Iranian Journal of Parasitology 2017. 12(3):355-363.

Molecular Characterization of Acanthamoeba Isolates from Surface Resting Waters in Northwest Iran


Background: Acanthamoeba is an opportunistic amphizoic protozoan found in different fresh water sources. The aim of this study was to identify and characterize Acanthamoeba isolates from surface resting waters, in Northwest Iran.

Methods: Samples were collected from twenty-two different areas, between May and Sep 2014. After filtration, samples were cultivated on non-nutrient agar. The extracted DNAs were amplified and sequenced using partial 18S rRNA in order to genotype and phylogenetic analyses.

Results: Thirty-four (68%) out of 50 collected samples were positive for free-living amoebae based on both culture and morphological characterizations but 28 samples were identified as Acanthamoeba spp. by PCR. Sequentially, one isolate was identified as A. lenticulata, (T5) (AN: KP940443, identity 99.7%-100%, and divergence 0.3%) whilst other sequenced isolates identified Acanthamoeba spp. (AN: KP940444-45) as very similar to A. rhysodes and A. royreba with identity 100% and divergence 0%.

Conclusion: Surface resting waters in Northwest Iran, were potentially contaminated with pathogenic amphizoic protozoan. Further studies will be required to determine other Acanthamoeba species and genotypes in the region.


Acanthamoeba, Surface water, PCR, Iran

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