7) Tests and Diagnosis: –
The patient is diagnosed by the eye care provider based on symptoms. Then, the eye care provider orders a culture of Acanthamoeba to confirm the diagnosis.
- This culture is done by scraping the eye with a sterile instrument (blade, spatula, needle, calcium alginate swab, or cotton tip applicator) under topical anesthesia at the slit lamp (). The culture specimen can then be inoculated into a dish of E. coli plated over non-nutrient agar because as we said it eats bacteria to live
- Acanthamoeba trophozoites and cysts can also be identified with the help of Gram, Giemsa-Wright, hematoxylin and eosin, periodic acid-Schiff, calcofluor white, or other stains.
- If the culture is negative, then Confocal microscopy has also been used to diagnose Acanthamoeba cysts with some success
Granulomatous Amebic Encephalitis (GAE) and Disseminated infection: –
They are more difficult to diagnose and are often at advanced stages when they are diagnosed. Tests useful in the diagnosis of GAE include brain scans, biopsies, or spinal taps. In disseminated disease, biopsy of the involved sites (e.g. skin, sinuses) can be useful in diagnosis.
 Slit lamp = The slit lamp exam is usually performed during eye checkups. It looks for any diseases or abnormalities in the anterior portion of the eye, which includes the eyelids, lashes, lens, conjunctiva, cornea, and iris.