Cationic Surfactant-Natural Clay Complex as a Novel Agent Against Acanthamoeba castellanii Belonging to the T4 Genotype

Noor Akbar, Ruqaiyyah Siddiqui, Mustafa Khamis, Taleb Ibrahim, Naveed Ahmed Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Acanthamoeba is a protozoan pathogen that is widely distributed in the environment. Given the opportunity, it can cause a serious eye infection known as Acanthamoeba keratitis as well as a fatal brain infection known as granulomatous amoebic encephalitis. Inappropriate use of contact lenses can contribute to contracting Acanthamoeba keratitis, and contact lens disinfectants are not always effective in eradicating Acanthamoeba. Therefore, there is a need to develop novel antimicrobial agents with efficient antiamoebic properties.

In this study, we tested octadecyltrimethylammonium (ODTMA)-clay (montmorillonite) complex as a novel antiamoebic agent.

Using A. castellanii belonging to the T4 genotype of keratitis origin, amobicidal assays were performed to determine the effects of ODTMA-cay complex on the viability of parasites at various concentrations ranging from 10 to 100 μg. Adhesion and cytopathogenicity assays were performed to investigate ODTMA effects on A. castellanii–mediated binding and damage to human cells. Encystation and excystation assays were conducted to establish ODTMA-mediated inhibitory effects against the cyst stage of A. castellanii.

Using cell survival assays, the results revealed that ODTMA–clay complex exhibited amobicidal activity against keratitis-causing A. castellanii in a dose-dependent manner. Pretreatment of A. castellanii with ODTMA–clay complex inhibited parasite adhesion to as well as parasite-mediated human cell damage. Using encystation and excystation assays, it was revealed that ODTMA–clay complex inhibited A. castellanii cysts at 100 μg (P<0.05).

To the best of our knowledge, for the first time, it was shown that ODTMA–clay complex exhibited anti-Acanthamoebic activities. The possibility of adding ODTMA–clay in a contact lens cleaning solution to formulate effective disinfectants is discussed further.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)592-597
Number of pages6
JournalEye & Contact Lens: Science & Clinical Practice
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


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