Protective immunity against Acanthahoeba keratitis in a Chinese hamster model

H. Alizadeh, W. Taylor, E. Haehling, G. L. Stewart, F. Van Klink, J. P. McCulley, J. Y. Niederkorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose. To examine the role of serum antibody and cell-mediated immunity in Acanthamoeba keratitis. Methods. Chinese hamsters were immunized either orally or intramuscularly with Acanthamoeba castellanii antigens conjugated to cholera toxin (CT). Hamsters were immunized 4 times at weekly intervals and challenged with A. castellanii-laden contact lenses 7 days after the fourth immunization. Parasite-specific serum IgG antibody was measured by ELISA and delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) was assessed by footpad swelling. Results. Oral immunization with antigen conjugated to CT protected against corneal infection (22% infection rate; 6/27), yet did not stimulate serum IgG antibody production or DTH responses to parasite antigens (P>0.05 compared to normal controls). By contrast, intramuscular (IM) immunization with Acanthamoeba antigens conjugated to CT failed to protect against corneal challenge (86% infection; 6/7) even though the hosts produced high titers of parasite-specific IgG antibodies and developed positive DTH to parasite antigens. Conclusions. The route of antigen exposure and the presence of CT adjuvant exert a profound effect on acquired resistance to Acanthamoeba keratitis. The results also suggest that neither serum IgG nor DTH protect against corneal infection with Acanthamoeba.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S871
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 15 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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