In some patients, complete treatment of amoebic keratitis is difficult because of the resistance of cysts to therapeutic agents. The aim of this study was to evaluate the in vitro amoebicidal activity of methanolic extracts of Origanum syriacum and Origanum laevigatum. In the presence of methanolic extracts (ranging from 1.0 to 32.0 mg/ml), numbers of the viable Acanthamoeba castellanii trophozoites and cysts were decreased. Both extracts showed a time and dose dependent amoebicidal action on the trophozoites and cysts. Of the extracts tested, O. syriacum showed the stronger amoebicidal effect on the trophozoites and cysts. In the presence of 32 mg/ml extract, no viable trophozoites were observed within third hour. The extract was also found effective against the cysts within 24th hour. In the case of O. laevigatum, no viable trophozoites were observed within 72nd hour at the concentrations of 16 and 32 mg/ml. As expected, cysts were found more resistant to the extracts than the trophozoites. (C) 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.