Hari Peguda

Hari Peguda

Postgraduate Research Student
School of Optometry and Vision Science

Scientia PhD Candidate

Research Title: Development of Rapid Identification System for Acanthamoeba

Supervisors: Professor Mark Willcox, Dr Nicole Carnt, Dr Sophia Gu


Acanthamoeba is a free-living protozoan known to cause contact lens-related keratitis in humans. Early diagnosis of Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) is challenging for the clinician but is needed to achieve better visual prognosis. In 50% of the cases, AK gets misdiagnosed due to its clinical presentation mimicking other forms of keratitis (e.g. Herpes simplex virus keratitis) and its ability to switch phenotype between an active trophozoite and dormant cyst stage. Various diagnostic tests are available to identify Acanthamoeba in the eye but all of them have their own limitations. All these tests require samples obtained by scraping or biopsy and usually staining of the tissue or growth of the Acanthamoeba. The small sample that can be obtained often results in no growth and no evidence of Acanthamoeba upon microscopy. The exception for testing is the use of confocal microscopy, but this also has its limitations. These limitations include the difficulty in distinguishing between Acanthamoeba and human white blood cells in the tissue, and the need for an experience observer to acquire images. This suggests that there is a need for a rapid identification system for Acanthamoeba. In vitro and in vivo studies have shown the use of nanoparticles as a potential tool for imaging cells. Layer double hydroxide nanoparticles have gained importance in biomedical applications due to their ease of surface modification, synthesis and low cytotoxicity. With this background, the aim of my research is to develop fluorescein labelled nanoparticles which can identify Acanthamoeba faster in vivo.


Hari completed his Bachelor of Science in Optometry from Bausch and Lomb School of Optometry, India in 2006- 2010. He worked as a consultant optometrist at L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI), India (2010-2018) before starting his PhD at UNSW in 2018. He was the key member in leading the optometry team of Vitreo-Retinal services and in charge of diagnostics at LVPEI. He has successfully completed the ‘’Young Leaders Program 2016-17’’ conducted by the India Vision Institute (IVI), India and ‘Short term Fellowship for Optometrists in Diabetic Retinopathy’ between the August 2016 - February 2017 at LVPEI.


2018 - Current PhD, School of Optometry and Vision Science, UNSW Sydney

2006 - 2010 Bachelor of Science in Optometry, BITS Pilani


Journal Articles

  1. Pathak Ray V, Puri V, Peguda HK, Rao DP. Intra-operative ASOCT determined changes in angle recess in plateau iris syndrome post phaco alone and post phaco-endocycloplasty. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2019 Mar;257(3):663-664. doi: 10.1007/s00417-018-4202-7. Epub 2018 Nov 29. PubMed PMID: 30488267.
  2. Dave VP, Pappuru RR, Gindra R, Ananthakrishnan A, Modi S, Trivedi M, Harikumar P.OCT angiography fractal analysis-based quantification of macular vascular density in branch retinal vein occlusion eyes. Can J Ophthalmol. 2019 Jun;54(3):297-300. doi: 10.1016/j.jcjo.2018.06.009. Epub 2018 Aug 30. PubMed PMID: 31109467.
  3. Jhingan M, Goud A, Peguda HK, Khodani M, Luttrull JK, Chhablani J. Subthreshold microsecond laser for proliferative diabetic retinopathy: a randomized pilot study. Clin Ophthalmol. 2018;12:141-145. doi: 10.2147/OPTH.S143206. eCollection 2018. PubMed PMID: 29391774; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5774491.
  4. Pappuru RR, Peguda HK, Dave VP. Optical coherence tomographic angiography in type 1 idiopathic macular telangiectasia. Clin Exp Optom. 2018 Jan;101(1):143-144. doi: 10.1111/cxo.12536. Epub 2017 Mar 14. PubMed PMID: 28295586.
  5. Dave PA, Dansingani KK, Jabeen A, Jabeen A, Hasnat Ali M, Vupparaboina KK, Peguda HK, Pappurru RR, Agrawal R, Chhablani J. Comparative Evaluation of Foveal Avascular Zone on Two Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography Devices. Optom Vis Sci.2018 Jul;95(7):602-607. doi: 10.1097/OPX.0000000000001238. PubMed PMID: 29957734.
  6. Rajesh B, Agrawal H, Peguda HK, Chhablani J. Predictors of Outcome During Eplerenone Therapy in Chronic Central Serous Chorioretinopathy:A Prospective, Open-Label Pilot Clinical Study. Ophthalmic Surg Lasers Imaging Retina. 2018 Jul 1;49(7):479-486. doi: 10.3928/23258160-20180628-03. PubMed PMID: 30021034.
  7. Chhablani J, Dedhia CJ, Peguda HK, Stewart M. SHORT-TERM SAFETY OF 2 MG INTRAVITREAL ZIV-AFLIBERCEPT. Retina. 2017 Oct;37(10):1859-1865. doi: 10.1097/IAE.0000000000001440. PubMed PMID: 28060148.
  8. Singh S, Ali MJ, Peguda HK, Naik MN. Imaging the Canaliculops With Ultrasound Biomicroscopy and Anterior Segment Ocular Coherence Tomography. Ophthalmic Plast Reconstr Surg. 2017 Nov/Dec;33(6):e143-e144. doi: 10.1097/IOP.0000000000000878. PubMed PMID: 28187010.
  9. Marupally AG, Vupparaboina KK, Peguda HK, Richhariya A, Jana S, Chhablani J. Semi-automated quantification of hard exudates in colour fundus photographs diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy. BMC Ophthalmol. 2017 Sep 20;17(1):172. doi: 10.1186/s12886-017-0563-7. PubMed PMID: 28931389; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5607622.
  10. Alshareef RA, Goud A, Mikhail M, Saheb H, Peguda HK, Dumpala S, Rapole S, Chhablani J. Segmentation errors in macular ganglion cell analysis as determined by optical coherence tomography in eyes with macular pathology. Int J Retina Vitreous.2017;3:25. doi: 10.1186/s40942-017-0078-7. eCollection 2017. PubMed PMID: 28725485; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5513039.
  11. Mandal AK, Raghavachary C, Peguda HK. Haab's Striae. Ophthalmology. 2017 Jan;124(1):11. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2016.07.002. PubMed PMID: 27993263.
  12. Rani PK, Peguda HK, Kaliki S, Chhablani J. Reverse fluorescein cap sign of cavernous haemangioma of optic nerve on OCT angiography. BMJ Case Rep. 2016 Dec 8;2016. doi: 10.1136/bcr-2016-218176. PubMed PMID: 27932437; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5174827.
  13. Alshareef RA, Dumpala S, Rapole S, Januwada M, Goud A, Peguda HK, Chhablani J.Prevalence and Distribution of Segmentation Errors in Macular Ganglion Cell Analysis of Healthy Eyes Using Cirrus HD-OCT. PLoS One. 2016;11(5):e0155319. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0155319. eCollection 2016. PubMed PMID: 27191396; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4871429.
  14. Kaliki S, Tyagi M, Kumar HP. Bilateral Peripapillary Racemose Hemangioma: An Unusual Presentation. Ophthalmology. 2016 Feb;123(2):323. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2015.11.007. PubMed PMID: 26802707.
  15. Chhablani J, Sharma A, Goud A, Peguda HK, Rao HL, Begum VU, Barteselli G.Neurodegeneration in Type 2 Diabetes: Evidence From Spectral-Domain Optical Coherence Tomography. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2015 Oct;56(11):6333-8. doi: 10.1167/iovs.15-17334. PubMed PMID: 26436886.


International conference on Nanotechnology and its application to ocular drug delivery systems, Maliba Pharmacy college, Gujarat, India - 2019.

BCLA clinical conference and exhibition, Manchester, UK – 2019.

10th International Nanomedicine conference, Sydney, Australia -2019.

2nd World Congress of Optometry, Hyderabad, India- 2017.


Member of British Contact Lens Association.

Member of Cornea and Contact Lens Association of Australia.