Type of disease: Rare conditions
Acanthamoeba infections are caused by the acanthamoeba bacteria, which are found worldwide in soil and water environments. This bacteria can be spread through contact lens use, cuts, or skin wounds or by being inhaled into the lungs. Many people will encounter this bacteria and experience no harm, however there are three rare diseases that can be caused by the bacteria. Acanthamoeba keratitis is an eye infection that can cause permanent visual impairment or complete blindness. Granulomatous amebic encephalitis is a serious infection of the brain or spinal cord. Disseminated infections (or infections spread throughout the body or an organ of the body) by acanthamoeba can affect the skin, lungs, sinuses and organs.