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Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2015 Mar 24;12(4):3417-27. doi: 10.3390/ijerph120403417.

Isolation and molecular characterization of free-living amoebae from different water sources in Italy.

Author information

1
Department of Experimental Medicine and Surgery, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Via Montpellier 1, 00133 Rome, Italy. montalbano.margherita89@gmail.com.
2
Department of Experimental Medicine and Surgery, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Via Montpellier 1, 00133 Rome, Italy. maristella5384@gmail.com.
3
Interdisciplinary Department of Medicine, University of Bari, Piazza G. Cesare 11, 70124 Bari, Italy. piero.lovreglio@uniba.it.
4
Department of Basic Medical Science, Neuroscience and Sense Organ, University of Bari, Piazza G. Cesare 11, 70124 Bari, Italy. rosa.monno@uniba.it.
5
Department of Basic Medical Science, Neuroscience and Sense Organ, University of Bari, Piazza G. Cesare 11, 70124 Bari, Italy. carla.calia@virgilio.it.
6
Department of Basic Medical Science, Neuroscience and Sense Organ, University of Bari, Piazza G. Cesare 11, 70124 Bari, Italy. luciana.fumarola@uniba.it.
7
Department of Systems Medicine, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Via Montpellier 1, 00133 Rome, Italy. dalfonso@uniroma2.it.
8
Department of Experimental Medicine and Surgery, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Via Montpellier 1, 00133 Rome, Italy. berrilli@uniroma2.it.
9
Department of Experimental Medicine and Surgery, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Via Montpellier 1, 00133 Rome, Italy. dicave@uniroma2.it.
10
Laboratory of Parasitology, Foundation Polyclinic Tor Vergata, Viale Oxford 81, 00133 Rome, Italy. dicave@uniroma2.it.

Abstract

Free-living amoebae (FLA) are protozoa ubiquitous in Nature, isolated from a variety of environments worldwide. In addition to their natural distribution, some species have been found to be pathogenic to humans. In the present study a survey was conducted in order to evaluate the presence and to characterize at molecular level the isolates of amoebic organisms collected from different water sources in Italy. A total of 160 water samples were analyzed by culture and microscopic examination. FLA were found in 46 (28.7%) of the investigated water samples. Groundwater, well waters, and ornamental fountain waters were the sources with higher prevalence rates (85.7%, 50.0%, and 45.9%, respectively). Identification of FLA species/genotypes, based on the 18S rDNA regions, allowed to identify 18 (39.1%) Acanthamoeba isolates (genotypes T4 and T15) and 21 (45.6%) Vermamoeba vermiformis isolates. Other FLA species, including Vahlkampfia sp. and Naegleria spp., previously reported in Italy, were not recovered. The occurrence of potentially pathogenic free-living amoebae in habitats related to human population, as reported in the present study, supports the relevance of FLA as a potential health threat to humans.

PMID:
25811766
PMCID:
PMC4410193
DOI:
10.3390/ijerph120403417
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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