their antiacanthamoebic activity. Interestingly, amoeba-mediated host-cell cytotoxicity was also significantly reduced by drugs alone as well as their nanoconjugates. Since, these drugs are being used to target CNS diseases, their evaluation against brain-eating amoebae seems feasible due to advantages such as permeability of the blood-brain barrier, established pharmacokinetics and dynamics, and United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. Given the limited availability of effective drugs against brain-eating amoebae, the clinically available drugs tested here present potential for further in vivo studies.
    Matched MeSH terms: Acanthamoeba castellanii/drug effects
  7. Anwar A, Siddiqui R, Hussain MA, Ahmed D, Shah MR, Khan NA
    Parasitol Res, 2018 Jan;117(1):265-271.
    PMID: 29218442 DOI: 10.1007/s00436-017-5701-x
    Infectious diseases are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality, killing more than 15 million people worldwide. This is despite our advances in antimicrobial chemotherapy and supportive care. Nanoparticles offer a promising technology to enhance drug efficacy and formation of effective vehicles for drug delivery. Here, we conjugated amphotericin B, nystatin (macrocyclic polyenes), and fluconazole (azole) with silver nanoparticles. Silver-conjugated drugs were synthesized successfully and characterized by ultraviolet-visible spectrophotometry, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and atomic force microscopy. Conjugated and unconjugated drugs were tested against Acanthamoeba castellanii belonging to the T4 genotype using amoebicidal assay and host cell cytotoxicity assay. Viability assays revealed that silver nanoparticles conjugated with amphotericin B (Amp-AgNPs) and nystatin (Nys-AgNPs) exhibited significant antiamoebic properties compared with drugs alone or AgNPs alone (P drugs inhibited amoebae-mediated host cell cytotoxicity as determined by measuring lactate dehydrogenase release. Overall, here we present the development of a new formulation of more effective antiamoebic agents based on AgNPs coated with drugs that hold promise for future applications.
    Matched MeSH terms: Acanthamoeba castellanii/drug effects
  8. Anwar A, Siddiqui R, Raza Shah M, Khan NA
    J Microbiol Biotechnol, 2019 May 28;29(5):713-720.
    PMID: 31030451 DOI: 10.4014/jmb/1903.03009
    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.
    Matched MeSH terms: Acanthamoeba castellanii/drug effects*
  9. 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 castellanii/drug effects*
  10. Shahbaz MS, Anwar A, Saad SM, Kanwal, Anwar A, Khan KM, et al.
    Parasitol Res, 2020 Jul;119(7):2327-2335.
    PMID: 32476058 DOI: 10.1007/s00436-020-06710-7
    Acanthamoeba castellanii is a free-living amoeba which can cause a blinding keratitis and fatal granulomatous amoebic encephalitis. The treatment of Acanthamoeba infections is challenging due to formation of cyst. Quinazolinones are medicinally important scaffold against parasitic diseases. A library of nineteen new 3-aryl-6,7-dimethoxyquinazolin-4(3H)-one derivatives was synthesized to evaluate their antiamoebic activity against Acanthamoeba castellanii. One-pot synthesis of 3-aryl-6,7-dimethoxyquinazolin-4(3H)-ones (1-19) was achieved by reaction of 2-amino-4,5-dimethoxybenzoic acid, trimethoxymethane, and different substituted anilines. These compounds were purified and characterized by standard chromatographic and spectroscopic techniques. Antiacanthamoebic activity of these compounds was determined by amoebicidal, encystation, excystation and host cell cytopathogenicity in vitro assays at concentrations of 50 and 100 μg/mL. The IC50 was found to be between 100 and 50 μg/mL for all the compounds except compound 5 which did not exhibit amoebicidal effects at these concentrations. Furthermore, lactate dehydrogenase assay was also performed to evaluate the in vitro cytotoxicity of these compounds against human keratinocyte (HaCaT) cells. The results revealed that eighteen out of nineteen derivatives of quinazolinones significantly decreased the viability of A. castellanii. Furthermore, eighteen out of nineteen tested compounds inhibited the encystation and excystation, as well as significantly reduced the A. castellanii-mediated cytopathogenicity against human cells. Interestingly, while tested against human normal cell line HaCaT keratinocytes, all compounds did not exhibit any overt cytotoxicity. Furthermore, a detailed structure-activity relationship is also studied to optimize the most potent hit from these synthetic compounds. This report presents several potential lead compounds belonging to 3-aryl-6,7-dimethoxyquinazolin-4(3H)-one derivatives for drug discovery against infections caused by Acanthamoeba castellanii.
    Matched MeSH terms: Acanthamoeba castellanii/drug effects*
  11. 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 castellanii/drug effects*
  12. Anwar A, Siddiqui R, Hameed A, Shah MR, Khan NA
    Med Chem, 2020;16(7):841-847.
    PMID: 31544702 DOI: 10.2174/1573406415666190722113412
    BACKGROUND: Acanthamoeba is an opportunistic pathogen widely spread in the environment. Acanthamoeba causes excruciating keratitis which can lead to blindness. The lack of effective drugs and its ability to form highly resistant cyst are one of the foremost limitations against successful prognosis. Current treatment involves mixture of drugs at high doses but still recurrence of infection can occur due to ineffectiveness of drugs against the cyst form. Pyridine and its natural and synthetic derivatives are potential chemotherapeutic agents due to their diverse biological activities.

    OBJECTIVE: To study the antiamoebic effects of four novel synthetic dihydropyridine (DHP) compounds against Acanthamoeba castellanii belonging to the T4 genotype. Furthermore, to evaluate their activity against amoeba-mediated host cells cytopathogenicity as well as their cytotoxicity against human cells.

    METHODS: Dihydropyridines were synthesized by cyclic dimerization of alkylidene malononitrile derivatives. Four analogues of functionally diverse DHPs were tested against Acanthamoeba castellanii by using amoebicidal, encystation and excystation assays. Moreover, Lactate dehydrogenase assays were carried out to study cytopathogenicity and cytotoxicity against human cells.

    RESULTS: These compounds showed significant amoebicidal and cysticidal effects at 50 μM concentration, whereas, two of the DHP derivatives also significantly reduced Acanthamoebamediated host cell cytotoxicity. Moreover, these DHPs were found to have low cytotoxicity against human cells suggesting a good safety profile.

    CONCLUSION: The results suggest that DHPs have potential against Acanthamoeba especially against the more resistant cyst stage and can be assessed further for drug development.

    Matched MeSH terms: Acanthamoeba castellanii/drug effects*
  13. Anwar A, Siddiqui R, Shah MR, Khan NA
    PMID: 29967024 DOI: 10.1128/AAC.00630-18
    trans-Cinnamic acid (CA) is a natural organic compound. Using amoebicidal assays, for the first time we showed that CA affected the viability of the protist pathogen Acanthamoeba castellanii Conjugation with gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) enhanced the antiamoebic effects of CA. CA-coated AuNPs (CA-AuNPs) also exhibited significant excystation and encystation activity, compared to CA and AuNPs alone. Pretreatment of amoebae with CA-AuNPs inhibited A. castellanii-mediated host cell cytotoxicity. Moreover, CA-AuNPs exhibited potent effects against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and neuropathogenic Escherichia coli K1 and protected host cells against bacteria-mediated host cell death.
    Matched MeSH terms: Acanthamoeba castellanii/drug effects*
  14. 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 castellanii/drug effects*
  15. 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 castellanii/drug effects*
  16. 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 castellanii/drug effects*
  17. Anwar A, Mungroo MR, Anwar A, Sullivan WJ, Khan NA, Siddiqui R
    ACS Infect Dis, 2019 12 13;5(12):2039-2046.
    PMID: 31612700 DOI: 10.1021/acsinfecdis.9b00263
    Brain-eating amoebae cause devastating infections in the central nervous system of humans, resulting in a mortality rate of 95%. There are limited effective therapeutic options available clinically for treating granulomatous amoebic encephalitis and primary amoebic meningoencephalitis caused by Acanthamoeba castellanii (A. castellanii) and Naegleria fowleri (N. fowleri), respectively. Here, we report for the first time that guanabenz conjugated to gold and silver nanoparticles has significant antiamoebic activity against both A. castellanii and N. fowleri. Gold and silver conjugated guanabenz nanoparticles were synthesized by the one-phase reduction method and were characterized by ultraviolet-visible spectrophotometry and atomic force microscopy. Both metals were facilely stabilized by the coating of guanabenz, which was examined by surface plasmon resonance determination. The average size of gold nanoconjugated guanabenz was found to be 60 nm, whereas silver nanoparticles were produced in a larger size distribution with the average diameter of around 100 nm. Guanabenz and its noble metal nanoconjugates exhibited potent antiamoebic effects in the range of 2.5 to 100 μM against both amoebae. Nanoparticle conjugation enhanced the antiamoebic effects of guanabenz, as more potent activity was observed at a lower effective concentration (2.5 and 5 μM) compared to the drug alone. Moreover, encystation and excystation assays revealed that guanabenz inhibits the interconversion between the trophozoite and cyst forms of A. castellanii. Cysticdal effects against N. fowleri were also observed. Notably, pretreatment of A. castellanii with guanabenz and its nanoconjugates exhibited a significant reduction in the host cell cytopathogenicity from 65% to 38% and 2% in case of gold and silver nanoconjugates, respectively. Moreover, the cytotoxic evaluation of guanabenz and its nanoconjugates revealed negligible cytotoxicity against human cells. Guanabenz is already approved for hypertension and crosses the blood-brain barrier; the results of our current study suggest that guanabenz and its conjugated gold and silver nanoparticles can be repurposed as a potential drug for treating brain-eating amoebic infections.
    Matched MeSH terms: Acanthamoeba castellanii/drug effects*
  18. Baig AM, Khan NA, Katyara P, Lalani S, Baig R, Nadeem M, et al.
    Chem Biol Drug Des, 2021 01;97(1):18-27.
    PMID: 32602961 DOI: 10.1111/cbdd.13755
    Acanthamoeba spp. cause a corneal infection, Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK), and a cerebral infection, granulomatous amoebic encephalitis (GAE). Though aggressive chemotherapy has been able to kill the active trophozoite form of Acanthamoeba, the encysted form of this parasite has remained problematic to resist physiological concentrations of drugs. The emergence of encysted amoeba into active trophozoite form poses a challenge to eradicate this parasite. Acanthamoeba trophozoites have active metabolic machinery that furnishes energy in the form of ATPs by subjecting carbohydrates and lipids to undergo pathways including glycolysis and beta-oxidation of free fatty acids, respectively. However, very little is known about the metabolic preferences and dependencies of an encysted trophozoite on minerals or potential nutrients that it consumes to live in an encysted state. Here, we investigate the metabolic and nutrient preferences of the encysted trophozoite of Acanthamoeba castellanii and the possibility to target them by drugs that act on calcium ion dependencies of the encysted amoeba. The experimental assays, immunostaining coupled with bioinformatics tools show that the encysted Acanthamoeba uses diverse nutrient pathways to obtain energy in the quiescent encysted state. These findings highlight potential pathways that can be targeted in eradicating amoebae cysts successfully.
    Matched MeSH terms: Acanthamoeba castellanii/drug effects
  19. 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 castellanii/drug effects*
  20. Siddiqui R, Jeyamogan S, Ali SM, Abbas F, Sagathevan KA, Khan NA
    Exp Parasitol, 2017 Dec;183:194-200.
    PMID: 28917711 DOI: 10.1016/j.exppara.2017.09.008
    Crocodiles exist in unsanitary environments, feed on rotten meat, are often exposed to heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, cobalt, chromium, mercury, nickel, lead, selenium, tolerate high levels of radiation, and are amid the very few species to survive the catastrophic Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event, nonetheless they can live for up to a 100 years. Moreover, as they live in unhygienic conditions, they regularly come across pathogens. Logically, we postulate that crocodiles possess mechanisms to defend themselves from noxious agents as well as protecting themselves from pathogens. To test this hypothesis, various organ lysates and serum of Crocodylus palustris were prepared. Amoebicidal assays were performed using Acanthamoeba castellanii belonging to the T4 genotype. Cytotoxicity assays were performed using Prostate cancer cells culture by measuring lactate dehydrogenase release as a marker for cell death. Growth inhibition assays were performed to determine the growth inhibitory effects of various organ lysates. Serum and heart lysates of Crocodylus palustris exhibited powerful anti-tumor activity exhibiting more than 70% Prostate cancer cell death (P castellanii viability. For the first time, these findings showed that the organ lysates of Crocodylus palustris exhibit potent anti-amoebic and anti-tumor activity. The discovery of antimicrobial and antitumor activity in crocodile will stimulate research in finding therapeutic molecules from unusual sources, and has potential for the development of novel antitumor/antimicrobial compound(s) that may also overcome drug resistance. Nevertheless, rigorous research in the next few years will be necessary to realize these expectations.
    Matched MeSH terms: Acanthamoeba castellanii/drug effects
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