One of our Pharmacy students from cohort 2017, Theodore Ebenezer Leonard, has co-authored a paper that was published in a Q1 journal Pathogens and Global Health. This paper is based on his research during his internship program at Walailak University, Thailand. The research project was funded and supported by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. During the course of the internship, Theodore was assigned to handle the isolation, purification and axenification of Acanthamoeba from environmental samples and the in vitro herbal medicine extracts screened test. The paper was published by Taylor and Francis and the full paper can be accessed via the following URL:
As a brief summary, Acanthamoeba is a ubiquitous protozoan found in the environment which can act as an opportunistic pathogen. Upon infecting a human body, the parasite mainly targets ocular and brain areas which can lead to Acanthamoeba keratitis and granulomatous amebic encephalitis. The life cycle of Acanthamoeba includes trophozoite and cyst as the vegetative and dormant stages, hence the challenge to find an effective cure.
Acanthamoeba triangularis was successfully isolated and subjected to an in vitro testing. Among the tested ethanol plant extracts, Curcuma longa exhibited the most potent anti-Acanthamoeba activity with the MIC values towards the trophozoite and cyst forms of 125 and 1000 µg/mL, respectively. Whereas the pure curcumin was demonstrated to be more potent towards trophozoite and cyst with the MIC values of 62.5 and 500 µg/mL, respectively. Compared to chlorhexidine antiseptic as the positive control which showed the MIC values of 6.25 and 25 µg/mL, C. longa extract and curcumin indicated promising results for clinical applications. Therefore, future studies on preclinical and clinical trials are needed.