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Parasitol Res. 2008 Apr;102(5):997-1000. doi: 10.1007/s00436-007-0866-3. Epub 2008 Jan 24.

Cytopathogenesis of Naegleria fowleri Thai strains for cultured human neuroblastoma cells.

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Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10700, Thailand.


The aim of this study is to evaluate cellular interaction between free-living amoebae Naegleria fowleri strains and mammalian target cells in vitro. Two Thai strains of N. fowleri; Khon Kaen strain from the environment and Siriraj strain from the patient's cerebrospinal fluid and the Center of Disease Control VO 3081 strain from Atlanta (US) were studied. Human neuroblastoma (SK-N-MC) and African Green monkey Kidney (Vero) cells were used as target cells. Each cell line was inoculated with each strain of N. fowleri at a ratio of 1:1 and observed for 7 days. The uninoculated target cells and each strain of N. fowleri were used as control. The numbers of the challenged and unchallenged cells as well as the free-living amoebae were counted three times by trypan blue exclusion method. The inoculation began when the amoebae attached to the cell membrane and ingested the target cells. In this study, extensive cytopathogenesis with many floating inoculated cells and abundant number of amoebae were observed. The destruction pattern of both inoculated SK-N-MC and Vero target cells were similar. Interestingly, SK-N-MC was more susceptible to N. fowleri strains than the Vero cell. In addition, N. fowleri Siriraj strain showed the highest destruction pattern for each target cell. Our findings suggest that the SK-N-MC should be used as a base model for studying the neuropathogenesis in primary amoebic meningoencephalitis patients.

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