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Volume 26, Number 8—August 2020
Etymologia

Etymologia: Acanthamoeba

Nitika PradhanComments to Author 
Author affiliation: Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, Bhubaneswar, India

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Acanthamoeba [ǝˌ́́́́kæn.Өǝʹmi.bǝ]

From the Greek akantha (spike/thorn), which was added before amoeba (change) to describe this organism as having a spine-like structure (acanthopodia). This organism is now well-known as Acanthamoeba, an amphizoic, opportunistic, and nonopportunistic protozoan protist widely distributed in the environment.

Figure

Thumbnail of This scanning electron microscopic (SEM) image revealed an Acanthamoeba polyphaga protozoa; as it was about to complete the process of cell division; known as mitosis; thereby; becoming two distinct organisms. Note the numerous pseudopodia; projecting from the surfaces of these organisms. These pseudopodia enable the amoebae to move about; and grasp objects in their environment. CDC/ Catherine Armbruster, Margaret William; photo, Janice Haney Carr 2009

Figure. This scanning electron microscopic image shows an Acanthamoeba polyphaga protozoa about to complete the process of cell division known as mitosis, thereby becoming 2 distinct organisms. Note the numerous pseudopodia projecting...

In 1930, it was reported by Castellani in yeast (Cryptococcus pararoseus) culture, and was later (1931) classified as the genus Acanthamoeba by Volkonsky. It was later found to be the etiologic agent of Acanthamoeba granulomatous encephalitis and keratitis in humans. This organism can also cause cutaneous acanthamebiasis in debilitated and immunocompromised patients (Figure).

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References

  1. Castellani  A. An amoeba found in culture of yeast: preliminary note. J Trop Med Hyg. 1930;33:160.
  2. De Jonckheere  JF. Ecology of Acanthamoeba. Rev Infect Dis. 1991;13(Suppl 5):S3857. DOIPubMed
  3. Khan  NA. Acanthamoeba: biology and increasing importance in human health. FEMS Microbiol Rev. 2003;16:273307.PubMed

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Cite This Article

DOI: 10.3201/eid2608.et2608

Original Publication Date: June 25, 2020

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Table of Contents – Volume 26, Number 8—August 2020

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Nitika Pradhan, Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, Bhubaneswar, India

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Page created: June 25, 2020
Page updated: July 18, 2020
Page reviewed: July 18, 2020
The conclusions, findings, and opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors' affiliated institutions. Use of trade names is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by any of the groups named above.
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