Efficient therapeutic effect of Nigella sativa aqueous extract and chitosan nanoparticles against experimentally induced Acanthamoeba keratitis.
Parasitol Res. 2019 May 29. Epub 2019 May 29. PMID: 31144032
Azza Abdel Salam Elkadery
Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) is a devastating, painful corneal infection, which may lead to loss of vision. The development of resistance and failure of the currently used drugs represent a therapeutic predicament. Thus, novel therapies with lethal effects on resistant Acanthamoeba are necessary to combat AK. In the present study, the curative effect of Nigella sativa aqueous extract (N. sativa) and chitosan nanoparticles (nCs) and both agents combined were assessed in experimentally induced AK. All inoculated corneas developed varying grades of AK. The study medications were applied on the 5th day postinoculation and were evaluated by clinical examination of the cornea and cultivation of corneal scraps. On the 10th day posttreatment, a 100% cure of AK was obtained with nCs (100 μg/ml) in grades 1 and 2 of corneal opacity as well as with N. sativa 60 mg/ml-nCs 100 μg/ml in grades 1, 2, and 3 of corneal opacity, highlighting a possible synergistic effect. On the 15th day posttreatment, a 100% cure was reached with N. sativa aqueous extract (60 mg/ml). Moreover, on the20th day posttreatment, N. sativa (30 mg/ml) provided a cure rate of 87.5%, while nCs (50 μg/ml) as well as N. sativa 30 mg/ml-nCs 50 μg/ml yielded a cure rate of 75%; the lowest percentage of cure (25%) was obtained with chlorhexidine (0.02%), showing a non-significant difference compared tothe parasite control. The clinical outcomes were in agreement with the results of corneal scrap cultivation. The results of the present study demonstrate the effectiveness of N. sativa aqueous extract and nCs (singly or combined) when used against AK, and these agents show potential for the development of new, effective, and safe therapeutic alternatives.