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Print version ISSN 0123-9392


QUIJANO, BERNARDO; LOPEZ, MYRIAM CONSUELO; MONCADA, LIGIA INÉS  and  MORENO, CRISANTO DE JESÚS. The rabbit as animal model of corneal infection by Acantamoeba polyphaga. Infect. [online]. 2006, vol.10, n.2, pp.79-84. ISSN 0123-9392.

The purpose of this work was to evaluate both the systemic and topical immunosupressed rabbit as an animal model for corneal infections by Acanthamoeba castellani and A. polyphaga. Materials and methods. The study was carried out in two phases, an initial exploratory one two observe the virulence of the two Acanthamoeba species studied, for which two male New Zealand rabbits were used, and in the second one rabbits were inoculated with A. polyphaga trohozoites, which showed the greatest virulence in the first phase, after immunosuppressive topical treatment with subconjunctival betametasone and topical prednisolone acetate. A. polyphaga was inoculated 2 weeks after immunosuppression with 1 x 10 6 trophozoites in the right eye of 20 rabbits; the left eye was left as a control. 90 days postinoculation the rabbits were euthanized, their eyes enucleated and studied through histopathology. Results. The clinical presentation was a corneal opacity persisting until 90 days postinoculation. The histological study showed an unspecific inflammatory reaction, with macrophages, lymphocytes and monocytes, surrounded by eosinophilic material, findings that differ to those reported by other authors, but no trophozoites nor cysts were observed. The corneal opacity did not coincide with the response decribed by other authors. Conclussion. Despite the immunosuppressive drug regime used, the experimental infection could not be achieved in rabbits. The corneal opacity did not coincide with the response decribed by other authors.

Keywords : Acanthamoeba polyphaga; rabbit; animal model.

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