Came across this story and was looking for more information about Acanthamoeba ... it's a wonder most of us are still alive. There are many species of Acanthamoeba and they seem to be almost everywhere.
Student goes blind after keeping her contact lenses in for six months and microscopic bug EATS her eyeballs
A student in Taiwan who kept a pair of disposable contact lenses in her eyes for six months has been left blinded after a microscopic bug devoured her eyeballs.
The tiny single-cell amoeba ate away at undergraduate Lian Kao's sight because she didn't take out and clean the contacts once during that time.
According to a warning issued by doctors the case was a particularly severe example of a young person under pressure who did not take the time to carry out basic hygiene on their contact lenses.
Definition of Acanthamoeba
A microscopic organism, an amoeba, found in soil, dust and fresh water (lakes, rivers, hot springs and hot tubs). Acanthamoeba also occur in brackish water and sea water as well as in heating, venting and air conditioner units, humidifiers and dialysis units.
Acanthamoeba can enter the skin through a cut, wound, or through the nostrils and, once inside the body, can travel to the lungs and through the bloodstream to other parts of the body, especially to the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord). Through improper storage, handling, and disinfection of contact lenses, Acanthamoeba can enter the eye and there cause infection.
A particularly dire infection caused by Acanthamoeba called granulomatous amebic encephalitis is characterized by headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, confusion, loss of balance, seizures, and coma that can progress over several weeks and end in death. Acanthamoeba infections occur more frequently in people with compromised immune systems and the chronically ill. Eye and skin infections are generally treatable while infections of the brain are almost always fatal.
Acanthamoeba - Wikipedia
Acanthamoeba is a genus of amoebae, one of the most common protozoa in soil and frequently found in fresh water and other habitats.
Do You Wear Contact Lenses? ... There's something you should know.
What is Acanthamoeba?
Pronounced A·can·tha·moe·ba, acanthamoeba is a microbe that is very common in the environment, including in tap water. It has two forms: the trophozoite and the cyst. The infective form is the trophozoite, which can change into a cyst and survive a long time. These trophozoites and cysts can stick to the surface of your contact lenses and then infect your eye.