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Eur J Protistol. 2010 May;46(2):86-95. doi: 10.1016/j.ejop.2009.11.002. Epub 2010 Mar 27.

Saccamoeba lacustris, sp. nov. (Amoebozoa: Lobosea: Hartmannellidae), a new lobose amoeba, parasitized by the novel chlamydia 'Candidatus Metachlamydia lacustris' (Chlamydiae: Parachlamydiaceae).

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Center for Research on Intracellular Bacteria, Institute of Microbiology, Faculty of Biology and Medicine, University of Lausanne, Bugnon 46, 1011 Lausanne, Switzerland.


An amoeba isolated from an aquatic biotope, identified morphologically as Saccamoeba limax, was found harbouring mutualistic rod-shaped gram-negative bacteria. During their cultivation on agar plates, a coinfection also by lysis-inducing chlamydia-like organisms was found in some subpopulations of that amoeba. .Here we provide a molecular-based identification of both the amoeba host and the two bacterial endosymbionts. Analysis of the 18S rRNA gene revealed that this strain is the sister-group to Glaeseria, for which we proposed the name Saccamoeba lacustris. The rod-shaped endosymbiont was identified as a member of Variovorax paradoxus group (Comamonadaceae, Beta-Proteobacteria). No growth on bacteriological agars was recorded, hence this symbiont might be strictly intracellular. The chlamydia-like parasite was unable to infect Acanthamoeba and other amoebae in coculture, showing high host specificity. Phylogenetic analysis based on the 16S rDNA indicated that it is a new member of the family Parachlamydiaceae (order Chlamydiales), for which we proposed the name 'Candidatus Metachlamydia lacustris'.

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