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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1997 Jan;63(1):115-21.

Obligate intracellular bacterial parasites of acanthamoebae related to Chlamydia spp.

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1
Lehrstuhl für Mikrobiologie, Technische Universität München, Germany.

Abstract

The phylogeny of obligate intracellular coccoid parasites of acanthamoebae isolated from the nasal mucosa of humans was analyzed by the rRNA approach. The primary structures of the 16S and 23S rRNA molecules of one strain were determined in almost full length. In situ hybridization with a horseradish peroxidase-labeled oligonucleotide probe targeted to a unique signature site undoubtedly correlated the retrieved 16S rRNA sequence to the respective intracellular parasite. This probe also hybridized with the second strain, suggesting a close relationship between the two intracellular parasites. Comparative sequence analysis demonstrated a distinct relationship to the genus Chlamydia. With 16S rRNA similarities of 86 to 87% to the hitherto-sequenced Chlamydia species, the intracellular parasites are likely not new species of this genus but representatives of another genus in the family of the Chlamydiaceae. Consequently, it is proposed to provisionally classify the endoparasite of Acanthamoeba sp. strain Bn9 as "Candidatus Parachlamydia acanthamoebae." From an epidemiological perspective, the results suggest that small amoebae could be environmental reservoirs and vectors for a variety of potentially pathogenic bacteria including members of the Chlamydiaceae.

PMID:
8979345
PMCID:
PMC168308
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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