The role of Acanthamoeba in recurrent urinary tract infections

Jayanth, Aiden M., Mitchell, Graham H. and Alsam, Selwa (2013) The role of Acanthamoeba in recurrent urinary tract infections. In: 12th Graduate Forum, September 2013, University of Essex, Colchester.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Poster)
Item Status:Live Archive


Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) are clinically important in the current health scenario due to emerging antibiotic resistance and increasing recurrence levels. In the UK nearly half of all women have had at least one episode of UTI in their life time while one in every 2000 men develop the infection each year (Urinary Tract Infections – Adults, 2012). In infants and children, UTI is the most common bacterial infection (NICE, 2007).

A variety of pathogens are known to cause UTI. According to Davis and Flood (2011) E. coli is the causative agent of UTI in about 80% of community acquired and 50% of hospital acquired UTI. In a UK wide multicentre study conducted by Farrell et al (2003), E. coli was found to be the predominant pathogen isolated from patients suffering from UTI followed by Enterococcus faecalis, Klebsiella pneumonia and Proteus mirabilis.

Over the years a variety of bacteria have developed different tactics to survive encystment, resist phagocytosis and multiply within Acanthamoeba, which is a free-living amoeba. The intracellular settings of Acanthamoeba protect the bacterial endosymbionts from adverse conditions such as the human immune response (Lovieno et al, 2010). Santos et all (2009) conducted a study based on the hypothesis that urinary pathogenic bacteria can potentially use Acanthamoeba as a protective tool to survive antimicrobial effect, disinfection and the host immune response. They evaluated 63 urine samples collected from indwelling catheters of critically ill patients. In an interesting finding, 23% of these samples tested positive for the presence of Acanthamoeba spp. Although this study had few limitations, it definitely paved the way for more research into the role of Acanthamoeba in HCAI, particularly human UTI.

Keywords:Acanthamoeba, Trojan Horse, Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C521 Medical Microbiology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Health & Social Care
ID Code:29313
Deposited On:07 Nov 2017 09:31

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