Iranian Journal of Parasitology 2015. 10(4):523-529.

Morphological and Molecular Survey of Naegleria spp. in Water Bodies Used for Recreational Purposes in Rasht city, Northern Iran


Background: Naegleria spp. is a free-living amoeba of which some species includ­ing N. fowleri and N. australeinsis are highly pathogenic in human and ani­mals. These widespread amoebae could be found in different environmental sources particularly in aquatic resources of tropical and subtropical regions. The most important source of infection is via recreational water contact. Due to the lack of thorough research regarding species of Naegleria spp. in aquatic sources, the present study was conducted.

Methods: In the present study, 60 samples were collected from recreational wa­ter resources of Rasht city, Guilan province, north of Iran. After filtering and culturing the samples, plates were examined by microscopic method and accord­ing to the page criteria. DNA of vahlkampfiid-positive samples were then ex­tracted using phe­nol-chlorophorm method. Amoebae genus was identified by targeting the ITS-region and sequencing based-approaches.

Results: Nine (15%) samples out of a 60 total samples were positive for Naegleria spp. of which seven belonged to potentially pathogenic N. australiensis. Two other strains were belonged to non-pathogenic N. pagei.

Conclusion: The present research was the first report of occurrence of N. aus­traliensis and N. pagei in Rasht city, north Iran. This study reflects the occurrence of Naegleria spp. in water sources of Guilan Province, Iran.


Naegleria; Iran; Water

Full Text:



Schuster FL, Visvesvara GS. Free-living amoebae as opportunistic and non-opportu-nistic pathogens of humans and animals. Int J Parasitol. 2004;34(9):1001-1027.

Karanis P, Kourenti C, Smith H. Waterborne transmission of protozoan parasites: A worldwide review of outbreaks and lessons learnt. J Water Health. 2007;5(1):1-38.

Visvesvara GS, Moura H, Schuster FL. Pathogenic and opportunistic free‐living amo-ebae: Acanthamoeba spp., Balamuthia mandrillaris, Naegleria fowleri, and Sappinia diploidea. FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2007;50(1):1-26.

Niyyati M, Rahimi F, Lasejerdi Z, Rezaeian M. Potentially pathogenic free-living amoebae in contact lenses of the asymptomatic contact lens wearers. Iran J Parasitol. 2014;9(1):14.

Memari F, Niyyati M, Haghighi A, Tabaei SJS, Lasjerdi Z. Occurrence of pathogenic Acanthamoeba genotypes in nasal swabs of cancer patients in Iran. Parasitol Res. 2015;114(5):1907-1912.

Niyyati M, Lorenzo-Morales J, Rezaie S, Rahimi F, Martín-Navarro CM, Mohebali M, Maghsood AH, Farnia S, Valladares B, Rezaeian M. First report of a mixed infection due to Acanthamoeba genotype t3 and Vahlkampfia in a cosmetic soft contact lens

wearer in Iran. Exp Parasitol. 2010;126(1):89-90.

Visvesvara GS, Sriram R, Qvarnstrom Y, Bandyopadhyay K, Da Silva AJ, Pieniazek NJ, Cabral GA. Paravahlkampfia francinae n. Sp. Masquerading as an agent of primary amoebic meningoencephalitis. J Eukaryot Microbiol. 2009;56(4):357-366.

Marciano-Cabral F, Jamerson M, Kaneshiro E. Free-living amoebae, Legionella and Mycobacterium in tap water supplied by a municipal drinking water utility in the USA. J Water Health. 2010;8(1):71-82.

Martinez AJ, Visvesvara GS. Free‐living, amphizoic and opportunistic amebas. Brain Pathology. 1997;7(1):583-598.

Visvesvara GS, De Jonckheere JF, Sriram R, Daft B. Isolation and molecular typing of Naegleria fowleri from the brain of a cow that died of primary amebic meningoencephalitis. J CLIN MICROBIOL. 2005;43(8):4203-4204.

Movahedi Z, Shokrollahi MR, Aghaali M, Heydari H. Primary amoebic meningoenceph-alitis in an iranian infant. Case Reports In Medicine. 2012;2012

Badirzadeh A, Niyyati M, Babaei Z, Amini H, Badirzadeh H, Rezaeian M. Isolation of free-living amoebae from sarein hot springs in ardebil province, iran. Iran J Parasitol. 2011;6(2):1.

Solgi R, Niyyati M, Haghighi A, Mojarad EN. Occurrence of thermotolerant Hartmannella vermiformis and Naegleria spp. In hot springs of ardebil province, northwest iran. Iran J Parasitol. 2012;7(2):47.

Niyyati M, Nazar M, Lasjerdi Z, Haghighi A, Nazemalhosseini E. Reporting of T4 genotype of Acanthamoeba isolates in recreational water sources of gilan province, northern Iran. Novel BioMed. 2015;3(1):20-24.

Mahmoudi MR, Taghipour N, Eftekhar M, Haghighi A, Karanis P. Isolation of Acanthamoeba species in surface waters of gilan province-north of iran. Parasitol Res. 2012;110(1):473-477.

Rezaeian M, Niyyati M, Farnia S, Haghi AM. Isolation of Acanthamoeba spp. From different environmental sources. Iran J Parasitol. 2008;3(1):44-47.

Sambrook J, Fritsch EF, Maniatis T. Molecular cloning. Cell. Vol.1. New York: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; 1989.

Huang S-W, Hsu B-M, Chen N-H, Huang C-C, Huang K-H, Chen J-S, Kao P-M. Isolation and identification of Legionella and their host amoebae from weak alkaline carbonate spring water using a culture method combined with pcr. Parasitol Res. 2011;109(5):1233-1241.

Niyyati M, Rezaeian M. Current status of Acanthamoeba in iran: A narrative review article. Iran J Parasitol. 2015;10(2):157-163.

Behniafar H, Niyyati M, Lasjerdi Z, Dodangeh S. High occurrence of potentially pathogenic

free living amoebae in water bodies of kaleybar and khodaafarin, east azerbaijan province. Curr World Environ.2015;10(special issue)

Wei W, Feng W, Jiping L, Nan L, Quan L. Isolation and identification of Naegleria species from environmental water in changchun, northeastern china. Iran J Parasitol. 2014; 9(2):254-259.

Edagawa A, Kimura A, Kawabuchi-Kurata T, Kusuhara Y, Karanis P. Isolation and genotyp-ing of potentially pathogenic Acanthamoeba and Naegleria species from tap water sources in Osaka, Japan. Parasitol Res. 2009; 105(4):1109-1117.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License which allows users to read, copy, distribute and make derivative works for non-commercial purposes from the material, as long as the author of the original work is cited properly.