Iranian Journal of Parasitology 2015. 10(2):181-188.

Occurrence of Potentially Pathogenic Bacterial-Endosymbionts in Acanthamoeba Spp.
Maryam Niyyati, Mahyar Mafi, Ali Haghighi, Mojdeh Hakemi Vala


Background:Acanthamoeba- bacteria interactions enable pathogenic bacteria to tolerate harsh conditions and lead to transmission to the susceptible host. The present study was aimed to address the presence of bacterial endosymbionts of Acanthamoeba isolated from recreational water sources of Tehran, Iran. To the best of our knowledge this is the first study regarding occurrence of bacteria in environmental canthamoeba spp. in Iran.
Methods:A total of 75 samples of recreational water sources were collected. Samples were cultured on non- nutrient agar 1.5% plates. Positive Acanthamoeba  spp. were axenically grown. DNA extraction and PCR reaction was performed using JDP1-2 primers. All positive samples of Acanthamoeba were examined for the presence of endosymbionts using staining and molecular methods. The PCR products were then sequenced in order to determine the genotypes of Acan-thamoeba and bacteria genera.
Results:Out of 75 samples, 16 (21.3%) plates were positive for Acanthamoeba according to the morphological criteria. Molecular analysis revealed that Acan-thamoeba belonged to T4 and T5 genotypes. Five isolates (35.7%) were positive for bacterial endosymbionts using staining method and PCR test. Sequencing of PCR products confirmed the presence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Agrobacterium tumefasiens.
Conclusion:The presence of Acanthamoeba bearing pathogenic endosymbionts in water sources leads us to public health issues including improved sanitation and decontamination measures in recreational water sources in order to prevent amoebae-related infection. To the best of our knowledge this is the first report regarding the isolation of A. tumefasiens from Acanthamoeba in Iran and world-wide. 


Acanthamoeba; Agrobacterium tumefasiens;Endosymbionts;Pseudomonas aeruginosa; Recreational waters

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