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Protist. 2004 Mar;155(1):89-103.

Molecular definition and the ubiquity of species in the genus Naegleria.

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Scientific Institute of Public Health, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium.


To investigate the variability within species of the genus Naegleria, the ITS1,5.8S and ITS2 rDNA were sequenced of several strains of N. lovaniensis and its Western Australian variants, N. australiensis, N. fowleri, N. andersoni, N. jamiesoni, N. tihangensis, N. pringsheimi, N. pagei, N. gruberi sensu lato and a Naegleria lineage that lost a group I intron from the SSUrDNA twintron. As a result, it is possible to define a molecular species within the Naegleria genus. In addition, one strain of each different allozyme cluster was sequenced to investigate whether they belong to described species or should be treated as distinct new species. This leads to the proposal of eleven new species. The sequencing results from those Naegleria spp. of which several strains are available indicate that these species are ubiquitous. The only exception might be the species represented by the WA variants. However, there are still many Naegleria spp. for which only one strain has been isolated, hence, it is important that the search for more isolates should be continued worldwide.

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