Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) is a rare but sight-threatening ocular infection. Outbreaks have been associated with contaminated water and contact lens wear. The epidemiology and pathology may be associated with unique genotypes. We determined the Rns genotype for 37 clinical isolates from 23 patients presenting at the University of Miami Bascom Palmer Eye Institute with confirmed AK infections in 2006 to 2008. The genus-specific ASA.S1 amplicon allowed for rapid genotyping of the nonaxenic cultures. Of the 37 isolates, 36 were of the T4 genotype. Within this group, 13 unique diagnostic fragment 3 sequences were identified, 3 of which were not in GenBank. The 37th isolate was a T5, the first in the United States and second worldwide to be found in AK. For five patients with isolates from the cornea and contact lens/case, identical sequences within each patient cluster were observed, confirming the link between contact lens contamination and AK infection. Genotyping is an important tool in the epidemiological study of AK. In this study, it allowed for the detection of new strains and provided an etiological link between source and infection. Additionally, it can allow for accurate categorizing of physiological differences, such as strain virulence, between isolates and clades.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)