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Exp Parasitol. 2007 Dec;117(4):357-67. Epub 2007 May 13.

Acanthamoeba: keratopathogenicity of isolates from domestic tap water in Korea.

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Department of Parasitology, School of Medicine, Pusan National University, 1-10 Ami-dong, Seo-gu, Busan 602-739, Republic of Korea.


In a previous study, we reported on the contamination rate of free living amoeba, including Acanthamoeba, isolated from contact lens storage cases (CLSC) and domestic tap water in Korea. In an effort to evaluate the potential kerato-pathogenicity of 5 isolates from CLSC and 17 isolates from domestic tap water, we have conducted an investigation into the morphological features, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) phenotypes, 18S rDNA sequences, and drug sensitivities of these isolates, and have compared the results with those of 20 amoebic keratitis (AK) isolates from Korea, as well as 14 reference strains. Cysts from 22 isolates obtained from CLSC and domestic tap water showed typical characteristics of morphological group 2. A total of three and five mtDNA RFLP patterns generated by EcoRI were found in 5 of the isolates from CLSC and 17 of the isolates from domestic tap water, respectively. The mtDNA RFLP patterns of four of the five isolates from the CLSC were found to be identical to those of the isolates from domestic tap water of students who had contaminated CLSC. The majority had mtDNA RFLP patterns identical to those of AK isolates in Korea. The results of 18S rDNA sequencing analysis were also shown to coincide with the results of mtDNA RFLP analysis. KA/WP12 was determined to be profoundly sensitive to chlorhexidine (MCC; 6.25microg/ml), and KAWP2 was the most sensitive strain to polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB) (MCC; 4.69microg/ml). Some difference in the cytopathic effects of isolates against human corneal epithelial cells was observed according to their mtDNA genotypes. In conclusion, domestic tap water may constitute a source of Acanthamoeba contamination of CLSC, and most isolates from CLSC and domestic tap water appear to be potentially keratopathogenic.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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