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Sample records for acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus

  1. Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus Virophage Seroconversion in Travelers Returning from Laos

    PubMed Central

    Parola, Philippe; Renvoisé, Aurélie; Botelho-Nevers, Elisabeth; La Scola, Bernard; Desnues, Christelle

    2012-01-01

    During January 2010, a husband and wife returned from Laos to France with probable parasitic disease. Increased antibodies against an Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus virophage indicated seroconversion. While in Laos, they had eaten raw fish, a potential source of the virophage. This virophage, associated with giant viruses suspected to cause pneumonia, could be an emerging pathogen. PMID:22932431

  2. Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus and other giant viruses: an open field to outstanding discoveries.

    PubMed

    Abrahão, Jônatas S; Dornas, Fábio P; Silva, Lorena C F; Almeida, Gabriel M; Boratto, Paulo V M; Colson, Phillipe; La Scola, Bernard; Kroon, Erna G

    2014-06-30

    In 2003, Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus (APMV) was first described and began to impact researchers around the world, due to its structural and genetic complexity. This virus founded the family Mimiviridae. In recent years, several new giant viruses have been isolated from different environments and specimens. Giant virus research is in its initial phase and information that may arise in the coming years may change current conceptions of life, diversity and evolution. Thus, this review aims to condense the studies conducted so far about the features and peculiarities of APMV, from its discovery to its clinical relevance.

  3. Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus and other giant viruses: an open field to outstanding discoveries

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    In 2003, Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus (APMV) was first described and began to impact researchers around the world, due to its structural and genetic complexity. This virus founded the family Mimiviridae. In recent years, several new giant viruses have been isolated from different environments and specimens. Giant virus research is in its initial phase and information that may arise in the coming years may change current conceptions of life, diversity and evolution. Thus, this review aims to condense the studies conducted so far about the features and peculiarities of APMV, from its discovery to its clinical relevance. PMID:24976356

  4. Ultrastructural Characterization of the Giant Volcano-like Virus Factory of Acanthamoeba polyphaga Mimivirus

    PubMed Central

    Suzan-Monti, Marie; Scola, Bernard La; Barrassi, Lina; Espinosa, Leon; Raoult, Didier

    2007-01-01

    Acanthamoeba polyphaga Mimivirus is a giant double-stranded DNA virus defining a new genus, the Mimiviridae, among the Nucleo-Cytoplasmic Large DNA Viruses (NCLDV). We used utrastructural studies to shed light on the different steps of the Mimivirus replication cycle: entry via phagocytosis, release of viral DNA into the cell cytoplasm through fusion of viral and vacuolar membranes, and finally viral morphogenesis in an extraordinary giant cytoplasmic virus factory (VF). Fluorescent staining of the AT-rich Mimivirus DNA showed that it enters the host nucleus prior to the generation of a cytoplasmic independent replication centre that forms the core of the VF. Assembly and filling of viral capsids were observed within the replication centre, before release into the cell cytoplasm where progeny virions accumulated. 3D reconstruction from fluorescent and differential contrast interference images revealed the VF emerging from the cell surface as a volcano-like structure. Its size dramatically grew during the 24 h infectious lytic cycle. Our results showed that Mimivirus replication is an extremely efficient process that results from a rapid takeover of cellular machinery, and takes place in a unique and autonomous giant assembly centre, leading to the release of a large number of complex virions through amoebal lysis. PMID:17389919

  5. Genome Segregation and Packaging Machinery in Acanthamoeba polyphaga Mimivirus Is Reminiscent of Bacterial Apparatus

    PubMed Central

    Chelikani, Venkata; Ranjan, Tushar; Zade, Amrutraj; Shukla, Avi

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Genome packaging is a critical step in the virion assembly process. The putative ATP-driven genome packaging motor of Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus (APMV) and other nucleocytoplasmic large DNA viruses (NCLDVs) is a distant ortholog of prokaryotic chromosome segregation motors, such as FtsK and HerA, rather than other viral packaging motors, such as large terminase. Intriguingly, APMV also encodes other components, i.e., three putative serine recombinases and a putative type II topoisomerase, all of which are essential for chromosome segregation in prokaryotes. Based on our analyses of these components and taking the limited available literature into account, here we propose for the first time a model for genome segregation and packaging in APMV that can possibly be extended to NCLDV subfamilies, except perhaps Poxviridae and Ascoviridae. This model might represent a unique variation of the prokaryotic system acquired and contrived by the large DNA viruses of eukaryotes. It is also consistent with previous observations that unicellular eukaryotes, such as amoebae, are melting pots for the advent of chimeric organisms with novel mechanisms. IMPORTANCE Extremely large viruses with DNA genomes infect a wide range of eukaryotes, from human beings to amoebae and from crocodiles to algae. These large DNA viruses, unlike their much smaller cousins, have the capability of making most of the protein components required for their multiplication. Once they infect the cell, these viruses set up viral replication centers, known as viral factories, to carry out their multiplication with very little help from the host. Our sequence analyses show that there is remarkable similarity between prokaryotes (bacteria and archaea) and large DNA viruses, such as mimivirus, vaccinia virus, and pandoravirus, in the way that they process their newly synthesized genetic material to make sure that only one copy of the complete genome is generated and is meticulously placed inside

  6. Proteomic profiling of the infective trophozoite stage of Acanthamoeba polyphaga.

    PubMed

    Caumo, Karin Silva; Monteiro, Karina Mariante; Ott, Thiely Rodrigues; Maschio, Vinicius José; Wagner, Glauber; Ferreira, Henrique Bunselmeyer; Rott, Marilise Brittes

    2014-12-01

    Acanthamoeba polyphaga is a free-living protozoan pathogen, whose infective trophozoite form is capable of causing a blinding keratitis and fatal granulomatous encephalitis in humans. The damage caused by A. polyphaga trophozoites in human corneal or brain infections is the result of several different pathogenic mechanisms that have not yet been elucidated at the molecular level. We performed a comprehensive analysis of the proteins expressed by A. polyphaga trophozoites, based on complementary 2-DE MS/MS and gel-free LC-MS/MS approaches. Overall, 202 non-redundant proteins were identified. An A. polyphaga proteomic map in the pH range 3-10 was produced, with protein identification for 184 of 370 resolved spots, corresponding to 142 proteins. Additionally, 94 proteins were identified by gel-free LC-MS/MS. Functional classification revealed several proteins with potential importance for pathogen survival and infection of mammalian hosts, including surface proteins and proteins related to defense mechanisms. Our study provided the first comprehensive proteomic survey of the trophozoite infective stage of an Acanthamoeba species, and established foundations for prospective, comparative and functional studies of proteins involved in mechanisms of survival, development, and pathogenicity in A. polyphaga and other pathogenic amoebae.

  7. Nitrogen Mineralization by Acanthamoeba polyphaga in Grazed Pseudomonas paucimobilis Populations

    PubMed Central

    Sinclair, James L.; McClellan, J. Forbes; Coleman, David C.

    1981-01-01

    Nitrogen mineralization was studied in a simple grazing system in which the protozoan Acanthamoeba polyphaga was grown with the bacterium Pseudomonas paucimobilis (two soil organisms isolated from the shortgrass prairie in northern Colorado). In different experiments, either carbon or nitrogen was adjusted to be in limiting amounts. When carbon was limiting, grazers were almost entirely responsible for nitrogen mineralization, with bacteria themselves contributing little. When nitrogen was limiting, nitrogen mineralization by grazers permitted continued growth by the grazed bacteria and a greater bacterial biomass production. The increased growth of the grazed bacteria did not result in an increased total amount of carbon used, but the grazed bacteria used carbon more efficiently than the ungrazed bacteria. PMID:16345864

  8. Cryptococcus neoformans: pseudohyphal forms surviving culture with Acanthamoeba polyphaga.

    PubMed Central

    Neilson, J B; Ivey, M H; Bulmer, G S

    1978-01-01

    During experiments on the gastrointestinal tract as a possible portal of entry for Cryptococcus neoformans, we occasionally observed the free-living amoeba, Acanthamoeba polyphaga, growing in the presence of C. neoformans cultured from mouse feces. Examination of the amoebic trophozoites revealed that they were engorged with yeast cells. Over a period of 2 to 3 weeks of incubation, the amoebae apparently killed most of the yeast cells. Some of the surviving C. neoformans cells formed atypical colonies which contained pseudohyphae. Seven other strains have since been cultured with this amoeba. Pseudohyphal forms were found among the surviving colonies in all strains tested. Virulence studies were performed on one randomly selected pseudohyphal isolate from each of the eight strains of C. neoformans. Pseudohyphal isolates from seven of the eight strains failed to kill mice 30 days after intracranial inoculation. The potential role of soil amoebae in the control of C. neoformans in nature is discussed. Images PMID:352931

  9. Internalization of Mycobacterium shottsii and Mycobacterium pseudoshottsii by Acanthamoeba polyphaga.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Tuhina; Fine-Coulson, Kari; Karls, Russell; Gauthier, David; Quinn, Frederick

    2013-08-01

    Amoebae serve as environmental hosts to a variety of mycobacteria, including Mycobacterium avium and Mycobacterium marinum. Mycobacterium shottsii and Mycobacterium pseudoshottsii are waterborne species isolated from the spleens and dermal lesions of striped bass (Morone saxatilis) from the Chesapeake Bay. The optimal growth temperature for these fish isolates is 25 °C. In the present study, amoebae were examined as a potential environmental reservoir for these fish pathogens. Several studies demonstrated that M. avium bacilli replicate within the trophozoite stage and reside in large numbers within the cytosol of the cyst of the free-living amoeba Acanthamoeba polyphaga. Results from the present study showed that M. shottsii, M. pseudoshottsii, and M. marinum bacilli were internalized by A. polyphaga trophozoites within 6 h but that intracellular viability decreased by 2 to 3 logs over 10 days. While an average of 25 M. marinum bacilli were identified by electron microscopy in the cytosol of the cyst, <5 M. pseudoshottsii and no M. shottsii bacilli were observed in this location. All Mycobacterium species examined remained viable but did not replicate after encystment and subsequent 48 h incubation in 4% HCl. This concentration of HCl will kill mycobacteria but will not enter amoebal cysts. Bacterial viability studies within stages of the amoeba life cycle indicate fewer M. shottsii and M. pseudoshottsii bacilli within the trophozoite and cyst stages relative to M. marinum. PMID:23899000

  10. Crescent Bodies of Parachlamydia acanthamoeba and Its Life Cycle within Acanthamoeba polyphaga: an Electron Micrograph Study

    PubMed Central

    Greub, Gilbert; Raoult, Didier

    2002-01-01

    Parachlamydiaceae are endosymbionts of free-living amoeba first identified in 1997. Two developmental stages, elementary and reticulate bodies, were observed; however, their localization and proportions according to culture condition and duration remain unknown. The life cycle of Parachlamydia acanthamoeba within Acanthamoeba polyphaga was studied by transmission electron microscopy of 8-, 36-, and 144-h coculture. Morphometry and quantification were performed using SAMBA software. The elementary body, the predominant stage within the amoebae, was located mainly within their vacuoles. The multiplication of Parachlamydia bacteria by binary fission of reticulate bodies was independently associated with culture in PYG broth (odds ratio [OR] = 4.4; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.55 to 12.46) and with the presence of reticulate bodies within the amoebae (OR = 2.10; 95% CI, 1.53 to 2.89). A third developmental stage was observed, the crescent body. Its presence outside and inside the amoebae was associated mainly with prolonged incubation time (OR = 3.98; 95% CI, 1.49 to 10.68, and OR = 5.98; 95% CI, 1.75 to 20.4, respectively). Elementary and crescent bodies were released into the extracellular medium within vesicles or after amoebal lysis. For both, phagocytosis was their mode of entry. This electron micrograph study revealed another infective developmental stage, the crescent body, and provided quantitative analysis of the life cycle of P. acanthamoeba within A. polyphaga. PMID:12039769

  11. Related giant viruses in distant locations and different habitats: Acanthamoeba polyphaga moumouvirus represents a third lineage of the Mimiviridae that is close to the megavirus lineage.

    PubMed

    Yoosuf, Niyaz; Yutin, Natalya; Colson, Philippe; Shabalina, Svetlana A; Pagnier, Isabelle; Robert, Catherine; Azza, Said; Klose, Thomas; Wong, Jimson; Rossmann, Michael G; La Scola, Bernard; Raoult, Didier; Koonin, Eugene V

    2012-01-01

    The 1,021,348 base pair genome sequence of the Acanthamoeba polyphaga moumouvirus, a new member of the Mimiviridae family infecting Acanthamoeba polyphaga, is reported. The moumouvirus represents a third lineage beside mimivirus and megavirus. Thereby, it is a new member of the recently proposed Megavirales order. This giant virus was isolated from a cooling tower water in southeastern France but is most closely related to Megavirus chiliensis, which was isolated from ocean water off the coast of Chile. The moumouvirus is predicted to encode 930 proteins, of which 879 have detectable homologs. Among these predicted proteins, for 702 the closest homolog was detected in Megavirus chiliensis, with the median amino acid sequence identity of 62%. The evolutionary affinity of moumouvirus and megavirus was further supported by phylogenetic tree analysis of conserved genes. The moumouvirus and megavirus genomes share near perfect orthologous gene collinearity in the central part of the genome, with the variations concentrated in the terminal regions. In addition, genomic comparisons of the Mimiviridae reveal substantial gene loss in the moumouvirus lineage. The majority of the remaining moumouvirus proteins are most similar to homologs from other Mimiviridae members, and for 27 genes the closest homolog was found in bacteria. Phylogenetic analysis of these genes supported gene acquisition from diverse bacteria after the separation of the moumouvirus and megavirus lineages. Comparative genome analysis of the three lineages of the Mimiviridae revealed significant mobility of Group I self-splicing introns, with the highest intron content observed in the moumouvirus genome. PMID:23221609

  12. Campylobacter jejuni actively invades the amoeba Acanthamoeba polyphaga and survives within non digestive vacuoles.

    PubMed

    Olofsson, Jenny; Axelsson-Olsson, Diana; Brudin, Lars; Olsen, Björn; Ellström, Patrik

    2013-01-01

    The Gram-negative bacterium Campylobacter jejuni is able to enter, survive and multiply within the free living amoeba Acanthamoeba polyphaga, but the molecular mechanisms behind these events are still unclear. We have studied the uptake and intracellular trafficking of viable and heat killed bacterial cells of the C. jejuni strain 81-176 in A. polyphaga. We found that viable bacteria associated with a substantially higher proportion of Acanthamoeba trophozoites than heat killed bacteria. Furthermore, the kinetics of internalization, the total number of internalized bacteria as well as the intracellular localization of internalized C. jejuni were dramatically influenced by bacterial viability. Viable bacteria were internalized at a high rate already after 1 h of co-incubation and were observed in small vacuoles tightly surrounding the bacteria. In contrast, internalization of heat killed C. jejuni was low at early time points and did not peak until 96 h. These cells were gathered in large spacious vacuoles that were part of the degradative pathway as determined by the uptake of fluorescently labeled dextran. The amount of heat killed bacteria internalized by A. polyphaga did never reach the maximal amount of internalized viable bacteria. These results suggest that the uptake and intracellular survival of C. jejuni in A. polyphaga is bacterially induced. PMID:24223169

  13. Photodynamic inactivation of Acanthamoeba polyphaga with curcuminoids: an in vitro study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corrêa, Thaila Q.; Geralde, Mariana C.; Carvalho, Mariana T.; Bagnato, Vanderlei S.; Kurachi, Cristina; de Souza, Clovis W. O.

    2016-03-01

    Acanthamoeba polyphaga are free-living amoebae that can be considered potentially pathogenic organisms by cause serious human infections, including keratitis and granulomatous amoebic encephalitis that usually results in death. Photodynamic inactivation (PDI) has been used for the biological control of microorganisms and can be promise in the control of Acanthamoeba infections. This study evaluated the in vitro effectiveness of PDI in A. polyphaga using curcuminoids salt as photosensitizer (PS) besides observing morphological changes caused by this PS in this organism, in confocal microscopy. A. polyphaga trophozoites were grown at 37°C in PYG medium for 48 to 72 hours. After, the trophozoites were incubated with PS solution during one hour and the samples were irradiated using light-emitting diodes at 460 nm at light doses 30 and 50 J/cm2. The results revealed reduction of 27.7%, 61.4% and 82.5% at 30 J/cm2 and 75.2%, 85.0% and 95.9% at 50 J/cm2, respectively, at curcuminoid salt concentrations of 500, 1000 and 1500 μg/mL. Through fluorescence images, it was possible to visualize the curcuminoid salt's uptake by the trophozoites. The PS showed toxicity to amoebae, in the dark, but the irradiation in PDI contributed to amoebae death effect. These data suggest that PDI may be an application of therapeutic intervention against Acanthamoeba infections, since it was effective in the inactivation of these amoebae.

  14. Investigating the role of Acanthamoeba polyphaga in protecting Human Adenovirus from water disinfection treatment.

    PubMed

    Verani, Marco; Di Giuseppe, Graziano; Tammaro, Carmine; Carducci, Annalaura

    2016-06-01

    Human adenoviruses are responsible for a wide range of clinical infections and are present in aquatic environments, including river, seawater, drinking-water and sewage. Free-living amoebae (Acanthamoeba) in the same environments may internalize them and other microorganisms can act as a reservoir for the internalized viruses. In this study, we studied the interaction between Acanthamoeba polyphaga and Human Adenovirus type 5 (HAdV 5) to determine whether the amoeba played a role in protecting the internalized viruses from chemical disinfection. The efficacy of sodium hypochlorite disinfection against A. polyphaga and HAdV 5 either singly or in combination was assessed at three different concentrations. Individually, the amoeba were more resistant to chemical disinfection than HAdV 5 and remained alive after exposure to 5mg/l of sodium hypochlorite. In contrast, HAdV 5 lost infectivity following exposure to 2.5mg/l of sodium hypochlorite. When the amoeba and HAdV 5 were co-cultured, infectious virus was found in the cytoplasm of the amoeba at 5mg/l disinfectant concentration. These findings suggest that the A. polyphaga is providing protection for the HAdV 5. PMID:26999560

  15. Mass spectrometry characterization of trypanothione and novel peptides of medical importance isolated from Acanthamoeba polyphaga.

    PubMed

    Ondarza, Raul N; Hernandez, Eva; Hurtado, Gerardo; Woolery, Mathew; Hernandez-Sandoval, Francisco

    2013-04-01

    This paper presents unequivocal results about the presence of trypanothione and its precursor glutathionespermidine from the opportunistic human pathogen Acanthamoeba polyphaga. They were isolated by RP-HPLC as thiolbimane derivatives and characterized using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF/TOF). Additionally RP-HPLC demonstrated that thiol-bimane compounds corresponding to cysteine and glutathione were also present in A. polyphaga. Besides trypanothione, we want to report four new peptides in trophozoites, a tetrapeptide, a hexapeptide, a heptapeptide and a nonapeptide. Trypanothione and two of the thiol peptides, the hexapeptide and heptapeptide, are oxidized since the reduced forms increase in amount when the normal extract is treated by DTT or by electrolytic reduction that convert the oxidized forms to reduced ones. On the other hand, they disappear when the amoeba extract is treated with NEM or when the amoeba culture is treated with various inhibitors of NADPH-dependent disulfidereducing enzymes. Comparison of the thiol peptides, including trypanothione from A. polyphaga with extracts from human lymphocytes showed that they are not present in the latter. Therefore, some of the peptides here reported could be used as antigens for rapid detection of these parasites. In regard to the presence of the enzymes that synthesize and reduce trypanothione in A. polyphaga we suggest that they can be used as drug targets. PMID:23808873

  16. Azole Antifungal Agents To Treat the Human Pathogens Acanthamoeba castellanii and Acanthamoeba polyphaga through Inhibition of Sterol 14α-Demethylase (CYP51)

    PubMed Central

    Lamb, David C.; Warrilow, Andrew G. S.; Rolley, Nicola J.; Parker, Josie E.; Nes, W. David; Smith, Stephen N.; Kelly, Diane E.

    2015-01-01

    In this study, we investigate the amebicidal activities of the pharmaceutical triazole CYP51 inhibitors fluconazole, itraconazole, and voriconazole against Acanthamoeba castellanii and Acanthamoeba polyphaga and assess their potential as therapeutic agents against Acanthamoeba infections in humans. Amebicidal activities of the triazoles were assessed by in vitro minimum inhibition concentration (MIC) determinations using trophozoites of A. castellanii and A. polyphaga. In addition, triazole effectiveness was assessed by ligand binding studies and inhibition of CYP51 activity of purified A. castellanii CYP51 (AcCYP51) that was heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli. Itraconazole and voriconazole bound tightly to AcCYP51 (dissociation constant [Kd] of 10 and 13 nM), whereas fluconazole bound weakly (Kd of 2,137 nM). Both itraconazole and voriconazole were confirmed to be strong inhibitors of AcCYP51 activity (50% inhibitory concentrations [IC50] of 0.23 and 0.39 μM), whereas inhibition by fluconazole was weak (IC50, 30 μM). However, itraconazole was 8- to 16-fold less effective (MIC, 16 mg/liter) at inhibiting A. polyphaga and A. castellanii cell proliferation than voriconazole (MIC, 1 to 2 mg/liter), while fluconazole did not inhibit Acanthamoeba cell division (MIC, >64 mg/liter) in vitro. Voriconazole was an effective inhibitor of trophozoite proliferation for A. castellanii and A. polyphaga; therefore, it should be evaluated in trials versus itraconazole for controlling Acanthamoeba infections. PMID:26014948

  17. Assessment of the efficacy of benzalkonium chloride and sodium hypochlorite against Acanthamoeba polyphaga and Tetrahymena spp.

    PubMed

    Vaerewijck, M J M; Sabbe, K; Baré, J; Spengler, H-P; Favoreel, H W; Houf, K

    2012-03-01

    The efficacy of benzalkonium chloride and sodium hypochlorite against Acanthamoeba polyphaga and two Tetrahymena spp. was determined based on the European Standard EN 1276:2009 suspension test. Trophozoite viability was assessed by determination of the membrane integrity using flow cytometry as a fast screening technique. Bovine serum albumin was added to simulate clean (0.3 g/liter) and dirty (3 g/liter) conditions. Benzalkonium chloride caused cell lysis at concentrations above 50 mg/liter under clean and dirty conditions. A concentration of 50 mg of free chlorine per liter had a strong biocidal effect on acanthamoebae and tetrahymenae after 15 min under clean and dirty conditions. Our results suggest that benzalkonium chloride and sodium hypochlorite were effective against the three microorganisms at concentrations commonly applied in the food industry. PMID:22410229

  18. Exposure to Mimivirus Collagen Promotes Arthritis

    PubMed Central

    Shah, Nikunj; Hülsmeier, Andreas J.; Hochhold, Nina; Neidhart, Michel; Gay, Steffen

    2014-01-01

    Collagens, the most abundant proteins in animals, also occur in some recently described nucleocytoplasmic large DNA viruses such as Mimiviridae, which replicate in amoebae. To clarify the impact of viral collagens on the immune response of animals exposed to Mimiviridae, we have investigated the localization of collagens in Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus particles and the response of mice to immunization with mimivirus particles. Using protein biotinylation, we have first shown that viral collagen encoded by open reading frame L71 is present at the surface of mimivirus particles. Exposure to mimivirus collagens elicited the production of anti-collagen antibodies in DBA/1 mice immunized intradermally with mimivirus protein extracts. This antibody response also targeted mouse collagen type II and was accompanied by T-cell reactivity to collagen and joint inflammation, as observed in collagen-induced arthritis following immunization of mice with bovine collagen type II. The broad distribution of nucleocytoplasmic large DNA viruses in the environment suggests that humans are constantly exposed to such large virus particles. A survey of blood sera from healthy human subjects and from rheumatoid arthritis patients indeed demonstrated that 30% of healthy-subject and 36% of rheumatoid arthritis sera recognized the major mimivirus capsid protein L425. Moreover, whereas 6% of healthy-subject sera recognized the mimivirus collagen protein L71, 22% of rheumatoid arthritis sera were positive for mimivirus L71. Accordingly, our study shows that environmental exposure to mimivirus represents a risk factor in triggering autoimmunity to collagens. PMID:24173233

  19. Raman spectroscopic study on the excystation process in a single unicellular organism amoeba (Acanthamoeba polyphaga).

    PubMed

    Lin, Yu-Chung; Perevedentseva, Elena; Cheng, Chia-Liang

    2015-05-01

    An in vivo Raman spectroscopic study of amoeba (Acanthamoeba polyphaga) is presented. The changes of the spectra during the amoeba cyst activation and excystation are analyzed. The spectra show the changes of the relative intensities of bands corresponding to protein, lipid, and carotenoid components during cyst activation. The presence of carotenoids in the amoeba is observed via characteristic Raman bands. These signals in the Raman spectra are intense in cysts but decrease in intensity with cyst activation and exhibit a correlation with the life cycle of amoeba. This work demonstrates the feasibility of using Raman spectroscopy for the detection of single amoeba microorganisms in vivo and for the analysis of the amoeba life activity. The information obtained may have implications for the estimation of epidemiological situations and for the diagnostics and prognosis of the development of amoebic inflammations.

  20. Raman spectroscopic study on the excystation process in a single unicellular organism amoeba (Acanthamoeba polyphaga)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Yu-Chung; Perevedentseva, Elena; Cheng, Chia-Liang

    2015-05-01

    An in vivo Raman spectroscopic study of amoeba (Acanthamoeba polyphaga) is presented. The changes of the spectra during the amoeba cyst activation and excystation are analyzed. The spectra show the changes of the relative intensities of bands corresponding to protein, lipid, and carotenoid components during cyst activation. The presence of carotenoids in the amoeba is observed via characteristic Raman bands. These signals in the Raman spectra are intense in cysts but decrease in intensity with cyst activation and exhibit a correlation with the life cycle of amoeba. This work demonstrates the feasibility of using Raman spectroscopy for the detection of single amoeba microorganisms in vivo and for the analysis of the amoeba life activity. The information obtained may have implications for the estimation of epidemiological situations and for the diagnostics and prognosis of the development of amoebic inflammations.

  1. Relationship between Legionella pneumophila and Acanthamoeba polyphaga: Physiological status and susceptibility to chemical inactivation

    SciTech Connect

    Barker, J.; Farrell, I. ); Brown, M.R.W.; Collier, P.J.; Gilbert, P. )

    1992-08-01

    Survival studies were conducted on Legionella pneumophila cells that had been grown intracellulary in Acanthamoeba polyphaga and then exposed to polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB), benzisothiazolone (BIT), and 5-chloro-N-methylisothiazolone (CMIT). Susceptibilities were also determined for L. pneumophila grown under iron-sufficient and iron-depleted conditions. BIT was relatively ineffective against cells to PHMB and CMIT. The activities of all three biocides were greatly reduced against L. pneumophila grown in amoebae. PHMB (1 [times] MIC) gave 99.99% reductions in viability for cultures grown in broth within 6 h and no detectable survivors at 24 h but only 90 and 99.9% killing at 6 h and 24 h, respectively, for cells grown in amoebae. The antimicrobial properties of the three biocides against A. polyphaga were also determined. The majority of amoebae recovered from BIT treatment, but few, if any, survived CMIT treatment or exposure of PHMB. This study not only shows the profound effect that intra-amoebal growth has on the physiological status and antimicrobial susceptibility of L. pneumophila but also reveals PHMB to be a potential biocide for effective water treatment. In this respect, PHMB has significant activity, below its recommended use concentrations, against both the host amoeba and L. pneumophila.

  2. Relationship between Legionella pneumophila and Acanthamoeba polyphaga: physiological status and susceptibility to chemical inactivation.

    PubMed Central

    Barker, J; Brown, M R; Collier, P J; Farrell, I; Gilbert, P

    1992-01-01

    Survival studies were conducted on Legionella pneumophila cells that had been grown intracellularly in Acanthamoeba polyphaga and then exposed to polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB), benzisothiazolone (BIT), and 5-chloro-N-methylisothiazolone (CMIT). Susceptibilities were also determined for L. pneumophila grown under iron-sufficient and iron-depleted conditions. BIT was relatively ineffective against cells grown under iron depletion; in contrast, iron-depleted conditions increased the susceptibilities of cells to PHMB and CMIT. The activities of all three biocides were greatly reduced against L. pneumophila grown in amoebae. PHMB (1 x MIC) gave 99.99% reductions in viability for cultures grown in broth within 6 h and no detectable survivors at 24 h but only 90 and 99.9% killing at 6 h and 24 h, respectively, for cells grown in amoebae. The antimicrobial properties of the three biocides against A. polyphaga were also determined. The majority of amoebae recovered from BIT treatment, but few, if any, survived CMIT treatment or exposure to PHMB. This study not only shows the profound effect that intra-amoebal growth has on the physiological status and antimicrobial susceptibility of L. pneumophila but also reveals PHMB to be a potential biocide for effective water treatment. In this respect, PHMB has significant activity, below its recommended use concentrations, against both the host amoeba and L. pneumophila. PMID:1514790

  3. The abundant free-living amoeba, Acanthamoeba polyphaga, increases the survival of Campylobacter jejuni in milk and orange juice

    PubMed Central

    Olofsson, Jenny; Berglund, Petra Griekspoor; Olsen, Björn; Ellström, Patrik; Axelsson-Olsson, Diana

    2015-01-01

    Background Campylobacter jejuni is a common cause of human bacterial diarrhea in most parts of the world. Most C. jejuni infections are acquired from contaminated poultry, milk, and water. Due to health care costs and human suffering, it is important to identify all possible sources of infection. Unpasteurized milk has been associated with several outbreaks of C. jejuni infection. Campylobacter has been identified on fresh fruit, and other gastrointestinal pathogens such as Salmonella, E. coli O157:H7 and Cryptosporidium have been involved in fruit juice outbreaks. C. jejuni is sensitive to the acidic environment of fruit juice, but co-cultures with the amoeba, Acanthamoeba polyphaga, have previously been shown to protect C. jejuni at low pH. Methods To study the influence of A. polyphaga on the survival of C. jejuni in milk and juice, the bacteria were incubated in the two products at room temperature and at 4°C with the following treatments: A) C. jejuni preincubated with A. polyphaga before the addition of product, B) C. jejuni mixed with A. polyphaga after the addition of product, and C) C. jejuni in product without A. polyphaga. Bacterial survival was assessed by colony counts on blood agar plates. Results Co-culture with A. polyphaga prolonged the C. jejuni survival both in milk and juice. The effect of co-culture was most pronounced in juice stored at room temperature. On the other hand, A. polyphaga did not have any effect on C. jejuni survival during pasteurization of milk or orange juice, indicating that this is a good method for eliminating C. jejuni in these products. Conclusion Amoebae-associated C. jejuni in milk and juice might cause C. jejuni infections. PMID:26387556

  4. Amebicidal activity of the essential oils of Lippia spp. (Verbenaceae) against Acanthamoeba polyphaga trophozoites.

    PubMed

    Santos, Israel Gomes de Amorim; Scher, Ricardo; Rott, Marilise Brittes; Menezes, Leociley Rocha; Costa, Emmanoel Vilaça; Cavalcanti, Sócrates Cabral de Holanda; Blank, Arie Fitzgerald; Aguiar, Jaciana dos Santos; da Silva, Teresinha Gonçalves; Dolabella, Silvio Santana

    2016-02-01

    Amoebic keratitis and granulomatous amoebic encephalitis are caused by some strains of free-living amoebae of the genus Acanthamoeba. In the case of keratitis, one of the greatest problems is the disease recurrence due to the resistance of parasites, especially the cystic forms, to the drugs that are currently used. Some essential oils of plants have been used as potential active agents against this protist. Thus, the aim of this study was to determine the amebicidal activity of essential oils from plants of the genus Lippia against Acanthamoeba polyphaga trophozoites. To that end, 8 × 10(4) trophozoites were exposed for 24 h to increasing concentrations of essential oils from Lippia sidoides, Lippia gracilis, Lippia alba, and Lippia pedunculosa and to their major compounds rotundifolone, carvone, and carvacrol. Nearly all concentrations of oils and compounds showed amebicidal activity. The IC50 values for L. sidoides, L. gracilis L. alba, and L. pedunculosa were found to be 18.19, 10.08, 31.79, and 71.47 μg/mL, respectively. Rotundifolone, carvacrol, and carvone were determined as the major compounds showing IC50 of 18.98, 24.74, and 43.62 μg/mL, respectively. With the exception of oil from L. alba, the other oils evaluated showed low cytotoxicity in the NCI-H292 cell line. Given these results, the oils investigated here are promising sources of compounds for the development of complementary therapy against amoebic keratitis and granulomatous amoebic encephalitis and can also be incorporated into cleaning solutions to increase their amebicidal efficiency.

  5. The fate of Helicobacter pylori phagocytized by Acanthamoeba polyphaga demonstrated by fluorescent in situ hybridization and quantitative polymerization chain reaction tests

    EPA Science Inventory

    Helicobacter pylori able to express green fluorescent protein, as well as an ATCC strain, and a clinical isolate of this pathogen were evaluated for their ability to survive predation by Acanthamoeba polyphaga. Ingestion was evaluated by microscopic observation of the GFP-H. pyl...

  6. Mimivirus relatives in the Sargasso sea.

    PubMed

    Ghedin, Elodie; Claverie, Jean-Michel

    2005-01-01

    The discovery and genome analysis of Acanthamoeba polyphaga Mimivirus, the largest known DNA virus, challenged much of the accepted dogma regarding viruses. Its particle size (>400 nm), genome length (1.2 million bp) and huge gene repertoire (911 protein coding genes) all contribute to blur the established boundaries between viruses and the smallest parasitic cellular organisms. Phylogenetic analyses also suggested that the Mimivirus lineage could have emerged prior to the individualization of cellular organisms from the three established domains, triggering a debate that can only be resolved by generating and analyzing more data. The next step is then to seek some evidence that Mimivirus is not the only representative of its kind and determine where to look for new Mimiviridae. An exhaustive similarity search of all Mimivirus predicted proteins against all publicly available sequences identified many of their closest homologues among the Sargasso Sea environmental sequences. Subsequent phylogenetic analyses suggested that unknown large viruses evolutionarily closer to Mimivirus than to any presently characterized species exist in abundance in the Sargasso Sea. Their isolation and genome sequencing could prove invaluable in understanding the origin and diversity of large DNA viruses, and shed some light on the role they eventually played in the emergence of eukaryotes.

  7. Mimivirus Collagen Is Modified by Bifunctional Lysyl Hydroxylase and Glycosyltransferase Enzyme*

    PubMed Central

    Luther, Kelvin B.; Hülsmeier, Andreas J.; Schegg, Belinda; Deuber, Stefan A.; Raoult, Didier; Hennet, Thierry

    2011-01-01

    Collagens, the most abundant proteins in animals, are modified by hydroxylation of proline and lysine residues and by glycosylation of hydroxylysine. Dedicated prolyl hydroxylase, lysyl hydroxylase, and collagen glycosyltransferase enzymes localized in the endoplasmic reticulum mediate these modifications prior to the formation of the collagen triple helix. Whereas collagen-like proteins have been described in some fungi, bacteria, and viruses, the post-translational machinery modifying collagens has never been described outside of animals. We demonstrate that the L230 open reading frame of the giant virus Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus encodes an enzyme that has distinct lysyl hydroxylase and collagen glycosyltransferase domains. We show that mimivirus L230 is capable of hydroxylating lysine and glycosylating the resulting hydroxylysine residues in a native mimivirus collagen acceptor substrate. Whereas in animals from sponges to humans the transfer of galactose to hydroxylysine in collagen is conserved, the mimivirus L230 enzyme transfers glucose to hydroxylysine, thereby defining a novel type of collagen glycosylation in nature. The presence of hydroxylysine in mimivirus proteins was confirmed by amino acid analysis of mimivirus recovered from A. polyphaga cultures. This work shows for the first time that collagen post-translational modifications are not confined to the domains of life. The utilization of glucose instead of the galactose found throughout animals as well as a bifunctional enzyme rather than two separate enzymes may represent a parallel evolutionary track in collagen biology. These results suggest that giant viruses may have contributed to the evolution of collagen biology. PMID:22045808

  8. Broad Spectrum of Mimiviridae Virophage Allows Its Isolation Using a Mimivirus Reporter

    PubMed Central

    Gaia, Morgan; Pagnier, Isabelle; Campocasso, Angélique; Fournous, Ghislain; Raoult, Didier; La Scola, Bernard

    2013-01-01

    The giant virus Mimiviridae family includes 3 groups of viruses: group A (includes Acanthamoeba polyphaga Mimivirus), group B (includes Moumouvirus) and group C (includes Megavirus chilensis). Virophages have been isolated with both group A Mimiviridae (the Mamavirus strain) and the related Cafeteria roenbergensis virus, and they have also been described by bioinformatic analysis of the Phycodnavirus. Here, we found that the first two strains of virophages isolated with group A Mimiviridae can multiply easily in groups B and C and play a role in gene transfer among these virus subgroups. To isolate new virophages and their Mimiviridae host in the environment, we used PCR to identify a sample with a virophage and a group C Mimiviridae that failed to grow on amoeba. Moreover, we showed that virophages reduce the pathogenic effect of Mimivirus (plaque formation), establishing its parasitic role on Mimivirus. We therefore developed a co-culture procedure using Acanthamoeba polyphaga and Mimivirus to recover the detected virophage and then sequenced the virophage's genome. We present this technique as a novel approach to isolating virophages. We demonstrated that the newly identified virophages replicate in the viral factories of all three groups of Mimiviridae, suggesting that the spectrum of virophages is not limited to their initial host. PMID:23596530

  9. Replication and long-term persistence of bovine and human strains of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis within Acanthamoeba polyphaga.

    PubMed

    Mura, Manuela; Bull, Tim J; Evans, Hugh; Sidi-Boumedine, Karim; McMinn, Liz; Rhodes, Glenn; Pickup, Roger; Hermon-Taylor, John

    2006-01-01

    Free-living protists are ubiquitous in the environment and form a potential reservoir for the persistence of animal and human pathogens. Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis is the cause of Johne's disease, a systemic infection accompanied by chronic inflammation of the intestine that affects many animals, including primates. Most humans with Crohn's disease are infected with this chronic enteric pathogen. Subclinical infection with M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis is widespread in domestic livestock. Infected animals excrete large numbers of robust organisms into the environment, but little is known about their ability to replicate and persist in protists. In the present study we fed laboratory cultures of Acanthamoeba polyphaga with bovine and human strains of M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis. Real-time PCR showed that the numbers of the pathogens fell over the first 4 to 8 days and recovered by 12 to 16 days. Encystment of the amoebic cultures after 4 weeks resulted in a 2-log reduction in the level of M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis, which returned to the original level by 24 weeks. Extracts of resection samples of human gut from 39 patients undergoing abdominal surgery were fed to cultures of A. polyphaga. M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis detected by nested IS900 PCR with amplicon sequencing and visualized by IS900 in situ hybridization and auramine-rhodamine staining was found in cultures derived from 13 of the patients and was still present in the cultures after almost 4 years of incubation. Control cultures were negative. M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis has the potential for long-term persistence in environmental protists.

  10. Mimivirus gene promoters exhibit an unprecedented conservation among all eukaryotes.

    PubMed

    Suhre, Karsten; Audic, Stéphane; Claverie, Jean-Michel

    2005-10-11

    The initial analysis of the recently sequenced genome of Acanthamoeba polyphaga Mimivirus, the largest known double-stranded DNA virus, predicted a proteome of size and complexity more akin to small parasitic bacteria than to other nucleocytoplasmic large DNA viruses and identified numerous functions never before described in a virus. It has been proposed that the Mimivirus lineage could have emerged before the individualization of cellular organisms from the three domains of life. An exhaustive in silico analysis of the noncoding moiety of all known viral genomes now uncovers the unprecedented perfect conservation of an AAAATTGA motif in close to 50% of the Mimivirus genes. This motif preferentially occurs in genes transcribed from the predicted leading strand and is associated with functions required early in the viral infectious cycle, such as transcription and protein translation. A comparison with the known promoter of unicellular eukaryotes, amoebal protists in particular, strongly suggests that the AAAATTGA motif is the structural equivalent of the TATA box core promoter element. This element is specific to the Mimivirus lineage and may correspond to an ancestral promoter structure predating the radiation of the eukaryotic kingdoms. This unprecedented conservation of core promoter regions is another exceptional feature of Mimivirus that again raises the question of its evolutionary origin.

  11. Evaluation of the activity of new cationic carbosilane dendrimers on trophozoites and cysts of Acanthamoeba polyphaga.

    PubMed

    Heredero-Bermejo, Irene; Copa-Patiño, Jose Luis; Soliveri, Juan; Fuentes-Paniagua, Elena; de la Mata, Francisco Javier; Gomez, Rafael; Perez-Serrano, Jorge

    2015-02-01

    Dendrimers are repetitively branched molecules with a broad spectrum of applications, mainly for their antimicrobial properties and as nanocarriers for other molecules. Recently, our research group have synthesized and studied their activity against Acanthamoeba sp., causative agent of a severe ocular disease in humans: Acanthamoeba keratitis. New cationic carbosilane dendrimers were tested against the protozoa forms at different concentrations and for different incubation times. Trophozoite viability was determined by manual counting and cyst viability by observing excystment in microplates with fresh culture medium. Cytotoxicity was checked on HeLa cells using the microculture tetrazolium assay. Alterations were observed by optical microscopy and by flow cytometry staining with propidium iodide. Six out of the 18 dendrimers tested were non-cytotoxic and effective against the trophozoite form, having one of them (dendrimer 14 with an IC50 of 2.4 + 0.1 mg/L) a similar activity to chlorhexidine digluconate (IC50 1.7 + 0.1 mg/L). This dendrimer has a polyphenoxo core and a sulphur atom close to the six -NH3+ terminal groups. On the other hand, only two dendrimers showed some effect against cysts (dendrimers 14 and 17). However, their minimum cysticidal concentrations were cytotoxic and less effective than the control drug. The alterations on the amoeba morphology produced by the treatment with dendrimers were size reduction, increased complexity, loss of acanthopodia and cell membrane disruption. In conclusion, these results suggest that some dendrimers may be studied in animal models to test their effect and that new dendrimers with similar features should be synthesized. PMID:25358240

  12. Samba virus: a novel mimivirus from a giant rain forest, the Brazilian Amazon

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The identification of novel giant viruses from the nucleocytoplasmic large DNA viruses group and their virophages has increased in the last decade and has helped to shed light on viral evolution. This study describe the discovery, isolation and characterization of Samba virus (SMBV), a novel giant virus belonging to the Mimivirus genus, which was isolated from the Negro River in the Brazilian Amazon. We also report the isolation of an SMBV-associated virophage named Rio Negro (RNV), which is the first Mimivirus virophage to be isolated in the Americas. Methods/results Based on a phylogenetic analysis, SMBV belongs to group A of the putative Megavirales order, possibly a new virus related to Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus (APMV). SMBV is the largest virus isolated in Brazil, with an average particle diameter about 574 nm. The SMBV genome contains 938 ORFs, of which nine are ORFans. The 1,213.6 kb SMBV genome is one of the largest genome of any group A Mimivirus described to date. Electron microscopy showed RNV particle accumulation near SMBV and APMV factories resulting in the production of defective SMBV and APMV particles and decreasing the infectivity of these two viruses by several logs. Conclusion This discovery expands our knowledge of Mimiviridae evolution and ecology. PMID:24886672

  13. Amoebas as mimivirus bunkers: increased resistance to UV light, heat and chemical biocides when viruses are carried by amoeba hosts.

    PubMed

    Boratto, Paulo V M; Dornas, Fábio P; Andrade, Kétyllen R; Rodrigues, Rodrigo; Peixoto, Felipe; Silva, Lorena C F; La Scola, Bernard; Costa, Adriana Oliveira; de Almeida, Gabriel Magno Freitas; Kroon, Erna G; Abrahão, Jônatas S

    2014-05-01

    Amoebas of the genus Acanthamoeba are protists that are associated with human disease and represent a public health concern. They can harbor pathogenic microorganisms, acting as a platform for pathogen replication. Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus (APMV), the type species of the genus Mimivirus, family Mimiviridae, represents the largest group of amoeba-associated viruses that has been described to date. Recent studies have demonstrated that APMV and other giant viruses may cause pneumonia. Amoebas can survive in most environments and tolerate various adverse conditions, including UV light irradiation, high concentrations of disinfectants, and a broad range of temperatures. However, it is unknown how the amoebal intracellular environment influences APMV stability and resistance to adverse conditions. Therefore, in this work, we evaluated the stability of APMV, either purified or carried by the amoeba host, under extreme conditions, including UV irradiation, heat and exposure to six different chemical biocides. After each treatment, the virus was titrated in amoebas using the TCID50 method. APMV was more stable in all resistance tests performed when located inside its host. Our results demonstrate that Acanthamoeba acts as a natural bunker for APMV, increasing viral resistance to extreme physical and chemical conditions. The data raise new questions regarding the survival of APMV in nature and in hospital environments.

  14. Mimiviruses: Replication, Purification, and Quantification.

    PubMed

    Abrahão, Jônatas Santos; Oliveira, Graziele Pereira; Ferreira da Silva, Lorena Christine; Dos Santos Silva, Ludmila Karen; Kroon, Erna Geessien; La Scola, Bernard

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this protocol is to describe the replication, purification, and titration of mimiviruses. These viruses belong to the Mimiviridae family, the first member of which was isolated in 1992 from a cooling tower water sample collected during an outbreak of pneumonia in a hospital in Bradford, England. In recent years, several new mimiviruses have been isolated from different environmental conditions. These giant viruses are easily replicated in amoeba of the Acanthamoeba genus, its natural host. Mimiviruses present peculiar features that make them unique viruses, such as the particle and genome size and the genome's complexity. The discovery of these viruses rekindled discussions about their origin and evolution, and the genetic and structural complexity opened up a new field of study. Here, we describe some methods utilized for mimiviruses replication, purification, and titration. © 2016 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. PMID:27153385

  15. The virophage as a unique parasite of the giant mimivirus.

    PubMed

    La Scola, Bernard; Desnues, Christelle; Pagnier, Isabelle; Robert, Catherine; Barrassi, Lina; Fournous, Ghislain; Merchat, Michèle; Suzan-Monti, Marie; Forterre, Patrick; Koonin, Eugene; Raoult, Didier

    2008-09-01

    Viruses are obligate parasites of Eukarya, Archaea and Bacteria. Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus (APMV) is the largest known virus; it grows only in amoeba and is visible under the optical microscope. Mimivirus possesses a 1,185-kilobase double-stranded linear chromosome whose coding capacity is greater than that of numerous bacteria and archaea1, 2, 3. Here we describe an icosahedral small virus, Sputnik, 50 nm in size, found associated with a new strain of APMV. Sputnik cannot multiply in Acanthamoeba castellanii but grows rapidly, after an eclipse phase, in the giant virus factory found in amoebae co-infected with APMV4. Sputnik growth is deleterious to APMV and results in the production of abortive forms and abnormal capsid assembly of the host virus. The Sputnik genome is an 18.343-kilobase circular double-stranded DNA and contains genes that are linked to viruses infecting each of the three domains of life Eukarya, Archaea and Bacteria. Of the 21 predicted protein-coding genes, eight encode proteins with detectable homologues, including three proteins apparently derived from APMV, a homologue of an archaeal virus integrase, a predicted primase-helicase, a packaging ATPase with homologues in bacteriophages and eukaryotic viruses, a distant homologue of bacterial insertion sequence transposase DNA-binding subunit, and a Zn-ribbon protein. The closest homologues of the last four of these proteins were detected in the Global Ocean Survey environmental data set5, suggesting that Sputnik represents a currently unknown family of viruses. Considering its functional analogy with bacteriophages, we classify this virus as a virophage. The virophage could be a vehicle mediating lateral gene transfer between giant viruses. PMID:18690211

  16. Mimivirus Fibrils Are Important for Viral Attachment to the Microbial World by a Diverse Glycoside Interaction Repertoire

    PubMed Central

    Rodrigues, Rodrigo Araújo Lima; dos Santos Silva, Ludmila Karen; Dornas, Fábio Pio; de Oliveira, Danilo Bretas; Magalhães, Thais Furtado Ferreira; Santos, Daniel Assis; Costa, Adriana Oliveira; de Macêdo Farias, Luiz; Magalhães, Paula Prazeres; Bonjardim, Cláudio Antônio; Kroon, Erna Geessien; La Scola, Bernard; Cortines, Juliana Reis

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus (APMV) is a giant virus from the Mimiviridae family. It has many unusual features, such as a pseudoicosahedral capsid that presents a starfish shape in one of its vertices, through which the ∼1.2-Mb double-stranded DNA is released. It also has a dense glycoprotein fibril layer covering the capsid that has not yet been functionally characterized. Here, we verified that although these structures are not essential for viral replication, they are truly necessary for viral adhesion to amoebae, its natural host. In the absence of fibrils, APMV had a significantly lower level of attachment to the Acanthamoeba castellanii surface. This adhesion is mediated by glycans, specifically, mannose and N-acetylglucosamine (a monomer of chitin and peptidoglycan), both of which are largely distributed in nature as structural components of several organisms. Indeed, APMV was able to attach to different organisms, such as Gram-positive bacteria, fungi, and arthropods, but not to Gram-negative bacteria. This prompted us to predict that (i) arthropods, mainly insects, might act as mimivirus dispersers and (ii) by attaching to other microorganisms, APMV could be ingested by amoebae, leading to the successful production of viral progeny. To date, this mechanism has never been described in the virosphere. IMPORTANCE APMV is a giant virus that is both genetically and structurally complex. Its size is similar to that of small bacteria, and it replicates inside amoebae. The viral capsid is covered by a dense glycoprotein fibril layer, but its function has remained unknown, until now. We found that the fibrils are not essential for mimivirus replication but that they are truly necessary for viral adhesion to the cell surface. This interaction is mediated by glycans, mainly N-acetylglucosamine. We also verified that APMV is able to attach to bacteria, fungi, and arthropods. This indicates that insects might act as mimivirus dispersers and that adhesion

  17. Pan-Genome Analysis of Brazilian Lineage A Amoebal Mimiviruses

    PubMed Central

    Assis, Felipe L.; Bajrai, Leena; Abrahao, Jonatas S.; Kroon, Erna G.; Dornas, Fabio P.; Andrade, Kétyllen R.; Boratto, Paulo V. M.; Pilotto, Mariana R.; Robert, Catherine; Benamar, Samia; La Scola, Bernard; Colson, Philippe

    2015-01-01

    Since the recent discovery of Samba virus, the first representative of the family Mimiviridae from Brazil, prospecting for mimiviruses has been conducted in different environmental conditions in Brazil. Recently, we isolated using Acanthamoeba sp. three new mimiviruses, all of lineage A of amoebal mimiviruses: Kroon virus from urban lake water; Amazonia virus from the Brazilian Amazon river; and Oyster virus from farmed oysters. The aims of this work were to sequence and analyze the genome of these new Brazilian mimiviruses (mimi-BR) and update the analysis of the Samba virus genome. The genomes of Samba virus, Amazonia virus and Oyster virus were 97%–99% similar, whereas Kroon virus had a low similarity (90%–91%) with other mimi-BR. A total of 3877 proteins encoded by mimi-BR were grouped into 974 orthologous clusters. In addition, we identified three new ORFans in the Kroon virus genome. Additional work is needed to expand our knowledge of the diversity of mimiviruses from Brazil, including if and why among amoebal mimiviruses those of lineage A predominate in the Brazilian environment. PMID:26131958

  18. mRNA deep sequencing reveals 75 new genes and a complex transcriptional landscape in Mimivirus.

    PubMed

    Legendre, Matthieu; Audic, Stéphane; Poirot, Olivier; Hingamp, Pascal; Seltzer, Virginie; Byrne, Deborah; Lartigue, Audrey; Lescot, Magali; Bernadac, Alain; Poulain, Julie; Abergel, Chantal; Claverie, Jean-Michel

    2010-05-01

    Mimivirus, a virus infecting Acanthamoeba, is the prototype of the Mimiviridae, the latest addition to the nucleocytoplasmic large DNA viruses. The Mimivirus genome encodes close to 1000 proteins, many of them never before encountered in a virus, such as four amino-acyl tRNA synthetases. To explore the physiology of this exceptional virus and identify the genes involved in the building of its characteristic intracytoplasmic "virion factory," we coupled electron microscopy observations with the massively parallel pyrosequencing of the polyadenylated RNA fractions of Acanthamoeba castellanii cells at various time post-infection. We generated 633,346 reads, of which 322,904 correspond to Mimivirus transcripts. This first application of deep mRNA sequencing (454 Life Sciences [Roche] FLX) to a large DNA virus allowed the precise delineation of the 5' and 3' extremities of Mimivirus mRNAs and revealed 75 new transcripts including several noncoding RNAs. Mimivirus genes are expressed across a wide dynamic range, in a finely regulated manner broadly described by three main temporal classes: early, intermediate, and late. This RNA-seq study confirmed the AAAATTGA sequence as an early promoter element, as well as the presence of palindromes at most of the polyadenylation sites. It also revealed a new promoter element correlating with late gene expression, which is also prominent in Sputnik, the recently described Mimivirus "virophage." These results-validated genome-wide by the hybridization of total RNA extracted from infected Acanthamoeba cells on a tiling array (Agilent)--will constitute the foundation on which to build subsequent functional studies of the Mimivirus/Acanthamoeba system. PMID:20360389

  19. mRNA deep sequencing reveals 75 new genes and a complex transcriptional landscape in Mimivirus

    PubMed Central

    Legendre, Matthieu; Audic, Stéphane; Poirot, Olivier; Hingamp, Pascal; Seltzer, Virginie; Byrne, Deborah; Lartigue, Audrey; Lescot, Magali; Bernadac, Alain; Poulain, Julie; Abergel, Chantal; Claverie, Jean-Michel

    2010-01-01

    Mimivirus, a virus infecting Acanthamoeba, is the prototype of the Mimiviridae, the latest addition to the nucleocytoplasmic large DNA viruses. The Mimivirus genome encodes close to 1000 proteins, many of them never before encountered in a virus, such as four amino-acyl tRNA synthetases. To explore the physiology of this exceptional virus and identify the genes involved in the building of its characteristic intracytoplasmic “virion factory,” we coupled electron microscopy observations with the massively parallel pyrosequencing of the polyadenylated RNA fractions of Acanthamoeba castellanii cells at various time post-infection. We generated 633,346 reads, of which 322,904 correspond to Mimivirus transcripts. This first application of deep mRNA sequencing (454 Life Sciences [Roche] FLX) to a large DNA virus allowed the precise delineation of the 5′ and 3′ extremities of Mimivirus mRNAs and revealed 75 new transcripts including several noncoding RNAs. Mimivirus genes are expressed across a wide dynamic range, in a finely regulated manner broadly described by three main temporal classes: early, intermediate, and late. This RNA-seq study confirmed the AAAATTGA sequence as an early promoter element, as well as the presence of palindromes at most of the polyadenylation sites. It also revealed a new promoter element correlating with late gene expression, which is also prominent in Sputnik, the recently described Mimivirus “virophage.” These results—validated genome-wide by the hybridization of total RNA extracted from infected Acanthamoeba cells on a tiling array (Agilent)—will constitute the foundation on which to build subsequent functional studies of the Mimivirus/Acanthamoeba system. PMID:20360389

  20. Isolation, characterization, and bioinformatic analysis of calmodulin-binding protein cmbB reveals a novel tandem IP22 repeat common to many Dictyostelium and Mimivirus proteins.

    PubMed

    O'Day, Danton H; Suhre, Karsten; Myre, Michael A; Chatterjee-Chakraborty, Munmun; Chavez, Sara E

    2006-08-01

    A novel calmodulin-binding protein cmbB from Dictyostelium discoideum is encoded in a single gene. Northern analysis reveals two cmbB transcripts first detectable at 4 h during multicellular development. Western blotting detects an approximately 46.6 kDa protein. Sequence analysis and calmodulin-agarose binding studies identified a "classic" calcium-dependent calmodulin-binding domain (179IPKSLRSLFLGKGYNQPLEF198) but structural analyses suggest binding may not involve classic alpha-helical calmodulin-binding. The cmbB protein is comprised of tandem repeats of a newly identified IP22 motif ([I,L]Pxxhxxhxhxxxhxxxhxxxx; where h = any hydrophobic amino acid) that is highly conserved and a more precise representation of the FNIP repeat. At least eight Acanthamoeba polyphaga Mimivirus proteins and over 100 Dictyostelium proteins contain tandem arrays of the IP22 motif and its variants. cmbB also shares structural homology to YopM, from the plague bacterium Yersenia pestis. PMID:16777069

  1. Codon usage, amino acid usage, transfer RNA and amino-acyl-tRNA synthetases in Mimiviruses.

    PubMed

    Colson, Philippe; Fournous, Ghislain; Diene, Seydina M; Raoult, Didier

    2013-01-01

    Mimiviruses are giant viruses that infect phagocytic protists, including Acanthamoebae spp., which were discovered during the past decade. They are the current record holder among viruses for their large particle and genome sizes. One group is composed of three lineages, referred to as A, B and C, which include the vast majority of the Mimiviridae members. Cafeteria roenbergensis virus represents a second group, though the Mimiviridae family is still expanding. We analyzed the codon and amino acid usages in mimiviruses, as well as both the transfer RNA (tRNA) and amino acyl-tRNA synthetases. We confirmed that the codon and amino acid usages of these giant viruses are highly dissimilar to those in their amoebal host Acanthamoeba castellanii and are instead correlated with the high adenine and thymine (AT) content of Mimivirus genomes. We further describe that the set of tRNAs and amino acyl-tRNA synthetases in mimiviruses is globally not adapted to the codon and amino acid usages of these viruses. Notwithstanding, Leu(TAA)tRNA, present in several Mimivirus genomes and in multiple copies in some viral genomes, may complement the amoebal tRNA pool and may contribute to accommodate the viral AT-rich codons. In addition, we found that the genes most highly expressed at the beginning of the Mimivirus replicative cycle have a nucleotide content more adapted to the codon usage in A.castellanii.

  2. Extensive in silico analysis of Mimivirus coded Rab GTPase homolog suggests a possible role in virion membrane biogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Zade, Amrutraj; Sengupta, Malavi; Kondabagil, Kiran

    2015-01-01

    Rab GTPases are the key regulators of intracellular membrane trafficking in eukaryotes. Many viruses and intracellular bacterial pathogens have evolved to hijack the host Rab GTPase functions, mainly through activators and effector proteins, for their benefit. Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus (APMV) is one of the largest viruses and belongs to the monophyletic clade of nucleo-cytoplasmic large DNA viruses (NCLDV). The inner membrane lining is integral to the APMV virion structure. APMV assembly involves extensive host membrane modifications, like vesicle budding and fusion, leading to the formation of a membrane sheet that is incorporated into the virion. Intriguingly, APMV and all group I members of the Mimiviridae family code for a putative Rab GTPase protein. APMV is the first reported virus to code for a Rab GTPase (encoded by R214 gene). Our thorough in silico analysis of the subfamily specific (SF) region of Mimiviridae Rab GTPase sequences suggests that they are related to Rab5, a member of the group II Rab GTPases, of lower eukaryotes. Because of their high divergence from the existing three isoforms, A, B, and C of the Rab5-family, we suggest that Mimiviridae Rabs constitute a new isoform, Rab5D. Phylogenetic analysis indicated probable horizontal acquisition from a lower eukaryotic ancestor followed by selection and divergence. Furthermore, interaction network analysis suggests that vps34 (a Class III PI3K homolog, coded by APMV L615), Atg-8 and dynamin (host proteins) are recruited by APMV Rab GTPase during capsid assembly. Based on these observations, we hypothesize that APMV Rab plays a role in the acquisition of inner membrane during virion assembly. PMID:26441866

  3. Isolation and complete genome sequencing of Mimivirus bombay, a Giant Virus in sewage of Mumbai, India.

    PubMed

    Chatterjee, Anirvan; Ali, Farhan; Bange, Disha; Kondabagil, Kiran

    2016-09-01

    We report the isolation and complete genome sequencing of a new Mimiviridae family member, infecting Acanthamoeba castellanii, from sewage in Mumbai, India. The isolated virus has a particle size of about 435 nm and a 1,182,200-bp genome. A phylogeny based on the DNA polymerase sequence placed the isolate as a new member of the Mimiviridae family lineage A and was named as Mimivirus bombay. Extensive presence of Mimiviridae family members in different environmental niches, with remarkably similar genome size and genetic makeup, point towards an evolutionary advantage that needs to be further investigated. The complete genome sequence of Mimivirus bombay was deposited at GenBank/EMBL/DDBJ under the accession number KU761889. PMID:27330993

  4. Acanthamoeba meningoencephalitis

    PubMed Central

    Chandra, S. R.; Adwani, Sikandar; Mahadevan, Anitha

    2014-01-01

    Report of a case of young immunocompetent male adult with autopsy proven acanthamoeba meningoencephalitis. The patient presented with a protracted febrile illness of 3 months duration with features of meningoencephalitis, this was followed by rapid deterioration while on anti tuberculous therapy and steroids and ended fatally. His magnetic resonance imaging showed features of hemorrhagic meningoencephalitis and magnetic resonance spectroscopy showed choline peak. Autopsy revealed necrotizing meningoencephalitis and intraocular colonization due to acanthamoeba. PMID:24753675

  5. Standardized Method of Measuring Acanthamoeba Antibodies in Sera from Healthy Human Subjects

    PubMed Central

    Chappell, Cynthia L.; Wright, John A.; Coletta, Michael; Newsome, Anthony L.

    2001-01-01

    Acanthamoeba species can cause serious, debilitating, and sometimes life-threatening infections. Three groups have been identified using morphological and immunological comparisons. Previous serological studies have utilized a variety of antigen preparations and assay methods and reported disparate (3 to 100%) results. This study was designed to (i) optimize an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for detecting serum antibodies to each of the Acanthamoeba serogroups and (ii) test 55 healthy individuals for specific immunoglobulin G reactivity. The highest signal-to-background ratio was found when 3,000 fixed, intact trophozoites per well were used with a 1:10 serum dilution. Sera yielding optical densities of <0.25 against all three Acanthamoeba serogroups were used to define the cutoff for positive results. The highest background reactivity with these sera was seen with Acanthamoeba polyphaga (serogroup 2), followed by Acanthamoeba culbertsoni (serogroup 3) and Acanthamoeba astronyxis (serogroup 1). Of 55 subjects tested, the highest number of positive results was seen with A. polyphaga (81.8%), followed by A. astronyxis (52.8%) and A. culbertsoni (40%). Seven serum samples (12.7%) were negative for all three Acanthamoeba serogroups, 16 (29.1%) were positive for one serogroup only, 16 were positive for two serogroups, and 16 reacted to all three serogroups. Further analysis showed no significant associations between serogroup reactivity and age or gender. However, some ethnic differences were noted, especially with A. polyphaga antigens. In that case, serum samples from Hispanic subjects were 14.5 times less likely to be positive (P = 0.0025) and had lower mean absorbance values (P = 0.047) than those from Caucasian subjects. Overall, these data suggest that Acanthamoeba colonization or infection is more common than previously thought. Mild or asymptomatic infections may contribute to the observed serum reactivities. PMID:11427418

  6. Acanthamoeba keratitis.

    PubMed

    Pogson, C

    1993-01-01

    1. Acanthamoeba keratitis is an uncommon but increasingly prevalent infection with the potential to cause severe ocular damage. Acanthamoeba is a nonflagellated free-living amoeba that is ubiquitous in the environment. The most common type is A castellani, but A polyphagia, A rhysodes, A culbertson, and A hatchetti have been isolated from infected eyes. 2. Clinical features include foreign body sensation, blurred vision, tearing, and photophobia. There is minimal pain in the early stages of infection, but severe pain is a manifestation of the advanced stages of the disease. 3. The incidence of Acanthamoeba keratitis appears to be decreasing because of increased awareness, but education emphasizing proper lens sterilization is essential and should be carried out when contact lenses are first dispensed. PMID:8158668

  7. Human endonuclease VIII-like (NEIL) proteins in the giant DNA Mimivirus

    PubMed Central

    Bandaru, Viswanath; Zhao, Xiaobei; Newton, Michael R.; Burrows, Cynthia J.; Wallace, Susan S.

    2007-01-01

    Endonuclease VIII (Nei), which recognizes and repairs oxidized pyrimidines in the Base Excision Repair (BER) pathway, is sparsely distributed among both the prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Recently, we and others identified three homologs of E. coli endonuclease VIII-like (NEIL) proteins in humans. Here, we report identification of human NEIL homologs in Mimivirus, a giant DNA virus that infects Acanthamoeba. Characterization of the two mimiviral homologs, MvNei1 and MvNei2, showed that they share not only sequence homology but also substrate specificity to the human NEIL proteins, that is, they recognize oxidized pyrimidines in duplex DNA and in bubble substrates and as well show 5′2-deoxyribose-5-phosphate lyase (dRP lyase) activity. However, unlike MvNei1 and the human NEIL proteins, MvNei2 preferentially cleaves oxidized pyrimidines in single stranded DNA forming products with a different end chemistry. Interestingly, opposite base specificity of MvNei1 resembles human NEIL proteins for pyrimidine base damages whereas it resembles E. coli formamidopyrimidine DNA glycosylase (Fpg) for guanidinohydantoin (Gh), an oxidation product of 8-oxoguanine. Finally, a conserved arginine residue in the “zincless finger” motif, previously identified in human NEIL1, is required for the DNA glycosylase activity of MvNeil. Thus, Mimivirus represents the first example of a virus to carry oxidative DNA glycosylases with substrate specificities that resemble human NEIL proteins. Based on the sequence homology to the human NEIL homologs and novel bacterial NEIL homologs identified here, we predict that Mimivirus may have acquired the DNA glycosylases through the host-mediated lateral transfer from either a bacterium or from vertebrates. PMID:17627905

  8. Amebicidal activity of plant extracts from Southeast Asia on Acanthamoeba spp.

    PubMed

    Chu, D M; Miles, H; Toney, D; Ngyuen, C; Marciano-Cabral, F

    1998-09-01

    The effect of 100 polar and 100 nonpolar plant extract materials obtained from Southeast Asia were evaluated for amebicidal activity in vitro against three species of Acanthamoeba. A. culbertsoni, A. castellanii, and A. polyphaga, the causative agents of granulomatous amebic encephalitis and amebic keratitis, were studied in vitro to determine whether the plant extracts exhibited amebicidal activity or induced encystment of the amebae. Of the 200 plant extracts tested, extracts obtained from three plants (Ipomoea sp., Kaempferia galanga, and Cananga odorata) were amebicidal for all three species of Acanthamoeba and a fourth extract prepared from Gastrochilus panduratum was lytic for A. polyphaga and growth-inhibitory for A. castellanii and A. culbertsoni. Three plant extracts induced encystment of all three species of Acanthamoeba. Select plant extracts were tested as well for tumoricidal activity against B103 neuroblastoma cells. Some plant extracts that exhibited tumoricidal activity for B103 cells were not amebicidal for Acanthamoeba spp. Additionally, the polar and nonpolar extracts that exhibited amebicidal activity were also tested for activity against primary murine peritoneal macrophage cultures. Plant extracts that demonstrated tumoricidal or amebicidal activity were not lytic for normal macrophage cultures. PMID:9766904

  9. Acanthamoeba royreba sp. n. from a human tumor cell culture.

    PubMed

    Willaert, E; Stevens, A R; Tyndall, R L

    1978-02-01

    A new species of Acanthamoeba was isolated from a culture of an established line of human choriocarcinoma cells. The identification of this strain, originally called the Oak Ridge strain, and the establishment of a new species for it were based on morphologic, serologic, and immunochemical studies. In general, the structure of the trophozoite did not differ significantly from that of other species of Acanthamoeba, except that a body which more closely resembled a centriole than material described previously as centriolar satellites was observed in trophozoites examined with the electron microscope. The dimensions of the trophozoite were the smallest among the species of Acanthamoeba. The cyst was typical of the genus, but differed from those of other species by its smaller size and the presence of numerous ostioles. Studies of the Oak Ridge strain by immunofluorescence using antisera developed against the isolate and Acanthamoeba culbertsoni, A. castellanii, A. polyphaga, A. rhysodes, A. astronyxis, and A. palestinensis revealed the antigenic uniqueness of the Oak Ridge strain. It was demonstrated by immunoelectrophoretic analyses of the soluble proteins of the Oak Ridge strain that shared approximately 1/2 of its antigenic structure with A. castellanii and A. culbertsoni. The antigenic differences of the isolate from other species of Acanthamoeba were deduced from comparison of the antigenic constitution of these species and the Oak Ridge strain with A. culbertsoni and A. castellanii. Although the strain was initially recognized by its cytopathogenicity for cultures, it did not produce acute infections in mice after intranasal inoculation of 1 X 10(4) ameba/mouse. The foregoing results constituted the basis for the establishment of the Oak Ridge strain as a new species, A. royreba sp. n., in the genus Acanthamoeba. PMID:566323

  10. Inactivation of Acanthamoeba spp. and Other Ocular Pathogens by Application of Cold Atmospheric Gas Plasma.

    PubMed

    Heaselgrave, Wayne; Shama, Gilbert; Andrew, Peter W; Kong, Michael G

    2016-05-15

    Currently there are estimated to be approximately 3.7 million contact lens wearers in the United Kingdom and 39.2 million in North America. Contact lens wear is a major risk factor for developing an infection of the cornea known as keratitis due to poor lens hygiene practices. While there is an international standard for testing disinfection methods against bacteria and fungi (ISO 14729), no such guidelines exist for the protozoan Acanthamoeba, which causes a potentially blinding keratitis most commonly seen in contact lens wearers, and as a result, many commercially available disinfecting solutions show incomplete disinfection after 6 and 24 h of exposure. Challenge test assays based on international standard ISO 14729 were used to determine the antimicrobial activity of cold atmospheric gas plasma (CAP) against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida albicans, and trophozoites and cysts of Acanthamoeba polyphaga and Acanthamoeba castellanii P. aeruginosa and C. albicans were completely inactivated in 0.5 min and 2 min, respectively, and trophozoites of A. polyphaga and A. castellanii were completely inactivated in 1 min and 2 min, respectively. Furthermore, for the highly resistant cyst stage of both species, complete inactivation was achieved after 4 min of exposure to CAP. This study demonstrates that the CAP technology is highly effective against bacterial, fungal, and protozoan pathogens. The further development of this technology has enormous potential, as this approach is able to deliver the complete inactivation of ocular pathogens in minutes, in contrast to commercial multipurpose disinfecting solutions that require a minimum of 6 h.

  11. A Mimivirus enzyme that participates in viral entry

    PubMed Central

    Klose, Thomas; Herbst, Dominik A.; Zhu, Hanyu; Max, Joann P.; Kenttämaa, Hilkka I.; Rossmann, Michael G.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Mimivirus was initially identified as a bacterium because its dense, 125nm-long fibers stained Gram-positive. These fibers probably play a role during the infection of some host cells. The normal hosts of Mimivirus are unknown, but in the laboratory Mimivirus is usually propagated in amoeba. The structure of R135, a major component of the fibrous outer layer of Mimivirus, has been determined to 2Å resolution. The protein's structure is similar to members of the glucose-methanol-cholin oxidoreductase family, which have an N-terminal FAD binding domain and a C-terminal substrate recognition domain. The closest homologue to R135 is an aryl alcohol oxidase that participates in lignin biodegradation of plant cell walls. Thus R135 might participate in the degradation of their normal hosts, including some lignin-containing algae. PMID:25982526

  12. Amoebae as battlefields for bacteria, giant viruses, and virophages.

    PubMed

    Slimani, Meriem; Pagnier, Isabelle; Raoult, Didier; La Scola, Bernard

    2013-04-01

    When amoebae are simultaneously infected with Acanthamoeba polyphaga Mimivirus (APM) and the strictly intracellular BABL1 bacterium, the latter is always lost after serial subculturing. We showed that the virophage Sputnik 1, by reducing APM fitness, preserved BABL1 growth in acute and chronic models. This capability of a virophage to modulate the virulence of mimiviruses highlights the competition that occurs between them during natural host infection. PMID:23388714

  13. [Painless acanthamoeba keratitis].

    PubMed

    Stemberger, K; Dick, B; Kramann, C; Thieme, H; Weber, A; Petry, F; Pfeiffer, N

    2007-05-01

    A 37-year-old contact lens wearer was treated for herpes simplex keratitis. After an initial improvement the keratitis became much worse. An annular infiltrate gave rise to the suspicion of acanthamoeba keratitis even though the patient was not in pain. This diagnosis was confirmed by histological and microbiological examination of the corneal disc after keratoplasty. Acanthamoeba keratitis should be considered even in the absence of pain, especially when the patients are contact lens wearers.

  14. Immunity to Acanthamoeba.

    PubMed

    Ferrante, A

    1991-01-01

    Human serum contains antibodies, mainly of the IgM and IgG isotypes, to pathogenic species of Acanthamoeba. This, as well as the capacity of these amebas to activate complement via the alternative pathway, may be a first-line defense against acanthamoeba infections in humans. Both antibody and complement appear to be important in promoting recognition of these amebas by phagocytic cells such as neutrophils. However, killing of amebas by neutrophils is dependent on lymphokine/monokine priming of the neutrophil. This priming augments the respiratory-burst activity and release of lysosomal enzymes of neutrophils in their response to the ameba. The products of the oxygen-dependent respiratory burst appear to be of prime importance in the killing of this free-living ameba. Antibodies also may prevent tissue invasion by Acanthamoeba by inhibiting its adherence, phagocytic activity, and migration and by neutralizing cytopathogenic amebic agents. Studies on experimental Acanthamoeba infections in mice showed marked species and strain specificity with regard to induction of protection with amebic antigens. Immune compromise or, alternatively, invasion at unique body sites in healthy individuals may form the basis for human infection with Acanthamoeba. PMID:2047675

  15. Ecology of Acanthamoeba.

    PubMed

    De Jonckheere, J F

    1991-01-01

    Acanthamoeba is a free-living ameba that is present in all types of environments throughout the world. The recent increase in cases of keratitis, especially in relation to an increase in the use of contact lenses, is probably due to the omnipresence of the organism as a result of the pronounced resistance of its cysts to disinfection and desiccation. The temperature of the eye is lower than that of the rest of the human body. Therefore, the presence of Acanthamoeba strains that grow at lower temperatures may also contribute to infection, thereby increasing the number of possibly infectious amebas. Recent evidence, however, indicates that perhaps only a limited number of species cause ocular disease. Delineation of the exact species of Acanthamoeba that cause keratitis is a prerequisite for the study of the ecology of the keratitis-producing amebas. PMID:2047667

  16. Identification of giant Mimivirus protein functions using RNA interference

    PubMed Central

    Sobhy, Haitham; Scola, Bernard La; Pagnier, Isabelle; Raoult, Didier; Colson, Philippe

    2015-01-01

    Genomic analysis of giant viruses, such as Mimivirus, has revealed that more than half of the putative genes have no known functions (ORFans). We knocked down Mimivirus genes using short interfering RNA as a proof of concept to determine the functions of giant virus ORFans. As fibers are easy to observe, we targeted a gene encoding a protein absent in a Mimivirus mutant devoid of fibers as well as three genes encoding products identified in a protein concentrate of fibers, including one ORFan and one gene of unknown function. We found that knocking down these four genes was associated with depletion or modification of the fibers. Our strategy of silencing ORFan genes in giant viruses opens a way to identify its complete gene repertoire and may clarify the role of these genes, differentiating between junk DNA and truly used genes. Using this strategy, we were able to annotate four proteins in Mimivirus and 30 homologous proteins in other giant viruses. In addition, we were able to annotate >500 proteins from cellular organisms and 100 from metagenomic databases. PMID:25972846

  17. Pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba Keratitis

    PubMed Central

    Panjwani, Noorjahan

    2010-01-01

    Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) is a serious infection of the cornea. At present, diagnosis of the disease is not straightforward and treatment is very demanding. While contact lens wear is the leading risk factor for AK, Acanthamoeba parasites are increasingly recognized as an important cause of keratitis in non-contact lens wearers. The first critical step in the pathogenesis of infection is the adhesion of the microbe to the surface of the host tissues. Acanthamoebae express a major virulence protein, the mannose-binding protein (MBP), which mediates the adhesion of amoebae to the surface of the cornea. The MBP is a transmembrane protein with characteristics of a typical cell surface receptor. Subsequent to the MBP-mediated adhesion to host cells, the amoebae produce a contact-dependent metalloproteinase and several contact-independent serine proteinases. These proteinases work in concert to produce a potent cytopathic effect (CPE) involving killing of the host cells, degradation of epithelial basement membrane and underlying stromal matrix, and penetration into the deeper layers of the cornea. In the hamster animal model, oral immunization with the recombinant MBP protects against AK, and this protection is associated with an increased level of anti-MBP IgA in tears of protected animals. Normal human tear fluid contains IgA antibodies against Acanthamoeba MBP that is likely to provide protection by inhibiting the adhesion of parasites to host cells. Indeed, in in vitro CPE assays, even a low concentration of tears (10 [MU]μL of undiluted tears per milliliter of media) almost completely inhibits Acanthamoeba-induced CPE. In addition to adherence-inhibiting, IgA-mediated protection, human tears also contain IgA-independent factors that provide protection against Acanthamoeba-induced CPE by inhibiting the activity of cytotoxic proteinases. Characterization of the CPE-inhibitory factors of human tears should lead to a better understanding of the mechanism by which the

  18. Interactions between Human Norovirus Surrogates and Acanthamoeba spp.

    PubMed

    Hsueh, Tun-Yun; Gibson, Kristen E

    2015-06-15

    Human noroviruses (HuNoVs) are the most common cause of food-borne disease outbreaks, as well as virus-related waterborne disease outbreaks in the United States. Here, we hypothesize that common free-living amoebae (FLA)-ubiquitous in the environment, known to interact with pathogens, and frequently isolated from water and fresh produce-could potentially act as reservoirs of HuNoV and facilitate the environmental transmission of HuNoVs. To investigate FLA as reservoirs for HuNoV, the interactions between two Acanthamoeba species, A. castellanii and A. polyphaga, as well as two HuNoV surrogates, murine norovirus type 1 (MNV-1) and feline calicivirus (FCV), were evaluated. The results showed that after 1 h of amoeba-virus incubation at 25°C, 490 and 337 PFU of MNV-1/ml were recovered from A. castellanii and A. polyphaga, respectively, while only few or no FCVs were detected. In addition, prolonged interaction of MNV-1 with amoebae was investigated for a period of 8 days, and MNV-1 was demonstrated to remain stable at around 200 PFU/ml from day 2 to day 8 after virus inoculation in A. castellanii. Moreover, after a complete amoeba life cycle (i.e., encystment and excystment), infectious viruses could still be detected. To determine the location of virus associated with amoebae, immunofluorescence experiments were performed and showed MNV-1 transitioning from the amoeba surface to inside the amoeba over a 24-h period. These results are significant to the understanding of how HuNoVs may interact with other microorganisms in the environment in order to aid in its persistence and survival, as well as potential transmission in water and to vulnerable food products such as fresh produce. PMID:25841006

  19. Interactions between Human Norovirus Surrogates and Acanthamoeba spp.

    PubMed Central

    Hsueh, Tun-Yun

    2015-01-01

    Human noroviruses (HuNoVs) are the most common cause of food-borne disease outbreaks, as well as virus-related waterborne disease outbreaks in the United States. Here, we hypothesize that common free-living amoebae (FLA)—ubiquitous in the environment, known to interact with pathogens, and frequently isolated from water and fresh produce—could potentially act as reservoirs of HuNoV and facilitate the environmental transmission of HuNoVs. To investigate FLA as reservoirs for HuNoV, the interactions between two Acanthamoeba species, A. castellanii and A. polyphaga, as well as two HuNoV surrogates, murine norovirus type 1 (MNV-1) and feline calicivirus (FCV), were evaluated. The results showed that after 1 h of amoeba-virus incubation at 25°C, 490 and 337 PFU of MNV-1/ml were recovered from A. castellanii and A. polyphaga, respectively, while only few or no FCVs were detected. In addition, prolonged interaction of MNV-1 with amoebae was investigated for a period of 8 days, and MNV-1 was demonstrated to remain stable at around 200 PFU/ml from day 2 to day 8 after virus inoculation in A. castellanii. Moreover, after a complete amoeba life cycle (i.e., encystment and excystment), infectious viruses could still be detected. To determine the location of virus associated with amoebae, immunofluorescence experiments were performed and showed MNV-1 transitioning from the amoeba surface to inside the amoeba over a 24-h period. These results are significant to the understanding of how HuNoVs may interact with other microorganisms in the environment in order to aid in its persistence and survival, as well as potential transmission in water and to vulnerable food products such as fresh produce. PMID:25841006

  20. Interactions between Human Norovirus Surrogates and Acanthamoeba spp.

    PubMed

    Hsueh, Tun-Yun; Gibson, Kristen E

    2015-06-15

    Human noroviruses (HuNoVs) are the most common cause of food-borne disease outbreaks, as well as virus-related waterborne disease outbreaks in the United States. Here, we hypothesize that common free-living amoebae (FLA)-ubiquitous in the environment, known to interact with pathogens, and frequently isolated from water and fresh produce-could potentially act as reservoirs of HuNoV and facilitate the environmental transmission of HuNoVs. To investigate FLA as reservoirs for HuNoV, the interactions between two Acanthamoeba species, A. castellanii and A. polyphaga, as well as two HuNoV surrogates, murine norovirus type 1 (MNV-1) and feline calicivirus (FCV), were evaluated. The results showed that after 1 h of amoeba-virus incubation at 25°C, 490 and 337 PFU of MNV-1/ml were recovered from A. castellanii and A. polyphaga, respectively, while only few or no FCVs were detected. In addition, prolonged interaction of MNV-1 with amoebae was investigated for a period of 8 days, and MNV-1 was demonstrated to remain stable at around 200 PFU/ml from day 2 to day 8 after virus inoculation in A. castellanii. Moreover, after a complete amoeba life cycle (i.e., encystment and excystment), infectious viruses could still be detected. To determine the location of virus associated with amoebae, immunofluorescence experiments were performed and showed MNV-1 transitioning from the amoeba surface to inside the amoeba over a 24-h period. These results are significant to the understanding of how HuNoVs may interact with other microorganisms in the environment in order to aid in its persistence and survival, as well as potential transmission in water and to vulnerable food products such as fresh produce.

  1. Biology and pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba.

    PubMed

    Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2012-01-01

    Acanthamoeba is a free-living protist pathogen, capable of causing a blinding keratitis and fatal granulomatous encephalitis. The factors that contribute to Acanthamoeba infections include parasite biology, genetic diversity, environmental spread and host susceptibility, and are highlighted together with potential therapeutic and preventative measures. The use of Acanthamoeba in the study of cellular differentiation mechanisms, motility and phagocytosis, bacterial pathogenesis and evolutionary processes makes it an attractive model organism. There is a significant emphasis on Acanthamoeba as a Trojan horse of other microbes including viral, bacterial, protists and yeast pathogens.

  2. Biology and pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Acanthamoeba is a free-living protist pathogen, capable of causing a blinding keratitis and fatal granulomatous encephalitis. The factors that contribute to Acanthamoeba infections include parasite biology, genetic diversity, environmental spread and host susceptibility, and are highlighted together with potential therapeutic and preventative measures. The use of Acanthamoeba in the study of cellular differentiation mechanisms, motility and phagocytosis, bacterial pathogenesis and evolutionary processes makes it an attractive model organism. There is a significant emphasis on Acanthamoeba as a Trojan horse of other microbes including viral, bacterial, protists and yeast pathogens. PMID:22229971

  3. Giant DNA Virus Mimivirus Encodes Pathway for Biosynthesis of Unusual Sugar 4-Amino-4,6-dideoxy-d-glucose (Viosamine)*

    PubMed Central

    Piacente, Francesco; Marin, Margherita; Molinaro, Antonio; De Castro, Cristina; Seltzer, Virginie; Salis, Annalisa; Damonte, Gianluca; Bernardi, Cinzia; Claverie, Jean-Michel; Abergel, Chantal; Tonetti, Michela

    2012-01-01

    Mimivirus is one the largest DNA virus identified so far, infecting several Acanthamoeba species. Analysis of its genome revealed the presence of a nine-gene cluster containing genes potentially involved in glycan formation. All of these genes are co-expressed at late stages of infection, suggesting their role in the formation of the long fibers covering the viral surface. Among them, we identified the L136 gene as a pyridoxal phosphate-dependent sugar aminotransferase. This enzyme was shown to catalyze the formation of UDP-4-amino-4,6-dideoxy-d-glucose (UDP-viosamine) from UDP-4-keto-6-deoxy-d-glucose, a key compound involved also in the biosynthesis of l-rhamnose. This finding further supports the hypothesis that Mimivirus encodes a glycosylation system that is completely independent of the amoebal host. Viosamine, together with rhamnose, (N-acetyl)glucosamine, and glucose, was found as a major component of the viral glycans. Most of the sugars were associated with the fibers, confirming a capsular-like nature of the viral surface. Phylogenetic analysis clearly indicated that L136 was not a recent acquisition from bacteria through horizontal gene transfer, but it was acquired very early during evolution. Implications for the origin of the glycosylation machinery in giant DNA virus are also discussed. PMID:22157758

  4. Development of a new oxygen consumption rate assay in cultures of Acanthamoeba (Protozoa: Lobosea) and its application to evaluate viability and amoebicidal activity in vitro.

    PubMed

    Heredero-Bermejo, I; Criado-Fornelio, A; Soliveri, J; Díaz-Martín, J A; Matilla-Fuentes, J; Sánchez-Arias, J A; Copa-Patiño, J L; Pérez-Serrano, J

    2015-08-01

    A new fluorometric method has been developed for measuring the oxygen consumption rate (OCR) of Acanthamoeba cultures in microplates and for screening molecules with amoebicidal activity against this microorganism. The use of a biofunctional matrix (containing an oxygen-sensitive fluorogenic probe) attached to the microplate wells allowed continuous measurement of OCR in the medium, hence assessment of amoebic growth. The new OCR method applied to cell viability yielded a linear relationship and monitoring was much quicker than with indirect viability assays previously used. In addition, two drugs were tested in a cytotoxicity assay monitored by the new OCR viability test. With this procedure, the standard amoebicidal drug chlorhexidine digluconate showed an IC50 of 3.53 + 1.3 mg/l against Acanthamoeba polyphaga and 3.19 + 1.2 mg/l against Acanthamoeba castellanii, whereas a cationic dendrimer [G1Si(NMe3+)4] showed an IC50 of 6.42 + 1.3 mg/l against A. polyphaga. These data agree with previous studies conducted in our laboratory. Therefore, the new OCR method has proven powerful and quick for amoebicidal drug screening and is likely to be applied in biochemical studies concerning protozoa respiration and metabolism.

  5. Campylobacter-Acanthamoeba interactions.

    PubMed

    Vieira, Ana; Seddon, Alan M; Karlyshev, Andrey V

    2015-05-01

    Campylobacter jejuni is a foodborne pathogen recognized as the major cause of human bacterial enteritis. Undercooked poultry products and contaminated water are considered as the most important sources of infection. Some studies suggest transmission and survival of this bacterial pathogen may be assisted by the free-living protozoa Acanthamoeba. The latter is known to play the role of a host for various pathogenic bacteria, protecting them from harsh environmental conditions. Importantly, there is a similarity between the mechanisms of bacterial survival within amoebae and macrophages, making the former a convenient tool for the investigation of the survival of pathogenic bacteria in the environment. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in the interaction between Campylobacter and Acanthamoeba are not well understood. Whilst some studies suggest the ability of C. jejuni to survive within the protozoa, the other reports support an extracellular mode of survival only. In this review, we focus on the studies investigating the interaction between Campylobacter and Acanthamoeba, address some reasons for the contradictory results, and discuss possible implications of these results for epidemiology. Additionally, as the molecular mechanisms involved remain unknown, we also suggest possible factors that may be involved in this process. Deciphering the molecular mechanisms of pathogen-protozoa interaction will assist in a better understanding of Campylobacter lifestyle and in the development of novel antibacterial drugs.

  6. MIMIVIRE is a defence system in mimivirus that confers resistance to virophage.

    PubMed

    Levasseur, Anthony; Bekliz, Meriem; Chabrière, Eric; Pontarotti, Pierre; La Scola, Bernard; Raoult, Didier

    2016-03-10

    Since their discovery, giant viruses have revealed several unique features that challenge the conventional definition of a virus, such as their large and complex genomes, their infection by virophages and their presence of transferable short element transpovirons. Here we investigate the sensitivity of mimivirus to virophage infection in a collection of 59 viral strains and demonstrate lineage specificity in the resistance of mimivirus to Zamilon, a unique virophage that can infect lineages B and C of mimivirus but not lineage A. We hypothesized that mimiviruses harbour a defence mechanism resembling the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)-Cas system that is widely present in bacteria and archaea. We performed de novo sequencing of 45 new mimivirus strains and searched for sequences specific to Zamilon in a total of 60 mimivirus genomes. We found that lineage A strains are resistant to Zamilon and contain the insertion of a repeated Zamilon sequence within an operon, here named the 'mimivirus virophage resistance element' (MIMIVIRE). Further analyses of the surrounding sequences showed that this locus is reminiscent of a defence mechanism related to the CRISPR-Cas system. Silencing the repeated sequence and the MIMIVIRE genes restores mimivirus susceptibility to Zamilon. The MIMIVIRE proteins possess the typical functions (nuclease and helicase) involved in the degradation of foreign nucleic acids. The viral defence system, MIMIVIRE, represents a nucleic-acid-based immunity against virophage infection. PMID:26934229

  7. MIMIVIRE is a defence system in mimivirus that confers resistance to virophage.

    PubMed

    Levasseur, Anthony; Bekliz, Meriem; Chabrière, Eric; Pontarotti, Pierre; La Scola, Bernard; Raoult, Didier

    2016-03-10

    Since their discovery, giant viruses have revealed several unique features that challenge the conventional definition of a virus, such as their large and complex genomes, their infection by virophages and their presence of transferable short element transpovirons. Here we investigate the sensitivity of mimivirus to virophage infection in a collection of 59 viral strains and demonstrate lineage specificity in the resistance of mimivirus to Zamilon, a unique virophage that can infect lineages B and C of mimivirus but not lineage A. We hypothesized that mimiviruses harbour a defence mechanism resembling the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)-Cas system that is widely present in bacteria and archaea. We performed de novo sequencing of 45 new mimivirus strains and searched for sequences specific to Zamilon in a total of 60 mimivirus genomes. We found that lineage A strains are resistant to Zamilon and contain the insertion of a repeated Zamilon sequence within an operon, here named the 'mimivirus virophage resistance element' (MIMIVIRE). Further analyses of the surrounding sequences showed that this locus is reminiscent of a defence mechanism related to the CRISPR-Cas system. Silencing the repeated sequence and the MIMIVIRE genes restores mimivirus susceptibility to Zamilon. The MIMIVIRE proteins possess the typical functions (nuclease and helicase) involved in the degradation of foreign nucleic acids. The viral defence system, MIMIVIRE, represents a nucleic-acid-based immunity against virophage infection.

  8. Mimivirus shows dramatic genome reduction after intraamoebal culture.

    PubMed

    Boyer, Mickaël; Azza, Saïd; Barrassi, Lina; Klose, Thomas; Campocasso, Angélique; Pagnier, Isabelle; Fournous, Ghislain; Borg, Audrey; Robert, Catherine; Zhang, Xinzheng; Desnues, Christelle; Henrissat, Bernard; Rossmann, Michael G; La Scola, Bernard; Raoult, Didier

    2011-06-21

    Most phagocytic protist viruses have large particles and genomes as well as many laterally acquired genes that may be associated with a sympatric intracellular life (a community-associated lifestyle with viruses, bacteria, and eukaryotes) and the presence of virophages. By subculturing Mimivirus 150 times in a germ-free amoebal host, we observed the emergence of a bald form of the virus that lacked surface fibers and replicated in a morphologically different type of viral factory. When studying a 0.40-μm filtered cloned particle, we found that its genome size shifted from 1.2 (M1) to 0.993 Mb (M4), mainly due to large deletions occurring at both ends of the genome. Some of the lost genes are encoding enzymes required for posttranslational modification of the structural viral proteins, such as glycosyltransferases and ankyrin repeat proteins. Proteomic analysis allowed identification of three proteins, probably required for the assembly of virus fibers. The genes for two of these were found to be deleted from the M4 virus genome. The proteins associated with fibers are highly antigenic and can be recognized by mouse and human antimimivirus antibodies. In addition, the bald strain (M4) was not able to propagate the sputnik virophage. Overall, the Mimivirus transition from a sympatric to an allopatric lifestyle was associated with a stepwise genome reduction and the production of a predominantly bald virophage resistant strain. The new axenic ecosystem allowed the allopatric Mimivirus to lose unnecessary genes that might be involved in the control of competitors. PMID:21646533

  9. Mimivirus shows dramatic genome reduction after intraamoebal culture

    PubMed Central

    Boyer, Mickaël; Azza, Saïd; Barrassi, Lina; Klose, Thomas; Campocasso, Angélique; Pagnier, Isabelle; Fournous, Ghislain; Borg, Audrey; Robert, Catherine; Zhang, Xinzheng; Desnues, Christelle; Henrissat, Bernard; Rossmann, Michael G.; La Scola, Bernard; Raoult, Didier

    2011-01-01

    Most phagocytic protist viruses have large particles and genomes as well as many laterally acquired genes that may be associated with a sympatric intracellular life (a community-associated lifestyle with viruses, bacteria, and eukaryotes) and the presence of virophages. By subculturing Mimivirus 150 times in a germ-free amoebal host, we observed the emergence of a bald form of the virus that lacked surface fibers and replicated in a morphologically different type of viral factory. When studying a 0.40-μm filtered cloned particle, we found that its genome size shifted from 1.2 (M1) to 0.993 Mb (M4), mainly due to large deletions occurring at both ends of the genome. Some of the lost genes are encoding enzymes required for posttranslational modification of the structural viral proteins, such as glycosyltransferases and ankyrin repeat proteins. Proteomic analysis allowed identification of three proteins, probably required for the assembly of virus fibers. The genes for two of these were found to be deleted from the M4 virus genome. The proteins associated with fibers are highly antigenic and can be recognized by mouse and human antimimivirus antibodies. In addition, the bald strain (M4) was not able to propagate the sputnik virophage. Overall, the Mimivirus transition from a sympatric to an allopatric lifestyle was associated with a stepwise genome reduction and the production of a predominantly bald virophage resistant strain. The new axenic ecosystem allowed the allopatric Mimivirus to lose unnecessary genes that might be involved in the control of competitors. PMID:21646533

  10. Restriction fragment length polymorphisms of the DNA of selected Naegleria and Acanthamoeba amebae.

    PubMed

    McLaughlin, G L; Brandt, F H; Visvesvara, G S

    1988-09-01

    Fourteen strains of Naegleria fowleri, two strains of N. gruberi, and one strain each of N. australiensis, N. jadini, N. lovaniensis, Acanthamoeba sp., A. castellanii, A. polyphaga, and A. comandoni isolated from patients, soil, or water were characterized by restriction fragment length polymorphisms. Total cellular DNA (1 microgram) was digested with either HindIII, BglII, or EcoRI; separated on agarose gels; and stained with ethidium bromide. From 2 to 15 unusually prominent repetitive restriction fragment bands, totaling 15 to 50 kilobases in length and constituting probably more than 30% of the total DNA, were detected for all ameba strains. Each species displayed a characteristic pattern of repetitive restriction fragments. Digests of the four Acanthamoeba spp. displayed fewer, less intensely staining repetitive fragments than those of the Naegleria spp. All N. fowleri strains, whether isolated from the cerebrospinal fluid of patients from different parts of the world or from hot springs, had repetitive restriction fragment bands of similar total lengths (ca. 45 kilobases), and most repetitive bands displayed identical mobilities. However, polymorphic bands were useful in identifying particular isolates. Restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis generally was consistent with taxonomy based on studies of infectivity, morphology, isoenzyme patterns, and antibody reactivity and suggests that this technique may help classify amebae isolated from clinical specimens or from the environment.

  11. Acanthamoeba castellanii STAT protein.

    PubMed

    Kicinska, Anna; Leluk, Jacek; Jarmuszkiewicz, Wieslawa

    2014-01-01

    STAT (signal transducers and activators of transcription) proteins are one of the important mediators of phosphotyrosine-regulated signaling in metazoan cells. We described the presence of STAT protein in a unicellular, free-living amoebae with a simple life cycle, Acanthamoeba castellanii. A. castellanii is the only, studied to date, Amoebozoan that does not belong to Mycetozoa but possesses STATs. A sequence of the A. castellanii STAT protein includes domains similar to those of the Dictyostelium STAT proteins: a coiled coil (characteristic for Dictyostelium STAT coiled coil), a STAT DNA-binding domain and a Src-homology domain. The search for protein sequences homologous to A. castellanii STAT revealed 17 additional sequences from lower eukaryotes. Interestingly, all of these sequences come from Amoebozoa organisms that belong to either Mycetozoa (slime molds) or Centramoebida. We showed that there are four separated clades within the slime mold STAT proteins. The A. castellanii STAT protein branches next to a group of STATc proteins from Mycetozoa. We also demonstrate that Amoebozoa form a distinct monophyletic lineage within the STAT protein world that is well separated from the other groups. PMID:25338074

  12. Acanthamoeba everywhere: high diversity of Acanthamoeba in soils.

    PubMed

    Geisen, Stefan; Fiore-Donno, Anna Maria; Walochnik, Julia; Bonkowski, Michael

    2014-09-01

    Acanthamoeba is a very abundant genus of soil protists with fundamental importance in nutrient cycling, but several strains can also act as human pathogens. The systematics of the genus is still unclear: currently 18 small-subunit (SSU or 18S) ribosomal RNA sequence types (T1-T18) are recognized, which sometimes contain several different morphotypes; on the other hand, some morphological identical strains belong to different sequence types, sometimes appearing in paraphyletic positions. In this study, we cultivated 65 Acanthamoeba clones from soil samples collected under grassland at three separate locations in the Netherlands, in Sardinia and at high altitude mountains in Tibet. We obtained 24 distinct partial sequences, which predominantly grouped within sequence type T4 followed by T2, T13, T16 and "OX-1" (in the T2/T6 clade). Our sequences were 98-99% similar, but none was identical to already known Acanthamoeba sequences. The community composition of Acanthamoeba strains differed between locations, T4 being the dominant sequence type in Sardinia and Tibet, but represented only half of the clones from soils in the Netherlands. The other half of clones from the Dutch soils was made up by T2, T16 and "OX-1", while T13 was only found in Sardinia and Tibet. None of the sequences was identical between localities. Several T4 clones from all three localities and all T13 clones grew at 37 °C while one T4 clone was highly cytopathogenic. PMID:24951165

  13. Acanthamoeba everywhere: high diversity of Acanthamoeba in soils.

    PubMed

    Geisen, Stefan; Fiore-Donno, Anna Maria; Walochnik, Julia; Bonkowski, Michael

    2014-09-01

    Acanthamoeba is a very abundant genus of soil protists with fundamental importance in nutrient cycling, but several strains can also act as human pathogens. The systematics of the genus is still unclear: currently 18 small-subunit (SSU or 18S) ribosomal RNA sequence types (T1-T18) are recognized, which sometimes contain several different morphotypes; on the other hand, some morphological identical strains belong to different sequence types, sometimes appearing in paraphyletic positions. In this study, we cultivated 65 Acanthamoeba clones from soil samples collected under grassland at three separate locations in the Netherlands, in Sardinia and at high altitude mountains in Tibet. We obtained 24 distinct partial sequences, which predominantly grouped within sequence type T4 followed by T2, T13, T16 and "OX-1" (in the T2/T6 clade). Our sequences were 98-99% similar, but none was identical to already known Acanthamoeba sequences. The community composition of Acanthamoeba strains differed between locations, T4 being the dominant sequence type in Sardinia and Tibet, but represented only half of the clones from soils in the Netherlands. The other half of clones from the Dutch soils was made up by T2, T16 and "OX-1", while T13 was only found in Sardinia and Tibet. None of the sequences was identical between localities. Several T4 clones from all three localities and all T13 clones grew at 37 °C while one T4 clone was highly cytopathogenic.

  14. Mimivirus: the emerging paradox of quasi-autonomous viruses.

    PubMed

    Claverie, Jean-Michel; Abergel, Chantal

    2010-10-01

    What is a virus? Are viruses alive? Should they be classified among microorganisms? One would expect these simple questions to have been settled a century after the discovery of the first viral disease. For years, modern virology successfully unravelled the huge diversity of viruses in terms of genetic material, replication mechanism, pathogenicity, host infection, and more recently particle structure, planet-wide distribution and ecological significance. Yet, little progress was made in understanding their evolutionary origin(s), as well as the fundamental nature of their relationship with the cellular world. Thanks to the recent studies on Mimivirus and other large DNA viruses, we are now entering a new era where the most basic concepts about viruses are revisited, including their true nature, how fundamentally different they are from cellular microorganisms, and how essential they might have been in the major innovations that punctuated the evolution of life.

  15. Photochemotherapeutic strategy against Acanthamoeba infections.

    PubMed

    Aqeel, Yousuf; Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah; Anwar, Ayaz; Shah, Muhammad Raza; Khoja, Shahrukh; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2015-01-01

    Acanthamoeba is a protist pathogen that can cause serious human infections, including blinding keratitis and a granulomatous amoebic encephalitis that almost always results in death. The current treatment for these infections includes a mixture of drugs, and even then, a recurrence can occur. Photochemotherapy has shown promise in the treatment of Acanthamoeba infections; however, the selective targeting of pathogenic Acanthamoeba has remained a major concern. The mannose-binding protein is an important adhesin expressed on the surface membranes of pathogenic Acanthamoeba organisms. To specifically target Acanthamoeba, the overall aim of this study was to synthesize a photosensitizing compound (porphyrin) conjugated with mannose and test its efficacy in vitro. The synthesis of mannose-conjugated porphyrin was achieved by mixing benzaldehyde and pyrrole, yielding tetraphenylporphyrin. Tetraphenylporphyrin was then converted into mono-nitrophenylporphyrin by selectively nitrating the para position of the phenyl rings, as confirmed by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. The mono-nitrophenylporphyrin was reduced to mono-aminophenylporphyrin in the presence of tin dichloride and confirmed by a peak at m/z 629. Finally, mono-aminoporphyrin was conjugated with mannose, resulting in the formation of an imine bond. Mannose-conjugated porphyrin was confirmed through spectroscopic analysis and showed that it absorbed light of wavelengths ranging from 425 to 475 nm. To determine the antiacanthamoebic effects of the derived product, amoebae were incubated with mannose-conjugated porphyrin for 1 h and washed 3 times to remove extracellular compound. Next, the amoebae were exposed to light of the appropriate wavelength for 1 h. The results revealed that mannose-conjugated porphyrin produced potent trophicidal effects and blocked excystation. In contrast, Acanthamoeba castellanii incubated with mannose alone and porphyrin alone did not exhibit an antiamoebic effect

  16. Photochemotherapeutic Strategy against Acanthamoeba Infections

    PubMed Central

    Aqeel, Yousuf; Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah; Anwar, Ayaz; Shah, Muhammad Raza; Khoja, Shahrukh

    2015-01-01

    Acanthamoeba is a protist pathogen that can cause serious human infections, including blinding keratitis and a granulomatous amoebic encephalitis that almost always results in death. The current treatment for these infections includes a mixture of drugs, and even then, a recurrence can occur. Photochemotherapy has shown promise in the treatment of Acanthamoeba infections; however, the selective targeting of pathogenic Acanthamoeba has remained a major concern. The mannose-binding protein is an important adhesin expressed on the surface membranes of pathogenic Acanthamoeba organisms. To specifically target Acanthamoeba, the overall aim of this study was to synthesize a photosensitizing compound (porphyrin) conjugated with mannose and test its efficacy in vitro. The synthesis of mannose-conjugated porphyrin was achieved by mixing benzaldehyde and pyrrole, yielding tetraphenylporphyrin. Tetraphenylporphyrin was then converted into mono-nitrophenylporphyrin by selectively nitrating the para position of the phenyl rings, as confirmed by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. The mono-nitrophenylporphyrin was reduced to mono-aminophenylporphyrin in the presence of tin dichloride and confirmed by a peak at m/z 629. Finally, mono-aminoporphyrin was conjugated with mannose, resulting in the formation of an imine bond. Mannose-conjugated porphyrin was confirmed through spectroscopic analysis and showed that it absorbed light of wavelengths ranging from 425 to 475 nm. To determine the antiacanthamoebic effects of the derived product, amoebae were incubated with mannose-conjugated porphyrin for 1 h and washed 3 times to remove extracellular compound. Next, the amoebae were exposed to light of the appropriate wavelength for 1 h. The results revealed that mannose-conjugated porphyrin produced potent trophicidal effects and blocked excystation. In contrast, Acanthamoeba castellanii incubated with mannose alone and porphyrin alone did not exhibit an antiamoebic effect

  17. Atomic force microscopy investigation of the giant mimivirus

    SciTech Connect

    Kuznetsov, Yuri G.; Xiao Chuan; Sun Siyang; Raoult, Didier; Rossmann, Michael; McPherson, Alexander

    2010-08-15

    Mimivirus was investigated by atomic force microscopy in its native state following serial degradation by lysozyme and bromelain. The 750-nm diameter virus is coated with a forest of glycosylated protein fibers of lengths about 140 nm with diameters 1.4 nm. Fibers are capped with distinctive ellipsoidal protein heads of estimated Mr = 25 kDa. The surface fibers are attached to the particle through a layer of protein covering the capsid, which is in turn composed of the major capsid protein (MCP). The latter is organized as an open network of hexagonal rings with central depressions separated by 14 nm. The virion exhibits an elaborate apparatus at a unique vertex, visible as a star shaped depression on native particles, but on defibered virions as five arms of 50 nm width and 250 nm length rising above the capsid by 20 nm. The apparatus is integrated into the capsid and not applied atop the icosahedral lattice. Prior to DNA release, the arms of the star disengage from the virion and it opens by folding back five adjacent triangular faces. A membrane sac containing the DNA emerges from the capsid in preparation for fusion with a membrane of the host cell. Also observed from disrupted virions were masses of distinctive fibers of diameter about 1 nm, and having a 7-nm periodicity. These are probably contained within the capsid along with the DNA bearing sac. The fibers were occasionally observed associated with toroidal protein clusters interpreted as processive enzymes modifying the fibers.

  18. Acanthamoeba Migration in an Electric Field

    PubMed Central

    Rudell, Jolene Chang; Gao, Jing; Sun, Yuxin; Sun, Yaohui; Chodosh, James; Schwab, Ivan; Zhao, Min

    2013-01-01

    Purpose. We investigated the in vitro response of Acanthamoeba trophozoites to electric fields (EFs). Methods. Acanthamoeba castellanii were exposed to varying strengths of an EF. During EF exposure, cell migration was monitored using an inverted microscope equipped with a CCD camera and the SimplePCI 5.3 imaging system to capture time-lapse images. The migration of A. castellanii trophozoites was analyzed and quantified with ImageJ software. For analysis of cell migration in a three-dimensional culture system, Acanthamoeba trophozoites were cultured in agar, exposed to an EF, digitally video recorded, and analyzed at various Z focal planes. Results. Acanthamoeba trophozoites move at random in the absence of an EF, but move directionally in response to an EF. Directedness in the absence of an EF is 0.08 ± 0.01, while in 1200 mV/mm EF, directedness is significantly higher at −0.65 ± 0.01 (P < 0.001). We find that the trophozoite migration response is voltage-dependent, with higher directionality with higher voltage application. Acanthamoeba move directionally in a three-dimensional (3D) agar system as well when exposed to an EF. Conclusions. Acanthamoeba trophozoites move directionally in response to an EF in a two-dimensional and 3D culture system. Acanthamoeba trophozoite migration is also voltage-dependent, with increased directionality with increasing voltage. This may provide new treatment modalities for Acanthamoeba keratitis. PMID:23716626

  19. In-depth study of Mollivirus sibericum, a new 30,000-y-old giant virus infecting Acanthamoeba.

    PubMed

    Legendre, Matthieu; Lartigue, Audrey; Bertaux, Lionel; Jeudy, Sandra; Bartoli, Julia; Lescot, Magali; Alempic, Jean-Marie; Ramus, Claire; Bruley, Christophe; Labadie, Karine; Shmakova, Lyubov; Rivkina, Elizaveta; Couté, Yohann; Abergel, Chantal; Claverie, Jean-Michel

    2015-09-22

    Acanthamoeba species are infected by the largest known DNA viruses. These include icosahedral Mimiviruses, amphora-shaped Pandoraviruses, and Pithovirus sibericum, the latter one isolated from 30,000-y-old permafrost. Mollivirus sibericum, a fourth type of giant virus, was isolated from the same permafrost sample. Its approximately spherical virion (0.6-µm diameter) encloses a 651-kb GC-rich genome encoding 523 proteins of which 64% are ORFans; 16% have their closest homolog in Pandoraviruses and 10% in Acanthamoeba castellanii probably through horizontal gene transfer. The Mollivirus nucleocytoplasmic replication cycle was analyzed using a combination of "omic" approaches that revealed how the virus highjacks its host machinery to actively replicate. Surprisingly, the host's ribosomal proteins are packaged in the virion. Metagenomic analysis of the permafrost sample uncovered the presence of both viruses, yet in very low amount. The fact that two different viruses retain their infectivity in prehistorical permafrost layers should be of concern in a context of global warming. Giant viruses' diversity remains to be fully explored. PMID:26351664

  20. In-depth study of Mollivirus sibericum, a new 30,000-y-old giant virus infecting Acanthamoeba.

    PubMed

    Legendre, Matthieu; Lartigue, Audrey; Bertaux, Lionel; Jeudy, Sandra; Bartoli, Julia; Lescot, Magali; Alempic, Jean-Marie; Ramus, Claire; Bruley, Christophe; Labadie, Karine; Shmakova, Lyubov; Rivkina, Elizaveta; Couté, Yohann; Abergel, Chantal; Claverie, Jean-Michel

    2015-09-22

    Acanthamoeba species are infected by the largest known DNA viruses. These include icosahedral Mimiviruses, amphora-shaped Pandoraviruses, and Pithovirus sibericum, the latter one isolated from 30,000-y-old permafrost. Mollivirus sibericum, a fourth type of giant virus, was isolated from the same permafrost sample. Its approximately spherical virion (0.6-µm diameter) encloses a 651-kb GC-rich genome encoding 523 proteins of which 64% are ORFans; 16% have their closest homolog in Pandoraviruses and 10% in Acanthamoeba castellanii probably through horizontal gene transfer. The Mollivirus nucleocytoplasmic replication cycle was analyzed using a combination of "omic" approaches that revealed how the virus highjacks its host machinery to actively replicate. Surprisingly, the host's ribosomal proteins are packaged in the virion. Metagenomic analysis of the permafrost sample uncovered the presence of both viruses, yet in very low amount. The fact that two different viruses retain their infectivity in prehistorical permafrost layers should be of concern in a context of global warming. Giant viruses' diversity remains to be fully explored.

  1. In-depth study of Mollivirus sibericum, a new 30,000-y-old giant virus infecting Acanthamoeba

    PubMed Central

    Legendre, Matthieu; Lartigue, Audrey; Bertaux, Lionel; Jeudy, Sandra; Bartoli, Julia; Lescot, Magali; Alempic, Jean-Marie; Ramus, Claire; Bruley, Christophe; Labadie, Karine; Shmakova, Lyubov; Rivkina, Elizaveta; Couté, Yohann; Abergel, Chantal; Claverie, Jean-Michel

    2015-01-01

    Acanthamoeba species are infected by the largest known DNA viruses. These include icosahedral Mimiviruses, amphora-shaped Pandoraviruses, and Pithovirus sibericum, the latter one isolated from 30,000-y-old permafrost. Mollivirus sibericum, a fourth type of giant virus, was isolated from the same permafrost sample. Its approximately spherical virion (0.6-µm diameter) encloses a 651-kb GC-rich genome encoding 523 proteins of which 64% are ORFans; 16% have their closest homolog in Pandoraviruses and 10% in Acanthamoeba castellanii probably through horizontal gene transfer. The Mollivirus nucleocytoplasmic replication cycle was analyzed using a combination of “omic” approaches that revealed how the virus highjacks its host machinery to actively replicate. Surprisingly, the host’s ribosomal proteins are packaged in the virion. Metagenomic analysis of the permafrost sample uncovered the presence of both viruses, yet in very low amount. The fact that two different viruses retain their infectivity in prehistorical permafrost layers should be of concern in a context of global warming. Giant viruses’ diversity remains to be fully explored. PMID:26351664

  2. Single mimivirus particles intercepted and imaged with an X-ray laser (CXIDB ID 1)

    DOE Data Explorer

    Seibert, M. Marvin; Ekeberg, Tomas; Maia, Filipe R.N.C.

    2011-02-02

    These are the files used to reconstruct the images in the paper "Single Mimivirus particles intercepted and imaged with an X-ray laser". Besides the diffracted intensities, the Hawk configuration files used for the reconstructions are also provided. The files from CXIDB ID 1 are the pattern and configuration files for the pattern showed in Figure 2a in the paper.

  3. Single mimivirus particles intercepted and imaged with an X-ray laser (CXIDB ID 2)

    DOE Data Explorer

    Seibert, M. Marvin; Ekeberg, Tomas

    2011-02-02

    These are the files used to reconstruct the images in the paper "Single Mimivirus particles intercepted and imaged with an X-ray laser". Besides the diffracted intensities, the Hawk configuration files used for the reconstructions are also provided. The files from CXIDB ID 2 are the pattern and configuration files for the pattern showed in Figure 2b in the paper.

  4. Unexpected postmortem diagnosis of acanthamoeba meningoencephalitis in an immunocompetent child

    PubMed Central

    Binesh, Fariba; Karimi, Mehran; Navabii, Hossein

    2011-01-01

    Meningoencephalitis caused by Acanthamoeba spp. is a rare opportunistic infection, difficult to diagnose and treat, which causes death in almost all cases. Here, the authors report a 5-year-old Iranian immunocompetent girl who died of fulminant acanthamoeba meningoencephalitis. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first case of acanthamoeba meningoencephalitis in Iran. PMID:22679147

  5. Structural, Biochemical, and in Vivo Characterization of the First Virally Encoded Cyclophilin from the Mimivirus

    SciTech Connect

    Thai,V.; Renesto, P.; Fowler, C.; Brown, D.; Davis, T.; Gu, W.; Pollock, D.; Kern, D.; Raoult, D.; Eisenmesser, E.

    2008-01-01

    Although multiple viruses utilize host cell cyclophilins, including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and human immunodeficiency virus type-1(HIV-1), their role in infection is poorly understood. To help elucidate these roles, we have characterized the first virally encoded cyclophilin (mimicyp) derived from the largest virus discovered to date (the Mimivirus) that is also a causative agent of pneumonia in humans. Mimicyp adopts a typical cyclophilin-fold, yet it also forms trimers unlike any previously characterized homologue. Strikingly, immunofluorescence assays reveal that mimicyp localizes to the surface of the mature virion, as recently proposed for several viruses that recruit host cell cyclophilins such as SARS and HIV-1. Additionally mimicyp lacks peptidyl-prolyl isomerase activity in contrast to human cyclophilins. Thus, this study suggests that cyclophilins, whether recruited from host cells (ie HIV-1 and SARS) or virally encoded (ie Mimivirus), are localized on viral surfaces for at least a subset of viruses.

  6. Acanthamoeba keratitis challenges a case report.

    PubMed

    Cristina, Stan; Cristina, Vlăduţiu; Mihaela, Popovici

    2016-01-01

    Acanthamoeba keratitis is a rare, chronic, mainly contact lens-related infection caused by a free-living amoeba found ubiquitously in water and soil. A case of a 9-year-old child, who presented to our clinic with painful, red left eye, associated with photophobia, and decreased visual acuity, wais reported. The clinical examination revealed a discoid opacity inferiorly bounded by a dense, gray infiltrate. The progressive nature of the corneal infiltrate, the epithelial defect, and the lack of response to treatment was highly suggestive for Acanthamoeba keratitis. The distinctiveness of this case was the presence of Acanthamoeba keratitis in a child without a history of trauma or contact lens usage, the lack of an appropriate diagnosis and management of this vision-threatening infection. PMID:27220232

  7. Genotypic Identification of Acanthamoeba sp. Isolates Associated with an Outbreak of Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK)

    PubMed Central

    Booton, Gregory C.; Joslin, Charlotte E.; Shoff, Megan; Tu, Elmer Y.; Kelly, Daryl J.; Fuerst, Paul A.

    2009-01-01

    Purpose Significant increases in Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) cases have been observed in the Chicago-Gary-Kenosha area since June, 2003. It was hypothesized that increased rates of AK infections may be due to changes resulting from changes in municipal water treatment, or, alternatively, a more pathogenic strain of Acanthamoeba may be responsible. Methods Previous sequence analysis of the 18S rDNA of Acanthamoeba isolates resulted in the identification of 15 different genotypic classes. These analyses indicate AK cases are predominantly associated (~97%) with a single genotype (designated T4) of Acanthamoeba, and rarely with other genotypes (eg., T3 and T11). In this study we test the hypothesis that a new or more pathogenic genotype of Acanthamoeba is the cause of the recent surge in AK. Results We determined the genotype of 15 Acanthamoeba sp. isolates from AK cases from this outbreak using sequence analysis of a region of the 18S rDNA. Our results indicate that these isolates are predominantly genotype T4 (87%), with the remaining isolates being genotype T3 (13%). Both genotypes have previously been observed in AK cases. Conclusion There is no support for the hypothesis that the current AK outbreak is associated with infection by a new, more pathogenic, Acanthamoeba genotype. In addition, these results offer support for the hypothesis that the increased AK incidence may be due to changes in water treatment protocols leading to increased bacterial colonization of the water supply, and subsequent increases of already present Acanthamoeba sp, ultimately culminating in an increase of AK cases. PMID:19512903

  8. Medical interventions for acanthamoeba keratitis

    PubMed Central

    Alkharashi, Majed; Lindsley, Kristina; Law, Hua Andrew; Sikder, Shameema

    2016-01-01

    Background Acanthamoeba are microscopic, free-living, single-celled organisms which can infect the eye and lead to Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK). AK can result in loss of vision in the infected eye or loss of eye itself; however, there are no formal guidelines or standards of care for the treatment of AK. Objectives To evaluate the relative effectiveness and safety of medical therapy for the treatment of AK. Search methods We searched CENTRAL (which contains the Cochrane Eyes and Vision Group Trials Register) (2015, Issue 1), Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, Ovid MEDLINE Daily, Ovid OLDMEDLINE (January 1946 to January 2015), EMBASE (January 1980 to January 2015), PubMed (1948 to January 2015), Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences Literature Database (LILACS) (1982 to January 2015), the metaRegister of Controlled Trials (mRCT) (www.controlled-trials.com), ClinicalTrials.gov (www.clinicaltrials.gov) and the World Health Organization (WHO) International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) (www.who.int/ictrp/search/en). We did not use any date or language restrictions in the electronic search for trials. We last searched the electronic databases on 9 January 2015. Selection criteria We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of medical therapy for AK, regardless of the participants' age, sex, or etiology of disease. We included studies that compared either anti-amoeba therapy (drugs used alone or in combination with other medical therapies) with no anti-amoeba therapy or one anti-amoeba therapy with another anti-amoeba therapy. Data collection and analysis Two authors independently screened search results and full-text reports, assessed risk of bias, and abstracted data. We used standard methodological procedures as set forth by the Cochrane Collaboration. Main results We included one RCT (56 eyes of 55 participants) in this review. The study compared two types of topical biguanides for the treatment of AK

  9. Autophagy inhibitors as a potential antiamoebic treatment for Acanthamoeba keratitis.

    PubMed

    Moon, Eun-Kyung; Kim, So-Hee; Hong, Yeonchul; Chung, Dong-Il; Goo, Youn-Kyoung; Kong, Hyun-Hee

    2015-07-01

    Acanthamoeba cysts are resistant to extreme physical and chemical conditions. Autophagy is an essential pathway for encystation of Acanthamoeba cells. To evaluate the possibility of an autophagic Acanthamoeba encystation mechanism, we evaluated autophagy inhibitors, such as 3-methyladenine (3MA), LY294002, wortmannin, bafilomycin A, and chloroquine. Among these autophagy inhibitors, the use of 3MA and chloroquine showed a significant reduction in the encystation ratio in Acanthamoeba cells. Wortmannin also inhibited the formation of mature cysts, while LY294002 and bafilomycin A did not affect the encystation of Acanthamoeba cells. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that 3MA and wortmannin inhibited autophagy formation and that chloroquine interfered with the formation of autolysosomes. Inhibition of autophagy or autolysosome formation resulted in a significant block in the encystation in Acanthamoeba cells. Clinical treatment with 0.02% polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB) showed high cytopathic effects on Acanthamoeba trophozoites and cysts; however, it also revealed high cytopathic effects on human corneal epithelial cells. In this study, we investigated effects of the combination of a low (0.00125%) concentration of PHMB with each of the autophagy inhibitors 3MA, wortmannin, and chloroquine on Acanthamoeba and human corneal epithelial cells. These new combination treatments showed low cytopathic effects on human corneal cells and high cytopathic effects on Acanthamoeba cells. Taken together, these results provide fundamental information for optimizing the treatment of Acanthamoeba keratitis.

  10. Twenty years of acanthamoeba diagnostics in Austria.

    PubMed

    Walochnik, Julia; Scheikl, Ute; Haller-Schober, Eva-Maria

    2015-01-01

    Acanthamoebae are the causative agents of an often seriously progressing keratitis (AK) occurring predominantly in contact lens wearers and can cause several disseminating infections potentially resulting in granulomatous amoebic encephalitis (GAE) in the immunocompromised host. Our institution is the Austrian reference laboratory for Acanthamoeba diagnostics and the aim of this study was to give an overview of proven cases of Acanthamoeba infections in Austria during the past 20 yr. All samples of patients with suspected AK or GAE were screened for Acanthamoeba spp. by culture and/or PCR and the detected amoebae were genotyped. Altogether, 154 cases of AK and three cases of GAE were diagnosed. Age of the AK patients ranged from 8 to 82 yr (mean 37.8) and 58% of the patients were female. Approximately 89% of the AK patients were contact lens wearers, almost all cases were unilateral and 19% of the patients required a keratoplasty. Age of the GAE patients ranged from 2 to 25 yr (mean 14.7), all were HIV-negative, but two were severely immunosuppressed at the time of diagnosis. The predominant genotype in the AK cases was T4, other genotypes found were T3, T5, T6, T10 and T11. The three GAE cases involved genotypes T2, T4 and T5.

  11. Twenty Years of Acanthamoeba Diagnostics in Austria

    PubMed Central

    Walochnik, Julia; Scheikl, Ute; Haller-Schober, Eva-Maria

    2015-01-01

    Acanthamoebae are the causative agents of an often seriously progressing keratitis (AK) occurring predominantly in contact lens wearers and can cause several disseminating infections potentially resulting in granulomatous amoebic encephalitis (GAE) in the immunocompromised host. Our institution is the Austrian reference laboratory for Acanthamoeba diagnostics and the aim of this study was to give an overview of proven cases of Acanthamoeba infections in Austria during the past 20 yr. All samples of patients with suspected AK or GAE were screened for Acanthamoeba spp. by culture and/or PCR and the detected amoebae were genotyped. Altogether, 154 cases of AK and three cases of GAE were diagnosed. Age of the AK patients ranged from 8 to 82 yr (mean 37.8) and 58% of the patients were female. Approximately 89% of the AK patients were contact lens wearers, almost all cases were unilateral and 19% of the patients required a keratoplasty. Age of the GAE patients ranged from 2 to 25 yr (mean 14.7), all were HIV-negative, but two were severely immunosuppressed at the time of diagnosis. The predominant genotype in the AK cases was T4, other genotypes found were T3, T5, T6, T10 and T11. The three GAE cases involved genotypes T2, T4 and T5. PMID:25047131

  12. The Value of Cytology Smears for Acanthamoeba Keratitis

    PubMed Central

    Schaefer, Jamie L.; Paterson, Joyce; Liu, Weiguo; Gonzalez-Fernandez, Federico

    2016-01-01

    Purpose. Acanthamoeba keratitis remains a difficult diagnosis despite advances in genetic and imaging technologies. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the utility of cytology smears for diagnosis of Acanthamoeba keratitis. Methods. This is a case study of the diagnostic course for a patient with suspected Acanthamoeba keratitis. Results. A 40-year-old male with poor contact lens hygiene presented with severe left eye pain. Slit lamp examination showed two peripheral ring infiltrates without an epithelial defect. The epithelium over both infiltrates was removed with a Kimura spatula. Half of the sample was smeared on a dry microscope slide and the other half was submitted for Acanthamoeba culture and PCR. Both culture and PCR were negative for Acanthamoeba, but hematoxylin and eosin stain of the smear revealed double-walled cysts. Conclusion. H&E staining of corneal cytology specimens is an efficient and readily available test for diagnosis of Acanthamoeba keratitis. PMID:27403362

  13. Is there evidence of sexual reproduction (meiosis) in Acanthamoeba?

    PubMed Central

    Khan, Naveed A.; Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah

    2015-01-01

    Evolution of independently breeding species into males and females (gametes) has remained a puzzle. Given the significant advantages of sexual reproduction over asexual reproduction as a long-term species survival strategy; here, we pose the question whether there is some form of meiosis in Acanthamoeba species, which represents our ancient lineage. The recently available Acanthamoeba genome revealed several genes implicated in meiosis in sexual eukaryotes such as Spo11, Mre11, Rad50, Rad51, Rad52, Mnd1, Dmc1, Msh, and Mlh, suggesting that Acanthamoeba is capable of some form of meiosis, inferring the presence of sexual reproduction in Acanthamoeba, and that meiosis evolved early in eukaryotic evolution. PMID:25800982

  14. Phylogenetic evidence for a new genotype of Acanthamoeba (Amoebozoa, Acanthamoebida).

    PubMed

    Corsaro, Daniele; Venditti, Danielle

    2010-06-01

    Acanthamoeba are widespread free-living amoebae, able to cause infection in animals, with keratitis and granulomatous encephalitis as major diseases in humans. Recent developments in the subgenus classification are based on the determination of the nucleotide sequence of the 18S rDNA. By this mean, Acanthamoeba have been clustered into 15 sequence types or genotypes, called T1 to T15. In this study, we analysed near full 18S rDNA of an Acanthamoeba recovered from an environmental sample and various unidentified Acanthamoeba sequences retrieved from GenBank. We provided phylogenetic evidence for a new genotype, which we proposed to name T16.

  15. Is there evidence of sexual reproduction (meiosis) in Acanthamoeba?

    PubMed

    Khan, Naveed A; Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah

    2015-06-01

    Evolution of independently breeding species into males and females (gametes) has remained a puzzle. Given the significant advantages of sexual reproduction over asexual reproduction as a long-term species survival strategy; here, we pose the question whether there is some form of meiosis in Acanthamoeba species, which represents our ancient lineage. The recently available Acanthamoeba genome revealed several genes implicated in meiosis in sexual eukaryotes such as Spo11, Mre11, Rad50, Rad51, Rad52, Mnd1, Dmc1, Msh, and Mlh, suggesting that Acanthamoeba is capable of some form of meiosis, inferring the presence of sexual reproduction in Acanthamoeba, and that meiosis evolved early in eukaryotic evolution.

  16. Amebic meningoencephalitis caused by Acanthamoeba castellani in a dog.

    PubMed

    Pearce, J R; Powell, H S; Chandler, F W; Visvesvara, G S

    1985-11-01

    A natural infection of Acanthamoeba castellani, a free-living ameba, was determined to be the cause of acute, hemorrhagic, necrotizing amebic meningoencephalitis in a dog. This case is unique because previous reports of infection by the Acanthamoeba spp in dogs have not indicated its presence in the brain. Naturally developing meningoencephalitis by Acanthamoeba spp in the dog may have a pathogenesis similar to that of human beings. The ameba in this case also was observed in the lungs and kidneys, which are believed to be the primary sites of lesions in human beings that develop amebic meningoencephalitis from Acanthamoeba spp. PMID:3932273

  17. Identification of Paenibacillus as a Symbiont in Acanthamoeba.

    PubMed

    Maschio, Vinicius José; Corção, Gertrudes; Bücker, Francielle; Caumo, Karin; Rott, Marilise Brittes

    2015-09-01

    Amoebae of the genus Acanthamoeba occur worldwide and in addition to being pathogens, are important vehicles for microorganisms with clinical and environmental importance. This study aimed to evaluate the profiling of endosymbionts in 12 isolates of Acanthamoeba using V3 region of 16S rDNA denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and sequencing. The DGGE enabled us to characterize the endosymbionts diversity in isolates of Acanthamoeba, and to identify Paenibacillus sp., an emerging pathogen, as an amoebic endosymbiont. The results of this study demonstrated that Acanthamoeba is capable of transporting a large number of endosymbionts. This is the first study that reports, the presence of Paenibacillus sp. as amebic symbiont.

  18. Area 51: How do Acanthamoeba invade the central nervous system?

    PubMed

    Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah; Emes, Richard; Elsheikha, Hany; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2011-05-01

    Acanthamoeba granulomatous encephalitis generally develops as a result of haematogenous spread, but it is unclear how circulating amoebae enter the central nervous system (CNS) and cause inflammation. At present, the mechanisms which Acanthamoeba use to invade this incredibly well-protected area of the CNS and produce infection are not well understood. In this paper, we propose two key virulence factors: mannose-binding protein and extracellular serine proteases as key players in Acanthamoeba traversal of the blood-brain barrier leading to neuronal injury. Both molecules should provide excellent opportunities as potential targets in the rational development of therapeutic interventions against Acanthamoeba encephalitis.

  19. Characterization of a Trifunctional Mimivirus mRNA Capping Enzyme and Crystal Structure of the RNA Triphosphatase Domain

    SciTech Connect

    Benarroch,D.; Smith, P.; Shuman, S.

    2008-01-01

    The RNA triphosphatase (RTPase) components of the mRNA capping apparatus are a bellwether of eukaryal taxonomy. Fungal and protozoal RTPases belong to the triphosphate tunnel metalloenzyme (TTM) family, exemplified by yeast Cet1. Several large DNA viruses encode metal-dependent RTPases unrelated to the cysteinyl-phosphatase RTPases of their metazoan host organisms. The origins of DNA virus RTPases are unclear because they are structurally uncharacterized. Mimivirus, a giant virus of amoeba, resembles poxviruses in having a trifunctional capping enzyme composed of a metal-dependent RTPase module fused to guanylyltransferase (GTase) and guanine-N7 methyltransferase domains. The crystal structure of mimivirus RTPase reveals a minimized tunnel fold and an active site strikingly similar to that of Cet1. Unlike homodimeric fungal RTPases, mimivirus RTPase is a monomer. The mimivirus TTM-type RTPase-GTase fusion resembles the capping enzymes of amoebae, providing evidence that the ancestral large DNA virus acquired its capping enzyme from a unicellular host.

  20. Acanthamoeba keratitis: improving the Scottish diagnostic service for the rapid molecular detection of Acanthamoeba species.

    PubMed

    Alexander, Claire Low; Coyne, Michael; Jones, Brian; Anijeet, Deepa

    2015-07-01

    Acanthamoeba species are responsible for causing the potentially sight-threatening condition, Acanthamoeba keratitis, which is commonly associated with contact lens use. In this report, we highlight the challenges faced using conventional laboratory identification methods to identify this often under-reported pathogen, and discuss the reasons for introducing the first national service in Scotland for the rapid and sensitive molecular identification of Acanthamoeba species. By comparing culture and molecular testing data from a total of 63 patients (n = 80 samples) throughout Scotland presenting with ocular eye disease, we describe the improvement in detection rates where an additional four positive cases were identified using a molecular assay versus culture. The testing of a further ten patients by confocal imaging is also presented. This report emphasizes the importance of continuing to improve clinical laboratory services to ensure a prompt, correct diagnosis and better prognosis, in addition to raising awareness of this potentially debilitating opportunistic pathogen.

  1. Multilocus sequence typing and FlaA sequencing reveal the genetic stability of Campylobacter jejuni enrichment during coculture with Acanthamoeba polyphaga.

    PubMed

    Griekspoor, Petra; Olofsson, Jenny; Axelsson-Olsson, Diana; Waldenström, Jonas; Olsen, Björn

    2013-04-01

    Low concentrations of Campylobacter jejuni cells in environmental samples make them difficult to study with conventional culture methods. Here, we show that enrichment by amoeba cocultures works well with low-concentration samples and that this method can be combined with molecular techniques without loss of genetic specificity. PMID:23377942

  2. Influence of Acanthamoeba Genotype on Clinical Course and Outcomes for Patients with Acanthamoeba Keratitis in Spain

    PubMed Central

    Lumbreras-Fernández, Blanca; Martín-Navarro, Carmen M.; Valladares, Basilio; Lopez-Velez, Rogelio; Morcillo-Laiz, Rafael; Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob

    2014-01-01

    Genotype T4 is by far the most frequent genotype of Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) and therefore has been considered the most virulent. This study included 14 cases of AK of genotype T4 and three cases of non-T4 genotype. We found that cases of non-T4 genotype had a worse response to medical therapy, greater need for surgical intervention, greater risk of extracorneal involvement, and remarkably poorer final visual outcome than those of T4 genotype, suggesting an association between Acanthamoeba virulence and genotype that requires additional case investigation. PMID:24430449

  3. Current Status of Acanthamoeba in Iran: A Narrative Review Article

    PubMed Central

    NIYYATI, Maryam; REZAEIAN, Mostafa

    2015-01-01

    Background: Free-living amoebae belonging to the genus Acanthamoeba have an environmental distribution. Amoebic keratitis due to these protozoan parasites continue to rise in Iran and worldwide. In Iran, there are various researches regarding both morphological and molecular identification of Acanthamoeba spp. in environmental and clinical samples. However, there is no thorough review about Acanthamoeba genotypes and their distribution in environmental sources such as water, dust and biofilm in Iran. Besides, according to increasing cases of Amoebic keratitis in the region awareness regarding the pathogenic potential of these sight-threatening amoebae is of utmost importance. Methods: We conducted a thorough review based on the database sources such as MEDLINE, PubMed and Google scholar. No restrictions were placed on study date, study design or language of publication. We searched all valuable and relevant information considering the occurrence of the Acanthamoeba in both environmental and clinical samples. Results: According to our thorough review Acanthamoeba belonging to T4 genotype is the most prevalent type strain in environmental and clinical samples in several regions in Iran and worldwide, however, there are reports regarding Acanthamoeba belonging to other genotypes such as T2, T3, T5, T6 and T11 and the mentioned point could leads us to more researches with the goal of presenting the real genotype dominance of Acanthamoeba and related disease in the country. Conclusion: Overall, the present review will focus on present status of genotypes of Acanthamoeba in Iran during recent years. PMID:26246812

  4. Acanthamoeba Encephalitis in Patient with Systemic Lupus, India

    PubMed Central

    Shirwadkar, Charudatt G.; Samant, Rohini; Sankhe, Milind; Deshpande, Ramesh; Yagi, Shigeo; Schuster, Frederick L.; Sriram, Rama

    2006-01-01

    We report a fatal case of encephalitis caused by Acanthamoeba in a 24-year-old woman from India with systemic lupus erythematosus. Diagnosis was made by identification of amebas in brain sections by immunofluorescence analysis and confirmed by demonstrating Acanthamoeba mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene DNA in brain tissue sections. PMID:16707057

  5. Cytotoxic effect of acriflavine against clinical isolates of Acanthamoeba spp.

    PubMed

    Polat, Zubeyda Akin; Karakus, Gulderen

    2013-02-01

    Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) is a potentially devastating and sight-threatening infection of the cornea caused by the ubiquitous free-living amoebae, Acanthamoeba species. Its eradication is difficult because the amoebas encyst, making it highly resistant to anti-amoebic drugs. Acriflavine neutral (ACF) has been used for treatment of microbial infections for humans and fishes. The aim of our study was to evaluate the time-dependent cytotoxicities of ACF against Acanthamoeba spp. Trophozoites and cysts of three different strains (strain PAT06 Acanthamoeba castellanii, strain 2HH Acanthamoeba hatchetti, and strain 11DS A. hatchetti) of Acanthamoeba spp. were tested. All strains had been isolated from patients suffering from a severe AK. The effects of the ACF with the concentrations ranging from 15 to 500 mg mL(-1) on the cytotoxicity of Acanthamoeba strains were examined. ACF showed a time- and dose-dependent amebicidal action on the trophozoites and cysts. Pat06 (A. castellanii) was the most resistant, while strain 11DS (A. hatchetti) was the most sensitive. As a result, ACF could be concluded as a new agent for the treatment of Acanthamoeba infections. On the other hand, it still needs to be further evaluated by in vivo test systems to confirm the efficiency of its biological effect. PMID:23052789

  6. Occurrence of Potentially Pathogenic Bacterial-Endosymbionts in Acanthamoeba Spp.

    PubMed Central

    NIYYATI, Maryam; MAFI, Mahyar; HAGHIGHI, Ali; HAKEMI VALA, Mojdeh

    2015-01-01

    Background: Acanthamoeba- bacteria interactions enable pathogenic bacteria to tolerate harsh conditions and lead to transmission to the susceptible host. The present study was aimed to address the presence of bacterial endosymbionts of Acanthamoeba isolated from recreational water sources of Tehran, Iran. To the best of our knowledge this is the first study regarding occurrence of bacteria in environmental Acanthamoeba spp. in Iran. Methods: A total of 75 samples of recreational water sources were collected. Samples were cultured on non- nutrient agar 1.5% plates. Positive Acanthamoeba spp. were axenically grown. DNA extraction and PCR reaction was performed using JDP1-2 primers. All positive samples of Acanthamoeba were examined for the presence of endosymbionts using staining and molecular methods. The PCR products were then sequenced in order to determine the genotypes of Acanthamoeba and bacteria genera. Results: Out of 75 samples, 16 (21.3%) plates were positive for Acanthamoeba according to the morphological criteria. Molecular analysis revealed that Acanthamoeba belonged to T4 and T5 genotypes. Five isolates (35.7%) were positive for bacterial endosymbionts using staining method and PCR test. Sequencing of PCR products confirmed the presence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Agrobacterium tumefasiens. Conclusion: The presence of Acanthamoeba bearing pathogenic endosymbionts in water sources leads us to public health issues including improved sanitation and decontamination measures in recreational water sources in order to prevent amoebae-related infection. To the best of our knowledge this is the first report regarding the isolation of A. tumefasiens from Acanthamoeba in Iran and worldwide. PMID:26246815

  7. An update on Acanthamoeba keratitis: diagnosis, pathogenesis and treatment

    PubMed Central

    Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob; Khan, Naveed A.; Walochnik, Julia

    2015-01-01

    Free-living amoebae of the genus Acanthamoeba are causal agents of a severe sight-threatening infection of the cornea known as Acanthamoeba keratitis. Moreover, the number of reported cases worldwide is increasing year after year, mostly in contact lens wearers, although cases have also been reported in non-contact lens wearers. Interestingly, Acanthamoeba keratitis has remained significant, despite our advances in antimicrobial chemotherapy and supportive care. In part, this is due to an incomplete understanding of the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of the disease, diagnostic delays and problems associated with chemotherapeutic interventions. In view of the devastating nature of this disease, here we present our current understanding of Acanthamoeba keratitis and molecular mechanisms associated with the disease, as well as virulence traits of Acanthamoeba that may be potential targets for improved diagnosis, therapeutic interventions and/or for the development of preventative measures. Novel molecular approaches such as proteomics, RNAi and a consensus in the diagnostic approaches for a suspected case of Acanthamoeba keratitis are proposed and reviewed based on data which have been compiled after years of working on this amoebic organism using many different techniques and listening to many experts in this field at conferences, workshops and international meetings. Altogether, this review may serve as the milestone for developing an effective solution for the prevention, control and treatment of Acanthamoeba infections. PMID:25687209

  8. An update on Acanthamoeba keratitis: diagnosis, pathogenesis and treatment.

    PubMed

    Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob; Khan, Naveed A; Walochnik, Julia

    2015-01-01

    Free-living amoebae of the genus Acanthamoeba are causal agents of a severe sight-threatening infection of the cornea known as Acanthamoeba keratitis. Moreover, the number of reported cases worldwide is increasing year after year, mostly in contact lens wearers, although cases have also been reported in non-contact lens wearers. Interestingly, Acanthamoeba keratitis has remained significant, despite our advances in antimicrobial chemotherapy and supportive care. In part, this is due to an incomplete understanding of the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of the disease, diagnostic delays and problems associated with chemotherapeutic interventions. In view of the devastating nature of this disease, here we present our current understanding of Acanthamoeba keratitis and molecular mechanisms associated with the disease, as well as virulence traits of Acanthamoeba that may be potential targets for improved diagnosis, therapeutic interventions and/or for the development of preventative measures. Novel molecular approaches such as proteomics, RNAi and a consensus in the diagnostic approaches for a suspected case of Acanthamoeba keratitis are proposed and reviewed based on data which have been compiled after years of working on this amoebic organism using many different techniques and listening to many experts in this field at conferences, workshops and international meetings. Altogether, this review may serve as the milestone for developing an effective solution for the prevention, control and treatment of Acanthamoeba infections.

  9. Diversity and seasonal impact of Acanthamoeba species in a subtropical rivershed.

    PubMed

    Kao, Po-Min; Chou, Ming-Yuan; Tao, Chi-Wei; Huang, Wen-Chien; Hsu, Bing-Mu; Shen, Shu-Min; Fan, Cheng-Wei; Chiu, Yi-Chou

    2013-01-01

    This study evaluated the presence of Acanthamoeba species in the Puzih River watershed, which features typical subtropical monsoon climate and is located just above the Tropic of Cancer in Taiwan. The relationship between the seasonal and geographical distributions of Acanthamoeba species in this rivershed was also investigated. Acanthamoeba species were detected in water samples using the amoebal enrichment culture method and confirmed by PCR. A total of 136 water samples were included in this study, 16 (11.7%) of which contained Acanthamoeba species. Samples with the highest percentage of Acanthamoeba (32.4%) were obtained during the summer season, mainly from upstream areas. The identified species in the four seasons included Acanthamoeba palestinensis (T2), Acanthamoeba sp. IS2/T4 (T4), Acanthamoeba lenticulata (T5), Acanthamoeba hatchetti (T11), Acanthamoeba healyi (T12), and Acanthamoeba jacobsi (T15). The most frequently identified Acanthamoeba genotype was T4 (68.7%). Acanthamoeba genotype T4 is responsible for Acanthamoeba keratitis and should be considered for associated human health risk potential in the rivershed.

  10. Diversity and Seasonal Impact of Acanthamoeba Species in a Subtropical Rivershed

    PubMed Central

    Kao, Po-Min; Chou, Ming-Yuan; Tao, Chi-Wei; Huang, Wen-Chien; Hsu, Bing-Mu; Shen, Shu-Min; Fan, Cheng-Wei; Chiu, Yi-Chou

    2013-01-01

    This study evaluated the presence of Acanthamoeba species in the Puzih River watershed, which features typical subtropical monsoon climate and is located just above the Tropic of Cancer in Taiwan. The relationship between the seasonal and geographical distributions of Acanthamoeba species in this rivershed was also investigated. Acanthamoeba species were detected in water samples using the amoebal enrichment culture method and confirmed by PCR. A total of 136 water samples were included in this study, 16 (11.7%) of which contained Acanthamoeba species. Samples with the highest percentage of Acanthamoeba (32.4%) were obtained during the summer season, mainly from upstream areas. The identified species in the four seasons included Acanthamoeba palestinensis (T2), Acanthamoeba sp. IS2/T4 (T4), Acanthamoeba lenticulata (T5), Acanthamoeba hatchetti (T11), Acanthamoeba healyi (T12), and Acanthamoeba jacobsi (T15). The most frequently identified Acanthamoeba genotype was T4 (68.7%). Acanthamoeba genotype T4 is responsible for Acanthamoeba keratitis and should be considered for associated human health risk potential in the rivershed. PMID:24490160

  11. [Acanthamoeba spp. as opportunistic pathogens parasites].

    PubMed

    Castrillón, Juan C; Orozco, Lina P

    2013-04-01

    Among free-living amoeba in nature, species of the genus Acanthamoeba have been associated with human disease. These amoeba are among the most abundant protozoa in nature due to its cosmopolitan distribution and are able to survive in a wide variety of habitats because its low demand for food and in harsh environments by forming structures known as cysts. However, ecological changes and incursion of its different habitats have made this organism can invade a host and live as parasites within him. That's why this type of protozoa are known as amphizoic organism, because human can be constituted as its host, causing infections in the central nervous system, disseminated infections in skin and lungs, and keratitis. Thus, since an increase in the number of cases of Acanthamoeba infections has occurred worldwide, these protozoa have become increasingly important as agents of human disease. This review summarizes what is known of this kind of free-living amoeba, focusing on the biology, ecology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment and human defense mechanism against infection by the amoeba.

  12. Gene discovery in the Acanthamoeba castellanii genome

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, Iain J.; Watkins, Russell F.; Samuelson, John; Spencer,David F.; Majoros, William H.; Gray, Michael W.; Loftus, Brendan J.

    2005-08-01

    Acanthamoeba castellanii is a free-living amoeba found in soil, freshwater, and marine environments and an important predator of bacteria. Acanthamoeba castellanii is also an opportunistic pathogen of clinical interest, responsible for several distinct diseases in humans. In order to provide a genomic platform for the study of this ubiquitous and important protist, we generated a sequence survey of approximately 0.5 x coverage of the genome. The data predict that A. castellanii exhibits a greater biosynthetic capacity than the free-living Dictyostelium discoideum and the parasite Entamoeba histolytica, providing an explanation for the ability of A. castellanii to inhabit adversity of environments. Alginate lyase may provide access to bacteria within biofilms by breaking down the biofilm matrix, and polyhydroxybutyrate depolymerase may facilitate utilization of the bacterial storage compound polyhydroxybutyrate as a food source. Enzymes for the synthesis and breakdown of cellulose were identified, and they likely participate in encystation and excystation as in D. discoideum. Trehalose-6-phosphate synthase is present, suggesting that trehalose plays a role in stress adaptation. Detection and response to a number of stress conditions is likely accomplished with a large set of signal transduction histidine kinases and a set of putative receptorserine/threonine kinases similar to those found in E. histolytica. Serine, cysteine and metalloproteases were identified, some of which are likely involved in pathogenicity.

  13. [Acanthamoeba spp. as opportunistic pathogens parasites].

    PubMed

    Castrillón, Juan C; Orozco, Lina P

    2013-04-01

    Among free-living amoeba in nature, species of the genus Acanthamoeba have been associated with human disease. These amoeba are among the most abundant protozoa in nature due to its cosmopolitan distribution and are able to survive in a wide variety of habitats because its low demand for food and in harsh environments by forming structures known as cysts. However, ecological changes and incursion of its different habitats have made this organism can invade a host and live as parasites within him. That's why this type of protozoa are known as amphizoic organism, because human can be constituted as its host, causing infections in the central nervous system, disseminated infections in skin and lungs, and keratitis. Thus, since an increase in the number of cases of Acanthamoeba infections has occurred worldwide, these protozoa have become increasingly important as agents of human disease. This review summarizes what is known of this kind of free-living amoeba, focusing on the biology, ecology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment and human defense mechanism against infection by the amoeba. PMID:23677153

  14. Niemeyer Virus: A New Mimivirus Group A Isolate Harboring a Set of Duplicated Aminoacyl-tRNA Synthetase Genes

    PubMed Central

    Boratto, Paulo V. M.; Arantes, Thalita S.; Silva, Lorena C. F.; Assis, Felipe L.; Kroon, Erna G.; La Scola, Bernard; Abrahão, Jônatas S.

    2015-01-01

    It is well recognized that gene duplication/acquisition is a key factor for molecular evolution, being directly related to the emergence of new genetic variants. The importance of such phenomena can also be expanded to the viral world, with impacts on viral fitness and environmental adaptations. In this work we describe the isolation and characterization of Niemeyer virus, a new mimivirus isolate obtained from water samples of an urban lake in Brazil. Genomic data showed that Niemeyer harbors duplicated copies of three of its four aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase genes (cysteinyl, methionyl, and tyrosyl RS). Gene expression analysis showed that such duplications allowed significantly increased expression of methionyl and tyrosyl aaRS mRNA by Niemeyer in comparison to APMV. Remarkably, phylogenetic data revealed that Niemeyer duplicated gene pairs are different, each one clustering with a different group of mimivirus strains. Taken together, our results raise new questions about the origins and selective pressures involving events of aaRS gain and loss among mimiviruses. PMID:26635738

  15. Advances in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Acanthamoeba Keratitis

    PubMed Central

    Clarke, Benjamin; Sinha, Arti; Parmar, Dipak N.

    2012-01-01

    This paper aims to review the recent literature describing Acanthamoeba keratitis and outline current thoughts on pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment as well as currently emerging diagnostic and treatment modalities. PMID:23304449

  16. Raman Microspectroscopy Analysis in the Treatment of Acanthamoeba Keratitis

    PubMed Central

    Rusciano, Giulia; Capriglione, Paola; Pesce, Giuseppe; Del Prete, Salvatore; Cennamo, Gilda; Di Cave, David; Cerulli, Luciano; Sasso, Antonio

    2013-01-01

    Acanthamoeba keratitis is a rare but serious corneal disease, often observed in contact lens wearers. Clinical treatment of infected patients frequently involves the use of polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB), a polymer used as a disinfectant and antiseptic, which is toxic also for the epithelial cells of the cornea. Prompt and effective diagnostic tools are hence highly desiderable for both starting early therapy and timely suspension of the treatment. In this work we use Raman microspectroscopy to analyse in vitro a single Acanthamoeba cell in cystic phase. In particular, we investigate the effect of PHMB at the single-cell level, providing useful information on both the underlying biochemical mechanism and the time frame for Acanthamoeba eradication in ocular infections. Furthermore, we demonstrate that Raman spectroscopy, in conjunction with standard multivariate analysis methods, allows discriminating between live and dead Acanthamoebas, which is fundamental to optimizing patients’ treatment. PMID:23977228

  17. Acanthamoeba encephalitis: A Case Report and Review of Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Zamora, A.; Henderson, H.; Swiatlo, E.

    2014-01-01

    Background: Acanthamoeba is a rare cause of encephalitis yet is associated with high mortality. Treatment protocols vary greatly and generally include combination therapy across a wide spectrum of antiinfective classes. Case Description: A 63-year-old male who underwent renal transplantation presented 6 months after transplantation with depressed level of consciousness. Imaging of the head with computerized tomography showed an enhancing lesion suspicious for brain abscess. Biopsy of the lesion showed Acanthamoeba cysts. The patient was treated with sulfadiazine, fluconazole, flucytosine, azithromycin, and miltefosine but without success. We review recently published cases of Acanthamoeba encephalitis with an emphasis on treatment protocols and outcomes. Conclusion: Free-living protozoans such as Acanthamoeba are ubiquitous in the environment and should be suspected in immunosuppressed persons who present with central nervous system findings and brain abscess. Biopsy is critical to establish the etiology so that appropriate combination therapy can be deployed. PMID:24991471

  18. Several staining techniques to enhance the visibility of Acanthamoeba cysts.

    PubMed

    El-Sayed, Nagwa Mostafa; Hikal, Wafaa Mohamed

    2015-03-01

    Acanthamoeba is one of the most common free-living amoebae. It is widespread in the environment and can infect humans causing keratitis. Delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis leads to extensive corneal inflammation and profound visual loss. Therefore, accurate and rapid diagnosis of Acanthamoeba keratitis is essential for successful treatment and good prognosis. This study was designed to use different staining techniques to facilitate the identification of Acanthamoeba cysts. Acanthamoeba cysts were isolated by cultivation of either corneal scraping specimens or tap water samples onto non-nutrient agar plates seeded with Escherichia coli. Subcultures were done from positive cultures until unique cysts were isolated. Acanthamoeba cysts were stained temporarily using iodine, eosin, methylene blue, and calcofluor white (CFW) stains and as permanent slides after processing for mounting using modified trichrome, Gimenez and Giemsa staining. These stains were compared on the basis of staining quality including clarity of morphological details, differentiation between cytoplasm and nuclei, color and contrast, and also other characteristics of the staining techniques, including ease of handling, time taken for the procedure, and cost effectiveness. The cysts of Acanthamoeba were recognized in the form of double-walled cysts: the outer wall (ectocyst) that was being differentiated from the variably stained surrounding background and the inner wall (endocyst) that was sometimes stellated, polygonal, round, or oval and visualized as separate from the spherical, sometimes irregular, outline of the ectocyst. Regarding the temporary stains, it was found that they were efficient for visualizing the morphological details of Acanthamoeba cysts. In CFW staining, Acanthamoeba cysts appeared as bluish-white or turquoise oval halos although the internal detail was not evident. On the other hand, the results of permanent-stained slides showed the most consistent stain for identification of

  19. Several staining techniques to enhance the visibility of Acanthamoeba cysts.

    PubMed

    El-Sayed, Nagwa Mostafa; Hikal, Wafaa Mohamed

    2015-03-01

    Acanthamoeba is one of the most common free-living amoebae. It is widespread in the environment and can infect humans causing keratitis. Delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis leads to extensive corneal inflammation and profound visual loss. Therefore, accurate and rapid diagnosis of Acanthamoeba keratitis is essential for successful treatment and good prognosis. This study was designed to use different staining techniques to facilitate the identification of Acanthamoeba cysts. Acanthamoeba cysts were isolated by cultivation of either corneal scraping specimens or tap water samples onto non-nutrient agar plates seeded with Escherichia coli. Subcultures were done from positive cultures until unique cysts were isolated. Acanthamoeba cysts were stained temporarily using iodine, eosin, methylene blue, and calcofluor white (CFW) stains and as permanent slides after processing for mounting using modified trichrome, Gimenez and Giemsa staining. These stains were compared on the basis of staining quality including clarity of morphological details, differentiation between cytoplasm and nuclei, color and contrast, and also other characteristics of the staining techniques, including ease of handling, time taken for the procedure, and cost effectiveness. The cysts of Acanthamoeba were recognized in the form of double-walled cysts: the outer wall (ectocyst) that was being differentiated from the variably stained surrounding background and the inner wall (endocyst) that was sometimes stellated, polygonal, round, or oval and visualized as separate from the spherical, sometimes irregular, outline of the ectocyst. Regarding the temporary stains, it was found that they were efficient for visualizing the morphological details of Acanthamoeba cysts. In CFW staining, Acanthamoeba cysts appeared as bluish-white or turquoise oval halos although the internal detail was not evident. On the other hand, the results of permanent-stained slides showed the most consistent stain for identification of

  20. Statins and Voriconazole Induce Programmed Cell Death in Acanthamoeba castellanii

    PubMed Central

    López-Arencibia, Atteneri; Sifaoui, Ines; Reyes-Batlle, María; Valladares, Basilio; Martínez-Carretero, Enrique; Piñero, José E.; Maciver, Sutherland K.; Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob

    2015-01-01

    Members of the genus Acanthamoeba are facultative pathogens of humans, causing a sight-threatening keratitis and a life-threatening encephalitis. In order to treat those infections properly, it is necessary to target the treatment not only to the trophozoite but also to the cyst. Furthermore, it may be advantageous to avoid parasite killing by necrosis, which may induce local inflammation. We must also avoid toxicity of host tissue. Many drugs which target eukaryotes are known to induce programmed cell death (PCD), but this process is poorly characterized in Acanthamoeba. Here, we study the processes of programmed cell death in Acanthamoeba, induced by several drugs, such as statins and voriconazole. We tested atorvastatin, fluvastatin, simvastatin, and voriconazole at the 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC50s) and IC90s that we have previously established. In order to evaluate this phenomenon, we investigated the DNA fragmentation, one of the main characteristics of PCD, with quantitative and qualitative techniques. Also, the changes related to phosphatidylserine exposure on the external cell membrane and cell permeability were studied. Finally, because caspases are key to PCD pathways, caspase activity was evaluated in Acanthamoeba. All the drugs assayed in this study induced PCD in Acanthamoeba. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study where PCD induced by drugs is described quantitatively and qualitatively in Acanthamoeba. PMID:25733513

  1. Pathogenic Acanthamoeba strains from water sources in Jamaica, West Indies.

    PubMed

    Lorenzo-Morales, J; Lindo, J F; Martinez, E; Calder, D; Figueruelo, E; Valladares, B; Ortega-Rivas, A

    2005-12-01

    In 2004, samples of tap water and of river and sea water associated with human activities were collected in Jamaica, West Indies, and checked for free-living Acanthamoeba. The morphologies of the cysts and trophozoites observed and the results of PCR-based amplifications with a genus-specific primer pair were used to identify the Acanthamoeba isolates. The potential of each isolate as a human pathogen was then evaluated using thermotolerance and osmotolerance assays and two PCR-based assays for Acanthamoeba pathogenesis. Acanthamoeba were identified in 36.1%, 26.4% and 49.6% of the tap-, river- and sea-water samples collected, respectively. Pathogenic potential was shown by 60.0% of the Acanthamoeba strains isolated from tap water, 68.4% of the strains from river water, and 40.4% of the seawater strains. Sequencing of ribosomal DNA revealed the T1, T2, T4, T5, T7, T9 and T11 genotypes. Isolates of the T4 genotype were collected from tap, rain and sea water and, as expected, exhibited the most pathogenic traits; most were osmotolerant, thermotolerant and expressing extracellular serine protease. This is the first study of the occurrence and distribution of Acanthamoeba in water in the West Indies, and the results confirm the presence of potentially pathogenic strains in Jamaica.

  2. Isolation of Acanthamoeba from the rhizosphere of maize and lucerne plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orosz, Erika; Farkas, Ágnes; Ködöböcz, László; Becsak, Péter; Danka, József; Kucsera, István; Füleky, György

    2013-04-01

    Acanthamoeba species are free-living amoebae that can be found in almost every range of environments. Within this genus, a number of species are recognized as human pathogens, potentially causing Acanthamoeba keratitis, granulomatous amoebic encephalitis, and chronic granulomatous lesions. Soil and water samples were taken from experimental station at Julianna Major of Plant Protection Institute of Centre for Agricultural Research, Hungarian Academy of Sciences. We detected living Acanthamoeba spp. based on culture- confirmed detection combined with the molecular taxonomic identification method. Living Acanthamoeba spp. were detected in thirteen (65%) samples. The presence of Acanthamoeba spp. in the samples depends significantly on the rhizosphere plants. The most frequently identified living Acanthamoeba genotype was T4 followed by T11, T2/T6 and T17. Genotypes T4 and T11 of Acanthamoeba, are responsible for Acanthamoeba keratitis as well as granulomatous amoebic encephalitis, and should therefore be considered as a potential health risk associated with human activities in the environment.

  3. Fatal Acanthamoeba Encephalitis in a Patient With a Total Artificial Heart (Syncardia) Device

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Susanna K.; Gajurel, Kiran; Tung, Christie; Albers, Gregory; Deresinski, Stan; Montoya, Jose G.; Sheikh, Ahmad Y.; Banerjee, Dipanjan; Ha, Richard

    2014-01-01

    Acanthamoeba encephalitis is an uncommon but often fatal infection complication. Here we report the first case of Acanthamoeba encephalitis in a patient with a Total Artificial Heart device. PMID:25734127

  4. Single mimivirus particles intercepted and imaged with an X-ray laser.

    PubMed

    Seibert, M Marvin; Ekeberg, Tomas; Maia, Filipe R N C; Svenda, Martin; Andreasson, Jakob; Jönsson, Olof; Odić, Duško; Iwan, Bianca; Rocker, Andrea; Westphal, Daniel; Hantke, Max; DePonte, Daniel P; Barty, Anton; Schulz, Joachim; Gumprecht, Lars; Coppola, Nicola; Aquila, Andrew; Liang, Mengning; White, Thomas A; Martin, Andrew; Caleman, Carl; Stern, Stephan; Abergel, Chantal; Seltzer, Virginie; Claverie, Jean-Michel; Bostedt, Christoph; Bozek, John D; Boutet, Sébastien; Miahnahri, A Alan; Messerschmidt, Marc; Krzywinski, Jacek; Williams, Garth; Hodgson, Keith O; Bogan, Michael J; Hampton, Christina Y; Sierra, Raymond G; Starodub, Dmitri; Andersson, Inger; Bajt, Saša; Barthelmess, Miriam; Spence, John C H; Fromme, Petra; Weierstall, Uwe; Kirian, Richard; Hunter, Mark; Doak, R Bruce; Marchesini, Stefano; Hau-Riege, Stefan P; Frank, Matthias; Shoeman, Robert L; Lomb, Lukas; Epp, Sascha W; Hartmann, Robert; Rolles, Daniel; Rudenko, Artem; Schmidt, Carlo; Foucar, Lutz; Kimmel, Nils; Holl, Peter; Rudek, Benedikt; Erk, Benjamin; Hömke, André; Reich, Christian; Pietschner, Daniel; Weidenspointner, Georg; Strüder, Lothar; Hauser, Günter; Gorke, Hubert; Ullrich, Joachim; Schlichting, Ilme; Herrmann, Sven; Schaller, Gerhard; Schopper, Florian; Soltau, Heike; Kühnel, Kai-Uwe; Andritschke, Robert; Schröter, Claus-Dieter; Krasniqi, Faton; Bott, Mario; Schorb, Sebastian; Rupp, Daniela; Adolph, Marcus; Gorkhover, Tais; Hirsemann, Helmut; Potdevin, Guillaume; Graafsma, Heinz; Nilsson, Björn; Chapman, Henry N; Hajdu, Janos

    2011-02-01

    X-ray lasers offer new capabilities in understanding the structure of biological systems, complex materials and matter under extreme conditions. Very short and extremely bright, coherent X-ray pulses can be used to outrun key damage processes and obtain a single diffraction pattern from a large macromolecule, a virus or a cell before the sample explodes and turns into plasma. The continuous diffraction pattern of non-crystalline objects permits oversampling and direct phase retrieval. Here we show that high-quality diffraction data can be obtained with a single X-ray pulse from a non-crystalline biological sample, a single mimivirus particle, which was injected into the pulsed beam of a hard-X-ray free-electron laser, the Linac Coherent Light Source. Calculations indicate that the energy deposited into the virus by the pulse heated the particle to over 100,000 K after the pulse had left the sample. The reconstructed exit wavefront (image) yielded 32-nm full-period resolution in a single exposure and showed no measurable damage. The reconstruction indicates inhomogeneous arrangement of dense material inside the virion. We expect that significantly higher resolutions will be achieved in such experiments with shorter and brighter photon pulses focused to a smaller area. The resolution in such experiments can be further extended for samples available in multiple identical copies.

  5. Single mimivirus particles intercepted and imaged with an X-ray laser

    PubMed Central

    Seibert, M. Marvin; Ekeberg, Tomas; Maia, Filipe R. N. C.; Svenda, Martin; Andreasson, Jakob; Jönsson, Olof; Odić, Duško; Iwan, Bianca; Rocker, Andrea; Westphal, Daniel; Hantke, Max; DePonte, Daniel P.; Barty, Anton; Schulz, Joachim; Gumprecht, Lars; Coppola, Nicola; Aquila, Andrew; Liang, Mengning; White, Thomas A.; Martin, Andrew; Caleman, Carl; Stern, Stephan; Abergel, Chantal; Seltzer, Virginie; Claverie, Jean-Michel; Bostedt, Christoph; Bozek, John D.; Boutet, Sébastien; Miahnahri, A. Alan; Messerschmidt, Marc; Krzywinski, Jacek; Williams, Garth; Hodgson, Keith O.; Bogan, Michael J.; Hampton, Christina Y.; Sierra, Raymond G.; Starodub, Dmitri; Andersson, Inger; Bajt, Saša; Barthelmess, Miriam; Spence, John C. H.; Fromme, Petra; Weierstall, Uwe; Kirian, Richard; Hunter, Mark; Doak, R. Bruce; Marchesini, Stefano; Hau-Riege, Stefan P.; Frank, Matthias; Shoeman, Robert L.; Lomb, Lukas; Epp, Sascha W.; Hartmann, Robert; Rolles, Daniel; Rudenko, Artem; Schmidt, Carlo; Foucar, Lutz; Kimmel, Nils; Holl, Peter; Rudek, Benedikt; Erk, Benjamin; Hömke, André; Reich, Christian; Pietschner, Daniel; Weidenspointner, Georg; Strüder, Lothar; Hauser, Günter; Gorke, Hubert; Ullrich, Joachim; Schlichting, Ilme; Herrmann, Sven; Schaller, Gerhard; Schopper, Florian; Soltau, Heike; Kühnel, Kai-Uwe; Andritschke, Robert; Schröter, Claus-Dieter; Krasniqi, Faton; Bott, Mario; Schorb, Sebastian; Rupp, Daniela; Adolph, Marcus; Gorkhover, Tais; Hirsemann, Helmut; Potdevin, Guillaume; Graafsma, Heinz; Nilsson, Björn; Chapman, Henry N.; Hajdu, Janos

    2014-01-01

    X-ray lasers offer new capabilities in understanding the structure of biological systems, complex materials and matter under extreme conditions1–4. Very short and extremely bright, coherent X-ray pulses can be used to outrun key damage processes and obtain a single diffraction pattern from a large macromolecule, a virus or a cell before the sample explodes and turns into plasma1. The continuous diffraction pattern of non-crystalline objects permits oversampling and direct phase retrieval2. Here we show that high-quality diffraction data can be obtained with a single X-ray pulse from a non-crystalline biological sample, a single mimivirus particle, which was injected into the pulsed beam of a hard-X-ray free-electron laser, the Linac Coherent Light Source5. Calculations indicate that the energy deposited into the virus by the pulse heated the particle to over 100,000 K after the pulse had left the sample. The reconstructed exit wavefront (image) yielded 32-nm full-period resolution in a single exposure and showed no measurable damage. The reconstruction indicates inhomogeneous arrangement of dense material inside the virion. We expect that significantly higher resolutions will be achieved in such experiments with shorter and brighter photon pulses focused to a smaller area. The resolution in such experiments can be further extended for samples available in multiple identical copies. PMID:21293374

  6. Single mimivirus particles intercepted and imaged with an X-ray laser.

    PubMed

    Seibert, M Marvin; Ekeberg, Tomas; Maia, Filipe R N C; Svenda, Martin; Andreasson, Jakob; Jönsson, Olof; Odić, Duško; Iwan, Bianca; Rocker, Andrea; Westphal, Daniel; Hantke, Max; DePonte, Daniel P; Barty, Anton; Schulz, Joachim; Gumprecht, Lars; Coppola, Nicola; Aquila, Andrew; Liang, Mengning; White, Thomas A; Martin, Andrew; Caleman, Carl; Stern, Stephan; Abergel, Chantal; Seltzer, Virginie; Claverie, Jean-Michel; Bostedt, Christoph; Bozek, John D; Boutet, Sébastien; Miahnahri, A Alan; Messerschmidt, Marc; Krzywinski, Jacek; Williams, Garth; Hodgson, Keith O; Bogan, Michael J; Hampton, Christina Y; Sierra, Raymond G; Starodub, Dmitri; Andersson, Inger; Bajt, Saša; Barthelmess, Miriam; Spence, John C H; Fromme, Petra; Weierstall, Uwe; Kirian, Richard; Hunter, Mark; Doak, R Bruce; Marchesini, Stefano; Hau-Riege, Stefan P; Frank, Matthias; Shoeman, Robert L; Lomb, Lukas; Epp, Sascha W; Hartmann, Robert; Rolles, Daniel; Rudenko, Artem; Schmidt, Carlo; Foucar, Lutz; Kimmel, Nils; Holl, Peter; Rudek, Benedikt; Erk, Benjamin; Hömke, André; Reich, Christian; Pietschner, Daniel; Weidenspointner, Georg; Strüder, Lothar; Hauser, Günter; Gorke, Hubert; Ullrich, Joachim; Schlichting, Ilme; Herrmann, Sven; Schaller, Gerhard; Schopper, Florian; Soltau, Heike; Kühnel, Kai-Uwe; Andritschke, Robert; Schröter, Claus-Dieter; Krasniqi, Faton; Bott, Mario; Schorb, Sebastian; Rupp, Daniela; Adolph, Marcus; Gorkhover, Tais; Hirsemann, Helmut; Potdevin, Guillaume; Graafsma, Heinz; Nilsson, Björn; Chapman, Henry N; Hajdu, Janos

    2011-02-01

    X-ray lasers offer new capabilities in understanding the structure of biological systems, complex materials and matter under extreme conditions. Very short and extremely bright, coherent X-ray pulses can be used to outrun key damage processes and obtain a single diffraction pattern from a large macromolecule, a virus or a cell before the sample explodes and turns into plasma. The continuous diffraction pattern of non-crystalline objects permits oversampling and direct phase retrieval. Here we show that high-quality diffraction data can be obtained with a single X-ray pulse from a non-crystalline biological sample, a single mimivirus particle, which was injected into the pulsed beam of a hard-X-ray free-electron laser, the Linac Coherent Light Source. Calculations indicate that the energy deposited into the virus by the pulse heated the particle to over 100,000 K after the pulse had left the sample. The reconstructed exit wavefront (image) yielded 32-nm full-period resolution in a single exposure and showed no measurable damage. The reconstruction indicates inhomogeneous arrangement of dense material inside the virion. We expect that significantly higher resolutions will be achieved in such experiments with shorter and brighter photon pulses focused to a smaller area. The resolution in such experiments can be further extended for samples available in multiple identical copies. PMID:21293374

  7. identification of Pseudomonas spp. as amoeba-resistant microorganisms in isolates of Acanthamoeba.

    PubMed

    José Maschio, Vinicius; Corção, Gertrudes; Rott, Marilise Brittes

    2015-01-01

    Acanthamoeba is a "Trojan horse" of the microbial world. The aim of this study was to identify the presence of Pseudomonas as an amoeba-resistant microorganism in 12 isolates of Acanthamoeba. All isolates showed the genus Pseudomonas spp. as amoeba-resistant microorganisms. Thus, one can see that the Acanthamoeba isolates studied are hosts of Pseudomonas.

  8. IDENTIFICATION OF Pseudomonas spp. AS AMOEBA-RESISTANT MICROORGANISMS IN ISOLATES OF Acanthamoeba

    PubMed Central

    Maschio, Vinicius José; Corção, Gertrudes; Rott, Marilise Brittes

    2015-01-01

    Acanthamoeba is a “Trojan horse” of the microbial world. The aim of this study was to identify the presence of Pseudomonas as an amoeba-resistant microorganism in 12 isolates of Acanthamoeba. All isolates showed the genus Pseudomonas spp. as amoeba-resistant microorganisms. Thus, one can see that the Acanthamoeba isolates studied are hosts of Pseudomonas. PMID:25651331

  9. Updating strategies for isolating and discovering giant viruses.

    PubMed

    Khalil, Jacques Yaacoub Bou; Andreani, Julien; La Scola, Bernard

    2016-06-01

    Almost fifteen years ago, the discovery of Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus, the first giant virus, changed how we define a virus. It was discovered incidentally in a process of isolating Legionella sp. from environmental samples in the context of pneumonia epidemics using a co-culture system with Acanthamoeba. Since then, much effort and improvement has been put into the original technique. In addition to the known families of Mimiviridae and Marseilleviridae, four new proposed families of giant viruses have been isolated: Pandoravirus, Pithovirus, Faustovirus and Mollivirus. Major improvements were based on enrichment systems, targeted use of antibiotics and high-throughput methods. The most recent development, using flow cytometry for isolation and presumptive identification systems, opens a path to large environmental surveys that may discover new giant virus families in new protozoa supports used for culture support. PMID:27039269

  10. Cytotoxic activity of N-chlorotaurine on Acanthamoeba spp.

    PubMed

    Fürnkranz, Ursula; Nagl, Markus; Gottardi, Waldemar; Köhsler, Martina; Aspöck, Horst; Walochnik, Julia

    2008-02-01

    Acanthamoeba spp. are the causative agents of Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK), which mainly occurs in contact lens wearers, and of skin lesions, granulomatous amoebic encephalitis (GAE), and disseminating diseases in the immunocompromised host. AK therapy is complex and irritating for the eye, skin lesions are difficult to treat, and there is no effective treatment for GAE. Therefore, new anti-Acanthamoeba drugs are needed. We investigated the anti-Acanthamoeba activity of N-chlorotaurine (NCT), an endogenous mild antiseptic. It was shown that NCT has amoebicidal qualities, both in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) and in amoebic culture medium. After 6 h of treatment with 10 mM NCT in PBS, the levels of trophozoites of all strains investigated already showed at least a 2-log reduction. When the trophozoites were treated with 20 mM NCT in culture medium, they showed a 2-log reduction after 24 h. The addition of NH(4)Cl to NCT led to a faster decrease in the numbers of living cells, if tests were carried out in PBS. A delay of excystation was observed when cysts were treated with 55 mM (1%) NCT in culture medium. A complete failure of excystment was the result of treatment with 1% NCT plus 1% NH(4)Cl in PBS. Altogether, NCT clearly demonstrated amoebicidal activity at concentrations well tolerated by human tissues and might be useful as a topical drug for the treatment of Acanthamoeba infections. The addition of ammonium chloride can be considered to enhance the activity.

  11. Protein profiles and immunoreactivities of Acanthamoeba morphological groups and genotypes.

    PubMed

    Pumidonming, Wilawan; Koehsler, Martina; Leitsch, David; Walochnik, Julia

    2014-11-01

    Acanthamoeba is a free-living protozoan found in a wide variety of habitats. A classification of Acanthamoeba into currently eighteen genotypes (T1-T18) has been established, however, data on differences between genotypes on the protein level are scarce. The aim of this study was to compare protein and immunoreactivity profiles of Acanthamoeba genotypes. Thirteen strains, both clinical and non-clinical, from genotypes T4, T5, T6, T7, T9, T11 and T12, representing three morphological groups, were investigated for their protein profiles and IgG, IgM and IgA immunoreactivities. It was shown that protein and immunoreactivity profiles of Acanthamoeba genotypes T4, T5, T6, T7, T9, T11 and T12 are clearly distinct from each other, but the banding patterns correlate to the morphological groups. Normal human sera revealed anti-Acanthamoeba antibodies against isolates of all investigated genotypes, interestingly, however only very weak IgM and virtually no IgA immunoreactivity with T7 and T9, both representing morphological group I. The strongest IgG, IgM and IgA immunoreactivities were observed for genotypes T4, T5 and T6. Differences of both, protein and immunological patterns, between cytopathic and non-cytopathic strains, particularly within genotype T4, were not at the level of banding patterns, but rather in expression levels.

  12. Three-Dimensional Reconstruction of the Giant Mimivirus Particle with an X-Ray Free-Electron Laser

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ekeberg, Tomas; Svenda, Martin; Abergel, Chantal; Maia, Filipe R. N. C.; Seltzer, Virginie; Claverie, Jean-Michel; Hantke, Max; Jönsson, Olof; Nettelblad, Carl; van der Schot, Gijs; Liang, Mengning; DePonte, Daniel P.; Barty, Anton; Seibert, M. Marvin; Iwan, Bianca; Andersson, Inger; Loh, N. Duane; Martin, Andrew V.; Chapman, Henry; Bostedt, Christoph; Bozek, John D.; Ferguson, Ken R.; Krzywinski, Jacek; Epp, Sascha W.; Rolles, Daniel; Rudenko, Artem; Hartmann, Robert; Kimmel, Nils; Hajdu, Janos

    2015-03-01

    We present a proof-of-concept three-dimensional reconstruction of the giant mimivirus particle from experimentally measured diffraction patterns from an x-ray free-electron laser. Three-dimensional imaging requires the assembly of many two-dimensional patterns into an internally consistent Fourier volume. Since each particle is randomly oriented when exposed to the x-ray pulse, relative orientations have to be retrieved from the diffraction data alone. We achieve this with a modified version of the expand, maximize and compress algorithm and validate our result using new methods.

  13. Three-dimensional reconstruction of the giant mimivirus particle with an x-ray free-electron laser.

    PubMed

    Ekeberg, Tomas; Svenda, Martin; Abergel, Chantal; Maia, Filipe R N C; Seltzer, Virginie; Claverie, Jean-Michel; Hantke, Max; Jönsson, Olof; Nettelblad, Carl; van der Schot, Gijs; Liang, Mengning; DePonte, Daniel P; Barty, Anton; Seibert, M Marvin; Iwan, Bianca; Andersson, Inger; Loh, N Duane; Martin, Andrew V; Chapman, Henry; Bostedt, Christoph; Bozek, John D; Ferguson, Ken R; Krzywinski, Jacek; Epp, Sascha W; Rolles, Daniel; Rudenko, Artem; Hartmann, Robert; Kimmel, Nils; Hajdu, Janos

    2015-03-01

    We present a proof-of-concept three-dimensional reconstruction of the giant mimivirus particle from experimentally measured diffraction patterns from an x-ray free-electron laser. Three-dimensional imaging requires the assembly of many two-dimensional patterns into an internally consistent Fourier volume. Since each particle is randomly oriented when exposed to the x-ray pulse, relative orientations have to be retrieved from the diffraction data alone. We achieve this with a modified version of the expand, maximize and compress algorithm and validate our result using new methods.

  14. Three-dimensional reconstruction of the giant mimivirus particle with an x-ray free-electron laser.

    PubMed

    Ekeberg, Tomas; Svenda, Martin; Abergel, Chantal; Maia, Filipe R N C; Seltzer, Virginie; Claverie, Jean-Michel; Hantke, Max; Jönsson, Olof; Nettelblad, Carl; van der Schot, Gijs; Liang, Mengning; DePonte, Daniel P; Barty, Anton; Seibert, M Marvin; Iwan, Bianca; Andersson, Inger; Loh, N Duane; Martin, Andrew V; Chapman, Henry; Bostedt, Christoph; Bozek, John D; Ferguson, Ken R; Krzywinski, Jacek; Epp, Sascha W; Rolles, Daniel; Rudenko, Artem; Hartmann, Robert; Kimmel, Nils; Hajdu, Janos

    2015-03-01

    We present a proof-of-concept three-dimensional reconstruction of the giant mimivirus particle from experimentally measured diffraction patterns from an x-ray free-electron laser. Three-dimensional imaging requires the assembly of many two-dimensional patterns into an internally consistent Fourier volume. Since each particle is randomly oriented when exposed to the x-ray pulse, relative orientations have to be retrieved from the diffraction data alone. We achieve this with a modified version of the expand, maximize and compress algorithm and validate our result using new methods. PMID:25793853

  15. Gene repertoire of amoeba-associated giant viruses.

    PubMed

    Colson, Philippe; Raoult, Didier

    2010-01-01

    Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus, Marseillevirus, and Sputnik, a virophage, are intra-amoebal viruses that have been isolated from water collected in cooling towers. They have provided fascinating data and have raised exciting questions about viruses definition and evolution. Mimivirus and Marseillevirus have been classified in the nucleo-cytoplasmic large DNA viruses (NCLDVs) class. Their genomes are the largest and fifth largest viral genomes sequenced so far. The gene repertoire of these amoeba-associated viruses can be divided into four groups: the core genome, genes acquired by lateral gene transfer, duplicated genes, and ORFans. Open reading frames (ORFs) that have homologs in the NCLDVs core gene set represent 2.9 and 6.1% of the Mimivirus and Marseillevirus gene contents, respectively. A substantial proportion of the Mimivirus, Marseillevirus and Sputnik ORFs exhibit sequence similarities to homologs found in bacteria, archaea, eukaryotes or viruses. The large amount of chimeric genes in these viral genomes might have resulted from acquisitions by lateral gene transfers, implicating sympatric bacteria and viruses with an intra-amoebal lifestyle. In addition, lineage-specific gene expansion may have played a major role in the genome shaping. Altogether, the data so far accumulated on amoeba-associated giant viruses are a powerful incentive to isolate and study additional strains to gain better understanding of their pangenome. PMID:20551685

  16. Genetic diversity of Acanthamoeba isolates from ocean sediments

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Hua; Ha, Young-Ran; Lee, Sung-Tae; Hong, Yean-Chul; Kong, Hyun-Hee

    2006-01-01

    Genetic diversity of 18 Acanthamoeba isolates from ocean sediments was evaluated by comparing mitochondrial (mt) DNA RFLP, 18S rDNA sequences and by examining their cytopathic effects on human corneal epithelial cells versus reference strains. All isolates belonged to morphologic group II. Total of 16 restriction phenotypes of mtDNA from 18 isolates demonstrated the genetic diversity of Acanthamoeba in ocean sediments. Phylogenetic analysis using 18s rDNA sequences revealed that the 18 isolates were distinct from morphological groups I and III. Fifteen isolates showed close relatedness with 17 clinical isolates and A. castellanii Castellani and formed a lineage equivalent to T4 genotype of Byers' group. Two reference strains from ocean sediment, A. hatchetti BH-2 and A. griffini S-7 clustered unequivocally with these 15 isolates. Diversity among isolates was also evident from their cytopathic effects on human corneal cells. This is the first time describing Acanthamoeba diversity in ocean sediments in Korea. PMID:16809959

  17. Morphogenesis of Mimivirus and Its Viral Factories: an Atomic Force Microscopy Study of Infected Cells

    PubMed Central

    Kuznetsov, Yuri G.; Klose, Thomas; Rossmann, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Amoebas infected with mimivirus were disrupted at sequential stages of virus production and were visualized by atomic force microscopy. The development of virus factories proceeded over 3 to 4 h postinfection and resulted from the coalescence of 0.5- to 2-μm vesicles, possibly bearing nucleic acid, derived from either the nuclear membrane or the closely associated rough endoplasmic reticulum. Virus factories actively producing virus capsids on their surfaces were imaged, and this allowed the morphogenesis of the capsids to be delineated. The first feature to appear on a virus factory surface when a new capsid is born is the center of a stargate, which is a pentameric protein oligomer. As the arms of the stargate grow from the pentamer, a rough disk the diameter of a capsid thickens around it. This marks the initial emergence of a protein-coated membrane vesicle. The capsid self-assembles on the vesicle. Hillocks capped by different pentameric proteins spontaneously appear on the emerging vesicle at positions that are ultimately occupied by 5-fold icosahedral vertices. A lattice of coat protein nucleates at each of the 5-fold vertices, but not at the stargate, and then spreads outward from the vertices over the surface, merging seamlessly to complete the icosahedral capsid. Filling with DNA and associated proteins occurs by the transfer of nucleic acid from the interior of the virus factory into the nearly completed capsids. The portal, through which the DNA enters, is sealed by a plug of protein having a diameter of about 40 nm. A layer of integument protein that anchors the surface fibers is acquired by the passage of capsids through a membrane enriched in the protein. The coating of surface fibers is similarly acquired when the integument protein-coated capsids pass through a second membrane that has a forest of surface fibers embedded on one side. PMID:23926353

  18. Interaction between Vibrio mimicus and Acanthamoeba castellanii

    PubMed Central

    Abd, Hadi; Valeru, Soni Priya; Sami, Susan Marouf; Saeed, Amir; Raychaudhuri, Saumya; Sandström, Gunnar

    2010-01-01

    Vibrio mimicus is a Gram-negative bacterium, which causes gastroenteritis and is closely related to Vibrio cholerae. The environmental reservoir of this bacterium is far from defined. Acanthamoeba as well as Vibrio species are found in diverse aquatic environments. The present study was aimed to investigate the ability of A. castellanii to host V. mimicus, the role of bacterial protease on interaction with A. castellanii and to disclose the ability of cysts to protect intracellular V. mimicus. Co-cultivation, viable counts, gentamicin assay, electron microscopy and statistical analysis showed that co-cultivation of wild type and luxO mutant of V. mimicus strains with A. castellanii did not inhibit growth of the amoeba. On the other hand co-cultivation enhanced growth and survival of V. mimicus strains. Vibrio mimicus showed intracellular behaviour because bacteria were found to be localized in the cytoplasm of amoeba trophozoites and remain viable for 14 days. The cysts protected intracellular V. mimicus from high level of gentamicin. The intracellular growth of V. mimicus in A. castellanii suggests a role of A. castellanii as a host for V. mimicus. PMID:20454692

  19. IL-17A-mediated protection against Acanthamoeba keratitis.

    PubMed

    Suryawanshi, Amol; Cao, Zhiyi; Sampson, James F; Panjwani, Noorjahan

    2015-01-15

    Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) is a very painful and vision-impairing infection of the cornea that is difficult to treat. Although past studies have indicated a critical role of neutrophils and macrophages in AK, the relative contribution of the proinflammatory cytokine, IL-17A, that is essential for migration, activation, and function of these cells into the cornea is poorly defined. Moreover, the role of the adaptive immune response, particularly the contribution of CD4(+) T cell subsets, Th17 and regulatory T cells , in AK is yet to be understood. In this report, using a mouse corneal intrastromal injection-induced AK model, we show that Acanthamoeba infection induces a strong CD4(+) T effector and regulatory T cell response in the cornea and local draining lymph nodes. We also demonstrate that corneal Acanthamoeba infection induces IL-17A expression and that IL-17A is critical for host protection against severe AK pathology. Accordingly, IL-17A neutralization in Acanthamoeba-infected wild-type mice or Acanthamoeba infection of mice lacking IL-17A resulted in a significantly increased corneal AK pathology, increased migration of inflammatory cells at the site of inflammation, and a significant increase in the effector CD4(+) T cell response in draining lymph nodes. Thus, in sharp contrast with other corneal infections such as herpes and Pseudomonas aeruginosa keratitis where IL-17A exacerbates corneal pathology and inflammation, the findings presented in this article suggest that IL-17A production after Acanthamoeba infection plays an important role in host protection against invading parasites.

  20. Acanthamoeba DNA can be directly amplified from corneal scrapings.

    PubMed

    El-Sayed, Nagwa Mostafa; Younis, Mohamed Saad; Elhamshary, Azza Mohamed; Abd-Elmaboud, Amina Ibrahim; Kishik, Shereen Magdy

    2014-09-01

    This study evaluated the performance of direct amplification of Acanthamoeba-DNA bypassing DNA extraction in the diagnosis of Acanthamoeba keratitis in clinically suspected cases in comparison to direct microscopic examination and in vitro culture. Corneal scrapings were collected from 110 patients who were clinically suspected to have Acanthamoeba keratitis, 63 contact lens wearers (CLW), and 47 non-contact lens wearers (NCLW). Taken samples were subjected to direct microscopic examination, cultivation onto the non-nutrient agar plate surface seeded with Escherichia coli, and PCR amplification. The diagnostic performance of these methods was statistically compared. The results showed that Acanthamoeba infection was detected in 21 (19.1%) of clinically suspected cases (110); 17 (81%) of them were CLW and the remaining 4 (19%) positive cases were NCLW. Regarding the used diagnostic methods, it was found that direct amplification of Acanthamoeba DNA bypassing nucleic acid extraction was superior to microscopy and culture in which 21 cases (19.1%) were positive for Acanthamoeba by PCR compared to 19 positive cases by culture (17.3%) and one case (0.9%) by direct smear. The difference in detection rates between culture and direct smear was highly statistically significant (P = 0.001). On the other hand, there was no significant difference in detection rates between culture and PCR (P = 0.86). On using culture as the gold standard, PCR showed three false-positive samples that were negative by culture and one false-negative sample that was positive by culture. At the same time, direct smear showed 18 false-negative samples. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and diagnostic accuracy of PCR were 94.7, 96.7, 85.7, 98.9, and 96.4, respectively, while those of direct smear were 5.3, 100, 100, 83.5, and 83.6, respectively. In conclusion, direct amplification of Acanthamoeba-DNA bypassing DNA extraction is a reliable

  1. Three-Dimensional Reconstruction of the Giant Mimivirus Particle with an X-Ray Free-Electron Laser (CXIDB ID 30)

    SciTech Connect

    Ekeberg, Tomas

    2015-05-26

    This dataset contains the diffraction patterns that were used for the first three-dimensional reconstruction of a virus using FEL data. The sample was the giant mimivirus particle, which is one of the largest known viruses with a diameter of 450 nm. The dataset consists of the 198 diffraction patterns that were used in the analysis.

  2. A Checklist of Iranian Cockroaches (Blattodea) with Description of Polyphaga sp as a New Species in Iran

    PubMed Central

    Hashemi-Aghdam, Saedeh Sadat; Oshaghi, Mohammad Ali

    2015-01-01

    Background: Cockroaches are of vital importance medically and hygienically. They are able to contaminate foods and act as vectors of pathogenic agents such as bacteria, protozoa, and parasites to human environment either mechanically or through their digestive system. Cockroaches belong to the phylum Arthropoda, class Insecta, and order Blattodea or Blattaria. To date, over 4,500 cockroach species have been reported from different parts of the world. We overviewed the documents involved Iranian cockroaches to up-to-date checklist of cockroach species distributed in various provinces of Iran. Methods: An extensive literature review was performed in 2013 on Iranian handbooks, reports and published data available since 1986 to obtain a comprehensive list of Iranian cockroaches. Furthermore, in an entomological survey in Tehran, cockroach specimens were collected and identified based on morphological and the DNA sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit II (COII) gene (mt-DNA COII) characteristics. Results: Morphological characterization revealed presence of an un-described species very similar to Polyphaga aegyptiaca, P. indica and somehow to Pycnoscelus surinamensis, however, supplementary molecular analysis revealed the species was associated with Polyphaga of Corydiidae (Polyphagidae). With regards to the report of the un-described species, the cockroach fauna of Iran includes three families, 14 genera, and 26 species. Conclusion: Some species has not been collected or reported recently and also many geographical regions of the country have not been studied yet, hence a systematic research is required to reveal the real cockroach list of the country. Geographical distributions, nomination changes, and synonyms of cockroach species are presented. PMID:26623428

  3. Colonization of broilers by Campylobacter jejuni internalized within Acanthamoeba castellanii

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We present the first report that Campylobacter jejuni, internalized within Acanthamoeba castellanii, colonized broilers. After 1, 3, 7 and 14 days post challenge none of the broilers challenged with negative controls were colonized, but were with internalized C. jejuni. The biology of protozoa-Cam...

  4. Fatal Disseminated Acanthamoeba lenticulata Acanthamebiasis in a Heart Transplant Patient

    PubMed Central

    Combes, Alain; de Jonckheere, Johan F.; Datry, Annick; Varnous, Shaïda; Martinez, Valérie; Ptacek, Sara García; Caumes, Eric; Capron, Frédérique; Francès, Camille; Gibert, Claude; Chosidow, Olivier

    2007-01-01

    We report a fatal case of disseminated acanthamebiasis caused by Acanthamoeba lenticulata (genotype T5) in a 39-year-old heart transplant recipient. The diagnosis was based on skin histopathologic results and confirmed by isolation of the ameba from involved skin and molecular analysis of a partial 18S rRNA gene sequence (DF3). PMID:17553253

  5. Isolation of Acanthamoeba culbertsoni from a patient with meningitis.

    PubMed

    Lalitha, M K; Anandi, V; Srivastava, A; Thomas, K; Cherian, A M; Chandi, S M

    1985-04-01

    A case of amoebic meningitis, presumably primary, was encountered in the Christian Medical College Hospital, Vellore, South India, in November 1983. The patient, a 40-year-old man, had cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhea before the meningitis developed. Acanthamoeba culbertsoni was repeatedly demonstrated in and cultured from the cerebrospinal fluid. The patient responded dramatically to a combination therapy of penicillin and chloramphenicol. PMID:3988911

  6. Identification of Unusual Phospholipid Fatty Acyl Compositions of Acanthamoeba castellanii

    PubMed Central

    Palusinska-Szysz, Marta; Kania, Magdalena; Turska-Szewczuk, Anna; Danikiewicz, Witold; Russa, Ryszard; Fuchs, Beate

    2014-01-01

    Acanthamoeba are opportunistic protozoan pathogens that may lead to sight-threatening keratitis and fatal granulomatous encephalitis. The successful prognosis requires early diagnosis and differentiation of pathogenic Acanthamoeba followed by aggressive treatment regimen. The plasma membrane of Acanthamoeba consists of 25% phospholipids (PL). The presence of C20 and, recently reported, 28- and 30-carbon fatty acyl residues is characteristic of amoeba PL. A detailed knowledge about this unusual PL composition could help to differentiate Acanthamoeba from other parasites, e.g. bacteria and develop more efficient treatment strategies. Therefore, the detailed PL composition of Acanthamoeba castellanii was investigated by 31P nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, thin-layer chromatography, gas chromatography, high performance liquid chromatography and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Normal and reversed phase liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometric detection was used for detailed characterization of the fatty acyl composition of each detected PL. The most abundant fatty acyl residues in each PL class were octadecanoyl (18∶0), octadecenoyl (18∶1 Δ9) and hexadecanoyl (16∶0). However, some selected PLs contained also very long fatty acyl chains: the presence of 28- and 30-carbon fatty acyl residues was confirmed in phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), phosphatidylserine, phosphatidic acid and cardiolipin. The majority of these fatty acyl residues were also identified in PE that resulted in the following composition: 28∶1/20∶2, 30∶2/18∶1, 28∶0/20∶2, 30∶2/20∶4 and 30∶3/20∶3. The PL of amoebae are significantly different in comparison to other cells: we describe here for the first time unusual, very long chain fatty acids with Δ5-unsaturation (30∶35,21,24) and 30∶221,24 localized exclusively in specific phospholipid classes of A. castellanii protozoa that could serve as specific biomarkers for the presence of these

  7. The mimivirus R355 gene product: preliminary crystallographic analysis of a putative ubiquitin-like protein-specific protease

    PubMed Central

    Jeudy, Sandra; Lartigue, Audrey; Mansuelle, Pascal; Ogata, Yuki; Abergel, Chantal

    2011-01-01

    The complete genome sequence of the largest known double-stranded DNA virus, mimivirus, reveals the presence of a gene (denoted R355) that potentially encodes a cysteine protease that is expressed late (after 6 h) in the infectious cycle of the virus. In order to verify a sequence-based functional prediction and understand its role during the infectious process, the R355 protein was produced to assay its proteolytic activity and solve its three-dimensional structure. Here, the preliminary crystallographic analysis of the recombinant viral protein is reported. The crystals belonged to the orthorhombic space group P212121, with a monomer in the asymmetric unit. A MAD data set was used for preliminary phasing using the selenium signal from a selenomethionine-substituted protein crystal. PMID:21206054

  8. Thermotolerant Acanthamoeba spp. isolated from therapeutic hot springs in Northwestern Iran.

    PubMed

    Solgi, Rahmat; Niyyati, Maryam; Haghighi, Ali; Taghipour, Niloofar; Tabaei, Seyyed Javad Seyyed; Eftekhar, Mohamad; Nazemalhosseini Mojarad, Ehsan

    2012-12-01

    This study was conducted to address the distribution of Acanthamoeba genotypes in therapeutic hot springs in Iran. Sixty water and sediment samples were collected from bicarbonate, sulphur, and sodium chloride thermal springs in the northwest. All hot springs examined are used mainly for health purposes in Iran. Acanthamoeba were identified by both morphology and PCR (polymerase chain reaction). Genotype identification was based on the sequencing of a highly variable and informative region of Diagnostic Fragment 3 (stem 29-1 of 18S rRNA gene) within Acanthamoeba-specific amplimer (ASA.S1). Twenty percent of hot springs were contaminated with thermotolerant Acanthamoeba belonging to the potentially pathogenic T4 and T3 genotypes. A high number (91.7%) of strains showed growth at 37 °C, and eight isolates showed growth at 42 °C. A single isolate (HSNW2) was detected in waters at 70 °C. The presence of thermotolerant Acanthamoeba highlights a risk factor for susceptible individuals, as Acanthamoeba-related keratitis continues to rise in Iran. Periodic surveillance of thermal waters as well as improved filtration and disinfection is recommended to prevent disease related to pathogenic Acanthamoeba. This is the first comprehensive molecular study of Acanthamoeba genotypes in hot springs in Iran and the first to report the occurrence of the T3 genotype (corresponding to Acanthamoeba griffini) in thermal water sources in this country.

  9. Seasonal distribution of potentially pathogenic Acanthamoeba species from drinking water reservoirs in Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Kao, Po-Min; Hsu, Bing-Mu; Hsu, Tsui-Kang; Liu, Jorn-Hon; Chang, Hsiang-Yu; Ji, Wen-Tsai; Tzeng, Kai-Jiun; Huang, Shih-Wei; Huang, Yu-Li

    2015-03-01

    In order to detect the presence/absence of Acanthamoeba along with geographical variations, water quality variations and seasonal change of Acanthamoeba in Taiwan was investigated by 18S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene TaqMan quantitative real-time PCR. Samples were collected quarterly at 19 drinking water reservoir sites from November 2012 to August 2013. Acanthamoeba was detected in 39.5 % (30/76) of the water sample, and the detection rate was 63.2 % (12/19) from samples collected in autumn. The average concentration of Acanthamoeba was 3.59 × 10(4) copies/L. For geographic distribution, the detection rate for Acanthamoeba at the northern region was higher than the central and southern regions in all seasons. Results of Spearman rank test revealed that heterotrophic plate count (HPC) had a negative correlation (R = -0.502), while dissolved oxygen (DO) had a positive correlation (R = 0.463) in summer. Significant differences were found only between the presence/absence of Acanthamoeba and HPC in summer (Mann-Whitney U test, P < 0.05). T2 and T4 genotypes of Acanthamoeba were identified, and T4 was the most commonly identified Acanthamoeba genotypes. The presence of Acanthamoeba in reservoirs presented a potential public health threat and should be further examined.

  10. Morpho-Physiological and Biochemical Criteria of Acanthamoeba spp. Isolated from the Egyptian Aquatic Environment

    PubMed Central

    Al-Herrawy, A; Bahgat, M; Mohammed, A; Ashour, A; Hikal, W

    2013-01-01

    Background The free-living amoebae Acanthamoeba spp., have been recognized as etiologic agents of amoebic encephalitis, keratitis, otitis, lung lesions and other skin infections mainly in immuno-compromised individuals. In this study, morpho-physiological and biochemical characterization of Acanthamoeba strains isolated from the Egyptian aquatic environment were surveyed. Methods Some Acanthamoeba species were cultivated on non-nutrient agar. Isolated strains of Acanthamoeba were identification based on the morphology of trophic and cyst forms in addition to temperature and osmo-tolerance assays. Biochemical characterization of the isolated amoeba strains was performed using quantitative assay as well as qualitative determination of proteolytic activity in zymograph analysis. Results Potentially pathogenic Acanthamoeba species were isolated from all of the examined water sources. Colorimetric assays showed protease activity in the heat-tolerant isolates of Acanthamoeba. All pathogenic isolates of Acanthamoeba exhibited higher protease activity than did the non-pathogenic ones. The zymographic protease assays showed various banding patterns for different strains of Acanthamoeba. Conclusion The incidence and prevalence of the pathogenic Acanthamoeba species in the aquatic environment using parasitological and biochemical diagnostic tools will provide baseline data against which the risk factors associated with waterborne transmission can be identified. PMID:23914245

  11. Isolation of new Brazilian giant viruses from environmental samples using a panel of protozoa

    PubMed Central

    Dornas, Fábio P.; Khalil, Jacques Y. B.; Pagnier, Isabelle; Raoult, Didier; Abrahão, Jônatas; La Scola, Bernard

    2015-01-01

    The Megavirales are a newly described order capable of infecting different types of eukaryotic hosts. For the most part, the natural host is unknown. Several methods have been used to detect these viruses, with large discrepancies between molecular methods and co-cultures. To isolate giant viruses, we propose the use of different species of amoeba as a cellular support. The aim of this work was to isolate new Brazilian giant viruses by comparing the protozoa Acanthamoeba castellanii, A. polyphaga, A. griffini, and Vermamoeba vermiformis (VV) as a platform for cellular isolation using environmental samples. One hundred samples were collected from 3 different areas in September 2014 in the Pampulha lagoon of Belo Horizonte city, Minas Gerais, Brazil. PCR was used to identify the isolated viruses, along with hemacolor staining, labelling fluorescence and electron microscopy. A total of 69 viruses were isolated. The highest ratio of isolation was found in A. polyphaga (46.38%) and the lowest in VV (0%). Mimiviruses were the most frequently isolated. One Marseillevirus and one Pandoravirus were also isolated. With Brazilian environmental samples, we demonstrated the high rate of lineage A mimiviruses. This work demonstrates how these viruses survive and circulate in nature as well the differences between protozoa as a platform for cellular isolation. PMID:26500630

  12. Detection of glycoproteins in the Acanthamoeba plasma membrane

    SciTech Connect

    Paatero, G.I.L. ); Gahmberg, C.G. )

    1988-11-01

    In the present study the authors have shown that glycoproteins are present in the plasma membrane of Acanthamoeba castellanii by utilizing different radioactive labeling techniques. Plasma membrane proteins in the amoeba were iodinated by {sup 125}I-lactoperoxidase labeling and the solubilized radiolabeled glycoproteins were separated by lectin-Sepharose affinity chromatography followed by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The periodate/NaB{sup 3}H{sub 4} and galactose oxidase/NaB{sup 3}H{sub 4} labeling techniques were used for labeling of surface carbohydrates in the amoeba. Several surface-labeled glycoproteins were observed in addition to a diffusely labeled region with M{sub r} of 55,000-75,000 seen on electrophoresis, which could represent glycolipids. The presence of glycoproteins in the plasma membrane of Acanthamoeba castellanii was confirmed by metabolic labeling with ({sup 35}S)methionine followed by lectin-Sepharose affinity chromatography and polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis.

  13. [A case of meningoencephalitis caused by Acanthamoeba sp. in Dakar].

    PubMed

    Ndiaye, M; Diop, A G; Dieng, Y; Seydi, M; Diouf, F S; Diop, B M; Ndiaye, I P

    2005-01-01

    Primary meningoencephalitis caused by free-living soil ameba is rare. We report the first diagnosed case of meningoencephalitis due to Acanthamoeba sp. in Senegal. The patient was a 24-year-old Senegalese woman hospitalized in the neurology department of Fann Hospital. Diagnosis was made 6 months after the onset of symptoms based mainly on headache with fever usually occurring in the evening, chills, and lumbar puncture demonstrating turbid fluid. Parasitological examination of cool cerebrospinal fluid sediment revealed the presence of free-living ameba trophozoites of the Acanthamoeba genus. Species determination by culture on 1.5% agar-agar enriched with Escherichia coli failed. The patient died one month following initiation of treatment using amphotericine B. PMID:15903081

  14. In vitro fusion of Acanthamoeba phagolysosomes. I. Demonstration and quantitation of vacuole fusion in Acanthamoeba homogenates.

    PubMed

    Oates, P J; Touster, O

    1976-02-01

    Fusion of phagolysosomes (PLs) has been demonstrated to occur in vitro. Two separate cell homogenates of the ameba Acanthamoeba sp. (Neff) were prepared, each rich in PLs labeled with distinctive particulate markers. Portions of each were incubated together in vitro and fusion occurred as evidenced by the appearance of PLs containing both types of markers. Fusion was confirmed by electron microscopy, including serial sectioning. The membranes of fused vacuoles excluded the dye eosin Y. Surviving cells in the homogenates were not responsible for the observed fusion. Fusion was obtained using either synthetic markers (polystyrene and polyvinyltoluene latex) or biological markers (autoclaved yeast cells and glutaraldehyde-fixed goat red blood cells), or a combination of both. The specificity of PL fusion in vivo appeared to be maintained in vitro. As determined by light and electron microscopy, the fusion reaction was dependent on time and temperature, and on the initial presence of membrane around both marker particles. A minimum of 10% of the vacuoles fused by 10 min of incubation at 30 degrees C, and no rupture of the vacuoles was detected during this time. After 10 min of incubation, vacuole rupture began and fusion ceased. At a constant initial vacuole concentration, the extent of PL fusion in vitro was quantitatively reproducible. This appears to be a promising system for further investigation of membrane fusion in the lysosomal system. PMID:1245550

  15. Anti-Acanthamoeba activity of contact lens solutions

    PubMed Central

    Niszl, I.; Markus, M.

    1998-01-01

    AIMS—This study was undertaken to investigate the effects of contact lens disinfecting solutions on strains of Acanthamoeba from the United Kingdom and southern Africa and to compare the results with those of other researchers. No information was previously available for southern African isolates.
METHODS—11 contact lens solutions were tested on cysts of 10 strains of Acanthamoeba.
RESULTS—Not all solutions used in the study were effective, with some for hard and gas permeable contact lenses being more satisfactory than those for soft contact lenses. The most effective of the gas permeable and hard contact lens solutions tested was Transoak (0.01% (wt/vol) benzalkonium chloride), which killed cysts of all strains within 4 hours of exposure. Oxysept 1 (31 mg hydrogen peroxide/ml) was the best soft contact lens solution tested. It eliminated cysts of certain strains within 4 hours, whereas cysts of other strains were only inactivated within either 8 or 72 hours.
CONCLUSIONS—Manufacturers should be aware of the killing time for Acanthamoeba by contact lens solutions and should provide appropriate guidelines for the use thereof. The killing time for cysts of the African and UK isolates studied is, in general, similar. Therefore, it must in the present state of knowledge be assumed that usage guidelines suggested in the UK are also appropriate for travellers to South Africa and for local residents in South Africa.

 Keywords: contact lenses; Acanthamoeba; keratitis PMID:9893594

  16. Field's stain--a rapid staining method for Acanthamoeba spp.

    PubMed

    Pirehma, M; Suresh, K; Sivanandam, S; Anuar, A K; Ramakrishnan, K; Kumar, G S

    1999-10-01

    Acanthamoeba sp. is a free-living amoeba known to cause chronic central nervous system infection or eye infection in humans. Many cases remain undetected for want of a good detection system. We report for the first time a rapid staining method to facilitate the identification of Acanthamoeba sp. using the modified Field's staining technique. A. castellanii, which was used in the present experiment, is maintained in our laboratory in mycological peptone medium (Gibco). The cultures were pooled together and smears were made on glass slides for staining purposes. Different types of stains such as Field's stain, modified Field's stain, Wright's stain, Giemsa stain, Ziehl-Neelsen stain, and trichrome stain were used to determine the best stain for the identification of this amoeba. The concentration of various stains and the duration of staining were varied to provide the best color and contrast for each stain. Acanthamoeba was also obtained from the brain of experimentally infected mice and was stained with various stains as mentioned above to determine the best stain for use in identifying the presence of this parasite in experimentally infected animals. The modified Field's stain gives a very good color contrast as compared with other stains. Furthermore, it takes only 20 s to be carried out using the least number of reagents, making it suitable for both laboratory and field use.

  17. An Acanthamoeba sp. containing two phylogenetically different bacterial endosymbionts

    PubMed Central

    Heinz, Eva; Kolarov, Irina; Kästner, Christian; Toenshoff, Elena R; Wagner, Michael; Horn, Matthias

    2007-01-01

    Acanthamoebae are ubiquitous free-living amoebae and important predators of microbial communities. They frequently contain obligate intracellular bacterial symbionts, which show a worldwide distribution. All Acanthamoeba spp. described so far harboured no or only a single specific endosymbiont phylotype, and in some cases evidence for coevolution between the symbiotic bacteria and the amoeba host has been reported. In this study we have isolated and characterized an Acanthamoeba sp. (strain OEW1) showing a stable symbiotic relationship with two morphologically different endosymbionts. 16S rRNA sequence analysis assigned these symbionts to the candidate genus Procabacter (Betaproteobacteria) and the genus Parachlamydia (Chlamydiae) respectively. Fluorescence in situ hybridization and transmission electron microscopy confirmed the affiliation of the endosymbionts and showed their co-occurrence in the amoeba host cells and their intracellular location within separate compartments enclosed by host-derived membranes. Further analysis of this stable relationship should provide novel insights into the complex interactions of intracellular multiple-partner associations. PMID:17504498

  18. Efficiency of water disinfectants against Legionella pneumophila and Acanthamoeba.

    PubMed

    Dupuy, Mathieu; Mazoua, Stéphane; Berne, Florence; Bodet, Charles; Garrec, Nathalie; Herbelin, Pascaline; Ménard-Szczebara, Florence; Oberti, Sandrine; Rodier, Marie-Hélène; Soreau, Sylvie; Wallet, France; Héchard, Yann

    2011-01-01

    Free-living amoebae might be pathogenic by themselves and be a reservoir for bacterial pathogens, such as Legionella pneumophila. Not only could amoebae protect intra-cellular Legionella but Legionella grown within amoebae could undergo physiological modifications and become more resistant and more virulent. Therefore, it is important to study the efficiency of treatments on amoebae and Legionella grown within these amoebae to improve their application and to limit their impact on the environment. With this aim, we compared various water disinfectants against trophozoites of three Acanthamoeba strains and L. pneumophila alone or in co-culture. Three oxidizing disinfectants (chlorine, monochloramine, and chlorine dioxide) were assessed. All the samples were treated with disinfectants for 1 h and the disinfectant concentration was followed to calculate disinfectant exposure (Ct). We noticed that there were significant differences of susceptibility among the Acanthamoeba strains. However no difference was observed between infected and non-infected amoebae. Also, the comparison between the three disinfectants indicates that monochloramine was efficient at the same level towards free or co-cultured L. pneumophila while chlorine and chlorine dioxide were less efficient on co-cultured L. pneumophila. It suggests that these disinfectants should have different modes of action. Finally, our results provide for the first time disinfectant exposure values for Acanthamoeba treatments that might be used as references for disinfection of water systems.

  19. Use of multiple immunosuppressive agents in recalcitrant ACANTHAMOEBA scleritis.

    PubMed

    Igras, Estera; Murphy, Conor

    2015-01-01

    A 48-year-old woman who is a contact lens wearer presented with unilateral ACANTHAMOEBA keratitis, confirmed by PCR, which responded initially to topical polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB) and brolene. Three months later, despite continued treatment, she developed diffuse anterior scleritis with severe pain and marked scleral injection but without evidence of recurrence keratitis. Oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and oral high-dose corticosteroids were added without success. Subsequent treatment with intravenous methylprednisolone and high-dose cyclosporine led to a temporary improvement. Re-presenting with signs of recurrent scleritis and severe pain, the antitumor necrosis factor monoclonal antibody adalimumab, and later oral cyclophosphamide, were added. This led to complete quiescence of the scleritis. Unfortunately, frequent recurrences of ACANTHAMOEBA keratitis and anterior uveitis occurred on immunosuppression requiring continued treatment with PHMB, brolene and topical corticosteroids. This is the first case of severe refractory ACANTHAMOEBA scleritis requiring the concomitant use of four immunosuppressive agents to achieve continued disease control. The challenges in managing this case are discussed.

  20. Genotypic characterization of amoeba isolated from Acanthamoeba keratitis in Poland.

    PubMed

    Derda, Monika; Solarczyk, Piotr; Cholewiński, Marcin; Hadaś, Edward

    2015-03-01

    Free-living amoebae belonging to the genus Acanthamoeba are the causative factor of many diseases. Among others, they cause Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK), a condition that usually occurs in contact lens wearers, though it is also observed in non-wearers. The number of diagnosed cases of AK increased more than eightfold during 8 years in the USA, and a proportional increase in frequency also occurred in Poland and Europe. Cases of AK are usually diagnosed late, and their therapy is difficult and rarely successful. AK is an uncommon diagnosis in Poland. The increased number of positive cases observed in our laboratory may reflect the growing at-risk population of contact lens wearers. Acanthamoeba as a genus of facultative human parasites is currently classified into 17 genotypes. Isolates belonging to seven genotypes were found to be associated with AK. One genotype in particular, T4, was found to be overrepresented in human disease. The main finding of our study is that in Poland, AK is almost always associated with the T4 genotype.

  1. Partial characterization of Acanthamoeba castellanii (T4 genotype) DNase activity.

    PubMed

    Iqbal, Junaid; Panjwani, Shamvil; Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2015-02-01

    The deoxyribonuclease (DNase) activities of Acanthamoeba castellanii belonging to the T4 genotype were investigated. Using zymographic assays, the DNase activities had approximate molecular masses of 25 and 35 kDa. A. castellanii DNases exhibited activity at wide-ranging temperature of up to 60 °C and at pH ranging from 4 to 9. The DNases activities were unaffected by proteinase-K treatment, divalent cations such as Ca(++), Cu(++), Mg(++), and Zn(++), or divalent cation chelating agent ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) or sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS). The non-reliance on divalent cations and homology data suggests that A. castellanii DNases belong to the class of eukaryotic lysosomal DNase II but exhibit robust properties. The DNases activity in A. castellanii interfered with the genomic DNA extraction. Extraction methods involving EDTA, SDS, and proteinase-K resulted in low yield of genomic DNA. On the other hand, these methods resulted in high yield of genomic DNA from human cells suggesting the robust nature of A. castellanii DNases that are unaffected by reagents normally used in blocking eukaryotic DNases. In contrast, the use of chaotropic agent such as guanidine thiocyanate improved the yield of genomic DNA from A. castellanii cells significantly. Further purification and characterization of Acanthamoeba DNases is needed to study their non-classic distinct properties and to determine their role in the biology, cellular differentiation, cell cycle progression, and arrest of Acanthamoeba.

  2. Development of an immunochromatographic assay kit using fluorescent silica nanoparticles for rapid diagnosis of Acanthamoeba keratitis.

    PubMed

    Toriyama, Koji; Suzuki, Takashi; Inoue, Tomoyuki; Eguchi, Hiroshi; Hoshi, Saichi; Inoue, Yoshitsugu; Aizawa, Hideki; Miyoshi, Kazutomi; Ohkubo, Michio; Hiwatashi, Eiji; Tachibana, Hiroshi; Ohashi, Yuichi

    2015-01-01

    We developed an immunochromatographic assay kit that uses fluorescent silica nanoparticles bound to anti-Acanthamoeba antibodies (fluorescent immunochromatographic assay [FICGA]) and evaluated its efficacy for the detection of Acanthamoeba and diagnosis of Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK). The sensitivity of the FICGA kit was evaluated using samples of Acanthamoeba trophozoites and cysts diluted to various concentrations. A conventional immunochromatographic assay kit with latex labels (LICGA) was also evaluated to determine its sensitivity in detecting Acanthamoeba trophozoites. To check for cross-reactivity, the FICGA was performed by using samples of other common causative pathogens of infectious keratitis, such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and Candida albicans. Corneal scrapings from patients with suspected AK were tested with the FICGA kit to detect the presence of Acanthamoeba, and the results were compared with those of real-time PCR. The FICGA kit detected organisms at concentrations as low as 5 trophozoites or 40 cysts per sample. There were no cross-reactivities with other pathogens. The FICGA was approximately 20 times more sensitive than the LICGA for the detection of Acanthamoeba trophozoites. The FICGA kit yielded positive results for all 10 patients, which corresponded well with the real-time PCR results. The FICGA kit demonstrated high sensitivity for the detection of Acanthamoeba and may be useful for the diagnosis of AK.

  3. Balamuthia mandrillaris and Acanthamoeba Amebic Encephalitis with Neurotoxoplasmosis Coinfection in a Patient with Advanced HIV Infection

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Joseph C.; Castellano-Sanchez, Amilcar; Hirzel, Alicia; Laowansiri, Panthipa; Tuda, Claudio; Visvesvara, Govinda S.; Qvarnstrom, Yvonne; Ratzan, Kenneth R.

    2012-01-01

    We describe a patient with advanced HIV infection and Balamuthia mandrillaris and Acanthamoeba amebic encephalitis with Toxoplasma gondii coinfection. A multidisciplinary effort and state-of-the-art diagnostic techniques were required for diagnosis. Our patient is the first reported case of an HIV-infected person with dual Balamuthia mandrillaris and Acanthamoeba amebic encephalitis with neurotoxoplasmosis coinfection. PMID:22170911

  4. Insights from the DNA databases: approaches to the phylogenetic structure of Acanthamoeba.

    PubMed

    Fuerst, Paul A

    2014-11-01

    Species of Acanthamoeba have been traditionally described using morphology (primarily cyst structure), or cytology of nuclear division (used by Pussard and Pons, 1977). Twenty-plus putative species were proposed based on such criteria. Morphology, however, is often plastic, dependent upon culture conditions. DNA sequences of the nuclear small subunit (18S) rRNA that can be used for the study of the phylogeny of Acanthamoeba have increased from a single sequence in 1986 to more than 1800 in 2013. Some of the patterns of the sequence data for Acanthamoeba are reviewed, and some of the insights that this data illuminates are illustrated. In particular, the data suggest the existence of 20 or more genotypic types, a number not dissimilar to the number of named species of Acanthamoeba. However, molecular studies make clear that the relationship between phylogenetic relatedness and species names as we know them for Acanthamoeba is tenuous at best.

  5. Isolation and Molecular Characterization of Acanthamoeba Strains from Dental Units in Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Retana-Moreira, Lissette; Abrahams-Sandí, Elizabeth; Castro-Artavia, Esteban; Fernández-Sánchez, Ana; Castro-Castillo, Alfredo; Reyes-Batlle, María; Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob

    2015-01-01

    Free-living amoebae are protozoa widely distributed in nature, which can be found in a variety of environments. Four genera are recognized as causal agents of infections in humans and animals: Acanthamoeba, Naegleria, Balamuthia, and Sappinia. In this study, the presence of Acanthamoeba in dental units was determined and the isolates obtained were molecularly characterized; osmotolerance and thermotolerance assays were also performed to evaluate multiplication under these conditions, frequently associated with pathogenicity. The morphological analysis and partial sequencing of the 18S rDNA gene revealed the presence of Acanthamoeba genotype T4 in 14% of the units sampled. Osmotolerance and thermotolerance tests were positive for more than 80% of the isolates. Up to date, this is the first study that reports the detection, identification, and genotyping of Acanthamoeba isolated from dental units in Costa Rica and even in Latin-America. Further assays to determine the potential pathogenicity of these Acanthamoeba isolates are underway.

  6. First isolation of a giant virus from wild Hirudo medicinalis leech: Mimiviridae isolation in Hirudo medicinalis.

    PubMed

    Boughalmi, Mondher; Pagnier, Isabelle; Aherfi, Sarah; Colson, Philippe; Raoult, Didier; La Scola, Bernard

    2013-11-27

    Giant viruses and amoebae are common in freshwater, where they can coexist with other living multicellular organisms. We screened leeches from the species Hirudo medicinalis for giant viruses. We analyzed five H. medicinalis obtained from Tunisia (3) and France (2). The leeches were decontaminated and then dissected to remove internal parts for co-culture with Acanthamoeba polyphaga. The genomes of isolated viruses were sequenced on a 454 Roche instrument, and a comparative genomics analysis was performed. One Mimivirus was isolated and the strain was named Hirudovirus. The genome assembly generated two scaffolds, which were 1,155,382 and 25,660 base pairs in length. Functional annotations were identified for 47% of the genes, which corresponds to 466 proteins. The presence of Mimividae in the same ecological niche as wild Hirudo may explain the presence of the mimivirus in the digestive tract of the leech, and several studies have already shown that viruses can persist in the digestive tracts of leeches fed contaminated blood. As leeches can be used medically and Mimiviruses have the potential to be an infectious agent in humans, patients treated with leeches should be surveyed to investigate a possible connection.

  7. Biochemical characterization and functional studies of Acanthamoeba mannose-binding protein.

    PubMed

    Garate, Marco; Cubillos, Ibis; Marchant, Jeffrey; Panjwani, Noorjahan

    2005-09-01

    Acanthamoebae produce a painful, sight-threatening corneal infection. The adhesion of parasites to the host cells is a critical first step in the pathogenesis of infection. Subsequent to adhesion, the parasites produce a potent cytopathic effect (CPE) leading to target cell death. Recent studies showing that acanthamoebae express a mannose-binding protein (MBP) and that free alpha-mannose (alpha-Man) specifically inhibits the adhesion of parasites to host cells suggest that the MBP plays a key role in the pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba infection by mediating host-parasite interactions. However, direct evidence showing that Acanthamoeba MBP is a virulence protein has been lacking. In this study, we demonstrate that the polyclonal immunoglobulin Y (IgY) antibodies prepared against affinity-purified Acanthamoeba MBP markedly inhibit the adhesion of parasites to host cells. The antibody also inhibited the Acanthamoeba-induced CPE on host cells. In contrast, preimmune IgY did not influence either the adhesion of the parasites to host cells or the amoeba-induced CPE. Using a variety of approaches, including affinity chromatography on an alpha-Man gel, electrophoresis under native and denaturing conditions, biotinylation of cell surface proteins, and immunostaining, it was conclusively established that Acanthamoeba MBP is located on the surface membranes of the parasites. Neutral-sugar analysis and lectin binding experiments using succinylated concanavalin A, a plant lectin with high affinity for mannose, revealed that Acanthamoeba MBP is itself a mannose-containing glycoprotein. N-Glycanase treatment to remove N-linked oligosaccharides shifted the subunit molecular mass of MBP from 130 kDa to 110 kDa. Hexosamine analysis revealed that Acanthamoeba MBP lacks detectable levels of GalNAc, suggesting the absence of O-linked oligosaccharides. In summary, we have characterized Acanthamoeba MBP and have shown that it is a major virulence protein responsible for host

  8. Identifying differentially expressed genes in trophozoites and cysts of Acanthamoeba T4 genotype: Implications for developing new treatments for Acanthamoeba keratitis.

    PubMed

    Abedkhojasteh, Hoda; Niyyati, Maryam; Rezaei, Sasan; Mohebali, Mehdi; Farnia, Shohreh; Kazemi-Rad, Elham; Roozafzoon, Reza; Sianati, Hamed; Rezaeian, Mostafa; Heidari, Mansour

    2015-02-01

    Acanthamoeba T4 genotype is the most prevalent genotype associated with amoebic keratitis. Acanthamoeba keratitis therapy is difficult due to transformation of trophozoite to cyst stage, which hinders the treatment of the disease. Although encystation assists the organism to survive against the chemotherapeutic compounds, the precise mechanism of encystation remains poorly understood. The purpose of this work was to identify differentially expressed genes in Acanthamoeba T4 genotype which might be useful for understanding of the encystment process and may thus help develop more efficient treatment. The mRNA profile of trophozoite and cyst of Acanthamoeba T4 genotype isolated from a soft contact lens wearer were analyzed using a cDNA amplified fragment length polymorphism (cDNA-AFLP) technique. Subsequently, a real time reverse transcriptase-PCR was performed to validate the cDNA-AFLP results. Three genes, heat shock protein70 (hsp70), actin-I and elongation factor-1alpha (EF-1α) were differentially expressed during Acanthamoeba differentiation. An in silico result predicted that transformation of trophozoite to cyst could be mediated through their cooperation with the protein partners interaction. Taken together, our experimental and bioinformatics findings suggested potential functions of hsp70, EF-1α and actin-I in differentiation of Acanthamoeba T4 genotype which may be useful in the design of an efficient therapeutic strategy in AK.

  9. Mechanisms associated with phagocytosis of Arcobacter butzleri by Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    PubMed

    Medina, Gustavo; Flores-Martin, Sandra; Fonseca, Belchiolina; Otth, Carola; Fernandez, Heriberto

    2014-05-01

    Acanthamoeba castellanii is a free-living amoeba widely found in environmental matrices such as soil and water. Arcobacter butzleri is an emerging potential zoonotic pathogen that can be isolated from environmental water sources, where they can establish endosymbiotic relationships with amoebas. The aim of this study was to describe the implication of mannose-binding proteins and membrane-associated receptors of glucose and galactose present in the amoebic membrane, during the attachment of Arcobacter butzleri by blocking with different saccharides. Another objective was to describe the signaling pathways involved in phagocytosis of these bacteria using specific inhibitors and analyze the implication of phagolysosome formation on the survival of Arcobacter butzleri inside the amoeba. We infer that the attachment of Arcobacter butzleri to the amoeba is a process which involves the participation of mannose-binding proteins and membrane-associated receptors of glucose and galactose present in the amoeba. We also demonstrated an active role of protozoan actin polymerization in the phagocytosis of Arcobacter butzleri and a critical involvement of PI3K and RhoA pathways. Further, we demonstrated that the tyrosine kinase-induced actin polymerization signal is essential in Acanthamoeba-mediated bacterial uptake. Through phagolysosomal formation analysis, we conclude that the survival of Arcobacter butzleri inside the amoeba could be related with the ability to remain inside vacuoles not fused with lysosomes, or with the ability to retard the fusion between these structures. All these results help the understanding of the bacterial uptake mechanisms used by Acanthamoeba castellanii and contribute to evidence of the survival mechanisms of Arcobacter butzleri.

  10. Single-shot diffraction data from the Mimivirus particle using an X-ray free-electron laser

    PubMed Central

    Ekeberg, Tomas; Svenda, Martin; Seibert, M. Marvin; Abergel, Chantal; Maia, Filipe R.N.C.; Seltzer, Virginie; DePonte, Daniel P.; Aquila, Andrew; Andreasson, Jakob; Iwan, Bianca; Jönsson, Olof; Westphal, Daniel; Odić, Duško; Andersson, Inger; Barty, Anton; Liang, Meng; Martin, Andrew V.; Gumprecht, Lars; Fleckenstein, Holger; Bajt, Saša; Barthelmess, Miriam; Coppola, Nicola; Claverie, Jean-Michel; Loh, N. Duane; Bostedt, Christoph; Bozek, John D.; Krzywinski, Jacek; Messerschmidt, Marc; Bogan, Michael J.; Hampton, Christina Y.; Sierra, Raymond G.; Frank, Matthias; Shoeman, Robert L.; Lomb, Lukas; Foucar, Lutz; Epp, Sascha W.; Rolles, Daniel; Rudenko, Artem; Hartmann, Robert; Hartmann, Andreas; Kimmel, Nils; Holl, Peter; Weidenspointner, Georg; Rudek, Benedikt; Erk, Benjamin; Kassemeyer, Stephan; Schlichting, Ilme; Strüder, Lothar; Ullrich, Joachim; Schmidt, Carlo; Krasniqi, Faton; Hauser, Günter; Reich, Christian; Soltau, Heike; Schorb, Sebastian; Hirsemann, Helmut; Wunderer, Cornelia; Graafsma, Heinz; Chapman, Henry; Hajdu, Janos

    2016-01-01

    Free-electron lasers (FEL) hold the potential to revolutionize structural biology by producing X-ray pules short enough to outrun radiation damage, thus allowing imaging of biological samples without the limitation from radiation damage. Thus, a major part of the scientific case for the first FELs was three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction of non-crystalline biological objects. In a recent publication we demonstrated the first 3D reconstruction of a biological object from an X-ray FEL using this technique. The sample was the giant Mimivirus, which is one of the largest known viruses with a diameter of 450 nm. Here we present the dataset used for this successful reconstruction. Data-analysis methods for single-particle imaging at FELs are undergoing heavy development but data collection relies on very limited time available through a highly competitive proposal process. This dataset provides experimental data to the entire community and could boost algorithm development and provide a benchmark dataset for new algorithms. PMID:27479754

  11. Single-shot diffraction data from the Mimivirus particle using an X-ray free-electron laser.

    PubMed

    Ekeberg, Tomas; Svenda, Martin; Seibert, M Marvin; Abergel, Chantal; Maia, Filipe R N C; Seltzer, Virginie; DePonte, Daniel P; Aquila, Andrew; Andreasson, Jakob; Iwan, Bianca; Jönsson, Olof; Westphal, Daniel; Odić, Duško; Andersson, Inger; Barty, Anton; Liang, Meng; Martin, Andrew V; Gumprecht, Lars; Fleckenstein, Holger; Bajt, Saša; Barthelmess, Miriam; Coppola, Nicola; Claverie, Jean-Michel; Loh, N Duane; Bostedt, Christoph; Bozek, John D; Krzywinski, Jacek; Messerschmidt, Marc; Bogan, Michael J; Hampton, Christina Y; Sierra, Raymond G; Frank, Matthias; Shoeman, Robert L; Lomb, Lukas; Foucar, Lutz; Epp, Sascha W; Rolles, Daniel; Rudenko, Artem; Hartmann, Robert; Hartmann, Andreas; Kimmel, Nils; Holl, Peter; Weidenspointner, Georg; Rudek, Benedikt; Erk, Benjamin; Kassemeyer, Stephan; Schlichting, Ilme; Strüder, Lothar; Ullrich, Joachim; Schmidt, Carlo; Krasniqi, Faton; Hauser, Günter; Reich, Christian; Soltau, Heike; Schorb, Sebastian; Hirsemann, Helmut; Wunderer, Cornelia; Graafsma, Heinz; Chapman, Henry; Hajdu, Janos

    2016-08-01

    Free-electron lasers (FEL) hold the potential to revolutionize structural biology by producing X-ray pules short enough to outrun radiation damage, thus allowing imaging of biological samples without the limitation from radiation damage. Thus, a major part of the scientific case for the first FELs was three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction of non-crystalline biological objects. In a recent publication we demonstrated the first 3D reconstruction of a biological object from an X-ray FEL using this technique. The sample was the giant Mimivirus, which is one of the largest known viruses with a diameter of 450 nm. Here we present the dataset used for this successful reconstruction. Data-analysis methods for single-particle imaging at FELs are undergoing heavy development but data collection relies on very limited time available through a highly competitive proposal process. This dataset provides experimental data to the entire community and could boost algorithm development and provide a benchmark dataset for new algorithms.

  12. Single-shot diffraction data from the Mimivirus particle using an X-ray free-electron laser.

    PubMed

    Ekeberg, Tomas; Svenda, Martin; Seibert, M Marvin; Abergel, Chantal; Maia, Filipe R N C; Seltzer, Virginie; DePonte, Daniel P; Aquila, Andrew; Andreasson, Jakob; Iwan, Bianca; Jönsson, Olof; Westphal, Daniel; Odić, Duško; Andersson, Inger; Barty, Anton; Liang, Meng; Martin, Andrew V; Gumprecht, Lars; Fleckenstein, Holger; Bajt, Saša; Barthelmess, Miriam; Coppola, Nicola; Claverie, Jean-Michel; Loh, N Duane; Bostedt, Christoph; Bozek, John D; Krzywinski, Jacek; Messerschmidt, Marc; Bogan, Michael J; Hampton, Christina Y; Sierra, Raymond G; Frank, Matthias; Shoeman, Robert L; Lomb, Lukas; Foucar, Lutz; Epp, Sascha W; Rolles, Daniel; Rudenko, Artem; Hartmann, Robert; Hartmann, Andreas; Kimmel, Nils; Holl, Peter; Weidenspointner, Georg; Rudek, Benedikt; Erk, Benjamin; Kassemeyer, Stephan; Schlichting, Ilme; Strüder, Lothar; Ullrich, Joachim; Schmidt, Carlo; Krasniqi, Faton; Hauser, Günter; Reich, Christian; Soltau, Heike; Schorb, Sebastian; Hirsemann, Helmut; Wunderer, Cornelia; Graafsma, Heinz; Chapman, Henry; Hajdu, Janos

    2016-01-01

    Free-electron lasers (FEL) hold the potential to revolutionize structural biology by producing X-ray pules short enough to outrun radiation damage, thus allowing imaging of biological samples without the limitation from radiation damage. Thus, a major part of the scientific case for the first FELs was three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction of non-crystalline biological objects. In a recent publication we demonstrated the first 3D reconstruction of a biological object from an X-ray FEL using this technique. The sample was the giant Mimivirus, which is one of the largest known viruses with a diameter of 450 nm. Here we present the dataset used for this successful reconstruction. Data-analysis methods for single-particle imaging at FELs are undergoing heavy development but data collection relies on very limited time available through a highly competitive proposal process. This dataset provides experimental data to the entire community and could boost algorithm development and provide a benchmark dataset for new algorithms. PMID:27479754

  13. Artemether Exhibits Amoebicidal Activity against Acanthamoeba castellanii through Inhibition of the Serine Biosynthesis Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Deng, Yihong; Ran, Wei; Man, Suqin; Li, Xueping; Gao, Hongjian; Tang, Wei

    2015-01-01

    Acanthamoeba sp. parasites are the causative agents of Acanthamoeba keratitis, fatal granulomatous amoebic encephalitis, and cutaneous infections. However, there are currently no effective drugs for these organisms. Here, we evaluated the activity of the antimalarial agent artemether against Acanthamoeba castellanii trophozoites and identified potential targets of this agent through a proteomic approach. Artemether exhibited in vitro amoebicidal activity in a time- and dose-dependent manner and induced ultrastructural modification and cell apoptosis. The iTRAQ quantitative proteomic analysis identified 707 proteins that were differentially expressed after artemether treatment. We focused on phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase and phosphoserine aminotransferase in the serine biosynthesis pathway because of their importance to the growth and proliferation of protozoan and cancer cells. The expression of these proteins in Acanthamoeba was validated using quantitative real-time PCR and Western blotting after artemether treatment. The changes in the expression levels of phosphoserine aminotransferase were consistent with those of phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase. Therefore, the downregulation of phosphoserine aminotransferase may be due to the downregulation of phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase. Furthermore, exogenous serine might antagonize the activity of artemether against Acanthamoeba trophozoites. These results indicate that the serine biosynthesis pathway is important to amoeba survival and that targeting these enzymes would improve the treatment of Acanthamoeba infections. Artemether may be used as a phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase inhibitor to control or block Acanthamoeba infections. PMID:26014935

  14. Abietane diterpenoids from Salvia sclarea transformed roots as growth inhibitors of pathogenic Acanthamoeba spp.

    PubMed

    Kuźma, Łukasz; Derda, Monika; Hadaś, Edward; Wysokińska, Halina

    2015-01-01

    Amoebae from the genus Acanthamoeba are known agents leading to various diseases such as granulomatous amoebic encephalitis (GAE), a chronic progressive disease of the central nervous system, amoebic keratitis (AK), chronic eye infection, amoebic pneumitis (AP), chronic lung infection, and skin infections. It is known that various synthetic anti-Acanthamoeba substances are ineffective. Therefore, other substances, e.g., natural plant compounds, are the focus of biological investigations regarding anti-parasite activity. In this work, the ability of four abietane diterpenoids (ferruginol, salvipisone, aethiopinone, and 1-oxo-aethiopinone) to inhibit Acanthamoeba growth is reported. All investigated compounds were active against Acanthamoeba growing in vitro. Among them, ferruginol demonstrated the highest activity against Acanthamoeba. This compound inhibited Acanthamoeba growth by about 72% in a 3-day exposure period (IC50 17.45 μM), while aethiopinone and 1-oxo-aethiopinone demonstrated this activity at the level of 55-56%. Salvipisone reduced the growth of Acanthamoeba in vitro culture by 39%. For this compound, the value of IC50 was 701.94 μM after 72 h of exposure.

  15. Susceptibility of Acanthamoeba castellanii to contact lens disinfecting solutions.

    PubMed

    Zanetti, S; Fiori, P L; Pinna, A; Usai, S; Carta, F; Fadda, G

    1995-07-01

    A corneal isolate of Acanthamoeba castellanii was exposed to commercial contact lens disinfecting solutions containing hydrogen peroxide, benzalkonium chloride, polyaminopropyl biguanide, polyquaternium 1, and chlorhexidine-thimerosal. The minimum trophozoite amebicidal concentration and exposure times required to kill trophozoites and cysts were determined. Solutions containing hydrogen peroxide or chlorhexidine-thimerosal were active against both trophozoites and cysts. The benzalkonium chloride-based solution was effective only against trophozoites. Solutions containing polyaminopropyl biguanide or polyquaternium 1 were completely ineffective. The need for adequate exposure times must be stressed.

  16. Susceptibility of Acanthamoeba castellanii to contact lens disinfecting solutions.

    PubMed Central

    Zanetti, S; Fiori, P L; Pinna, A; Usai, S; Carta, F; Fadda, G

    1995-01-01

    A corneal isolate of Acanthamoeba castellanii was exposed to commercial contact lens disinfecting solutions containing hydrogen peroxide, benzalkonium chloride, polyaminopropyl biguanide, polyquaternium 1, and chlorhexidine-thimerosal. The minimum trophozoite amebicidal concentration and exposure times required to kill trophozoites and cysts were determined. Solutions containing hydrogen peroxide or chlorhexidine-thimerosal were active against both trophozoites and cysts. The benzalkonium chloride-based solution was effective only against trophozoites. Solutions containing polyaminopropyl biguanide or polyquaternium 1 were completely ineffective. The need for adequate exposure times must be stressed. PMID:7492111

  17. Acanthamoeba castellanii: identification and distribution of actin cytoskeleton.

    PubMed

    González-Robles, Arturo; Castañón, Guadalupe; Hernández-Ramírez, Verónica Ivonne; Salazar-Villatoro, Lizbeth; González-Lázaro, Mónica; Omaña-Molina, Maritza; Talamás-Rohana, Patricia; Martínez-Palomo, Adolfo

    2008-07-01

    The presence of the cytoskeleton of Acanthamoeba castellanii was observed by means of cryo-electronmicroscopy and immunofluorescence techniques. This structure is formed largely by fibers and networks of actin located mainly in cytoplasmic locomotion structures as lamellipodia and as well as in various endocytic structures. In addition, the comparison between total actin content in whole extracts among different amoebae was made. The molecular weight of actin in A. castellanii was 44 kDa, and 45 kDa for Naegleria fowleri and Entamoeba histolytica.

  18. Acanthamoeba spp. in Contact Lenses from Healthy Individuals from Madrid, Spain

    PubMed Central

    Gomes, Thiago dos Santos; Magnet, Angela; Izquierdo, Fernando; Vaccaro, Lucianna; Redondo, Fernando; Bueno, Sara; Sánchez, Maria Luisa; Angulo, Santiago; Fenoy, Soledad; Hurtado, Carolina; del Aguila, Carmen

    2016-01-01

    Purpose Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) is a painful and potentially blinding corneal infection caused by Acanthamoeba spp. In Madrid, environmental studies have demonstrated a high presence of these free-living amoebae in tap water. Since most of AK cases occur in contact lenses (CL) wearers with inadequate hygiene habits, the presence of Acanthamoeba in discarded CL has been studied and compared with other common etiological agents of keratitis, such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. Methods One hundred and seventy-seven healthy individuals from Madrid contributed their discarded CL and answered a questionnaire on hygiene habits. DNA was extracted from the CL solution and analyzed by real-time PCR for Acanthamoeba, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. These CL and their solutions were also cultured on non-nutrient agar to isolate Acanthamoeba. Results Among the 177 samples, Acanthamoeba DNA was detected in 87 (49.2%), P. aeruginosa DNA in 14 (7.9%) and S. aureus DNA in 19 (10.7%). Cultivable amoebae, however, were observed in only one sample (0.6%). This isolate was genotyped as T4. The habits reported by this CL owner included some recognized risk factors for AK, but in this study only the practice of “not cleaning the CL case” presented some statistical significant association with Acanthamoeba DNA presence. Detection of the investigated bacterial DNA did not demonstrate statistical significant association with the studied practices, but the presence of P. aeruginosa revealed a possible inhibition of Acanthamoeba in these samples. Conclusions The PCR results suggest a high presence of Acanthamoeba spp. in healthy CL wearers from Madrid, but we can assume that CL solutions are properly disinfecting the CL since only 1.1% of the positive PCR samples correspond to viable amoebae and, after four years, only one participant reported stronger ocular problems. Nevertheless, more studies are necessary to corroborate this hypothesis. PMID

  19. Pathogenic and nonpathogenic Acanthamoeba spp. in thermally polluted discharges and surface waters

    SciTech Connect

    de Jonckheere, J.F.

    1981-02-01

    During spring and autumn, the total number of amoebae and the number of acanthamoeba species able to grow at 37 degrees C were determined in six thermally polluted factory discharges and the surrounding surface waters. The isolated Acanthamoeba strains were studied for growth in axenic medium, cytopathic effect in Vito cell cultures, and virulence in mice. Although more amoebae were isolated in autumn, the number of Acanthamoeba species was lower than in spring, when the percent of pathogenic strains among the isolates was highest. Higher concentrations of amoebae were found in warm discharges, and more virulent strains occurred in thermal discharges than in surface waters.

  20. Acanthamoeba differentiation: a two-faced drama of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

    PubMed

    Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah; Dudley, Ricky; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2012-06-01

    The ability of cyst-forming protists such as Acanthamoeba to escape death by transforming into a cyst form, that is resistant to harsh physiological, environmental and pharmacological conditions, has continued to pose a serious challenge to human and animal health. A complete understanding of the fundamental principles of genome evolution and biochemical pathways of cellular differentiation offers unprecedented opportunities to counter detrimental outcomes. Acanthamoeba can elude inhospitable conditions by forming cysts. Here we unravel the processes involved in the phenotypic switching of Acanthamoeba, which are critical in our efforts to find potential targets for chemotherapy. PMID:22309612

  1. Acanthamoeba differentiation: a two-faced drama of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

    PubMed

    Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah; Dudley, Ricky; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2012-06-01

    The ability of cyst-forming protists such as Acanthamoeba to escape death by transforming into a cyst form, that is resistant to harsh physiological, environmental and pharmacological conditions, has continued to pose a serious challenge to human and animal health. A complete understanding of the fundamental principles of genome evolution and biochemical pathways of cellular differentiation offers unprecedented opportunities to counter detrimental outcomes. Acanthamoeba can elude inhospitable conditions by forming cysts. Here we unravel the processes involved in the phenotypic switching of Acanthamoeba, which are critical in our efforts to find potential targets for chemotherapy.

  2. Pathogenic and nonpathogenic Acanthamoeba spp. in thermally polluted discharges and surface waters.

    PubMed

    de Jonckheere, J F

    1981-02-01

    During spring and autumn, the total number of amoebae and the number of acanthamoeba species able to grow at 37 degrees C were determined in six thermally polluted factory discharges and the surrounding surface waters. The isolated Acanthamoeba strains were studied for growth in axenic medium, cytopathic effect in Vero cell cultures, and virulence in mice. Although more amoebae were isolated in autumn, the number of Acanthamoeba species was lower than in spring, when the percent of pathogenic strains among the isolates was highest. Higher concentrations of amoebae were found in warm discharges, and more virulent strains occurred in thermal discharges than in surface waters.

  3. "Marseilleviridae", a new family of giant viruses infecting amoebae.

    PubMed

    Colson, Philippe; Pagnier, Isabelle; Yoosuf, Niyaz; Fournous, Ghislain; La Scola, Bernard; Raoult, Didier

    2013-04-01

    The family "Marseilleviridae" is a new proposed taxon for giant viruses that infect amoebae. Its first member, Acanthamoeba polyphaga marseillevirus (APMaV), was isolated in 2007 by culturing on amoebae a water sample collected from a cooling tower in Paris, France. APMaV has an icosahedral shape with a diameter of ≈250 nm. Its genome is a double-stranded circular DNA that is 368,454 base pairs (bp) in length. The genome has a GC content of 44.7 % and is predicted to encode 457 proteins. Phylogenetic reconstructions showed that APMaV belongs to a new viral family among nucleocytoplasmic large DNA viruses, a group of viruses that also includes Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus (APMV) and the other members of the family Mimiviridae as well as the members of the families Poxviridae, Phycodnaviridae, Iridoviridae, Ascoviridae, and Asfarviridae. In 2011, Acanthamoeba castellanii lausannevirus (ACLaV), another close relative of APMaV, was isolated from river water in France. The ACLaV genome is 346,754 bp in size and encodes 450 genes, among which 320 have an APMaV protein as the closest homolog. Two other giant viruses closely related to APMaV and ACLaV have been recovered in our laboratory from a freshwater sample and a human stool sample using an amoebal co-culture method. The only currently identified hosts for "marseilleviruses" are Acanthamoeba spp. The prevalence of these viruses in the environment and in animals and humans remains to be determined. PMID:23188494

  4. New long chain bases in lipophosphonoglycan of Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    PubMed

    Karaś, Magdalena A; Russa, Ryszard

    2013-06-01

    The polymer called lipophosphonoglycan (LPG) was isolated from Acanthamoeba castellanii membranes after exhaustive delipidation and butanol extraction. A novel extremely long phytosphingosine was revealed in glycoinositolphosphosphingolipid (GIPSL). All data obtained by gas-liquid chromatography coupled with MS analyses of products liberated during acid methanolysis and products of sodium metaperiodate and permanganate-periodate oxidations showed an unusual pattern of long chain bases (LCB) with branched bases (anteiso-C₂₄, anteiso-C₂₅, anteiso-C₂₆, iso-C₂₆, anteiso-C₂₇, and anteiso-C28) and normal ones (C₂₄, C₂₅, C₂₆, C₂₇). The phytosphingosines with hexa-, hepta-, and octacosanoic chains have not been detected in Acanthamoeba cells up to now. Also, the isomer configuration of long chain bases in LPG of A. castellanii was not defined in earlier reports. In the GC-MS chromatograms, the component forming a peak corresponding to anteiso-C₂₅ phytosphingosine was the most abundant and constituted more than 50 % of all LCB.

  5. [Amoebic meningoencephalitis by "Eaegleria" and "Acanthamoeba" (author's transl)].

    PubMed

    de Carneri, I

    1977-01-01

    Primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (ME) by Naegleria fowleri a free-living protozoon found in fresh, warm waters, is a well known fatal disease lasting less than one week. It affects sporadically swimmers and children playing in mud puddles. Less than 100 cases have been described. Recently a more rare, distinct amoebic meningoencephalitis due to some species of free-living Acanthamoeba was identified, lasting some weeks or more but still with a fatal evolution. In this case the amoebae do not always enter the brain directly through the cribrous membranes but cause mild, primary infections of respiratory airways: exceptionally, mainly in immunodepressed subjects, they then reach the CNS causing a secondary ME. Naegleria is fairly sensitive in vitro to some drugs, but in vivo their efficacy is dramtically lowered for pharmacokinetic reasons. Acanthamoeba is in every respect less sensitive. Prophylaxis is almost impossible to achieve. Some diagnostic procedures are described and the importance of their use in diagnosis of the so called aseptic purulent ME is stressed. PMID:616244

  6. Autophagy protein 8 mediating autophagosome in encysting Acanthamoeba.

    PubMed

    Moon, Eun-Kyung; Chung, Dong-Il; Hong, Yeon-Chul; Kong, Hyun-Hee

    2009-11-01

    Autophagy is an evolutionally conserved protein degradation pathway in eukaryotes. It plays essential roles during starvation, cellular differentiation, cell death, and aging by eliminating unwanted or unnecessary organelles and recycling the components for reuse. ATG8, a member of a novel ubiquitin-like protein family, is an essential component of the autophagic machinery. The present study identified and characterized autophagy protein 8 in Acanthamoeba castellanii an amphizoic amoeba causing granulomatous amoebic encephalitis and amoebic keratitis in humans. Real-time polymerase chain reaction demonstrated that the A. castellanii Atg8 (AcAtg8) gene encoding a 118 amino acid protein was highly expressed during encystation. Fluorescence microscopic analysis following transient transfection of enhanced green fluorescent protein-AcAtg8 revealed small or large vacuolar fluorescent structures in an encysting amoeba. The Atg8 fluorescent structures on the membrane were identified as autophagosomes by co-localization analysis with LysoTracker. Chemically synthesized small interfering RNA against AcAtg8 reduced the encystation efficiency and inhibited autophagosome formation in Acanthamoeba. PMID:19560492

  7. Down-regulation of cellulose synthase inhibits the formation of endocysts in Acanthamoeba.

    PubMed

    Moon, Eun-Kyung; Hong, Yeonchul; Chung, Dong-Il; Goo, Youn-Kyoung; Kong, Hyun-Hee

    2014-04-01

    Acanthamoeba cysts are resistant to unfavorable physiological conditions and various disinfectants. Acanthamoeba cysts have 2 walls containing various sugar moieties, and in particular, one third of the inner wall is composed of cellulose. In this study, it has been shown that down-regulation of cellulose synthase by small interfering RNA (siRNA) significantly inhibits the formation of mature Acanthamoeba castellanii cysts. Calcofluor white staining and transmission electron microscopy revealed that siRNA transfected amoeba failed to form an inner wall during encystation and thus are likely to be more vulnerable. In addition, the expression of xylose isomerase, which is involved in cyst wall formation, was not altered in cellulose synthase down-regulated amoeba, indicating that cellulose synthase is a crucial factor for inner wall formation by Acanthamoeba during encystation.

  8. Juglone induces cell death of Acanthamoeba through increased production of reactive oxygen species.

    PubMed

    Jha, Bijay Kumar; Jung, Hui-Jung; Seo, Incheol; Suh, Seong-Il; Suh, Min-Ho; Baek, Won-Ki

    2015-12-01

    Juglone (5-hydroxy-1,4-naphthoquinone) is a major chemical constituent of Juglans mandshruica Maxim. Recent studies have demonstrated that juglone exhibits anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-parasitic properties. However, its effect against Acanthamoeba has not been defined yet. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of juglone on Acanthamoeba. We demonstrate that juglone significantly inhibits the growth of Acanthamoeba castellanii at 3-5 μM concentrations. Juglone increased the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and caused cell death of A. castellanii. Inhibition of ROS by antioxidant N-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC) restored the cell viability. Furthermore, our results show that juglone increased the uptake of mitochondrial specific dye. Collectively, these results indicate that ROS played a significant role in the juglone-induced cell death of Acanthamoeba.

  9. Juglone induces cell death of Acanthamoeba through increased production of reactive oxygen species.

    PubMed

    Jha, Bijay Kumar; Jung, Hui-Jung; Seo, Incheol; Suh, Seong-Il; Suh, Min-Ho; Baek, Won-Ki

    2015-12-01

    Juglone (5-hydroxy-1,4-naphthoquinone) is a major chemical constituent of Juglans mandshruica Maxim. Recent studies have demonstrated that juglone exhibits anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-parasitic properties. However, its effect against Acanthamoeba has not been defined yet. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of juglone on Acanthamoeba. We demonstrate that juglone significantly inhibits the growth of Acanthamoeba castellanii at 3-5 μM concentrations. Juglone increased the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and caused cell death of A. castellanii. Inhibition of ROS by antioxidant N-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC) restored the cell viability. Furthermore, our results show that juglone increased the uptake of mitochondrial specific dye. Collectively, these results indicate that ROS played a significant role in the juglone-induced cell death of Acanthamoeba. PMID:26358271

  10. Detection of Vibrio cholerae and Acanthamoeba species from same natural water samples collected from different cholera endemic areas in Sudan

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Vibrio cholerae O1 and V. cholerae O139 infect humans, causing the diarrheal and waterborne disease cholera, which is a worldwide health problem. V. cholerae and the free-living amoebae Acanthamoeba species are present in aquatic environments, including drinking water and it has shown that Acanthamoebae support bacterial growth and survival. Recently it has shown that Acanthamoeba species enhanced growth and survival of V. cholerae O1 and O139. Water samples from different cholera endemic areas in Sudan were collected with the aim to detect both V. cholerae and Acanthamoeba species from same natural water samples by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Findings For the first time both V. cholerae and Acanthamoeba species were detected in same natural water samples collected from different cholera endemic areas in Sudan. 89% of detected V. cholerae was found with Acanthamoeba in same water samples. Conclusions The current findings disclose Acanthamoedae as a biological factor enhancing survival of V. cholerae in nature. PMID:21470437

  11. [Encephalitis due to Naegleria and Acanthamoeba. Comparison of organisms and diseases (author's transl)].

    PubMed

    Martinez, A J; Janitschke, K

    1979-04-01

    Naegleria and Acanthamoeba are ubiquitous, free-living amoebas. Infections with Naegleria are acquired nasally by exposure to water and are characterized by an acute fulminant hemorrhagic necrotizing meningoencephalitis leading to death. Acanthamoeba-infections occur in chronically ill, debilitated individuals. A patchy chronic or subacute granulomatous encephalitis is produced by hematogenous spread of the amoebas. The histological or clinical diagnosis is not difficult. PMID:457190

  12. Vectorial role of Acanthamoeba in Legionella propagation in water for human use.

    PubMed

    Magnet, A; Peralta, R H S; Gomes, T S; Izquierdo, F; Fernandez-Vadillo, C; Galvan, A L; Pozuelo, M J; Pelaz, C; Fenoy, S; Del Águila, C

    2015-02-01

    Legionella spp. is the causative agent of Legionnaires' disease and is transmitted through aerosols emanating from man-made water systems. Legionella resistance to water treatments has been related to its association with environmental amoebae such as Acanthamoeba. Due to the high presence of this protozoon in Spain and the high rate of notification of Legionnaires' disease of this country, the aims of this work were to study the coexistence of these bacteria and protozoa in water as well as their interaction. The usefulness of Acanthamoeba co-culture for the isolation of environmental Legionella was also studied. For this purpose, 70 water samples were collected in 2011 from three Drinking Water Treatment Plants, three Wastewater Treatment Plants and five Natural Pools in Spain. Acanthamoeba was found by PCR in 87.1% (61/70) samples and, by culture in 85.7% (60/70) samples. Legionella was detected by PCR in 58.6% (41/70) of water samples, in 5.7% (4/70) by agar culture and 75.7% (53/70) by Acanthamoeba co-culture. From the 54 Acanthamoeba water isolates, Legionella was detected in 43 of them independently of Acanthamoeba's genotype (T3, T4 and T11). Legionella feeleii, Legionella birminghamiensis, Legionella gresilensis/berliardensis, Legionella fairfieldensis, Legionella drozanski and Legionella falloni were identified. In conclusion, our results showed that environmental Acanthamoeba is infected by Legionella to a high percentage, and due to its ubiquity, high resistance and its pathogenic potential per se, new methods for its elimination should be studied. Also, the high effectivity of Acanthamoeba co-culture for Legionella detection has been shown. PMID:25461091

  13. Reevaluation of an Acanthamoeba Molecular Diagnostic Algorithm following an Atypical Case of Amoebic Keratitis

    PubMed Central

    Lau, Rachel; Cunanan, Marlou; Jackson, Jonathan; Ali, Ibne Karim M.; Chong-Kit, Ann; Gasgas, Jason; Tian, Jinfang; Ralevski, Filip

    2015-01-01

    Amoebic keratitis (AK) is a potentially blinding infection, the prompt diagnosis of which is essential for limiting ocular morbidity. We undertook a quality improvement initiative with respect to the molecular detection of acanthamoebae in our laboratory because of an unusual case of discordance. Nine ATCC strains of Acanthamoeba and 40 delinked, biobanked, surplus corneal scraping specimens were analyzed for the presence of acanthamoebae with four separate real-time PCR assays. The assay used by the Free-Living and Intestinal Amebas Laboratory of the CDC was considered the reference standard, and the performance characteristics of each individual assay and pairs of assays were calculated. Outcome measures were sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV). Of 49 included specimens, 14 (28.6%) were positive by the gold standard assay, and 35 (71.4%) were negative. The sensitivities of the individual assays ranged from 64.3% to 92.9%, compared to the gold standard, while the specificities ranged from 88.6% to 91.4%. The PPVs and NPVs ranged from 69.2% to 78.6% and from 86.1% to 96.9%, respectively. Combinations of assay pairs led to improved performance, with sensitivities ranging from 92.9% to 100% and specificities ranging from 97.1% to 100%. ATCC and clinical strains of Acanthamoeba that failed to be detected by certain individual assays included Acanthamoeba castellanii, Acanthamoeba culbertsoni, and Acanthamoeba lenticulata. For three clinical specimens, false negativity of the gold standard assay could not be excluded. Molecular diagnostic approaches, especially combinations of highly sensitive and specific assays, offer a reasonably performing, operator-independent, rapid strategy for the detection of acanthamoebae in clinical specimens and are likely to be more practical than either culture or direct microscopic detection. PMID:26202123

  14. Vectorial role of Acanthamoeba in Legionella propagation in water for human use.

    PubMed

    Magnet, A; Peralta, R H S; Gomes, T S; Izquierdo, F; Fernandez-Vadillo, C; Galvan, A L; Pozuelo, M J; Pelaz, C; Fenoy, S; Del Águila, C

    2015-02-01

    Legionella spp. is the causative agent of Legionnaires' disease and is transmitted through aerosols emanating from man-made water systems. Legionella resistance to water treatments has been related to its association with environmental amoebae such as Acanthamoeba. Due to the high presence of this protozoon in Spain and the high rate of notification of Legionnaires' disease of this country, the aims of this work were to study the coexistence of these bacteria and protozoa in water as well as their interaction. The usefulness of Acanthamoeba co-culture for the isolation of environmental Legionella was also studied. For this purpose, 70 water samples were collected in 2011 from three Drinking Water Treatment Plants, three Wastewater Treatment Plants and five Natural Pools in Spain. Acanthamoeba was found by PCR in 87.1% (61/70) samples and, by culture in 85.7% (60/70) samples. Legionella was detected by PCR in 58.6% (41/70) of water samples, in 5.7% (4/70) by agar culture and 75.7% (53/70) by Acanthamoeba co-culture. From the 54 Acanthamoeba water isolates, Legionella was detected in 43 of them independently of Acanthamoeba's genotype (T3, T4 and T11). Legionella feeleii, Legionella birminghamiensis, Legionella gresilensis/berliardensis, Legionella fairfieldensis, Legionella drozanski and Legionella falloni were identified. In conclusion, our results showed that environmental Acanthamoeba is infected by Legionella to a high percentage, and due to its ubiquity, high resistance and its pathogenic potential per se, new methods for its elimination should be studied. Also, the high effectivity of Acanthamoeba co-culture for Legionella detection has been shown.

  15. Reevaluation of an Acanthamoeba Molecular Diagnostic Algorithm following an Atypical Case of Amoebic Keratitis.

    PubMed

    Lau, Rachel; Cunanan, Marlou; Jackson, Jonathan; Ali, Ibne Karim M; Chong-Kit, Ann; Gasgas, Jason; Tian, Jinfang; Ralevski, Filip; Boggild, Andrea K

    2015-10-01

    Amoebic keratitis (AK) is a potentially blinding infection, the prompt diagnosis of which is essential for limiting ocular morbidity. We undertook a quality improvement initiative with respect to the molecular detection of acanthamoebae in our laboratory because of an unusual case of discordance. Nine ATCC strains of Acanthamoeba and 40 delinked, biobanked, surplus corneal scraping specimens were analyzed for the presence of acanthamoebae with four separate real-time PCR assays. The assay used by the Free-Living and Intestinal Amebas Laboratory of the CDC was considered the reference standard, and the performance characteristics of each individual assay and pairs of assays were calculated. Outcome measures were sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV). Of 49 included specimens, 14 (28.6%) were positive by the gold standard assay, and 35 (71.4%) were negative. The sensitivities of the individual assays ranged from 64.3% to 92.9%, compared to the gold standard, while the specificities ranged from 88.6% to 91.4%. The PPVs and NPVs ranged from 69.2% to 78.6% and from 86.1% to 96.9%, respectively. Combinations of assay pairs led to improved performance, with sensitivities ranging from 92.9% to 100% and specificities ranging from 97.1% to 100%. ATCC and clinical strains of Acanthamoeba that failed to be detected by certain individual assays included Acanthamoeba castellanii, Acanthamoeba culbertsoni, and Acanthamoeba lenticulata. For three clinical specimens, false negativity of the gold standard assay could not be excluded. Molecular diagnostic approaches, especially combinations of highly sensitive and specific assays, offer a reasonably performing, operator-independent, rapid strategy for the detection of acanthamoebae in clinical specimens and are likely to be more practical than either culture or direct microscopic detection.

  16. In the case of transmission of Mycobacterium ulcerans in buruli ulcer disease Acanthamoeba species stand accused.

    PubMed

    Wilson, M D; Boakye, D A; Mosi, L; Asiedu, K

    2011-03-01

    Buruli ulcer disease caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans results in extensive destruction of skin and soft tissue and long-term functional disabilities that ultimately require surgery and rehabilitation. The disease is associated with aquatic and swampy environments with the mycobacterium occurring in biofilms, soil, aquatic insects, fish and wildlife however, the mode of transmission to humans remains an enigma. Current transmission ideas including bites from predatory water bugs and mosquitoes, do not explain satisfactorily the spasmodic disease distribution in human populations. Here we argue that Acanthamoeba species are the natural hosts of M. ulcerans and are mainly responsible for disease transmission because; (i) Acanthamoebae are known natural hosts of several microbial pathogens including M. marinum, M. avium and Legionella pneumophila, (ii) culture of slow-to-grow microbial pathogens hosted in nature by Acanthamoeba spp is enhanced when the media is seeded with the protozoa, (iii) acanthamoebae and M. ulcerans share similar bio-ecological and epidemiological settings, (iv) documented evidence that prior growth of L. pneumophila and M. avium in acanthamoebae influences entry mechanisms, intracellular growth and virulence in human monocytes, (v) Acanthamoeba spp also infect humans and cause diseases via routes of openings including broken skin and sites of trauma similar to M. ulcerans and (vi) M. ulcerans is rather a fastidious intracellular organism as recent analysis of the genome indicate. We argue further that temperature plays a significant role in transmission determining the fate of either the intracellular microbe or the host cells. Also, Acanthamoeba-pathogen association has a long evolutionary history because the same set of bacterial genes and gene products e.g. in L. pneumophila are required for survival in both mammalian and protozoan host cells. We suggest that the involvement of Acanthamoeba in the transmission of M. ulcerans to humans better

  17. Identification of 18S ribosomal DNA genotype of Acanthamoeba from hot spring recreation areas in the central range, Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsu, Bing-Mu; Ma, Po-Hua; Liou, Tai-Sheng; Chen, Jung-Sheng; Shih, Feng-Cheng

    2009-04-01

    SummaryAcanthamoeba is a free-living amoebae ubiquitous to aquatic environments. Within the genus a few species are recognized as opportunistic potential human pathogens, which cause granulomatous amoebic encephalitis (GAE) and keratitis. Infections of keratitis are frequently reported through wearing lens while swimming in the non-disinfected aquatic environment. Contaminations in hot tubs, spas and public baths are also possible. As a result, in this study, we identified Acanthamoeba based on the PCR amplification with a genus-specific primer pair and investigated the distribution of Acanthamoeba at five hot spring recreation areas in central range, Taiwan. We gathered data on factors potentially associated with the pathogen's distribution, including various sampling sites, aquatic environment, physical and microbiological water quality parameters. Spring water was collected from 55 sites and Acanthamoeba was detected in 9 (16.4%). The most frequently detected was Acanthamoeba griffini, followed by Acanthamoeba jacobsi. Legionella were detected in 18 (32.7%) of the sites sampled in this study. The species of Legionella identified included Legionella pneumophila serotype 6, serotype 1, and Legionella erythra. Overall, 9.1% of the samples contained both Acanthamoeba and Legionella. The prevalence of Acanthamoeba was contrary to the levels of microbiological indicators recommended by Taiwan CDC, and no significant differences (Mann-Whitney U test, P < 0.05) were observed between the presence/absence of Acanthamoeba and water quality parameters. Results of this survey confirm the existence of Acanthamoeba in Taiwan spring recreation areas. Acanthamoeba, the organism responsible for the majority of Acanthamoeba keratitis and can serve as vehicles for facultative pathogens, should be considered a potential threat for health associated with human activities in spring recreation areas of Taiwan.

  18. Molecular characterization of bacterial endosymbionts of Acanthamoeba isolates from infected corneas of Korean patients.

    PubMed

    Xuan, Ying-Hua; Yu, Hak Sun; Jeong, Hae Jin; Seol, Sung-Yong; Chung, Dong-Il; Kong, Hyun-Hee

    2007-03-01

    The endosymbionts of 4 strains of Acanthamoeba (KA/E9, KA/E21, KA/E22, and KA/E23) isolated from the infected corneas of Korean patients were characterized via orcein stain, transmission electron microscopic examination, and 16S rDNA sequence analysis. Double membrane-bound, rod-shaped endosymbionts were distributed randomly throughout both the trophozoites and cysts of each of Acanthamoeba isolates. The endosymbionts of KA/E9, KA/E22, and KA/E23 were surrounded by electron-translucent areas. No lacunae-like structures were observed in the endosymbionts of KA/E21, the bacterial cell walls of which were studded with host ribosomes. Comparative analyses of the 16S rDNA sequences showed that the endosymbionts of KA/E9, KA/E22 and KA/E23 were closely related to Caedibacter caryophilus, whereas the KA/E21 endosymbiont was assigned to the Cytophaga-Flavobacterium-Bacteroides (CFB) phylum. In the 4 strains of Acanthamoeba, the hosts of the endosymbionts were identified as belonging to the Acanthamoeba castellanii complex, which corresponds to the T4 genotype. Acanthamoeba KA/E21 evidenced characteristics almost identical to those of KA/E6, with the exception of the existence of endosymbionts. The discovery of these endosymbionts from Acanthamoeba may prove essential to future studies focusing on interactions between the endosymbionts and the amoebic hosts. PMID:17374972

  19. Evaluation of Ozone Application in Dental Unit Water Lines Contaminated with Pathogenic Acanthamoeba

    PubMed Central

    HIKAL, Wafaa; ZAKI, Basma; SABRY, Hany

    2015-01-01

    Background: In this study morphological and molecular characterization of Acanthamoeba strains, isolated from dental unit waterlines (DUWLs) were surveyed and the levels of disinfection achievable in vitro by the application of ozone disinfectant to DUWLs were evaluate. Methods: Water samples were collected from air-water syringes, cup fillers and tap water before and at the end of the working day. They were cultured on non-nutrient agar (NNA) plates. Species identification was carried out with a PCR assay based on sequence analysis of the 18S rRNA gene. The cellular response to ozone was tested on Acanthamoeba cyst with different doses at different contact time in vitro twice. Results: Prevalence rates for Acanthamoeba contamination were 100, 100 and 72% for air-water syringes, cup fillers and tap water, respectively. The morphological analysis revealed the presence of A. castellanii, A. griffin, A. hatchitti and A. lenticulata. Phylogenetic analysis of the sequences showed the four strains to be closely related to a sequence type (T3, T4, T5 and T11). Acanthamoeba cells were stained with trypan blue, which revealed killed of Acanthamoeba instantaneously after 10 minutes in ozonized water. There was no growth of Acanthamoeba occurred after ozone treatment in water bottles for 5 minutes with a flow rate of 500 mg/hour. Conclusion : Ozone can play an important role in controlling the problem of contamination of DUWLs as a potent disinfectant. PMID:26622296

  20. Comparative analyses of different genetic markers for the detection of Acanthamoeba spp. isolates.

    PubMed

    Derda, Monika; Wojtkowiak-Giera, Agnieszka; Hadaś, Edward

    2014-09-01

    Acanthamoeba are widespread free-living amoebae which may cause granulomatous amoebic encephalitis (GAE), keratitis, skin ulcerations and disseminated tissue infection. An important diagnostic and prognostic factor for the treatment of infection is a quick and correct diagnosis of amoebae strains. The aim of our study was to develop a rapid method for detection and identification of pathogenic Acanthamoeba spp. strains from diagnostic material collected from water. In this study we analysed five amplification-based genetic markers (Aca 16S, Ac6/210, GP, JDP, Nelson) used for identification of pathogenic Acanthamoeba spp. strains isolated in water sources in Poland, Iceland and Sweden. Our results demonstrated the presence of pathogenic Acanthamoeba strains in tap water. PCR assay appeared to be a more rapid and sensitive method to detect the presence of amoebae than the limited conventional techniques. Based on our observations, we can confirm that the use of four out of five genetic markers (Aca 16S, Ac 6/210, JDP, GP, Nelson) may be helpful in identification of Acanthamoeba spp. strains, but only one Aca 16S primer pair is a highly specific marker that distinguishes between pathogenic strains of Acanthamoeba and other free-living amoeba families.

  1. Fluorescent labeling of Acanthamoeba assessed in situ from corneal sectioned microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Marcos, Susana; Requejo-Isidro, Jose; Merayo-Lloves, Jesus; Acuña, A. Ulises; Hornillos, Valentin; Carrillo, Eugenia; Pérez-Merino, Pablo; del Olmo-Aguado, Susana; del Aguila, Carmen; Amat-Guerri, Francisco; Rivas, Luis

    2012-01-01

    Acanthamoeba keratitis is a serious pathogenic corneal disease, with challenging diagnosis. Standard diagnostic methods include corneal biopsy (involving cell culture) and in vivo reflection corneal microscopy (in which the visualization of the pathogen is challenged by the presence of multiple reflectance corneal structures). We present a new imaging method based on fluorescence sectioned microscopy for visualization of Acanthamoeba. A fluorescent marker (MT-11-BDP), composed by a fluorescent group (BODIPY) inserted in miltefosine (a therapeutic agent against Acanthamoeba), was developed. A custom-developed fluorescent structured illumination sectioned corneal microscope (excitation wavelength: 488 nm; axial/lateral resolution: 2.6 μm/0.4-0.6 μm) was used to image intact enucleated rabbit eyes, injected with a solution of stained Acanthamoeba in the stroma. Fluorescent sectioned microscopic images of intact enucleated rabbit eyes revealed stained Acanthamoeba trophozoites within the stroma, easily identified by the contrasted fluorescent emission, size and shape. Control experiments show that the fluorescent maker is not internalized by corneal cells, making the developed marker specific to the pathogen. Fluorescent sectioned microscopy shows potential for specific diagnosis of Acanthamoeba keratitis. Corneal confocal microscopy, provided with a fluorescent channel, could be largely improved in specificity and sensitivity in combination with specific fluorescent marking. PMID:23082290

  2. Acanthamoeba, fungal, and bacterial keratitis: a comparison of risk factors and clinical features

    PubMed Central

    Mascarenhas, Jeena; Lalitha, Prajna; Prajna, N. Venkatesh; Srinivasan, Muthiah; Das, Manoranjan; D’Silva, Sean S.; Oldenburg, Catherine E.; Borkar, Durga S.; Esterberg, Elizabeth J.; Lietman, Thomas M.; Keenan, Jeremy D.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose To determine risk factors and clinical signs that may differentiate between bacterial, fungal, and acanthamoeba keratitis among patients presenting with presumed infectious keratitis. Design Hospital-based cross-sectional study. Methods We examined the medical records of 115 patients with laboratory-proven bacterial keratitis, 115 patients with laboratory-proven fungal keratitis, and 115 patients with laboratory-proven acanthamoeba keratitis seen at Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai, India, from 2006–2011. Risk factors and clinical features of the three organisms were compared using multinomial logistic regression. Results Of 95 patients with bacterial keratitis, 103 patients with fungal keratitis, and 93 patients with acanthamoeba keratitis who had medical records available for review, 287 (99%) did not wear contact lenses. Differentiating features were more common for acanthamoeba keratitis than for bacterial or fungal keratitis. Compared to patients with bacterial or fungal keratitis, patients with acanthamoeba keratitis were more likely to be younger and to have a longer duration of symptoms, and to have a ring infiltrate or disease confined to the epithelium. Conclusions Risk factors and clinical examination findings can be useful for differentiating acanthamoeba keratitis from bacterial and fungal keratitis. PMID:24200232

  3. First report of an Acanthamoeba genotype T13 isolate as etiological agent of a keratitis in humans.

    PubMed

    Grün, Anna-Lena; Stemplewitz, Birthe; Scheid, Patrick

    2014-06-01

    Several strains of free-living amoebae (FLA) belonging to the genus Acanthamoeba are able to cause a painful sight-threatening disease of the cornea designated as Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK). In this case report, a 22-year-old woman, wearer of soft contact lenses, was treated after the initial examination, and follow-up laboratory results led to the diagnosis of Acanthamoeba keratitis. The patient recovered under the targeted therapy, demonstrating that the acanthamoebae were the etiological agents of the keratitis in this case. The acanthamoebae belonged morphologically to group II. Genotyping of the causative Acanthamoeba strain based on sequences of the PCR amplimer ASA.S1 amplified from 18S ribosomal DNA by using the genus-specific primers JDP1 and JDP2 followed. The phylogenetic comparison of ASA.S1 confirmed that the isolated Acanthamoeba strain is closely related to genotype T13 supported by pairwise sequence identities of 97.1-98.0% and bootstrap support of 980 replicates with reference sequences of genotype T13. These results regarding the Acanthamoeba keratitis-causing isolate KaBo expands the number of known pathogenic genotypes to 12. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a T13 Acanthamoeba genotype being associated with keratitis in humans. PMID:24802868

  4. [Acanthamoeba isolated from child thymus: Acanthamoeba growth during cocultivation with human and murine eukaryotic cells and induction of cytopathogenic effect on these cells].

    PubMed

    Komogorova, V V; Sharova, N I; Gordeeva, L M; Iarilin, A A

    2003-01-01

    A cell line of the ameba assigned to the genus Acanthamoeba by morphological and cariotypic signs and by the specific features of its life cycle was isolated from the thymus of a child operated on for heart disease. The line received the name CDHT (Cells Derived from Human Thymus). Actively proliferating mammalian cells maintain the multiplication of Acanthamoeba cells in vitro. Using thymocytes as an example, it was shown that death of these cells occurred through the mechanism of apoptosis. The human thymocytes preincubated with the supernatant obtained through the cocultivation of CDHT and thymocytes may also undergo apoptosis. PMID:12886588

  5. Arcobacter butzleri survives within trophozoite of Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    PubMed

    Villanueva, María P; Medina, Gustavo; Fernández, Heriberto

    2016-01-01

    The survival of three Arcobacter butzleri strains inside Acanthamoeba castellanii was assessed using axenic cultures of A. castellanii that were inoculated with the tested strains and incubated at 26°C under aerobic conditions for 240h. The behavior of bacteria in contact with amoebae was monitored using phase contrast microscopy. The bacterial survival rate within amoebae was assessed through counting colony forming units, using the gentamicin protection assay. All A. butzleri strains were able to survive during 240h within the amoebae, thus suggesting that (i) A. butzleri resists the amoebic digestion processes at least for the analyzed time; (ii) that A. castellanii could serve as an environmental reservoir for this bacterium, probably acting as a transmission vehicle for A. butzleri. PMID:26972277

  6. Germ-cell cluster formation in the telotrophic meroistic ovary of Tribolium castaneum (Coleoptera, Polyphaga, Tenebrionidae) and its implication on insect phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Trauner, Jochen; Büning, Jürgen

    2007-01-01

    Tribolium castaneum has telotrophic meroistic ovarioles of the Polyphaga type. During larval stages, germ cells multiply in a first mitotic cycle forming many small, irregularly branched germ-cell clusters which colonize between the anterior and posterior somatic tissues in each ovariole. Because germ-cell multiplication is accompanied by cluster splitting, we assume a very low number of germ cells per ovariole at the beginning of ovariole development. In the late larval and early pupal stages, we found programmed cell death of germ-cell clusters that are located in anterior and middle regions of the ovarioles. Only those clusters survive that rest on posterior somatic tissue. The germ cells that are in direct contact with posterior somatic cells transform into morphologically distinct pro-oocytes. Intercellular bridges interconnecting pro-oocytes are located posteriorly and are filled with fusomes that regularly fuse to form polyfusomes. Intercellular bridges connecting pro-oocytes to pro-nurse cells are always positioned anteriorly and contain small fusomal plugs. During pupal stages, a second wave of metasynchronous mitoses is initiated by the pro-oocytes, leading to linear subclusters with few bifurcations. We assume that the pro-oocytes together with posterior somatic cells build the center of determination and differentiation of germ cells throughout the larval, pupal, and adult stages. The early developmental pattern of germ-cell multiplication is highly similar to the events known from the telotrophic ovary of the Sialis type. We conclude that among the common ancestors of Neuropterida and Coleoptera, a telotrophic meroistic ovary of the Sialis type evolved, which still exists in Sialidae, Raphidioptera, and a myxophagan Coleoptera family, the Hydroscaphidae. Consequently, the telotrophic ovary of the Polyphaga type evolved from the Sialis type.

  7. Acanthamoeba and bacteria produce antimicrobials to target their counterpart

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background In the microbial ecosystem, microbes compete for space and nutrients. Consequently, some have developed the ability to kill or inhibit the growth of other competing microbes by producing antimicrobial substances. As the ‘producer’ species are generally immune to these substances, their compounds act on the competing microbial species and give the producer more space and access to nutrients for growth. Many currently used antibiotics were developed by exploiting this potential of certain microbes. Findings Here, the free-living amoeba, Acanthamoeba castellanii, was investigated for its antibacterial activity against representative Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria, while bacterial isolates were tested for their anti-amoebic properties. Conditioned medium from A. castellanii showed remarkable bactericidal properties against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) exhibiting almost 100% kill rate, but had limited effect against Acinetobacter sp., Pseudomonas aeruginosa and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecalis (VRE). Similarly, the conditioned medium of E. coli K1 and Enterobacter sp., exhibited potent anti-Acanthamoebic effects in a concentration-dependent manner. Conditioned media of Acanthamoeba, E. coli K1 and Enterobacter sp. showed no cytotoxicity in vitro when tested against human brain microvascular endothelial cells. Active molecule/s in aforementioned amoebic and two bacterial conditioned media were 5 – 10 kDa, and <5 kDa respectively. Conclusions A. castellanii conditioned medium showed potent bactericidal properties against MRSA. The active molecule(s) are heat- and pronase-resistant, and in the 5 to 10 kDa molecular mass range. Contrary to this, E. coli K1 and Enterobacter sp., conditioned medium showed anti-amoebic effects that are <5 kDa in molecular mass, suggestive of active metabolites. PMID:24479709

  8. Pathogenic Strains of Acanthamoeba Are Recognized by TLR4 and Initiated Inflammatory Responses in the Cornea

    PubMed Central

    Alizadeh, Hassan; Tripathi, Trivendra; Abdi, Mahshid; Smith, Ashley Dawn

    2014-01-01

    Free-living amoebae of the Acanthamoeba species are the causative agent of Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK), a sight-threatening corneal infection that causes severe pain and a characteristic ring-shaped corneal infiltrate. Innate immune responses play an important role in resistance against AK. The aim of this study is to determine if Toll-like receptors (TLRs) on corneal epithelial cells are activated by Acanthamoeba, leading to initiation of inflammatory responses in the cornea. Human corneal epithelial (HCE) cells constitutively expressed TLR1, TLR2, TLR3, TLR4, and TLR9 mRNA, and A. castellanii upregulated TLR4 transcription. Expression of TLR1, TLR2, TLR3, and TLR9 was unchanged when HCE cells were exposed to A. castellanii. IL-8 mRNA expression was upregulated in HCE cells exposed to A. castellanii. A. castellanii and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced significant IL-8 production by HCE cells as measured by ELISA. The percentage of total cells positive for TLR4 was higher in A. castellanii stimulated HCE cells compared to unstimulated HCE cells. A. castellanii induced upregulation of IL-8 in TLR4 expressing human embryonic kidney (HEK)-293 cells, but not TLR3 expressing HEK-293 cells. TLR4 neutralizing antibody inhibited A. castellanii-induced IL-8 by HCE and HEK-293 cells. Clinical strains but not soil strains of Acanthamoeba activated TLR4 expression in Chinese hamster corneas in vivo and in vitro. Clinical isolates but not soil isolates of Acanthamoeba induced significant (P< 0.05) CXCL2 production in Chinese hamster corneas 3 and 7 days after infection, which coincided with increased inflammatory cells in the corneas. Results suggest that pathogenic species of Acanthamoeba activate TLR4 and induce production of CXCL2 in the Chinese hamster model of AK. TLR4 may be a potential target in the development of novel treatment strategies in Acanthamoeba and other microbial infections that activate TLR4 in corneal cells. PMID:24633052

  9. [Use of the presence of cellulose in cellular wall of Acanthamoeba cysts for diagnostic purposes].

    PubMed

    Derda, Monika; Hadaś, Edward

    2009-01-01

    Species identification within the genus Acanthamoeba is based predominantly on morphological and biochemical features. It is labor-intensive and requires cloning and axenization. We described a novel immunocytochemical method for the identification of Acanthamoeba spp. based on selective binding of Clostridium cellulovorans cellulase to protozoan cyst wall cellulose. Free-living amoebae isolated from different water sources by filtration and subsequent cultivation on non-nutrient agar were assigned to genera Acanthamoeba, Naegleria or Hartmannella using morphological taxonomic criteria. Tissues samples from experimentally infected mice were fixed in formalin and for sectioning embedded in paraffin or snap frozen. The Cellulose-Binding Domain of C. cellulovorans cellulase (CBD) obtained as a recombinant protein, were coupled to the fluorescent dye using Alexa Fluor350, 488, 568 - Protein Labelling Kit or labelled with the biotin using EZ-Link Sulfo-NHS-Biotin. All coupling procedures were performed according to the methods provided by manufacturers. For staining with CBD conjugate, slides containing cysts collected from the agar plates or tissue sections were immersed with PBS and incubated with CBD for 30 min at room temperature, washed 3 times with PBS. For staining with CBD-biotin slides containing cysts were incubated with biotinylated CBD for 30 min at room temperature. Subsequent washings in changes of PBS were followed by the incubation with Strept ABComplex/HRP, for 30 min at room temperature, than 3,3 diaminobenzidine tetrahydrochloride was added for 15 min. Slides were rinsed with water, dried and examined in the light microscope. We showed that cellulose could be easily detected by immunofluorescence using conjugated CBD in the inner cyst wall of Acanthamoeba spp. The reference strains of Acanthamoeba spp. and all Acanthamoeba strains isolated from water and from tissues of infected animals gave positive reaction. CBD prepared as a biotynylated protein

  10. A multisystemic Acanthamoeba infection in a dog in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain.

    PubMed

    Valladares, María; Reyes-Batlle, María; Mora-Peces, Inmaculada; Martín-Navarro, Carmen M; López-Arencibia, Atteneri; Dorta-Gorrín, Alexis; Comyn-Afonso, Estefanía; Martínez-Carretero, Enrique; Maciver, Sutherland K; Piñero, José E; Valladares, Basilio; Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob

    2014-10-15

    A 22-month-old male Spanish water dog was hospitalized after its physical examination revealed fever and movement difficulty. After 24h, the dog was found to have a high fever (39.5 °C) and was treated empirically with doxycycline/ciprofloxacin. At 48 h, after submission the fever rose to 41 °C and the animal presented with a stiff neck and dehydration. Peripheral blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) were sampled and trophozoites with an Acanthamoeba-like morphology were observed in the CSF. PCR specific for Acanthamoeba, Naegleria fowleri and Balamuthia mandrillaris were performed and the CSF sample found positive for Acanthamoeba. Lungs, kidney, liver and spleen samples were collected post mortem. All collected organ samples were positive for Acanthamoeba by PCR, thus confirming a multisystemic infection. Water samples taken at a suspected site of infection yielded an almost identical PCR fragment to those of the clinical samples, indicating that this was probably where the infection originated. This is the first report of a fatal case of Acanthamoeba disseminated infection in a dog in Spain. PMID:25193180

  11. Acanthamoeba genotypes T3 and T4 as causative agents of amoebic keratitis in Mexico.

    PubMed

    Omaña-Molina, Maritza; Vanzzini-Zago, Virginia; Hernandez-Martinez, Dolores; Gonzalez-Robles, Arturo; Salazar-Villatoro, Lizbeth; Ramirez-Flores, Elizabeth; Oregon-Miranda, Eric; Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob; Martinez-Palomo, Adolfo

    2016-02-01

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) are widely distributed worldwide. Some genera included in this group act as opportunistic pathogens causing fatal encephalitis and Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK), a sight-threatening infection of the cornea associated with the use of soft contact lenses that could even end in blindness if an early diagnosis and treatment are not achieved. Furthermore, the numbers of AK cases keep rising worldwide mainly due to an increase of contact lens wearers and lack of hygiene in the maintenance of lenses and their cases. In Mexico, no cases of AK have been described so far although the isolation of other pathogenic FLA such as Naegleria fowleri and Balamuthia mandrillaris from both clinical and environmental sources has been reported. The present study reports two cases of Acanthamoeba keratitis diagnosed in two patients admitted to the Hospital "Luis Sánchez Bulnes" for Blindness Prevention in Mexico City, Mexico. Corneal scrapes and contact lenses were checked for the presence of Acanthamoeba strains in both patients. Strains were axenized after initial isolation to classify at the genotype level. After sequencing the diagnostic fragment 3 (DF3) region located on the 18S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) gene of Acanthamoeba, genotype T3 and genotype T4 were identified in clinical case 1 and 2, respectively. To our knowledge, these are the first reported cases of AK in Mexico in the literature and the first description of Acanthamoeba genotypes T3 and T4 as causative agents of amoebic infection. PMID:26581373

  12. Isolation and Genotyping of Acanthamoeba spp. as Neglected Parasites in North of Iran

    PubMed Central

    Shokri, Azar; Sarvi, Shahabeddin; Daryani, Ahmad; Sharif, Mehdi

    2016-01-01

    Acanthamoeba, a free-living amoeba, is widely distributed in the environment, water sources, soil, dust, and air. It can cause keratitis in contact lens wearers with poor hygiene and also fatal granulomatous amebic encephalitis (GAE) in immunocompromised hosts. The aim of this study was to gain some insights into the distribution and genotypes of the potentially pathogenic species of Acanthamoeba present in water sources in north of Iran. Total 43 Acanthamoeba species were isolated from 77 water samples taken from different water sources within the Mazandaran province in Northern Iran (Sari city and suburbs). Isolates were identified based on cyst and trophozoite morphological characteristics as well genetics. PCR fragments corresponding to the small-subunit 18S rRNA gene were sequenced for 20 of 43 positive isolates. The results revealed that 83.3% of sequenced isolates belonged to the T4 genotype and the rest belonged to the T2 genotype. Our results indicated that Acanthamoeba is widely distributed in Sari city. As the incidence in Iran of amoebic keratitis has increased in recent years, the exact estimation of the prevalence of this amoeba and its predominant genotype may play a crucial role in prevention of the disease. Sari city has several rivers, seashores, and natural recreational amenities, which attract visitors during the year. This is the first report of Acanthamoeba genotypes from water sources in Sari city, Mazandaran province of Iran, and the results suggest that more attention is needed to protect the visiting population and immunocompromised individuals. PMID:27658596

  13. Detection and quantification of human adenovirus genomes in Acanthamoeba isolated from swimming pools.

    PubMed

    Staggemeier, Rodrigo; Arantes, Thalita; Caumo, Karin S; Rott, Marilise B; Spilki, Fernando R

    2016-01-01

    Acanthamoeba is the most common free-living environmental amoeba, it may serve as an important vehicle for various microorganisms living in the same environment, such as viruses, being pathogenic to humans. This study aimed to detect and quantify human adenoviruses (HAdV) in Acanthamoebas isolated from water samples collected from swimming pools in the city of Porto Alegre, Southern Brazil. Free-living amoebae of the genus Acanthamoeba were isolated from water samples, and isolates (n=16) were used to investigate the occurrence of HAdVs. HAdV detection was performed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). HAdVs were detected in 62.5% (10/16) of Acanthamoeba isolates, ranging from 3.24x103 to 5.14x105 DNA copies per milliliter of isolate. HAdV viral loads found in this study are not negligible, especially because HAdV infections are associated with several human diseases, including gastroenteritis, respiratory distress, and ocular diseases. These findings reinforce the concept that Acanthamoeba may act as a reservoir and promote HAdV transmission through water. PMID:27142544

  14. Isolation and Genotyping of Acanthamoeba spp. as Neglected Parasites in North of Iran.

    PubMed

    Shokri, Azar; Sarvi, Shahabeddin; Daryani, Ahmad; Sharif, Mehdi

    2016-08-01

    Acanthamoeba, a free-living amoeba, is widely distributed in the environment, water sources, soil, dust, and air. It can cause keratitis in contact lens wearers with poor hygiene and also fatal granulomatous amebic encephalitis (GAE) in immunocompromised hosts. The aim of this study was to gain some insights into the distribution and genotypes of the potentially pathogenic species of Acanthamoeba present in water sources in north of Iran. Total 43 Acanthamoeba species were isolated from 77 water samples taken from different water sources within the Mazandaran province in Northern Iran (Sari city and suburbs). Isolates were identified based on cyst and trophozoite morphological characteristics as well genetics. PCR fragments corresponding to the small-subunit 18S rRNA gene were sequenced for 20 of 43 positive isolates. The results revealed that 83.3% of sequenced isolates belonged to the T4 genotype and the rest belonged to the T2 genotype. Our results indicated that Acanthamoeba is widely distributed in Sari city. As the incidence in Iran of amoebic keratitis has increased in recent years, the exact estimation of the prevalence of this amoeba and its predominant genotype may play a crucial role in prevention of the disease. Sari city has several rivers, seashores, and natural recreational amenities, which attract visitors during the year. This is the first report of Acanthamoeba genotypes from water sources in Sari city, Mazandaran province of Iran, and the results suggest that more attention is needed to protect the visiting population and immunocompromised individuals. PMID:27658596

  15. Viability and morphological changes of Acanthamoeba spp. cysts after treatment with Effective microorganisms (EM).

    PubMed

    Sampaotong, Tanitta; Lek-Uthai, Usa; Roongruangchai, Jantima; Roongruangchai, Kosol

    2016-06-01

    Acanthamoeba is a free-living opportunistic protozoan parasite that is found in diverse environments. It can cause keratitis, mostly related to inappropriate use of contact lenses, as well as life threatening diseases including encephalitis, disseminated sinusitis, and skin ulcers. This study investigated morphological changes and fine structures of the cyst form of Acanthamoeba spp. after treatment with effective microorganisms (EM™) using light and scanning electron microscopies. Acanthamoeba cysts treated with 1:2, 1:4, 1:6, and undiluted EM™ showed higher percentages of non-viable cysts than those treated with 1:8, 1:10, 1:100, 1:200, and 1:400 EM™ and at 5 days post-treatment developed from cystic stage to trophozoite stage. Acanthamoeba cysts treated at concentrations of 1:2, 1:4, 1:6, and undiluted EM™ exhibited cytoplasmic clumping and shrinkage of amoeba cells away from cyst walls. The effective EM™ concentration lethal to Acanthamoeba spp. cyst could provide information to monitor the environmental control system. PMID:27413306

  16. Chloroquine Has a Cytotoxic Effect on Acanthamoeba Encystation through Modulation of Autophagy

    PubMed Central

    Jha, Bijay Kumar; Jung, Hui-Jung; Seo, Incheol; Kim, Hyun Ah; Suh, Seong-Il; Suh, Min-Ho

    2014-01-01

    Encystation of Acanthamoeba castellanii is associated with resistance to chemotherapeutic agents. Blocking the encystation process could potentiate the efficacy of chemotherapeutic agents and biocides. During encystation, autophagy is highly stimulated and required for proper encystation of Acanthamoeba. In this study, the cytotoxic effect of chloroquine, a well-known autophagy-inhibitory drug, was tested in A. castellanii. Chloroquine was able to selectively reduce cell survival during the encystation of A. castellanii. However, A. castellanii trophozoites and mature cysts were resistant to chloroquine. Chloroquine treatment led to an increase in the number and size of lysosomes in encysting cells. Moreover, chloroquine inhibited the degradation of long-lived proteins in the encysting cells. Decreased autophagic flux, indicated by an increased number of lysosomes and decreased degradation of long-lived proteins, may be the mechanism by which cell death is induced by chloroquine in encysting Acanthamoeba. These results suggest a potential novel therapeutic application of chloroquine as an anti-Acanthamoeba drug. Our findings also suggest that targeting autophagy could be a therapeutic strategy against Acanthamoeba infection. PMID:25114131

  17. Failure of chemotherapy in the first reported cases of Acanthamoeba keratitis in Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah; Chaudhry, Tanveer; Lakhundi, Sahreena; Ahmad, Khabir; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2014-01-01

    Acanthamoeba keratitis is a painful and progressive infection of the cornea that can result in loss of vision. Here, for the first time in Pakistan, we report two cases of Acanthamoeba keratitis. The first patient was a 37-year-old female who presented with severe itching, redness, pain, along with loss of vision. The patient was a regular soft contact lens wearer. The second patient was a 25-year-old female who had been using soft contact lenses for the past two years. She presented with a burning sensation and extreme pain, along with loss of vision. Both patients were treated for a possible microbial keratitis with topical moxifloxacin hydrochloride drops, vancomycin drops, propamidine isethionate ointment, amphotericin B drops, and amikacin drops. However, the response was inadequate and both patients were referred for corneal transplant. Acanthamoeba castellanii was isolated by placing contact lenses and contact lens cases on non-nutrient agar plates containing a lawn of non-invasive Escherichia coli K-12 HB101 bacteria. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using genus-specific probes confirmed the identity of Acanthamoeba spp., whereas the morphological characteristics of trophozoites and cysts were suggestive of A. castellanii in both cases. With growing use of contact lenses for vision correction/cosmetic use coupled with sub-standard lens care in this region and the possibility of non-contact lens-associated Acanthamoeba keratitis, a need for increased awareness of this sight-threatening infection is discussed further. PMID:24548160

  18. Isolation and genotyping of acanthamoeba strains from soil sources from Jamaica, West Indies.

    PubMed

    Todd, Cheridah D; Reyes-Batlle, María; Martín-Navarro, Carmen Ma; Dorta-Gorrín, Alexis; López-Arencibia, Atteneri; Martínez-Carretero, Enrique; Piñero, José E; Valladares, Basilio; Lindo, John F; Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob

    2015-01-01

    Acanthamoeba spp. are opportunistic pathogens that are ubiquitous in nature. Many species of this genus are responsible for a fatal encephalitis and keratitis in humans and other animals. Seventy-two soil samples were collected from the parishes across Jamaica and assessed for the presence of Acanthamoeba spp. Cultivation was carried out on non-nutrient agar plates seeded with heat killed Escherichia coli. PCR and sequencing of the DF3 region were carried out in order to genotype the isolated strains of Acanthamoeba. Thermotolerance and osmotolerance assays were utilized to investigate the pathogenic potential of the Acanthamoeba isolates. Acanthamoeba spp. was isolated from 63.9% of soil samples. Sequencing of the DF3 region of the 18S rDNA resulted in the identification of genotypes T4, T5, and T11. T4 genotype was most frequently isolated. Most isolates were thermotolerant or both thermotolerant and osmotolerant, indicating that they may present the potential to cause disease in humans and other animals.

  19. Pathogenic and opportunistic free-living amoebae: Acanthamoeba spp., Balamuthia mandrillaris, Naegleria fowleri, and Sappinia diploidea.

    PubMed

    Visvesvara, Govinda S; Moura, Hercules; Schuster, Frederick L

    2007-06-01

    Among the many genera of free-living amoebae that exist in nature, members of only four genera have an association with human disease: Acanthamoeba spp., Balamuthia mandrillaris, Naegleria fowleri and Sappinia diploidea. Acanthamoeba spp. and B. mandrillaris are opportunistic pathogens causing infections of the central nervous system, lungs, sinuses and skin, mostly in immunocompromised humans. Balamuthia is also associated with disease in immunocompetent children, and Acanthamoeba spp. cause a sight-threatening infection, Acanthamoeba keratitis, mostly in contact-lens wearers. Of more than 30 species of Naegleria, only one species, N. fowleri, causes an acute and fulminating meningoencephalitis in immunocompetent children and young adults. In addition to human infections, Acanthamoeba, Balamuthia and Naegleria can cause central nervous system infections in animals. Because only one human case of encephalitis caused by Sappinia diploidea is known, generalizations about the organism as an agent of disease are premature. In this review we summarize what is known of these free-living amoebae, focusing on their biology, ecology, types of disease and diagnostic methods. We also discuss the clinical profiles, mechanisms of pathogenesis, pathophysiology, immunology, antimicrobial sensitivity and molecular characteristics of these amoebae.

  20. Failure of chemotherapy in the first reported cases of Acanthamoeba keratitis in Pakistan

    PubMed Central

    Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah; Chaudhry, Tanveer; Lakhundi, Sahreena; Ahmad, Khabir; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2014-01-01

    Acanthamoeba keratitis is a painful and progressive infection of the cornea that can result in loss of vision. Here, for the first time in Pakistan, we report two cases of Acanthamoeba keratitis. The first patient was a 37-year-old female who presented with severe itching, redness, pain, along with loss of vision. The patient was a regular soft contact lens wearer. The second patient was a 25-year-old female who had been using soft contact lenses for the past two years. She presented with a burning sensation and extreme pain, along with loss of vision. Both patients were treated for a possible microbial keratitis with topical moxifloxacin hydrochloride drops, vancomycin drops, propamidine isethionate ointment, amphotericin B drops, and amikacin drops. However, the response was inadequate and both patients were referred for corneal transplant. Acanthamoeba castellanii was isolated by placing contact lenses and contact lens cases on non-nutrient agar plates containing a lawn of non-invasive Escherichia coli K-12 HB101 bacteria. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using genus-specific probes confirmed the identity of Acanthamoeba spp., whereas the morphological characteristics of trophozoites and cysts were suggestive of A. castellanii in both cases. With growing use of contact lenses for vision correction/cosmetic use coupled with sub-standard lens care in this region and the possibility of non-contact lens-associated Acanthamoeba keratitis, a need for increased awareness of this sight-threatening infection is discussed further. PMID:24548160

  1. Isolation and Genotyping of Acanthamoeba Strains from Environmental Sources in Ahvaz City, Khuzestan Province, Southern Iran

    PubMed Central

    Rahdar, M; Niyyati, M; Salehi, M; Feghhi, M; Makvandi, M; Pourmehdi, M; Farnia, S

    2012-01-01

    Background Acanthamoeba spp. are free-living amoebae commonly found in the environmental sources such as water, soil, and air. This ubiquitous amoeba is the causative agent of amoebic keratitis (AK). The objective of the present study was to investigate the presence of Acanthamoeba spp. in water and soil sources in Ahvaz City, Khuzestan Province, southern Iran. Methods In general, 110 samples of water and soil were taken from different localities of Ahvaz including agricultural canals, rivers, and swimming pools. Filtration and cultivation were carried out on non-nutrient agar medium (NNA). Axenic cultivation was performed for all of positive isolates. PCR analysis was conducted on positive samples. Sequencing was done for 15 PCR products. Genotypes were identified by Blast search and homology analysis. Results Acanthamoeba spp. was found in 43 (71.6%) of samples of water and 13 (26%) soil samples. Genotyping of 15 samples proved that Acanthamoeba belonged to T4 (86.6%), T2 (6.6%), and T5 (6.6%) genotypes. Conclusion TYI-S-33 medium could be better than PYG medium for Acanthamoeba axenic culture. PMID:23323088

  2. Chloroquine has a cytotoxic effect on Acanthamoeba encystation through modulation of autophagy.

    PubMed

    Jha, Bijay Kumar; Jung, Hui-Jung; Seo, Incheol; Kim, Hyun Ah; Suh, Seong-Il; Suh, Min-Ho; Baek, Won-Ki

    2014-10-01

    Encystation of Acanthamoeba castellanii is associated with resistance to chemotherapeutic agents. Blocking the encystation process could potentiate the efficacy of chemotherapeutic agents and biocides. During encystation, autophagy is highly stimulated and required for proper encystation of Acanthamoeba. In this study, the cytotoxic effect of chloroquine, a well-known autophagy-inhibitory drug, was tested in A. castellanii. Chloroquine was able to selectively reduce cell survival during the encystation of A. castellanii. However, A. castellanii trophozoites and mature cysts were resistant to chloroquine. Chloroquine treatment led to an increase in the number and size of lysosomes in encysting cells. Moreover, chloroquine inhibited the degradation of long-lived proteins in the encysting cells. Decreased autophagic flux, indicated by an increased number of lysosomes and decreased degradation of long-lived proteins, may be the mechanism by which cell death is induced by chloroquine in encysting Acanthamoeba. These results suggest a potential novel therapeutic application of chloroquine as an anti-Acanthamoeba drug. Our findings also suggest that targeting autophagy could be a therapeutic strategy against Acanthamoeba infection. PMID:25114131

  3. Quick survey for detection, identification and characterization of Acanthamoeba genotypes from some selected soil and water samples across Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Tanveer, Tania; Hameed, Abdul; Gul, Asma; Matin, Abdul

    2015-01-01

    Acanthamoeba is an opportunistic protozoan pathogen which is widely distributed in nature and plays a pivotal role in ecosystem. Acanthamoeba species may cause blinding keratitis and fatal granulomatous encephalitis involving central nervous system. In this study, we investigated the presence of Acanthamoeba in soil and water resources of Pakistan. Here, Acanthamoeba were recovered on non-nutrient agar plate lawn with E. coli and identified by morphological characteristics of the cyst. Furthermore PCR was performed with genus-specific primers followed by direct sequencing of the PCR product for molecular identification. Overall our PCR and sequencing results confirmed pathogenic genotypes including T4 and T15 from both soil and water samples. This is our first report of Acanthamoeba isolation from both soil and water resources of Pakistan which may serve as a potential treat to human health across the country.

  4. Isolation and identification of Acanthamoeba species from natural water sources in the northeastern part of Thailand.

    PubMed

    Thammaratana, Thani; Laummaunwai, Porntip; Boonmars, Thidarut

    2016-04-01

    Acanthamoeba are found in the environment, particularly in water, all over the world. The genus is currently classified into 20 different genotypes, T1-T20. In this study, 63 natural water samples from 11 provinces in northeast Thailand were collected and cultured on non-nutrient agar plates. Positive samples by culture were subsequently analyzed by molecular methods. The identification of Acanthamoeba was based on morphological features and molecular techniques using PCR and DNA sequencing. The results showed that 10 samples out of 63 were positive (15.9 %). Phylogenetic analysis revealed that seven samples were T4, one sample was similar to T3, and the other two samples were similar to T5. This is the first report demonstrating the contamination of Acanthamoeba species in natural water sources in northeast Thailand. PMID:26779920

  5. Lethal Effects of Helianthemum lippii (L.) on Acanthamoeba castellanii Cysts in Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Badria, F.A.; Hetta, M.H.; Sarhan, Rania M.; Ezz El-Din, M.H.

    2014-01-01

    Acanthamoeba spp. commonly cause Acanthamoeba keratitis which is typically associated with the wear of contact lenses. Therefore, finding an economic, efficient, and safe therapy of natural origin is of outmost importance. This study examined the in vitro lethal potential of ethyl acetate and methanol extracts of Helianthemum lippii (L.) (sun roses) against Acanthamoeba castellanii cysts isolated from patients with amoebic keratitis. Both extracts proved to be potent as regard to their lethal effects on A. castellanii cysts with comparable results to chlorhexidine. The ethyl acetate was more promising with cumulative lethality. It showed a highly significant lethal percentage along the duration of treatment. The analysis of the more potent ethyl acetate extract revealed the presence of 2.96 mg/100 g of total phenolics, 0.289 mg/100 ml of total flavonoids and 37 mg/100 mg of total tannins which highlighted their phytomedicinal role. PMID:25031463

  6. In Vitro Effectiveness of Povidone-Iodine on Acanthamoeba Isolates from Human Cornea

    PubMed Central

    Gatti, Simonetta; Cevini, Claudia; Bruno, Antonella; Penso, Gabriella; Rama, Paolo; Scaglia, Massimo

    1998-01-01

    Acanthamoeba keratitis is a severe ocular infection secondary to accidental macro- or microscopic trauma of the cornea. Starting in 1985, a dramatic increase of this infection was recorded along with the spread of contact lens use. This protozoal disease is difficult to treat because of the scarcity of efficacious topical and systemic drugs. We evaluated the in vitro effectiveness of povidone-iodine (PVP-I [Betadine]), an agent with broad antibacterial and antiviral activity, compared to that of chlorhexidine (CXD), a cationic antiseptic, on Acanthamoeba isolates from patients with amebic keratitis. The results showed that PVP-I solution from 0.5 to 2.5% has a better antiamebic activity both on trophic and cystic stages of Acanthamoeba spp. than does CXD. PMID:9736540

  7. Rapid diagnosis of Acanthamoeba keratitis from corneal scrapings using indirect fluorescent antibody staining.

    PubMed

    Epstein, R J; Wilson, L A; Visvesvara, G S; Plourde, E G

    1986-09-01

    Two soft contact lens wearers using a homemade saline solution developed corneal stromal inflammation and epithelial ulceration and were both treated for months with a presumptive diagnosis of herpes simplex keratitis. Subsequently, corneal scrapings revealed refractile, cystic structures consistent with the appearance of Acanthamoeba. This was rapidly confirmed by indirect fluorescent antibody studies, and Acanthamoeba castellani was later identified by growth in culture in both cases. Acanthamoeba is being reported with increasing frequency as a pathogen responsible for chronic stromal keratitis and ulceration in contact lens wearers. Since specific therapy is required to control this organism, rapid diagnosis is essential. Indirect fluorescent antibody staining of corneal scrapings provides a simple means of accomplishing this goal with a high degree of accuracy. PMID:2428344

  8. Mechanisms of karyotype differentiation in Cassidinae sensu lato (Coleoptera, Polyphaga, Chrysomelidae) based on seven species of the Brazilian fauna and an overview of the cytogenetic data.

    PubMed

    de Julio, Milena; Fernandes, Flávia Rodrigues; Costa, Cleide; Almeida, Mara Cristina; Cella, Doralice Maria

    2010-01-01

    Among the subfamilies of Chrysomelidae, Cassidinae sensu lato (s.l.) includes 6000 species distributed in 43 tribes. Approximately 100 of these species were cytogenetically analyzed and most of them presented 2n=18=16+Xy(p), which was smaller than 2n=20=18+Xy(p) considered basal for Polyphaga. However, some groups of species presented maintenance of the basal diploid number and others showed increase in this number. Certain species of the latter group also exhibited variation in the type of sex chromosome system (SCS). Considering the recent taxonomic revision accomplished for the Cassidinae s.l. species, the existence of phylogenetic relationship for some species of this subfamily, the high diversity of species of this group in the Neotropical region, and the low number of Cassidinae s.l. species karyotyped so far, the aim of the present work was to establish the main mechanisms involved in the karyotype evolution of this subfamily through the study of seven species of the Brazilian fauna and overview of the cytogenetic data. The individuals were collected in southeast and south of Brazil. The chromosomal preparations obtained from embryo and testes of adult males were stained with Giemsa solution. The species Agroiconota inedita (2n=42=40+Xy(p)), Charidotella (s.str.) immaculata (2n=22=20+Xy(p)), Charidotella (s.str.) sexpunctata (2n=22=20+Xy(p)), and Stolas chalybaea (2n=24=22+Xy(p)) revealed diploid number higher than that established as basal for Polyphaga and biarmed chromosomes. The karyotype of Cteisella confusa, Deloyala cruciata, and Metriona elatior showed the chromosomal formulae 2n=18=16+Xy(p) considered modal for Cassidinae s.l. and biarmed chromosomes. The seven species exhibited easily identified sex chromosomes due to their size and/or morphology. The analysis of meiotic cells of all the species showed pachytenes with a positively heteropycnotic block probably corresponding to the sex chromosomes; diplotenes with a high number of bivalents with two

  9. Shiga toxins decrease enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli survival within Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    PubMed

    Chekabab, Samuel M; Daigle, France; Charette, Steve J; Dozois, Charles M; Harel, Josée

    2013-07-01

    Enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) are zoonotic pathogens transmitted to humans through contaminated water or bovine products. One of the strategies used by pathogenic bacteria to survive in aquatic environments is using free-living amoebae as hosts. Acanthamoeba castellanii is an amoeba known to host several waterborne pathogens. This study investigates the survival of EHEC with A. castellanii, which could contribute to its spread and transmission to humans. We used a gentamicin protection assay as well as fluorescence and electron microscopy to monitor the intra-amoebae survival of EHEC O157:H7 over 24 h. The results showed that EHEC were able to survive within A. castellanii and that this survival was reduced by Shiga toxins (Stx) produced by EHEC. A toxic effect mediated by Stx was demonstrated by amoebae mortality and LDH release during co-culture of EHEC and amoeba. This work describes the ability of EHEC to survive within A. castellanii, and this host-pathogen interaction is partially controlled by the Stx. Thus, this ubiquitous amoeba could represent an environmental niche for EHEC survival and transmission. PMID:23581502

  10. Photoinhibition of Growth in Acanthamoeba castellanii Cultures1

    PubMed Central

    Dolphin, Warren D.

    1970-01-01

    Light from 350 to 680 nm at intensities up to 1.62 × 105 ergs per sec per cm2 slowed exponential growth and lowered the maximum yield in axenic cultures of Acanthamoeba castellanii. Photoinhibition was a linear function of light intensity up to 1.25 × 105 ergs per sec per cm2. At higher intensities, growth was too slow to be measured accurately. A photochemical change occurring in the growth medium on irradiation was a function of light dosage and not intensity per se. Light in dosages which appreciably changed the growth-supporting properties of the medium exceeded the dosages received by exponentially growing cultures during irradiation. Consequently, photoinhibition of growth was attributed to a direct effect of light on the amoebae, not to photodegradation of the medium. The growth-supporting properties of irradiated media could be restored by the addition of yeast extract and Proteose peptone. The reduced growth rate in the light was not due to cyst formation or induction of multinuclearity. Light affected the amoebae either through absorption by intracellular pigment(s) or through binding to the amoebae of a photosensitizing compound in the medium. PMID:5474886

  11. Ultrastructural study of encystation and excystation in Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    PubMed

    Chávez-Munguía, Bibiana; Omaña-Molina, Maritza; González-Lázaro, Mónica; González-Robles, Arturo; Bonilla, Patricia; Martínez-Palomo, Adolfo

    2005-01-01

    Encystation and excystation of Acanthamoeba castellanii were studied by transmission electron microscopy. The differentiation process was induced in asynchronous cultures grown axenically. Cytoplasmic vesicles containing a dense fibrous material very similar in appearance to the cyst wall were observed in trophozoites induced to encyst. When these trophozoites were incubated with calcofluor white m2r, fluorescence was observed in cytoplasmic vesicles, suggesting that the material contained in these vesicles corresponded to cyst wall precursors. Semithin cryosections of mature cysts with the same treatment showed fluorescence in the ectocyst and a less intense fluorescence in the endocyst, suggesting the presence of cellulose in both structures of the cyst wall. In mature cysts induced to excystation, small structures very similar to electron-dense granules (EDG) previously described in other amoebae were frequently observed. The EDGs were either sparsely distributed in the cytoplasm or associated with the cytoplasmic face of the plasma membrane. Many of them were located near the ostiole. In advanced phases of excystation, endocytic activity was suggested by the formation of endocytic structures and the presence of vacuoles with fibrous content similar to that of the cyst wall. Electron-dense granules in the process of dissolution were also observed in these vacuoles. Furthermore, the formation of a pseudopod suggests a displacement of the amoeba toward the ostiole. PMID:15817120

  12. Acanthamoeba royreba: morphological features and in vitro cytopathic effect.

    PubMed

    González-Robles, Arturo; Salazar-Villatoro, Lizbeth; Omaña-Molina, Maritza; Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob; Martínez-Palomo, Adolfo

    2013-04-01

    Observations on cultured Acanthamoeba royreba trophozoites and in vitro cytopathogenicity of this amoeba are described. In culture, amoebae were active, pleomorphic and moved on the substrate by producing endocytic structures and emitting slight cytoplasmic microprojections from the cell surface. These projections were formed by hyaline cytoplasm and they were related to motion structures such as acanthopodia and lamellipodia, in which actin provides a framework that allows rapid changes in morphology. In the cytoplasm abundant vacuoles of different size and content were seen. By means of electron microscopy, it was possible to observe the compact fibrogranular appearance of the cytoplasm, along with the main cellular organelles such as the Golgi complex, the endoplasmic reticulum, digestive vacuoles, mitochondria and contractile vacuoles. Incubation of MDCK epithelial cell monolayers with conditioned medium did not produce a significant structural damage to the monolayer, even after 24h of incubation. When the trophozoites were incubated with the target cells the monolayer exhibited a clear injury created by the amoebae, which produced focal damage. Nevertheless, the rest of the monolayer appeared to remain intact, suggesting that a contact-dependent interaction is necessary to damage the target cells. These observations demonstrate the low invasive capacity of this amoeba. PMID:23357648

  13. Risk factors for acanthamoeba keratitis in contact lens users: a case-control study.

    PubMed Central

    Radford, C. F.; Bacon, A. S.; Dart, J. K.; Minassian, D. C.

    1995-01-01

    OBJECTIVE--To investigate reasons for an increase in cases of Acanthamoeba keratitis related to contact lenses. DESIGN--Case-control study. Cases were contact lens related acanthamoeba keratitis patients treated between 1 September 1989 and 31 August 1992. Controls were lens users without lens related disease who presented as new patients to the casualty department from 1 March 1992 to 31 August 1992. All subjects completed a questionnaire detailing lens use and hygiene practices. SETTING--Eye hospital. SUBJECTS--35 cases with acanthamoeba keratitis and 378 controls. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Relative risks comparing different contact lens types, socioeconomic classification, age, sex, lens use, lens wearing experience, hygiene compliance, and hygiene systems. RESULTS--The crude relative risk for developing acanthamoeba keratitis with the use of daily wear disposable lenses was 49.45 (95% confidence interval 6.53 to 2227; P < 0.001) compared with conventional soft lenses (the referent). Multivariable analysis showed that this increased risk could be largely attributed to lack of disinfection (relative risk 55.86 (10 to 302); P < 0.001) and use of chlorine based disinfection (14.63 (2.8 to 76); P = 0.001) compared with other chemical systems (the referent). None of the other outcome measures showed a significant association. CONCLUSIONS--Both failure to disinfect daily wear soft contact lenses and the use of chlorine release lens disinfection systems, which have little protective effect against the organism, are major risk factors for acanthamoeba keratitis. These risks have been particularly common in disposable lens use. Over 80% of acanthamoeba keratitis could be avoided by the use of lens disinfection systems that are effective against the organism. PMID:7787645

  14. Evaluation of the immunodiagnostic potential of a recombinant surface protein domain from Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    PubMed

    Sánchez, Alemao G Carpinteyro; Virginio, Veridiana Gomes; Maschio, Vinicius José; Ferreira, Henrique Bunselmeyer; Rott, Marilise Brittes

    2016-10-01

    Acanthamoeba spp. are free-living protists widely distributed in environment, able to cause keratitis, encephalitis and skin lesions in humans and animals. Acanthamoeba spp. exist in two forms: an infective trophozoite and a dormant cyst. Several factors contribute to the pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba spp. The parasite adhesion to the host cell is the primary step for infection and is mediated by a mannose binding-protein, expressed in the surface and considered the main pathogenicity factor in Acanthamoeba spp. So far, there was no evidence of another surface protein of Acanthamoeba spp. relevant for host invasion or infection by these organisms. The aims of this study were to identify and characterize an Acanthamoeba castellanii surface protein and to evaluate its diagnostic potential. In silico predictions of surface proteins allowed to identify the A. castellanii calreticulin as a possible surface antigen. The coding sequence of a predicted extracellular domain of A. castellanii calreticulin was cloned by in vivo homologous recombination and the recombinant polypeptide (AcCRT29-130) was produced. Its immunodiagnostic potential was assessed in a recombinant antigen-based ELISA with sera from experimentally infected rats that developed keratitis and encephalitis, and sera from patients with encephalitis. The AcCRT29-130 was significantly more recognized by sera from encephalitis infected rats in comparison with the non-infected controls. Human sera from encephalitis patients, however presented no significant response. These results showed the AcCRT29-130 potential for A. castellanii infection immunodiagnosis in animals, with further studies being required for assessment of its use for human infections.

  15. War of the microbial worlds: who is the beneficiary in Acanthamoeba-bacterial interactions?

    PubMed

    Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2012-04-01

    Acanthamoeba hosts diverse microbial organisms including viruses, bacteria, yeast and protists, some of which are potential human pathogens. The precise nature of this symbiosis is not clear, but it is suggested that such interactions enable pathogenic microbes to survive hostile conditions and lead to their transmission to susceptible hosts to establish infection. In particular, Acanthamoeba-bacteria interactions have gained significant attention by the scientific and the medical community and have led to speculations of employing anti-amoebic approaches in eradicating 'superbugs' from clinical settings. Here, we discuss the nature of these convoluted interactions and the benefit they represent for the symbionts.

  16. Novel Acanthamoeba 18S rRNA gene sequence type from an environmental isolate.

    PubMed

    Magnet, A; Henriques-Gil, N; Galván-Diaz, A L; Izquiedo, F; Fenoy, S; del Aguila, C

    2014-08-01

    The free-living amoebae, Acanthamoeba, can act as opportunistic parasites on a wide range of vertebrates and are becoming a serious threat to human health due to the resistance of their cysts to harsh environmental conditions, disinfectants, some water treatment practices, and their ubiquitous distribution. Subgenus classification based on morphology is being replaced by a classification based on the sequences of the 18S rRNA gene with a total of 18 different genotypes (T1-T18). A new environmental strain of Acanthamoeba isolated from a waste water treatment plant is presented in this study as a candidate for the description of the novel genotype T19 after phylogenetic analysis.

  17. Provirophages and transpovirons as the diverse mobilome of giant viruses.

    PubMed

    Desnues, Christelle; La Scola, Bernard; Yutin, Natalya; Fournous, Ghislain; Robert, Catherine; Azza, Saïd; Jardot, Priscilla; Monteil, Sonia; Campocasso, Angélique; Koonin, Eugene V; Raoult, Didier

    2012-10-30

    A distinct class of infectious agents, the virophages that infect giant viruses of the Mimiviridae family, has been recently described. Here we report the simultaneous discovery of a giant virus of Acanthamoeba polyphaga (Lentille virus) that contains an integrated genome of a virophage (Sputnik 2), and a member of a previously unknown class of mobile genetic elements, the transpovirons. The transpovirons are linear DNA elements of ~7 kb that encompass six to eight protein-coding genes, two of which are homologous to virophage genes. Fluorescence in situ hybridization showed that the free form of the transpoviron replicates within the giant virus factory and accumulates in high copy numbers inside giant virus particles, Sputnik 2 particles, and amoeba cytoplasm. Analysis of deep-sequencing data showed that the virophage and the transpoviron can integrate in nearly any place in the chromosome of the giant virus host and that, although less frequently, the transpoviron can also be linked to the virophage chromosome. In addition, integrated fragments of transpoviron DNA were detected in several giant virus and Sputnik genomes. Analysis of 19 Mimivirus strains revealed three distinct transpovirons associated with three subgroups of Mimiviruses. The virophage, the transpoviron, and the previously identified self-splicing introns and inteins constitute the complex, interconnected mobilome of the giant viruses and are likely to substantially contribute to interviral gene transfer. PMID:23071316

  18. The mitochondrial genome of the multicolored Asian lady beetle Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) and a phylogenetic analysis of the Polyphaga (Insecta: Coleoptera).

    PubMed

    Niu, Fang-Fang; Zhu, Liang; Wang, Su; Wei, Shu-Jun

    2016-07-01

    Here, we report the mitochondrial genome sequence of the multicolored Asian lady beetle Harmonia axyridis (Pallas, 1773) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) (GenBank accession No. KR108208). This is the first species with sequenced mitochondrial genome from the genus Harmonia. The current length with partitial A + T-rich region of this mitochondrial genome is 16,387 bp. All the typical genes were sequenced except the trnI and trnQ. As in most other sequenced mitochondrial genomes of Coleoptera, there is no re-arrangement in the sequenced region compared with the pupative ancestral arrangement of insects. All protein-coding genes start with ATN codons. Five, five and three protein-coding genes stop with termination codon TAA, TA and T, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis using Bayesian method based on the first and second codon positions of the protein-coding genes supported that the Scirtidae is a basal lineage of Polyphaga. The Harmonia and the Coccinella form a sister lineage. The monophyly of Staphyliniformia, Scarabaeiformia and Cucujiformia was supported. The Buprestidae was found to be a sister group to the Bostrichiformia. PMID:26057015

  19. The mitochondrial genome of the multicolored Asian lady beetle Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) and a phylogenetic analysis of the Polyphaga (Insecta: Coleoptera).

    PubMed

    Niu, Fang-Fang; Zhu, Liang; Wang, Su; Wei, Shu-Jun

    2016-07-01

    Here, we report the mitochondrial genome sequence of the multicolored Asian lady beetle Harmonia axyridis (Pallas, 1773) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) (GenBank accession No. KR108208). This is the first species with sequenced mitochondrial genome from the genus Harmonia. The current length with partitial A + T-rich region of this mitochondrial genome is 16,387 bp. All the typical genes were sequenced except the trnI and trnQ. As in most other sequenced mitochondrial genomes of Coleoptera, there is no re-arrangement in the sequenced region compared with the pupative ancestral arrangement of insects. All protein-coding genes start with ATN codons. Five, five and three protein-coding genes stop with termination codon TAA, TA and T, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis using Bayesian method based on the first and second codon positions of the protein-coding genes supported that the Scirtidae is a basal lineage of Polyphaga. The Harmonia and the Coccinella form a sister lineage. The monophyly of Staphyliniformia, Scarabaeiformia and Cucujiformia was supported. The Buprestidae was found to be a sister group to the Bostrichiformia.

  20. Impact of free-living amoebae on presence of Parachlamydia acanthamoebae in the hospital environment and its survival in vitro without requirement for amoebae.

    PubMed

    Fukumoto, Tatsuya; Matsuo, Junji; Hayashi, Yasuhiro; Hayashi, Masahiro; Oguri, Satoshi; Nakamura, Shinji; Mizutani, Yoshihiko; Yao, Takashi; Akizawa, Kouzi; Suzuki, Haruki; Shimizu, Chikara; Matsuno, Kazuhiko; Yamaguchi, Hiroyuki

    2010-09-01

    Parachlamydia acanthamoebae is an obligately intracellular bacterium that infects free-living amoebae and is a potential human pathogen in hospital-acquired pneumonia. We examined whether the presence of P. acanthamoebae is related to the presence of Acanthamoeba in an actual hospital environment and assessed the in vitro survival of P. acanthamoebae. Ninety smear samples were collected between November 2007 and March 2008 (trial 1, n = 52) and between October 2008 and February 2009 (trial 2, n = 38) from the floor (dry conditions, n = 56) and sink outlets (moist conditions, n = 34) of a hospital. The prevalences of P. acanthamoebae DNA in the first and second trials were 64.3% and 76%, respectively. The prevalences of Acanthamoeba DNA in the first and second trials were 48% and 63.1%, respectively. A statistical correlation between the prevalence of P. acanthamoebae and that of Acanthamoeba was found (trial 1, P = 0.011; trial 2, P = 0.022), and that correlation increased when samples from just the dry area (floor smear samples, P = 0.002) were analyzed but decreased when samples from a moist area were analyzed (P = 0.273). The in vitro experiment showed that, without Acanthamoeba, P. acanthamoebae could not survive in dry conditions for 3 days at 30 degrees C or 15 days at 15 degrees C. Thus, both organisms were coincidentally found in an actual hospital environment, with the presence of Acanthamoeba having a significant effect on the long-term survival of P. acanthamoebae, suggesting that this potential human pathogen could spread through a hospital environment via Acanthamoeba.

  1. Isolation and identification of Acanthamoeba spp. from thermal swimming pools and spas in Southern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Fabres, Laura Fuhrich; Rosa Dos Santos, Sayonara Peixoto; Benitez, Lisianne Brittes; Rott, Marilise Brittes

    2016-03-01

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) are widely distributed in soil and water. A few number of them are implicated in human disease: Acanthamoeba spp., Naegleria fowleri, Balamuthia mandrillaris and Sappinia diploidea. Species of Acanthamoeba can cause keratitis and brain infections. In this study, 72 water samples were taken from both hot tubs and thermal swimming pools in the city of Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil, to determine the presence of Acanthamoeba in the water as well as perform the phenotypic and genotypic characterization of the isolates. The identification of the isolates was based on the cysts morphology and PCR amplification using genus-specific oligonucleotides. When the isolates were submitted to PCR reaction only 8 were confirmed as belonging to the genus Acanthamoeba. The sequences analysis when compared to the sequences in the GenBank, showed genotype distribution in group T3 (12,5%), T5 (12,5%), T4 (25%) and T15 (50%). The results of this study confirmed the presence of potentially pathogenic isolates of free living amoebae in hot swimming pool and spas which can present risks to human health. PMID:27078644

  2. Essential Role for an M17 Leucine Aminopeptidase in Encystation of Acanthamoeba castellanii

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Yu-Ran; Na, Byoung-Kuk; Moon, Eun-Kyung; Song, Su-Min; Joo, So-Young; Kong, Hyun-Hee; Goo, Youn-Kyoung; Chung, Dong-Il; Hong, Yeonchul

    2015-01-01

    Encystation of Acanthamoeba leads to the formation of resilient cysts from vegetative trophozoites. This process is essential for parasite survival under unfavorable conditions such as starvation, low temperatures, and exposure to biocides. During encystation, a massive turnover of intracellular components occurs, and a large number of organelles and proteins are degraded by proteases. Previous studies with specific protease inhibitors have shown that cysteine and serine proteases are involved in encystation of Acanthamoeba, but little is known about the role of metalloproteases in this process. Here, we have biochemically characterized an M17 leucine aminopeptidase of Acanthamoeba castellanii (AcLAP) and analyzed its functional involvement in encystation of the parasite. Recombinant AcLAP shared biochemical properties such as optimal pH, requirement of divalent metal ions for activity, substrate specificity for Leu, and inhibition profile by aminopeptidase inhibitors and metal chelators with other characterized M17 family LAPs. AcLAP was highly expressed at a late stage of encystation and mainly localized in the cytoplasm of A. castellanii. Knockdown of AcLAP using small interfering RNA induced a decrease of LAP activity during encystation, a reduction of mature cyst formation, and the formation of abnormal cyst walls. In summary, these results indicate that AcLAP is a typical M17 family enzyme that plays an essential role during encystation of Acanthamoeba. PMID:26075721

  3. Molecular Characterization of Pathogenic Acanthamoeba Isolated from Drinking and Recreational water in East Azerbaijan, Northwest Iran.

    PubMed

    Behniafar, Hamed; Niyyati, Maryam; Lasjerdi, Zohreh

    2015-01-01

    Acanthamoeba- related infections, such as amoebic keratitis and granulomatous amoebic encephalitis, can develop in high-risk population through contaminated water sources. Thus, surveying water resources, particularly those available for human use, is of the utmost importance. In the present study, 67 water samples were collected from water resources in East Azerbaijan, a province in northwestern Iran. Samples were cultured on enriched non-nutrient agar plates, and sequencing-based approaches were used for genotyping. The pathogenic potential of the isolates was determined using thermo- and osmo-tolerance tests. Acanthamoeba were detected in 17 (25.4%) of the 67 collected samples. Sequencing analysis revealed that the isolates belonged to the T3 (23.52%), mixed T3/T4 (5.88%), T4 (58.82%), T5 (5.88%), and T13 (5.88%) genotypes. Through thermo- and osmo-tolerance tests, 88.23% of isolates were resistant to 37 °C, 40 °C temperature, and 0.5 M and 1 M osmolarity; thus, these isolates had the potential for pathogenicity. These findings point toa serious public health concern in the studied region. This study is the first to report Acanthamoeba isolated from drinking and recreational water sources in East Azerbaijan and Acanthamoeba T13 isolated from tap water in Iran. PMID:26157334

  4. Molecular Characterization of Pathogenic Acanthamoeba Isolated from Drinking and Recreational water in East Azerbaijan, Northwest Iran

    PubMed Central

    Behniafar, Hamed; Niyyati, Maryam; Lasjerdi, Zohreh

    2015-01-01

    Acanthamoeba- related infections, such as amoebic keratitis and granulomatous amoebic encephalitis, can develop in high-risk population through contaminated water sources. Thus, surveying water resources, particularly those available for human use, is of the utmost importance. In the present study, 67 water samples were collected from water resources in East Azerbaijan, a province in northwestern Iran. Samples were cultured on enriched non-nutrient agar plates, and sequencing-based approaches were used for genotyping. The pathogenic potential of the isolates was determined using thermo- and osmo-tolerance tests. Acanthamoeba were detected in 17 (25.4%) of the 67 collected samples. Sequencing analysis revealed that the isolates belonged to the T3 (23.52%), mixed T3/T4 (5.88%), T4 (58.82%), T5 (5.88%), and T13 (5.88%) genotypes. Through thermo- and osmo-tolerance tests, 88.23% of isolates were resistant to 37 °C, 40 °C temperature, and 0.5 M and 1 M osmolarity; thus, these isolates had the potential for pathogenicity. These findings point toa serious public health concern in the studied region. This study is the first to report Acanthamoeba isolated from drinking and recreational water sources in East Azerbaijan and Acanthamoeba T13 isolated from tap water in Iran. PMID:26157334

  5. Isolation of Acanthamoeba Spp. from Drinking Waters in Several Hospitals of Iran

    PubMed Central

    Bagheri, HR; Shafiei, R; Shafiei, F; Sajjadi, SA

    2010-01-01

    Background Acanthamoeba is an opportunistic amphizoic protozoan found in different water sources including swimming pool as well as in sewage. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of Acanthamoeba in tap-water samples in Iran. Method In this descriptive cross-sectional study, 94 samples of cold and warm tap-water were collected from different wards of hospitals in 13 cities of Iran in 2007–2008. Free residual chlorine, pH, and temperature of samples were measured. After filtration through multipore nylon membrane, samples were cultured on non-nutrient agar. Then we investigated existence of Acanthamoeba by reverse contrast phase microscope. Results Acanthamoeba was found in 45 samples (48%). Thirty-four and 11 positive samples were collected from cold and warm tap water, respectively. The samples belonged to the category of 20–30°C temperature with 0–2 ppm free residual chlorine and pH 6–7.4 showed the most coincidence to the positive cases. The greatest proportion of positive samples was obtained from Mashhad hospitals, while all samples collected from Arak and Semnan hospitals were negative. Conclusion considering the results of this study and the pathogenic role of this protozoan on patients with immunodeficiency, as well as capability of this microorganism in carrying other pathogens such as Legionella, further studies are needed. What is more important, potable water in hospitals should follow the procedure of treatment and sanitation, in order to prevent the relevant nosocomial infections. PMID:22347240

  6. Occurrence of pathogenic Acanthamoeba genotypes in nasal swabs of cancer patients in Iran.

    PubMed

    Memari, Fatemeh; Niyyati, Maryam; Haghighi, Ali; Seyyed Tabaei, Seyyed Javad; Lasjerdi, Z

    2015-05-01

    Incidences of Acanthamoeba granulomatous encephalitis (AGE) have been increased due to a rise in the number of high-risk people, such as immunodeficient patients. Indeed, immunosuppress situation can render the patient in acquiring opportunistic Acanthamoeba infections. In this study, analysis was carried out to verify the presence of free-living amoebae of Acanthamoeba genus in nasal swabs of cancer patients in hospitals of Tehran, Iran. Detection of isolates was based on morphotyping and PCR sequencing of the Diagnostic Fragment 3 (DF3) to identify strains at the genotype level. In addition, the pathogenic potential of the isolates was assayed using temperature and osmotolerance assays. The obtained results revealed that nine isolated strains belonging to T4 genotype-exhibited pathogenic potential. After sequencing, genotype T4 was found to be the most common one in the samples included in this study. Genotype T3 and T5 were also identified. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study on the typing of Acanthamoeba strains at the genotype level in cancer patients in Iran and worldwide.

  7. Developmental changes in the localization of calcium binding sites in Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    PubMed

    Sobota, A; Przelecka, A

    1981-01-01

    Vegetative cells of Acanthamoeba castellanii have the ability to bind calcium on the plasma membrane in form of the electron-dense deposits. The appearance of the deposits depends on the age of Acanthamoeba culture. In 24-h-old culture the deposits are very small, with diameter of 26 nm. During aging of culture, at both logarithmic and stationary growth phases, the diameter of deposits is larger (70-80 nm), while the deposits are localized only on the plasma membrane. During differentiation of Acanthamoeba cells into cysts electron-dense deposits with a diameter of about 170 nm appear in the mitochondria, whereas no deposits are observed on the plasma membrane. However, at the first stage of differentiation electron-dense material together with extruded membraneous fragments are also observed outside of some newly-formed young cysts. These results suggest that in Acanthamoeba cells, depending on the stage of life cycle, either plasma membrane or mitochondria may be involved in storage of excess cellular calcium. PMID:7228741

  8. Acanthamoeba Encephalitis: Isolation of Genotype T1 in Mycobacterial Liquid Culture Medium

    PubMed Central

    Azzam, Rula; Badenoch, Paul R.; Francis, Michelle J.; Fernandez, Charles; Adamson, Penelope J.; Dendle, Claire; Woolley, Ian; Robson, Jenny; Korman, Tony M.

    2014-01-01

    We report a case of Acanthamoeba encephalitis diagnosed from an antemortem brain biopsy specimen, where the organism was first isolated in mycobacterial liquid medium and first identified by using a sequence generated by a commercial panfungal sequencing assay. We correlate susceptibility results with clinical outcome. PMID:25502534

  9. Isolation and identification of Acanthamoeba spp. from thermal swimming pools and spas in Southern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Fabres, Laura Fuhrich; Rosa Dos Santos, Sayonara Peixoto; Benitez, Lisianne Brittes; Rott, Marilise Brittes

    2016-03-01

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) are widely distributed in soil and water. A few number of them are implicated in human disease: Acanthamoeba spp., Naegleria fowleri, Balamuthia mandrillaris and Sappinia diploidea. Species of Acanthamoeba can cause keratitis and brain infections. In this study, 72 water samples were taken from both hot tubs and thermal swimming pools in the city of Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil, to determine the presence of Acanthamoeba in the water as well as perform the phenotypic and genotypic characterization of the isolates. The identification of the isolates was based on the cysts morphology and PCR amplification using genus-specific oligonucleotides. When the isolates were submitted to PCR reaction only 8 were confirmed as belonging to the genus Acanthamoeba. The sequences analysis when compared to the sequences in the GenBank, showed genotype distribution in group T3 (12,5%), T5 (12,5%), T4 (25%) and T15 (50%). The results of this study confirmed the presence of potentially pathogenic isolates of free living amoebae in hot swimming pool and spas which can present risks to human health.

  10. Genetic Characterization of Clinical Acanthamoeba Isolates from Japan using Nuclear and Mitochondrial Small Subunit Ribosomal RNA

    PubMed Central

    Rahman, Md Moshiur; Yagita, Kenji; Kobayashi, Akira; Oikawa, Yosaburo; Hussein, Amjad I.A.; Matsumura, Takahiro

    2013-01-01

    Because of an increased number of Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) along with associated disease burdens, medical professionals have become more aware of this pathogen in recent years. In this study, by analyzing both the nuclear 18S small subunit ribosomal RNA (18S rRNA) and mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene loci, 27 clinical Acanthamoeba strains that caused AK in Japan were classified into 3 genotypes, T3 (3 strains), T4 (23 strains), and T5 (one strain). Most haplotypes were identical to the reference haplotypes reported from all over the world, and thus no specificity of the haplotype distribution in Japan was found. The T4 sub-genotype analysis using the 16S rRNA gene locus also revealed a clear sub-conformation within the T4 cluster, and lead to the recognition of a new sub-genotype T4i, in addition to the previously reported sub-genotypes T4a-T4h. Furthermore, 9 out of 23 strains in the T4 genotype were identified to a specific haplotype (AF479533), which seems to be a causal haplotype of AK. While heterozygous nuclear haplotypes were observed from 2 strains, the mitochondrial haplotypes were homozygous as T4 genotype in the both strains, and suggested a possibility of nuclear hybridization (mating reproduction) between different strains in Acanthamoeba. The nuclear 18S rRNA gene and mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene loci of Acanthamoeba spp. possess different unique characteristics usable for the genotyping analyses, and those specific features could contribute to the establishment of molecular taxonomy for the species complex of Acanthamoeba. PMID:24039282

  11. Anti-amoebic properties of a Malaysian marine sponge Aaptos sp. on Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    PubMed

    Nakisah, M A; Ida Muryany, M Y; Fatimah, H; Nor Fadilah, R; Zalilawati, M R; Khamsah, S; Habsah, M

    2012-03-01

    Crude methanol extracts of a marine sponge, Aaptos aaptos, collected from three different localities namely Kapas, Perhentian and Redang Islands, Terengganu, Malaysia, were tested in vitro on a pathogenic Acanthamoeba castellanii (IMR isolate) to examine their anti-amoebic potential. The examination of anti-Acanthamoebic activity of the extracts was conducted in 24 well plates for 72 h at 30 °C. All extracts possessed anti-amoebic activity with their IC(50) values ranging from 0.615 to 0.876 mg/mL. The effect of the methanol extracts on the surface morphology of A. castellanii was analysed under scanning electron microscopy. The ability of the extracts to disrupt the amoeba cell membrane was indicated by extensive cell's blebbing, changes in the surface morphology, reduced in cell size and with cystic appearance of extract-treated Acanthamoeba. Number of acanthapodia and food cup was also reduced in this Acanthamoeba. Morphological criteria of apoptosis in Acanthamoeba following treatment with the sponge's extracts was determined by acridine orange-propidium iodide staining and observed by fluorescence microscopy. By this technique, apoptotic and necrotic cells can be visualized and quantified. The genotoxic potential of the methanol extracts was performed by the alkaline comet assay. All methanol extracts used were significantly induced DNA damage compared to untreated Acanthamoeba by having high percentage of scores 1, 2, and 3 of the DNA damage. Results from cytotoxicity and genotoxicity studies carried out in the present study suggest that all methanol extracts of A. aaptos have anti-amoebic properties against A. castellanii. PMID:22805843

  12. Necrotizing Meningoencephalitis in a Captive Black and White Ruffed Lemur (Varecia variegata variegata) Caused by Acanthamoeba T4 Genotype.

    PubMed

    Gaide, N; Pelandakis, M; Robveille, C; Albaric, O; Jouvion, G; Souchon, M; Risler, A; Abadie, J

    2015-11-01

    A mature male, black and white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata variegata) died in a zoological garden after a 4-day history of lethargy and non-responsive convulsions. Necropsy and histopathological examinations revealed acute necrotizing and haemorrhagic meningoencephalitis with intralesional amoebas confirmed by immunohistochemistry. Acanthamoeba T4 genotype was identified as the causative agent of the brain lesion, based on amplification and sequencing of 18S ribosomal RNA genes. The presence of free-living amoebas in water and mud from the lemur's environment was investigated by morphological and molecular analyses. The two predominant genera, representing 80% of isolated amoebas, were Naegleria spp. and Acanthamoeba spp. All Acanthamoeba isolates belonged to the T4 genotype. To the author's knowledge, this is the first report of a meningoencephalitis due to Acanthamoeba T4 genotype in Lemuridae with concurrent analysis of pathological tissues and environment.

  13. Status of free-living amoebae (Acanthamoeba spp., Naegleria fowleri, Balamuthia mandrillaris) in drinking water supplies in Karachi, Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Yousuf, Farzana Abubakar; Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah; Subhani, Faysal; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2013-06-01

    The ability of pathogenic free-living amoebae to produce infections is a growing concern. In this study, we investigated the presence of free-living amoebae (Acanthamoeba spp., Naegleria fowleri, Balamuthia mandrillaris) in drinking water supplies in Karachi, Pakistan. Fifty-two domestic tap water samples were examined. Amoebae were identified by morphological characteristics and polymerase chain reaction. Thirty percent of the examined samples were positive for Acanthamoeba spp., 8% for N. fowleri while B. mandrillaris were not recovered. Additionally we examined secretory IgA antibody to Acanthamoeba and B. mandrillaris. Acanthamoeba antibody prevalence rate was 100% in both males and females, while B. mandrillaris antibody prevalence rate was 5.5% in males only (females were negative). Our findings suggest that free-living amoebae are a potential health hazard in domestic water supplies in Karachi, Pakistan. PMID:23708583

  14. Acanthamoeba spp. in domestic tap water in houses of contact lens wearers in the metropolitan area of Mexico City.

    PubMed

    Bonilla-Lemus, Patricia; Ramírez-Bautista, Gerardo A; Zamora-Muñoz, Claudia; Ibarra-Montes, María Del Rocío; Ramírez-Flores, Elizabeth; Hernández-Martínez, María Dolores

    2010-09-01

    A survey was carried out in the metropolitan area of Mexico City to determine the presence of Acanthamoeba in the tap water of houses of contact lens wearers. Water samples were taken from the mains water entry, bathroom sinks and storage containers (roof tanks, cisterns) of 27 houses; and from the solution contained in the contact lens cases. Samples were filtered and cultured onto NNE medium. The isolates were identified based on their morphological features and pathogenicity. Total and fecal coliforms, water temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen and residual free-chlorine were measured by standard methods. Forty five isolates of Acanthamoeba from 200 water samples were obtained. The highest number of amoebae was isolated from cisterns and roof tanks. Most Acanthamoeba isolates were non-pathogenic, however, their presence in tap water is a potential hazard since some species can cause Acanthamoeba keratitis and granulomatous amoebic encephalitis. PMID:19995560

  15. Acanthamoeba genotypes T2, T4, and T11 in soil sources from El Hierro island, Canary Islands, Spain.

    PubMed

    Reyes-Batlle, María; Zamora-Herrera, Jonadab; Vargas-Mesa, Alejandro; Valerón-Tejera, Marco Antonio; Wagner, Carolina; Martín-Navarro, Carmen Ma; López-Arencibia, Atteneri; Sifaoui, Ines; Martínez-Carretero, Enrique; Valladares, Basilio; Piñero, José E; Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob

    2016-08-01

    The genus Acanthamoeba includes pathogenic strains which are causative agents of keratitis and encephalitis that often may end fatal in humans and other animals. In the present study, forty soil samples were collected in the island of El Hierro, Canary Islands, Spain, and checked for the presence of Acanthamoeba. Samples were cultivated onto 2 % non-nutrient agar plates seeded with a layer of heat killed Escherichia coli. Amplification by PCR and sequencing of the DF3 region of the 18S rDNA of Acanthamoeba was carried out in order to confirm morphological identification of the amoebae. Furthermore, Acanthamoeba spp. was isolated from 47.5 % of soil samples. Moreover, genotypes T2, T4, and T11 were identified in these samples. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to establish genotypes T2, T4, and T11 in soil sources from El Hierro island.

  16. Status of free-living amoebae (Acanthamoeba spp., Naegleria fowleri, Balamuthia mandrillaris) in drinking water supplies in Karachi, Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Yousuf, Farzana Abubakar; Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah; Subhani, Faysal; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2013-06-01

    The ability of pathogenic free-living amoebae to produce infections is a growing concern. In this study, we investigated the presence of free-living amoebae (Acanthamoeba spp., Naegleria fowleri, Balamuthia mandrillaris) in drinking water supplies in Karachi, Pakistan. Fifty-two domestic tap water samples were examined. Amoebae were identified by morphological characteristics and polymerase chain reaction. Thirty percent of the examined samples were positive for Acanthamoeba spp., 8% for N. fowleri while B. mandrillaris were not recovered. Additionally we examined secretory IgA antibody to Acanthamoeba and B. mandrillaris. Acanthamoeba antibody prevalence rate was 100% in both males and females, while B. mandrillaris antibody prevalence rate was 5.5% in males only (females were negative). Our findings suggest that free-living amoebae are a potential health hazard in domestic water supplies in Karachi, Pakistan.

  17. Acanthamoeba spp. in domestic tap water in houses of contact lens wearers in the metropolitan area of Mexico City.

    PubMed

    Bonilla-Lemus, Patricia; Ramírez-Bautista, Gerardo A; Zamora-Muñoz, Claudia; Ibarra-Montes, María Del Rocío; Ramírez-Flores, Elizabeth; Hernández-Martínez, María Dolores

    2010-09-01

    A survey was carried out in the metropolitan area of Mexico City to determine the presence of Acanthamoeba in the tap water of houses of contact lens wearers. Water samples were taken from the mains water entry, bathroom sinks and storage containers (roof tanks, cisterns) of 27 houses; and from the solution contained in the contact lens cases. Samples were filtered and cultured onto NNE medium. The isolates were identified based on their morphological features and pathogenicity. Total and fecal coliforms, water temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen and residual free-chlorine were measured by standard methods. Forty five isolates of Acanthamoeba from 200 water samples were obtained. The highest number of amoebae was isolated from cisterns and roof tanks. Most Acanthamoeba isolates were non-pathogenic, however, their presence in tap water is a potential hazard since some species can cause Acanthamoeba keratitis and granulomatous amoebic encephalitis.

  18. Infection in a rat model reactivates attenuated virulence after long-term axenic culture of Acanthamoeba spp

    PubMed Central

    Veríssimo, Carolina De Marco; Maschio, Vinícius José; Correa, Ana Paula Folmer; Brandelli, Adriano; Rott, Marilise Brittes

    2013-01-01

    Prolonged culturing of many microorganisms leads to the loss of virulence and a reduction of their infective capacity. However, little is known about the changes in the pathogenic strains of Acanthamoeba after long culture periods. Our study evaluated the effect of prolonged culturing on the invasiveness of different isolates of Acanthamoeba in an in vivo rat model. ATCC strains of Acanthamoeba, isolates from the environment and clinical cases were evaluated. The in vivo model was effective in establishing the infection and differentiating the pathogenicity of the isolates and re-isolates. The amoebae cultured in the laboratory for long periods were less virulent than those that were recently isolated, confirming the importance of passing Acanthamoeba strains in animal models. PMID:24271042

  19. Necrotizing Meningoencephalitis in a Captive Black and White Ruffed Lemur (Varecia variegata variegata) Caused by Acanthamoeba T4 Genotype.

    PubMed

    Gaide, N; Pelandakis, M; Robveille, C; Albaric, O; Jouvion, G; Souchon, M; Risler, A; Abadie, J

    2015-11-01

    A mature male, black and white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata variegata) died in a zoological garden after a 4-day history of lethargy and non-responsive convulsions. Necropsy and histopathological examinations revealed acute necrotizing and haemorrhagic meningoencephalitis with intralesional amoebas confirmed by immunohistochemistry. Acanthamoeba T4 genotype was identified as the causative agent of the brain lesion, based on amplification and sequencing of 18S ribosomal RNA genes. The presence of free-living amoebas in water and mud from the lemur's environment was investigated by morphological and molecular analyses. The two predominant genera, representing 80% of isolated amoebas, were Naegleria spp. and Acanthamoeba spp. All Acanthamoeba isolates belonged to the T4 genotype. To the author's knowledge, this is the first report of a meningoencephalitis due to Acanthamoeba T4 genotype in Lemuridae with concurrent analysis of pathological tissues and environment. PMID:26297109

  20. Hypoxia attenuates inflammatory mediators production induced by Acanthamoeba via Toll-like receptor 4 signaling in human corneal epithelial cells

    SciTech Connect

    Pan, Hong; Wu, Xinyi

    2012-04-13

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Hypoxia attenuates Acanthamoeba-induced the production of IL-8 and IFN-{beta}. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Hypoxia inhibits TLR4 expression in a time-dependent manner in HCECs. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Hypoxia inhibits Acanthamoeba-induced the activation of NF-{kappa}B and ERK1/2 in HCECs. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Hypoxia decreases Acanthamoeba-induced inflammatory response via TLR4 signaling. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer LPS-induced the secretion of IL-6 and IL-8 is abated by hypoxia via TLR4 signaling. -- Abstract: Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) is a vision-threatening corneal infection that is intimately associated with contact lens use which leads to hypoxic conditions on the corneal surface. However, the effect of hypoxia on the Acanthamoeba-induced host inflammatory response of corneal epithelial cells has not been studied. In the present study, we investigated the effect of hypoxia on the Acanthamoeba-induced production of inflammatory mediators interleukin-8 (IL-8) and interferon-{beta} (IFN-{beta}) in human corneal epithelial cells and then evaluated its effects on the Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) signaling, including TLR4 and myeloid differentiation primary response gene (88) (MyD88) expression as well as the activation of nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-{kappa}B) and extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2 (ERK1/2). We then studied the effect of hypoxia on a TLR4-specific inflammatory response triggered by the TLR4 ligand lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Our data showed that hypoxia significantly decreased the production of IL-8 and IFN-{beta}. Furthermore, hypoxia attenuated Acanthamoeba-triggered TLR4 expression as well as the activation of NF-{kappa}B and ERK1/2, indicating that hypoxia abated Acanthamoeba-induced inflammatory responses by affecting TLR4 signaling. Hypoxia also inhibited LPS-induced IL-6 and IL-8 secretion, myeloid differentiation primary response gene (88

  1. Real-time PCR method for the detection and quantification of Acanthamoeba species in various types of water samples.

    PubMed

    Kao, Po-Min; Tung, Min-Che; Hsu, Bing-Mu; Tsai, Hsien-Lung; She, Cheng-Yu; Shen, Shu-Min; Huang, Wen-Chien

    2013-03-01

    In this study, a quantitative real-time PCR was developed to detect and quantify Acanthamoeba spp. in various environmental water samples. The water samples were taken from watershed, water treatment plant, and three thermal spring recreation areas. The overall detection rate was 14.2 % (25/176) for Acanthamoeba spp. The percentages of samples containing Acanthamoeba spp. from river water, raw drinking water, and thermal spring water were 13 % (13/100), 25 % (7/28), and 10.4 % (5/48), respectively. Acanthamoeba spp. concentrations were determined according to SYBR Green quantitative real-time PCR. A plasmid-based standard curve was constructed to determine the Acanthamoeba concentration using dilution factors for achieving 1.36 × 10(9) gene copies per PCR for 18S rRNA gene in Acanthamoeba spp. The resulting concentrations varied by the type of water, in the range of 46-2.6 × 10(2) cells/l in positive raw drinking water, 2.7 × 10(2)-1.5 × 10(4) cells/l in river water, and 54-1.7 × 10(3) cells/l in thermal spring water. The presence of Acanthamoeba spp. in the raw drinking water samples was also found to have a significant difference with heterotrophic plate count. The presence of Acanthamoeba spp. in various aquatic environments may be a potential health hazard and must be further evaluated.

  2. Acanthamoeba infection in lungs of mice expressed by toll-like receptors (TLR2 and TLR4).

    PubMed

    Derda, Monika; Wojtkowiak-Giera, Agnieszka; Kolasa-Wołosiuk, Agnieszka; Kosik-Bogacka, Danuta; Hadaś, Edward; Jagodziński, Paweł P; Wandurska-Nowak, Elżbieta

    2016-06-01

    Toll-like receptors (TLRs) play a key role in the innate immune responses to a variety of pathogens including parasites. TLRs are among the most highly conserved in the evolution of the receptor family, localized mainly on cells of the immune system and on other cells such as lung cells. The aim of this study was to determine for the first time the expression of TLR2 and TLR4 in the lung of Acanthamoeba spp. infected mice using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (Q-PCR) and immunohistochemical (IHC) staining. The Acanthamoeba spp. were isolated from a patient with Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) (strain Ac 55) and from environmental samples of water from Malta Lake (Poznań, Poland - strain Ac 43). We observed a significantly increased level of expression of TLR2 as well as TLR4 mRNA from 2 to 30 days post Acanthamoeba infection (dpi) in the lungs of mice infected with Ac55 (KP120880) and Ac43 (KP120879) strains. According to our observations, increased TLR2 and TLR4 expression in the pneumocytes, interstitial cells and epithelial cells of the bronchial tree may suggest an important role of these receptors in protective immunity against Acanthamoeba infection in the lung. Moreover, increased levels of TLR2 and TLR4 mRNA expression in infected Acanthamoeba mice may suggest the involvement of these TLRs in the recognition of this amoeba pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP). PMID:26940205

  3. Acanthamoeba infection in lungs of mice expressed by toll-like receptors (TLR2 and TLR4).

    PubMed

    Derda, Monika; Wojtkowiak-Giera, Agnieszka; Kolasa-Wołosiuk, Agnieszka; Kosik-Bogacka, Danuta; Hadaś, Edward; Jagodziński, Paweł P; Wandurska-Nowak, Elżbieta

    2016-06-01

    Toll-like receptors (TLRs) play a key role in the innate immune responses to a variety of pathogens including parasites. TLRs are among the most highly conserved in the evolution of the receptor family, localized mainly on cells of the immune system and on other cells such as lung cells. The aim of this study was to determine for the first time the expression of TLR2 and TLR4 in the lung of Acanthamoeba spp. infected mice using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (Q-PCR) and immunohistochemical (IHC) staining. The Acanthamoeba spp. were isolated from a patient with Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) (strain Ac 55) and from environmental samples of water from Malta Lake (Poznań, Poland - strain Ac 43). We observed a significantly increased level of expression of TLR2 as well as TLR4 mRNA from 2 to 30 days post Acanthamoeba infection (dpi) in the lungs of mice infected with Ac55 (KP120880) and Ac43 (KP120879) strains. According to our observations, increased TLR2 and TLR4 expression in the pneumocytes, interstitial cells and epithelial cells of the bronchial tree may suggest an important role of these receptors in protective immunity against Acanthamoeba infection in the lung. Moreover, increased levels of TLR2 and TLR4 mRNA expression in infected Acanthamoeba mice may suggest the involvement of these TLRs in the recognition of this amoeba pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP).

  4. Isolation and molecular characterization of Acanthamoeba genotypes in recreational and domestic water sources from Jamaica, West Indies.

    PubMed

    Todd, Cheridah D; Reyes-Batlle, María; Piñero, José E; Martínez-Carretero, Enrique; Valladares, Basilio; Streete, Don; Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob; Lindo, John F

    2015-09-01

    Free living amoebae (FLA) are amphizoic protozoa that are ubiquitous in nature. Infection with FLA may result in neurological, ocular and skin infections. Exposure to Acanthamoeba occurs frequently through water contact and knowledge of the presence of the organisms in water sources is important in understanding transmission dynamics. The distribution of Acanthamoeba was studied in recreational and domestic water samples collected from across Jamaica. Morphological assessment and polymerase chain reaction revealed Acanthamoeba spp. isolates in 50.6% (42/83) and 17.3% (14/81) of recreational and domestic water, respectively. Sequencing of the DF3 region of the 18S rDNA resulted in the identification of genotypes T3, T4, T5, T10 and T11 corresponding to Acanthamoeba spp: A. griffini, A. triangularis, A. lenticulata, A. culbertsoni and A. hatchetti. Moreover, T4 was the most frequently isolated genotype in both recreational and domestic water. Thermotolerance and osmotolerance assays indicated that most isolates were potentially pathogenic. This is the first report of T3 and T10 genotypes in the Caribbean and the first report of these Acanthamoeba spp. in Jamaican waters. The study shows that there is potential risk of infection to contact wearers who practise poor lens care. Further, Acanthamoeba should be considered as a cause of neurological infections in Jamaica.

  5. Isolation and genotyping of free-living environmental isolates of Acanthamoeba spp. from bromeliads in Southern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Landell, Melissa Fontes; Salton, Juliana; Caumo, Karin; Broetto, Leonardo; Rott, Marilise B

    2013-07-01

    Species of Acanthamoeba are frequently isolated from distinct environmental sources such as water, soil, dust and air. They are responsible to cause infections and disease in humans and animals. In addition, Acanthamoeba sp. are considered an important reservoir of bacteria, virus and fungi, which act as "Trojan horses" to protect these microorganisms of harsh environmental conditions. In this study, nine Acanthamoeba isolates from bromeliads phylloplane were identified based on the morphology of cyst and trophozoite forms. The genotype level was accessed by the sequence analysis of Acanthamoeba small-subunit rRNA gene. Genotypic characterization grouped five isolates in the genotype T2/T6, three in the T4 genotype and one in the genotype T16. The results obtained indicate that the genotype T2/T6 is common on phylloplane. To predict the pathogenic potential of the Acanthamoeba isolates, thermo and osmotolerance assays were employed, although all isolates were capable of surviving at temperatures of 37°C, other tests will be conducted in the future to determine the potential pathogenic of the isolates. Altogether, our results revealed the importance of the presence of Acanthamoeba associated with bromeliads in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, and the necessity for further studies to determine the environmental distribution and the role of these species. PMID:23562883

  6. A Brazilian Marseillevirus Is the Founding Member of a Lineage in Family Marseilleviridae

    PubMed Central

    Dornas, Fábio P.; Assis, Felipe L.; Aherfi, Sarah; Arantes, Thalita; Abrahão, Jônatas S.; Colson, Philippe; La Scola, Bernard

    2016-01-01

    In 2003, Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus (APMV) was discovered as parasitizing Acanthamoeba. It was revealed to exhibit remarkable features, especially odd genomic characteristics, and founded viral family Mimiviridae. Subsequently, a second family of giant amoebal viruses was described, Marseilleviridae, whose prototype member is Marseillevirus, discovered in 2009. Currently, the genomes of seven different members of this family have been fully sequenced. Previous phylogenetic analysis suggested the existence of three Marseilleviridae lineages: A, B and C. Here, we describe a new member of this family, Brazilian Marseillevirus (BrMV), which was isolated from a Brazilian sample and whose genome was fully sequenced and analyzed. Surprisingly, data from phylogenetic analyses and comparative genomics, including mean amino acid identity between BrMV and other Marseilleviridae members and the analyses of the core genome and pan-genome of marseilleviruses, indicated that this virus can be assigned to a new Marseilleviridae lineage. Even if the BrMV genome is one of the smallest among Marseilleviridae members, it harbors the second largest gene content into this family. In addition, the BrMV genome encodes 29 ORFans. Here, we describe the isolation and genome analyses of the BrMV strain, and propose its classification as the prototype virus of a new lineage D within the family Marseilleviridae. PMID:26978387

  7. Acanthamoeba misidentification and multiple labels: redefining genotypes T16, T19, and T20 and proposal for Acanthamoeba micheli sp. nov. (genotype T19).

    PubMed

    Corsaro, Daniele; Walochnik, Julia; Köhsler, Martina; Rott, Marilise B

    2015-07-01

    Acanthamoeba species are ubiquitous amoebae able to cause important infections in humans and other vertebrates. The full/near-full sequences (>2000 bp) of the small subunit ribosomal RNA gene (SSU rDNA or 18S rDNA) are used to cluster Acanthamoeba as genotypes, labeled T1 to T20. Genotype T15 remains an exception, being described only partially on a 1500-bp fragment. Strains are thus usually identified based on their 18S identity matches with reference strains, often using shorter (<500 bp) diagnostic fragments of the gene. Nevertheless, short fragments (<1000 bp) have been used to propose genotypes. This has been criticized, and doubts arise therefore on possible confusion leading to classify distinct partial sequences with a same label(s). We demonstrate herein that several partial sequences misassigned either to T16 or to T4, actually belong to at least two separate and distinct genotypes. We obtained the full 18S rDNA of a strain previously typed as T16 on the basis of a small fragment and demonstrated that it actually belongs to the recently described T19. We propose the name Acanthamoeba micheli sp. nov., for this strain. Furthermore, partial molecular phylogenies were performed to show that several other misassigned T16 partial sequences belong to a new genotype. This latter includes also misassigned T4 partial sequences, only recently available as full sequences and labeled as T20. We thus reassign these partial sequences to the genotype T20. Longer sequences, ideally at least 90 % of the total gene length, should be obtained from strains to ensure reliable diagnostic and phylogenetic results.

  8. Comparison of Fluorescence Microscopy and Different Growth Media Culture Methods for Acanthamoeba Keratitis Diagnosis

    PubMed Central

    Peretz, Avi; Geffen, Yuval; Socea, Soergiu D.; Pastukh, Nina; Graffi, Shmuel

    2015-01-01

    Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK), a potentially blinding infection of the cornea, is caused by a free-living protozoan. Culture and microscopic examination of corneal scraping tissue material is the conventional method for identifying Acanthamoeba. In this article, we compared several methods for AK diagnosis of 32 patients: microscopic examination using fluorescent dye, specific culture on growth media—non-nutrient agar (NNA), culture on liquid growth media—peptone yeast glucose (PYG), and TYI-S-33. AK was found in 14 patients. Thirteen of the specimens were found AK positive by fluorescence microscopic examination, 11 specimens were found AK positive on PYG growth media, and 9 specimens were found AK positive on TYI-S-33 growth media. Only five specimens were found AK positive on NNA growth media. Therefore, we recommend using fluorescence microscopy technique and culture method, especially PYG liquid media. PMID:25962772

  9. Distribution of Acanthamoeba Genotypes Isolated from Recreational and Therapeutic Geothermal Water Sources in Southwestern Iran

    PubMed Central

    Niyyati, Maryam; Saberi, Reza; Latifi, Alireza; Lasjerdi, Zohreh

    2016-01-01

    A comprehensive survey was conducted along 10 km of geothermal rivers in southwestern Iran. A total of 40 water samples were tested for the presence of Acanthamoeba spp., and genotypes were determined by targeting the diagnostic fragment 3 region of the 18S rRNA gene. The pathogenic potential of all positive isolates was also identified using tolerance ability test. High occurrences of Acanthamoeba (50%) were detected in the sampling areas. Based on sequencing analysis, isolates belonging to T4 (93.7%) and T2 (6.25%) genotypes were reported. Thermo- and osmotolerance tests revealed that five strains are highly pathogenic. Since every collection site of this study was associated with high human activity, posting of warning signs, monitoring of recreational water sources, and awareness of high-risk people are of utmost importance. To the best of our knowledge, the present research is the first to report T2 genotype from geothermal water sources in Iran. PMID:27127409

  10. Superdiffusion dominates intracellular particle motion in the supercrowded cytoplasm of pathogenic Acanthamoeba castellanii

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reverey, Julia F.; Jeon, Jae-Hyung; Bao, Han; Leippe, Matthias; Metzler, Ralf; Selhuber-Unkel, Christine

    2015-06-01

    Acanthamoebae are free-living protists and human pathogens, whose cellular functions and pathogenicity strongly depend on the transport of intracellular vesicles and granules through the cytosol. Using high-speed live cell imaging in combination with single-particle tracking analysis, we show here that the motion of endogenous intracellular particles in the size range from a few hundred nanometers to several micrometers in Acanthamoeba castellanii is strongly superdiffusive and influenced by cell locomotion, cytoskeletal elements, and myosin II. We demonstrate that cell locomotion significantly contributes to intracellular particle motion, but is clearly not the only origin of superdiffusivity. By analyzing the contribution of microtubules, actin, and myosin II motors we show that myosin II is a major driving force of intracellular motion in A. castellanii. The cytoplasm of A. castellanii is supercrowded with intracellular vesicles and granules, such that significant intracellular motion can only be achieved by actively driven motion, while purely thermally driven diffusion is negligible.

  11. Comparison of Fluorescence Microscopy and Different Growth Media Culture Methods for Acanthamoeba Keratitis Diagnosis.

    PubMed

    Peretz, Avi; Geffen, Yuval; Socea, Soergiu D; Pastukh, Nina; Graffi, Shmuel

    2015-08-01

    Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK), a potentially blinding infection of the cornea, is caused by a free-living protozoan. Culture and microscopic examination of corneal scraping tissue material is the conventional method for identifying Acanthamoeba. In this article, we compared several methods for AK diagnosis of 32 patients: microscopic examination using fluorescent dye, specific culture on growth media-non-nutrient agar (NNA), culture on liquid growth media-peptone yeast glucose (PYG), and TYI-S-33. AK was found in 14 patients. Thirteen of the specimens were found AK positive by fluorescence microscopic examination, 11 specimens were found AK positive on PYG growth media, and 9 specimens were found AK positive on TYI-S-33 growth media. Only five specimens were found AK positive on NNA growth media. Therefore, we recommend using fluorescence microscopy technique and culture method, especially PYG liquid media.

  12. Superdiffusion dominates intracellular particle motion in the supercrowded cytoplasm of pathogenic Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    PubMed

    Reverey, Julia F; Jeon, Jae-Hyung; Bao, Han; Leippe, Matthias; Metzler, Ralf; Selhuber-Unkel, Christine

    2015-01-01

    Acanthamoebae are free-living protists and human pathogens, whose cellular functions and pathogenicity strongly depend on the transport of intracellular vesicles and granules through the cytosol. Using high-speed live cell imaging in combination with single-particle tracking analysis, we show here that the motion of endogenous intracellular particles in the size range from a few hundred nanometers to several micrometers in Acanthamoeba castellanii is strongly superdiffusive and influenced by cell locomotion, cytoskeletal elements, and myosin II. We demonstrate that cell locomotion significantly contributes to intracellular particle motion, but is clearly not the only origin of superdiffusivity. By analyzing the contribution of microtubules, actin, and myosin II motors we show that myosin II is a major driving force of intracellular motion in A. castellanii. The cytoplasm of A. castellanii is supercrowded with intracellular vesicles and granules, such that significant intracellular motion can only be achieved by actively driven motion, while purely thermally driven diffusion is negligible.

  13. Isolation of Acanthamoeba Genotype T4 from a Non-Contact Lens Wearer from the Philippines

    PubMed Central

    Buerano, Corazon C.; Trinidad, Abigail D.; Fajardo, Lindsay Sydney N.; Cua, Irwin Y.; Baclig, Michael O.; Natividad, Filipinas F.

    2014-01-01

    We report the case of a 76-year old Filipino male who presented with pain, redness, and blurring of vision of the right eye. Corneal scraping was done and sent to the St. Luke’s Research and Biotechnology Group for detection and identification of the infectious agent. Morphological detection was performed by allowing the organism from the scraping to grow in 1.5% non-nutrient agar plate with heat-killed E. coli. Trophozoites with acanthopodia and double-walled cysts characteristic of Acanthamoeba were observed within the first and second week of observations, respectively. Molecular identification of the amoebae at the genus level based on the presence of Acanthamoeba-specific amplimer S1, ASA.S1 confirmed the morphological identification. Genotyping through sequence revealed that the organism belonged to T4, which is the genotype commonly present in the eye of keratitis patients. PMID:25589879

  14. Distribution of Acanthamoeba Genotypes Isolated from Recreational and Therapeutic Geothermal Water Sources in Southwestern Iran.

    PubMed

    Niyyati, Maryam; Saberi, Reza; Latifi, Alireza; Lasjerdi, Zohreh

    2016-01-01

    A comprehensive survey was conducted along 10 km of geothermal rivers in southwestern Iran. A total of 40 water samples were tested for the presence of Acanthamoeba spp., and genotypes were determined by targeting the diagnostic fragment 3 region of the 18S rRNA gene. The pathogenic potential of all positive isolates was also identified using tolerance ability test. High occurrences of Acanthamoeba (50%) were detected in the sampling areas. Based on sequencing analysis, isolates belonging to T4 (93.7%) and T2 (6.25%) genotypes were reported. Thermo- and osmotolerance tests revealed that five strains are highly pathogenic. Since every collection site of this study was associated with high human activity, posting of warning signs, monitoring of recreational water sources, and awareness of high-risk people are of utmost importance. To the best of our knowledge, the present research is the first to report T2 genotype from geothermal water sources in Iran.

  15. Effect of Parachlamydia acanthamoebae on pulmonary function parameters in a bovine respiratory model.

    PubMed

    Lohr, M; Prohl, A; Ostermann, C; Diller, R; Greub, G; Reinhold, P

    2016-07-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate pulmonary dysfunction induced by experimental infection with Parachlamydia acanthamoebae in calves. Intrabronchial inoculation with P. acanthamoebae was performed in 31 calves aged 2-3 months old at two different challenge doses of 10(8) and 10(10) inclusion-forming units (IFU) per animal. Control animals received heat inactivated bacteria. The effects on pulmonary gas exchange were determined by arterial blood gas analysis and haemoximetry during the 7 days post inoculation (DPI). For pulmonary function testing (PFT), impulse oscillometry, capnography, and measurement of O2 uptake were undertaken in spontaneously breathing animals 7 and 3 days before inoculation and were repeated until 10 DPI. In the early phase after challenge (1-3 DPI), mild hypoxaemia occurred, which was accompanied by a significant reduction in both tidal and alveolar volumes (each related to bodyweight, BW). In parallel, expiratory flow rate and specific ventilation (i.e. minute ventilation related to O2 uptake) were significantly increased. Minute and alveolar ventilations (each related to metabolic BW) increased significantly due to higher respiratory rates, lasting until 4 and 5 DPI, respectively. Oxygen uptake was slightly reduced during the first 2 days after challenge, but increased significantly during the recovery phase, from 4 to 8 DPI. No deterioration in respiratory mechanics or acid-base balance was observed. Respiratory infection with 10(10) IFU P. acanthamoebae per calf induced mild respiratory dysfunction, mainly characterised by hypoxaemia. The study's findings do not indicate severe pathophysiological consequences of P. acanthamoebae infection on pulmonary function in the bovine host. PMID:27240907

  16. Survival and transfer ability of phylogenetically diverse bacterial endosymbionts in environmental Acanthamoeba isolates.

    PubMed

    Matsuo, Junji; Kawaguchi, Kouhei; Nakamura, Shinji; Hayashi, Yasuhiro; Yoshida, Mitsutaka; Takahashi, Kaori; Mizutani, Yoshihiko; Yao, Takashi; Yamaguchi, Hiroyuki

    2010-08-01

    Obligate intracellular bacteria are commonly found as endosymbionts of acanthamoebae; however, their survival in and ability to transfer to amoebae are currently uncharacterized. In this study, six bacterial endosymbionts, found in five environmental Acanthamoeba isolates (S13, R18, S23, S31, S40) from different locations of Sapporo city, Japan, were characterized. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that three bacterial endosymbionts (eS23, eS31, eS40a) belonged to α- and β-Proteobacteria phyla and the remaining endosymbionts (eS13, eR18, eS40b) belonged to the order Chlamydiales. The Acanthamoeba isolate (S40) contained two phylogenetically different bacterial endosymbionts (eS40a, eS40b). Fluorescent in situ hybridization analysis showed that all bacterial endosymbionts were diffusely localized within amoebae. Transmission electron microscopy also showed that the endosymbionts were rod-shaped (eS23, eS31, eS40a) or sphere- or crescent-shaped (eS13, eR18, eS40b). No successful culture of these bacteria was achieved using conventional culture methods, but the viability of endosymbionts was confirmed by live/dead staining and RT-PCR methods. However, endosymbionts (except eR18) derived from original host cells lost the ability to be transferred to another Acanthamoebae strains [ATCC strain (C3), environmental strains (S14, R23, S24)]. Thus, our data demonstrate that phylogenetically diverse bacterial endosymbionts found in amoebae maintain a stable interaction with amoebae, but the transferability is limited.

  17. Identification and properties of proteases from an Acanthamoeba isolate capable of producing granulomatous encephalitis

    PubMed Central

    Sissons, James; Alsam, Selwa; Goldsworthy, Graham; Lightfoot, Mary; Jarroll, Edward L; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2006-01-01

    Background Granulomatous amoebic encephalitis due to Acanthamoeba is often a fatal human disease. However, the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of Acanthamoeba encephalitis remain unclear. In this study, the role of extracellular Acanthamoeba proteases in central nervous system pathogenesis and pathophysiology was examined. Results Using an encephalitis isolate belonging to T1 genotype, we observed two major proteases with approximate molecular weights of 150 KD and 130 KD on SDS-PAGE gels using gelatin as substrate. The 130 KD protease was inhibited with phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride (PMSF) suggesting that it is a serine protease, while the 150 KD protease was inhibited with 1, 10-phenanthroline suggesting that it is a metalloprotease. Both proteases exhibited maximal activity at neutral pH and over a range of temperatures, indicating their physiological relevance. These proteases degrade extracellular matrix (ECM), which provide structural and functional support to the brain tissue, as shown by the degradation of collagen I and III (major components of collagenous ECM), elastin (elastic fibrils of ECM), plasminogen (involved in proteolytic degradation of ECM), as well as casein and haemoglobin. The proteases were purified partially using ion-exchange chromatography and their effects were tested in an in vitro model of the blood-brain barrier using human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMEC). Neither the serine nor the metalloprotease exhibited HBMEC cytotoxicity. However, the serine protease exhibited HBMEC monolayer disruptions (trypsin-like) suggesting a role in blood-brain barrier perturbations. Conclusion Overall, these data suggest that Acanthamoeba proteases digest ECM, which may play crucial role(s) in invasion of the brain tissue by amoebae. PMID:16672059

  18. A Rabbit Model of Acanthamoeba Keratitis That Better Reflects the Natural Human Infection.

    PubMed

    Feng, Xianmin; Zheng, Wenyu; Wang, Yuehua; Zhao, Donghai; Jiang, Xiaoming; Lv, Shijie

    2015-08-01

    Acanthamoeba species are ubiquitous, free-living protozoa that can invade the cornea and result in Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK), a painful progressive sight-threatening corneal disease. Disease progression in current animal models is too rapid to mimic AK in humans accurately. This study provides a novel method for establishing AK in rabbits and compared it with the conventional method with regard to pathogenesis and immune response in humans. The New Zealand white rabbits were randomly divided into two experimental groups (Groups A and B). Rabbits in the Group A (n = 14) received intrastromal injections of 1 × 10(4) /100 µL Acanthamoeba healyi trophozoites (conventional AK model). The Group B animals (n = 14) received microinjections of 1 × 10(4) /10 µL A. healyi trophozoites between the corneal epithelium and Bowman's layer, anterior to the corneal stroma (novel AK model). In addition, two rabbits were left untreated as normal controls. AK in the treated rabbits was evaluated clinically, histopathologically, and immunologically for 35 days. AK was successfully established in both the conventional and novel model groups. Compared with the Group A, AK in the Group B displayed an efficient immune response with less severe pathology. Moreover, the self-limiting but chronic nature of the infection in the Group B was strikingly similar to that of AK in humans. The novel animal model for AK described here more closely simulates the pathogenesis and immune response of Acanthamoeba corneal infection in humans than the animal models currently in use.

  19. Anaerobic respiration: In vitro efficacy of Nitazoxanide against mitochondriate Acanthamoeba castellanii of the T4 genotype.

    PubMed

    Aqeel, Yousuf; Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah; Farooq, Maria; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2015-10-01

    Acanthamoeba is an opportunistic protist pathogen that is responsible for serious human and animal infection. Being one of the most frequently isolated protists from the environment, it is likely that it readily encounters microaerophilic environments. For respiration under anaerobic or low oxygen conditions in several amitochondriate protists, decarboxylation of pyruvate is catalyzed by pyruvate ferredoxin oxidoreductase instead of pyruvate dehydrogenase. In support, Nitazoxanide, an inhibitor of pyruvate ferredoxin oxidoreductase, is effective and non-mutagenic clinically against a range of amitochondriate protists, Giardia intestinalis, Entamoeba histolytica and Trichomonas vaginalis. The overall aim of the present study was to determine in vitro efficacy of Nitazoxanide against Acanthamoeba castellanii. At micromolar concentrations, the findings revealed that Nitazoxanide neither affected A. castellanii growth or viability nor amoeba-mediated host cell monolayer damage in vitro or extracellular proteolytic activities. Similarly, microaerophilic conditions alone had no significant effects. In contrast, microaerophilic conditions together with Nitazoxanide showed amoebicidal effects and inhibited A. castellanii-mediated host cell monolayer damage as well as extracellular proteases. Using encystation assays, it was observed that Nitazoxanide inhibited trophozoite transformation into cysts both under aerophilic and microaerophilic conditions. Furthermore, pre-treatment of cysts with Nitazoxanide inhibited A. castellanii excystation. These findings are important in the identification of potential targets that could be useful against parasite-specific respiration as well as to understand the basic biology of the life cycle of Acanthamoeba.

  20. Prevalence of acanthamoeba from tap water in rio grande do Sul, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Winck, Mari Aline Todero; Caumo, Karin; Rott, Marilise Brittes

    2011-11-01

    A total of 136 samples of tap water were collected from state and municipal schools between March and November 2009. The samples were filtered through cellulose nitrate membranes that were seeded at non-nutrient agar 1.5% containing an overlayer of Escherichia coli suspension. Thirty-one (22.79%) tap water samples investigated were found positive for free-living amoebae (FLA). From these, 13 presented as FLA that seems to belong to the genus Acanthamoeba. All samples of FLA were cloned and identified as belonging to the genus Acanthamoeba by the morphology of cysts and trophozoites and by PCR using genus-specific primers that amplify the ASA.S1 region of 18S rDNA gene. Physiological tests of thermotolerance and osmotolerance were used to evaluate the pathogenicity of the isolates. The sequencing analysis by comparing the sequences submitted to GenBank, showed genotype distribution into groups T2, T2/T6, T6, and T4. In tests of thermotolerance and osmotolerance, 50% of the isolates had a low pathogenic potential. The results indicated the presence of Acanthamoeba in tap water in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, revealing its importance and the need for more epidemiological studies to determine their distribution in the environment and its pathogenic potential.

  1. The role of actin in the temperature-dependent gelation and contraction of extracts of Acanthamoeba

    PubMed Central

    1976-01-01

    The temperature-dependent assembly and the interaction of Acanthamoeba contractile proteins have been studied in a crude extract. A cold extract of soluble proteins from Acanthamoeba castellanii is prepared by homogenizing the cells in a sucrose-ATP-ethyleneglycol-bis-(beta- aminoethyl ether) N,N'-tetraacetic acid buffer and centrifuging at 136,000 g for 1 h. When this supernate of soluble proteins is warmed to room temperature, it forms a solid gel. Upon standing at room temperature, the gel slowly contracts and squeezes out soluble components. The rates of gelation and contraction are both highly temperature dependent, with activation energies of about 20 kcal per mol. Gel formation is dependent upon the presence of ATP and Mg++. Low concentrations of Ca++ accelerate the contractile phase of this phenomenon. The major protein component of the gel is actin. It is associated with myosin, cofactor, a high molecular weight protein tentatively identfied as actin-binding protein, and several other unidentified proteins. Actin has been purified from these gels and was found to be capable of forming a solid gel when polymerized in the presence of ATP, MgCl3, and KCL. The rate of purified actin polymerication is very temperature dependent and is accelerated by the addition of fragments of muscle actin filaments. These data suggest that Acanthamoeba contractile proteins have a dual role in the cell; they may generate the forces for cellular movements and also act as cytoskeletal elements by controlling the consistency of the cytoplasm. PMID:1030705

  2. Prevalence of Acanthamoeba and superbugs in a clinical setting: coincidence or hyperparasitism?

    PubMed

    Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah; Sagheer, Mehwish; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2013-03-01

    Antibacterial strategies to eradicate superbugs from hospitals/nursing homes have had limited success, suggesting the need for employing innovative preventative measures and better understanding of the prevalence of microbial pathogens in close proximity of susceptible populations. A total of 120 environmental samples were collected from the Aga Khan University hospital. Amoebae were identified using morphological characteristics as well as PCR using genus-specific primers, while bacteria were identified using standard biochemical testing. Out of 120 samples tested, 52 (43.3 %) samples were positive for Acanthamoeba, while all 120 (100 %) samples were positive for bacteria. Following bacterial identification, samples showed mixed bacterial populations. Out of 120 samples, 76 (63.3 %) samples were positive for Bacillus spp., 64 (53.3 %) samples were positive for Corynebacterium spp., 32 (26.6 %) samples were positive for Staphylococcus spp., and 9 (7.5 %) samples were positive for Micrococcus spp. The antibiotic susceptibility showed that all bacterial isolates recovered were multiple drug-resistant. The current findings suggest that Acanthamoeba and bacteria coexist in a clinical environment. Given that Acanthamoeba can harbor bacteria, anti-amoebic approaches may represent a strategy in eradicating "superbugs" from the clinical setting in addition to the current measures.

  3. Expression levels of encystation mediating factors in fresh strain of Acanthamoeba castellanii cyst ESTs.

    PubMed

    Moon, Eun-Kyung; Chung, Dong-Il; Hong, Yeonchul; Kong, Hyun-Hee

    2011-04-01

    The life cycle of Acanthamoeba consists of two stages, trophozoite and cyst. The cyst form is resistant to almost all antibiotics. By long term cultivation, Acanthamoeba severely attenuated the encysting ability. To determine the changing of gene expression by the long term cultivation, especially focusing an encystation mediating factors, this study compared the ESTs of the fresh strain and the old strain, and trophozoite. Comparison of the KOG (euKaryotic Orthologous Groups) analysis relative to trophozoite revealed higher percentages of cyst ESTs related to G (Carbohydrate transport and metabolism), H (Coenzyme transport and metabolism), I (Lipid transport and metabolism), D (Cell cycle control, cell division, chromosome partitioning), T (signal transduction mechanisms), and O (Posttranslational modification, protein turnover, chaperones). In addition to this result, KOG analysis of fresh strain relative to old strain showed higher percentage of cyst ESTs related to metabolism category and T (signal transduction mechanisms) article. ESTs of the fresh strain revealed more various gene profiles compared to the old strain including encystation mediating factors like autophagy related proteins (Z article) and signal transduction proteins (T article). Twenty seven kinds of protein kinase C (PKC) like genes were detected in cyst or trophozoite ESTs and twenty one of them were highly expressed during encystation. The information of the expressed genes during encystation in only the fresh strain will provide new clues to understanding the encystation mechanism of encysting protozoa including Acanthamoeba. PMID:21276446

  4. Necrotizing meningoencephalitis and pneumonitis in a simian immunodeficiency virus-infected rhesus macaque due to Acanthamoeba.

    PubMed

    Westmoreland, S V; Rosen, J; MacKey, J; Romsey, C; Xia, D-L; Visvesvera, G S; Mansfield, K G

    2004-07-01

    Free-living amoebae of the genus Acanthamoeba can cause a fatal disease of the brain in humans called granulomatous amoebic encephalitis. We present a case of meningoencephalitis and pneumonitis in a simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected rhesus macaque caused by Acanthamoeba sp. The animal became ill 176 days after intravenous inoculation with SIVmac251 after a short history of weight loss and a sudden onset of hind limb paresis and abnormal head movements. Histopathologic examination of hematoxylin and eosin-stained tissues revealed multifocal to coalescing necrotizing neutrophilic meningoencephalitis and pneumonitis. Immunofluorescence and polymerase chain reaction were used to identify the genus of amoeba as Acanthamoeba. Immunohistochemistry of immune cell markers was used to characterize the animal's immune response to the opportunistic amoebic infection with features of both innate and adaptive cell-mediated immunity. Although not previously reported, the potential transmission to humans, either through environmental contamination or contact with an infected animal, makes this disease a threat to laboratory animal care staff and pathologists. PMID:15232140

  5. Acanthamoeba meningoencephalitis in immunocompetent: A case report and review of literature

    PubMed Central

    Khanna, Vinay; Shastri, BA; Anusha, G; Mukhopadhayay, Chiranjay; Khanna, Ruchee

    2014-01-01

    A 30-year-old manual laborer from Karnataka, India presented with intermittent low grade fever and diffuse headache for 1 month. On examination, patient had enlarged supraclavicular and cervical lymph nodes. Patient had positive Kernig's sign and neck stiffness. Motor, sensory and cranial nerve examinations were within the normal limits. Abdominal, cardiovascular and chest examination did not yield any positive findings. Contrast enhanced computed tomography head was normal. Patient was suspected to have extrapulmonary tuberculosis. Patient was started on antitubercular drugs. Diagnostic lumbar puncture was performed. Wet mount and Giemsa smear preparation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) showed trophozoites suggestive of Acanthamoeba. CSF was cultured onto non-nutrient agar with an overlay of Escherichia coli. Wet mount made from the culture media yielded cysts and trophozoites of Acanthamoeba spp. Patient was diagnosed with Acanthamoeba meningitis and was started on specific therapy with Rifampicin 600 mg once a day, Cotrimoxazole 960 mg twice-a-day and Fluconazole 400 mg once daily for 2 weeks. Patient had a complete recovery and was discharged from the hospital. PMID:25250233

  6. Seroprevalence of Acanthamoeba Antibodies in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients by IFAT, Tehran, Iran 2007

    PubMed Central

    Eftekhar, M; Athari, A; Haghighi, A; Mosaffa, N; Shahram, F; Abadi, A

    2010-01-01

    Background This preliminary study was conducted to discriminate the prevalence of Acanthamoeba antibodies in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients and healthy controls to analyze the correlation between these two groups. Methods From October 2006 to August 2007 a total of 121 serum samples from RA patients attending the Rheumatolgy Department at Shariati Hospital in Tehran were obtained and stored at -20°C until using by indirect fluorescent-antibody test (IFAT). RA was diagnosed according to the American Collage of Rheumatology classification criteria. The organism used in this study was isolated from various water resources in Tehran, Iran cultured axenically and then went on a PCR assay based on 18S rRNA to identify the genus Acanthomoeba. Indirect immunofluorescence antibody (IFA) staining of serum samples was carried out to detect anti Acanthomoeba antibodies. Results In culture, out of 22 samples, 13(59%) were grown in xenic but only two in axenic medium. PCR amplified a 904bp fragment, specific for Acanthamoeba. Of examined serum samples, Acanthamoeba antibodies were present in 70 (57.8%) and 52 (41.2%), respectively. The highest titer of antibodies (1:320) was detected in one patient with RA. Conclusion Our study supports the hypothesis that some parasitic microorganisms can involve and contribute toward the development of rheumatoid syndromes. PMID:22347233

  7. Evaluation of Acanthamoeba myosin-IC as a potential therapeutic target.

    PubMed

    Martín-Navarro, Carmen M; Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob; López-Arencibia, Atteneri; Reyes-Batlle, María; Piñero, José E; Valladares, Basilio; Maciver, Sutherland K

    2014-01-01

    Members of the genus Acanthamoeba are facultative pathogens of humans, causing a sight-threatening keratitis and a fatal encephalitis. We have targeted myosin-IC by using small interfering RNA (siRNA) silencing as a therapeutic approach, since it is known that the function of this protein is vital for the amoeba. In this work, specific siRNAs against the Acanthamoeba myosin-IC gene were developed. Treated and control amoebae were cultured in growth and encystment media to evaluate the induced effects after myosin-IC gene knockdown, as we have anticipated that cyst formation may be impaired. The effects of myosin-IC gene silencing were inhibition of cyst formation, inhibition of completion of cytokinesis, inhibition of osmoregulation under osmotic stress conditions, and death of the amoebae. The finding that myosin-IC silencing caused incompletion of cytokinesis is in agreement with earlier suggestions that the protein plays a role in cell locomotion, which is necessary to pull daughter cells apart after mitosis in a process known as "traction-mediated cytokinesis". We conclude that myosin-IC is a very promising potential drug target for the development of much-needed antiamoebal drugs and that it should be further exploited for Acanthamoeba therapy. PMID:24468784

  8. Incidence and molecular diversity of Acanthamoeba species isolated from public baths in Hungary.

    PubMed

    Kiss, Csaba; Barna, Zsófia; Vargha, Márta; Török, Júlia Katalin

    2014-07-01

    Hungary has a large number of thermal baths and spa facilities which attract hundreds of thousands of tourists annually. Until recently, however, the free-living amoebae were not of public health concern. Genotyping of Acanthamoeba species, potential agents of keratitis and granulomatous encephalitis, was carried out in 20 Hungarian public baths for the first time to assess the incidence and molecular diversity of the genus in the country. Our results show that 6.7% of the samples were positive for Acanthamoeba. Of these positive samples, 6.5 and 7% was from sterilized and unsterilized pools, respectively. The 18S rRNA gene investigation of the nine Acanthamoeba strains found reveals that seven belong to the hazardous T4 genotype. The remaining two samples were of the T15 type. All the strains kept growing at 36 °C. Our results underline the need to develop a control system for free-living amoebae and supervise the disinfection of Hungarian public baths.

  9. Evaluation of Acanthamoeba Myosin-IC as a Potential Therapeutic Target

    PubMed Central

    Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob; López-Arencibia, Atteneri; Reyes-Batlle, María; Piñero, José E.; Valladares, Basilio; Maciver, Sutherland K.

    2014-01-01

    Members of the genus Acanthamoeba are facultative pathogens of humans, causing a sight-threatening keratitis and a fatal encephalitis. We have targeted myosin-IC by using small interfering RNA (siRNA) silencing as a therapeutic approach, since it is known that the function of this protein is vital for the amoeba. In this work, specific siRNAs against the Acanthamoeba myosin-IC gene were developed. Treated and control amoebae were cultured in growth and encystment media to evaluate the induced effects after myosin-IC gene knockdown, as we have anticipated that cyst formation may be impaired. The effects of myosin-IC gene silencing were inhibition of cyst formation, inhibition of completion of cytokinesis, inhibition of osmoregulation under osmotic stress conditions, and death of the amoebae. The finding that myosin-IC silencing caused incompletion of cytokinesis is in agreement with earlier suggestions that the protein plays a role in cell locomotion, which is necessary to pull daughter cells apart after mitosis in a process known as “traction-mediated cytokinesis”. We conclude that myosin-IC is a very promising potential drug target for the development of much-needed antiamoebal drugs and that it should be further exploited for Acanthamoeba therapy. PMID:24468784

  10. In Vitro Efficacy of Corifungin against Acanthamoeba castellanii Trophozoites and Cysts

    PubMed Central

    Debnath, Anjan; Tunac, Josefino B.; Silva-Olivares, Angélica; Galindo-Gómez, Silvia

    2014-01-01

    Painful blinding keratitis and fatal granulomatous amebic encephalitis are caused by the free-living amebae Acanthamoeba spp. Several prescription eye medications are used to treat Acanthamoeba keratitis, but the infection can be difficult to control because of recurrence of infection. For the treatment of encephalitis, no single drug was found useful, and in spite of the use of a combination of multiple drugs, the mortality rate remains high. Therefore, efficient, novel drugs are urgently needed for the treatment of amebic keratitis and granulomatous amebic encephalitis. In this study, we identified corifungin, a water-soluble polyene macrolide, as amebicidal. In vitro, it was effective against both the trophozoites and the cysts. Transmission electron microscopy of Acanthamoeba castellanii incubated with corifungin showed the presence of swollen mitochondria, electron-dense granules, degeneration of cytoplasm architecture, and loss of nuclear chromatin structure. These changes were followed by lysis of amebae. Corifungin also induced the encystment process of A. castellanii. There were alterations in the cyst cell wall followed by lysis of the cysts. Corifungin is a promising therapeutic option for keratitis and granulomatous amebic encephalitis. PMID:24366747

  11. Detection of Acanthamoeba on the ocular surface in a Spanish population using the Schirmer strip test: pathogenic potential, molecular classification and evaluation of the sensitivity to chlorhexidine and voriconazole of the isolated Acanthamoeba strains.

    PubMed

    Rocha-Cabrera, Pedro; Reyes-Batlle, María; Martín-Navarro, Carmen María; Dorta-Gorrín, Alexis; López-Arencibia, Atteneri; Sifaoui, Ines; Martínez-Carretero, Enrique; Piñero, José E; Martín-Barrera, Fernando; Valladares, Basilio; Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob

    2015-08-01

    Pathogenic strains of Acanthamoeba are causative agents of a sight-threatening infection of the cornea known as Acanthamoeba keratitis, which is often associated with the misuse of contact lenses. However, there is still a question remaining to be answered, which is whether these micro-organisms are present on the ocular surface of healthy individuals. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the presence of Acanthamoeba on the ocular surface in healthy patients and also in those with other ocular surface infections. Sterile Schirmer test strips were used to collect samples from a group of patients who attended an ophthalmology consultation at the Hospital del Norte, Icod de los Vinos, Tenerife, Canary Islands. Most of the patients (46 individuals, 79.31  %) presented ocular surface pathologies such as blepharitis or conjunctivitis; the rest did not present any pathology. None of the patients included in the study wore contact lenses. The collected samples were cultured in 2  % non-nutrient agar plates and positive plates were then cultured in axenic conditions for further analyses. Molecular analysis classified all isolated strains as belonging to Acanthamoeba genotype tbl4, and osmotolerance and thermotolerance assays revealed that all strains were potentially pathogenic. Furthermore, all strains were assayed for sensitivity against voriconazole and chlorhexidine. Assays showed that both drugs were active against the tested strains. In conclusion, the Schirmer strip test is proposed as an effective tool for the detection of Acanthamoeba on the ocular surface.

  12. Detection of Acanthamoeba on the ocular surface in a Spanish population using the Schirmer strip test: pathogenic potential, molecular classification and evaluation of the sensitivity to chlorhexidine and voriconazole of the isolated Acanthamoeba strains.

    PubMed

    Rocha-Cabrera, Pedro; Reyes-Batlle, María; Martín-Navarro, Carmen María; Dorta-Gorrín, Alexis; López-Arencibia, Atteneri; Sifaoui, Ines; Martínez-Carretero, Enrique; Piñero, José E; Martín-Barrera, Fernando; Valladares, Basilio; Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob

    2015-08-01

    Pathogenic strains of Acanthamoeba are causative agents of a sight-threatening infection of the cornea known as Acanthamoeba keratitis, which is often associated with the misuse of contact lenses. However, there is still a question remaining to be answered, which is whether these micro-organisms are present on the ocular surface of healthy individuals. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the presence of Acanthamoeba on the ocular surface in healthy patients and also in those with other ocular surface infections. Sterile Schirmer test strips were used to collect samples from a group of patients who attended an ophthalmology consultation at the Hospital del Norte, Icod de los Vinos, Tenerife, Canary Islands. Most of the patients (46 individuals, 79.31  %) presented ocular surface pathologies such as blepharitis or conjunctivitis; the rest did not present any pathology. None of the patients included in the study wore contact lenses. The collected samples were cultured in 2  % non-nutrient agar plates and positive plates were then cultured in axenic conditions for further analyses. Molecular analysis classified all isolated strains as belonging to Acanthamoeba genotype tbl4, and osmotolerance and thermotolerance assays revealed that all strains were potentially pathogenic. Furthermore, all strains were assayed for sensitivity against voriconazole and chlorhexidine. Assays showed that both drugs were active against the tested strains. In conclusion, the Schirmer strip test is proposed as an effective tool for the detection of Acanthamoeba on the ocular surface. PMID:26293786

  13. High occurrence of Acanthamoeba genotype T4 in soil sources from Bolívar State, Venezuela.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Carolina; Reyes-Batlle, María; Hernán, Aurora; Rojas, Elsy; Pérez, Gladymar; López-Arencibia, Atteneri; Sifaoui, Ines; Martínez-Carretero, Enrique; Piñero, José E; Valladares, Basilio; Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob

    2016-09-01

    Pathogenic strains of Acanthamoeba are causative agents of keratitis and encephalitis that often may end fatal in humans and other animals. In the present study, twenty-seven soil samples were collected in the Bolivar State in Venezuela and checked for the presence of Acanthamoeba. Samples were cultivated onto 2% non-nutrient agar plates seeded with a layer of heat killed E. coli. Amplification by PCR and sequencing of the DF3 region of the 18S rDNA of Acanthamoeba was carried out in order to confirm morphological identification of the amoebae. Furthermore, Acanthamoeba spp. was isolated from 51.8% of soil samples. Sequencing of the DF3 region of the 18S rDNA resulted in the identification of genotype T4 in all samples. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of genotype T4 in soil sources from Venezuela. Further studies should be carried out in this State and in the country in order to determine the current occurrence of Acanthamoeba in Venezuelan environments. PMID:27447209

  14. Synthesis, characterization and amoebicidal potential of locally synthesized TiO2 nanoparticles against pathogenic Acanthamoeba trophozoites in vitro.

    PubMed

    Imran, Muhammad; Muazzam, Ambreen Gul; Habib, Amir; Matin, Abdul

    2016-06-01

    Acanthamoeba is an opportunistic protozoan pathogen that plays a pivotal role in the ecosystem. It may cause blinding keratitis and fatal encephalitis involving the central nervous system. Here we synthesized pure and Zn doped TiO2 nanoparticles (~10-30nm) via sol-gel and sol-hydrothermal methods and demonstrated its impact on the biological characteristics of pathogenic Acanthamoeba castellanii. Our results revealed that pure and Zn doped TiO2 nanoparticles synthesized by sol-hydrothermal methods (ranging 5, 10, 25 and 50μg/ml) exhibited amoebicidal effects i.e., >60% of trophozoites executed under normal light at maximum dose (50μg/ml) within 1h incubation. In contrast pure/doped TiO2 obtained via sol gel method showed ~40% amoeba damage. Furthermore, amoebae growth assay demonstrated that Zn doped TiO2 also inhibited Acanthamoeba numbers up to 7days in dose dependent manner. It was interesting to note that all the tested TiO2 nanoparticles have shown maximum amoebicidal effects at pH7 which is quite relevant to amoebic growth favorable conditions. Our results confirmed that TiO2 has inhibitory effects on Acanthamoeba growth and viability. Overall, we reported the amoebicidal and amoebic growth inhibition potential of pure and Zn doped TiO2 nanoparticles against Acanthamoeba due to attached OH(-) groups, reduced size and decreased band gap of sol hydrothermally synthesized TiO2 nanoparticles. PMID:27054875

  15. Characterization of a New Pathogenic Acanthamoeba Species, A. byersi n. sp., Isolated from a Human with Fatal Amoebic Encephalitis

    PubMed Central

    Qvarnstrom, Yvonne; Nerad, Thomas A.; Visvesvara, Govinda S.

    2015-01-01

    Acanthamoeba spp. are free-living amoebae that are ubiquitous in natural environments. They can cause cutaneous, nasopharyngeal and disseminated infection, leading to granulomatous amebic encephalitis (GAE) in immunocompromised individuals. In addition, they can cause amoebic keratitis in contact lens wearers. Acanthamoeba GAE is almost always fatal because of difficulty and delay in diagnosis and lack of optimal antimicrobial therapy. Here we report the description of an unusual strain isolated from skin and brain of a GAE patient. The amoebae displayed large trophozoites and star-shaped cysts, characteristics for acanthamoebas belonging to morphology Group 1. However, its unique morphology and growth characteristics differentiated this new strain from other Group 1 species. DNA sequence analysis, secondary structure prediction and phylogenetic analysis of the 18S rRNA gene confirmed that this new strain belonged to Group 1 but that it was distinct from the other sequence types within that group. Thus, we hereby propose the establishment of a new species, Acanthamoeba byersi n. sp. as well as a new sequence type, T18, for this new strain. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a Group 1 Acanthamoeba that is indisputably pathogenic in humans. PMID:23879685

  16. Comparative proteomic analysis of extracellular secreted proteins expressed by two pathogenic Acanthamoeba castellanii clinical isolates and a non-pathogenic ATCC strain.

    PubMed

    Huang, Jian-Ming; Lin, Wei-Chen; Li, Sung-Chou; Shih, Min-Hsiu; Chan, Wen-Ching; Shin, Jyh-Wei; Huang, Fu-Chin

    2016-07-01

    Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) is a serious ocular disease caused by pathogenic Acanthamoeba gaining entry through wounds in the corneal injury; generally, patients at risk for contracting AK wear contact lenses, usually over a long period of time. Moreover, pathogenic Acanthamoeba causes serious consequences: it makes the cornea turbid and difficult to operate on, including procedures such as enucleation of the eyeball. At present, diagnosis of this disease is not straightforward, and treatment is very demanding. We have established the comparative transcriptome and extracellular secreted proteomic database according to the non-pathogenic strain ATCC 30010 and the pathogenic strains NCKU_B and NCKU_D. We identified 44 secreted proteins successfully, 10 consensus secreted proteins and 34 strain-specific secreted proteins. These proteins may provide targets for therapy and immuno-diagnosis of Acanthamoeba infections. This study shows a suitable approach to identify secreted proteins in Acanthamoeba and provides new perspectives for the study of molecules potentially involved in the AK.

  17. Targeting cyst wall is an effective strategy in improving the efficacy of marketed contact lens disinfecting solutions against Acanthamoeba castellanii cysts.

    PubMed

    Abjani, Farhat; Khan, Naveed Ahmed; Yousuf, Farzana Abubakar; Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah

    2016-06-01

    Acanthamoeba cysts are highly resistant to contact lens disinfecting solutions. Acanthamoeba cyst wall is partially made of 1,4 β-glucan (i.e., cellulose) and other complex polysaccharides making it a hardy shell that protects the resident amoeba. Here, we hypothesize that targeting the cyst wall structure in addition to antiamoebic compound would improve the efficacy of marketed contact lens disinfecting solutions. Using chlorhexidine as an antiamoebic compound and cellulase enzyme to disrupt cyst wall structure, the findings revealed that combination of both agents abolished viability of Acanthamoeba castellanii cysts and trophozoites. When tested alone, none of the agents nor contact lens disinfecting solutions completely destroyed A. castellanii cysts and trophozoites. The absence of cyst wall-degrading enzymes in marketed contact lens disinfecting solutions render them ineffective against Acanthamoeba cysts. It is concluded that the addition of cyst wall degrading molecules in contact lens disinfecting solutions will enhance their efficacy in decreasing the incidence of Acanthamoeba effectively. PMID:26675112

  18. Targeting cyst wall is an effective strategy in improving the efficacy of marketed contact lens disinfecting solutions against Acanthamoeba castellanii cysts.

    PubMed

    Abjani, Farhat; Khan, Naveed Ahmed; Yousuf, Farzana Abubakar; Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah

    2016-06-01

    Acanthamoeba cysts are highly resistant to contact lens disinfecting solutions. Acanthamoeba cyst wall is partially made of 1,4 β-glucan (i.e., cellulose) and other complex polysaccharides making it a hardy shell that protects the resident amoeba. Here, we hypothesize that targeting the cyst wall structure in addition to antiamoebic compound would improve the efficacy of marketed contact lens disinfecting solutions. Using chlorhexidine as an antiamoebic compound and cellulase enzyme to disrupt cyst wall structure, the findings revealed that combination of both agents abolished viability of Acanthamoeba castellanii cysts and trophozoites. When tested alone, none of the agents nor contact lens disinfecting solutions completely destroyed A. castellanii cysts and trophozoites. The absence of cyst wall-degrading enzymes in marketed contact lens disinfecting solutions render them ineffective against Acanthamoeba cysts. It is concluded that the addition of cyst wall degrading molecules in contact lens disinfecting solutions will enhance their efficacy in decreasing the incidence of Acanthamoeba effectively.

  19. Inhibition of 3-Hydroxy-3-Methylglutaryl–Coenzyme A Reductase and Application of Statins as a Novel Effective Therapeutic Approach against Acanthamoeba Infections

    PubMed Central

    Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob; Machin, Rubén P.; López-Arencibia, Atteneri; García-Castellano, José Manuel; de Fuentes, Isabel; Loftus, Brendan; Maciver, Sutherland K.; Valladares, Basilio; Piñero, José E.

    2013-01-01

    Acanthamoeba is an opportunistic pathogen in humans, whose infections most commonly manifest as Acanthamoeba keratitis or, more rarely, granulomatous amoebic encephalitis. Although there are many therapeutic options for the treatment of Acanthamoeba, they are generally lengthy and/or have limited efficacy. Therefore, there is a requirement for the identification, validation, and development of novel therapeutic targets against these pathogens. Recently, RNA interference (RNAi) has been widely used for these validation purposes and has proven to be a powerful tool for Acanthamoeba therapeutics. Ergosterol is one of the major sterols in the membrane of Acanthamoeba. 3-Hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl–coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase is an enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of HMG-CoA to mevalonate, one of the precursors for the production of cholesterol in humans and ergosterol in plants, fungi, and protozoa. Statins are compounds which inhibit this enzyme and so are promising as chemotherapeutics. In order to validate whether this enzyme could be an interesting therapeutic target in Acanthamoeba, small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) against HMG-CoA were developed and used to evaluate the effects induced by the inhibition of Acanthamoeba HMG-CoA. It was found that HMG-CoA is a potential drug target in these pathogenic free-living amoebae, and various statins were evaluated in vitro against three clinical strains of Acanthamoeba by using a colorimetric assay, showing important activities against the tested strains. We conclude that the targeting of HMG-CoA and Acanthamoeba treatment using statins is a novel powerful treatment option against Acanthamoeba species in human disease. PMID:23114753

  20. Prevalence of Acanthamoeba spp. and other free-living amoebae in household water, Ohio, USA--1990-1992.

    PubMed

    Stockman, Lauren J; Wright, Carolyn J; Visvesvara, Govinda S; Fields, Barry S; Beach, Michael J

    2011-03-01

    Knowledge of the prevalence of free-living amoebae (FLA) in US household water can provide a focus for prevention of amoeba-associated illnesses. Household water samples from two Ohio counties, collected and examined for amoebae during 1990-1992, were used to describe the prevalence of Acanthamoeba and other FLA in a household setting. Amoebae were isolated and identified by morphologic features. A total of 2,454 samples from 467 households were examined. Amoebae were found in water samples of 371 (79%) households. Sites most likely to contain amoeba were shower heads (52%) and kitchen sprayers (50%). Species of Hartmannella, Acanthamoeba, or Vahlkampfia were most common. Detection was higher in biofilm swab samples than in water samples. Detection of FLA and Acanthamoeba, at 79% and 51%, respectively, exceed estimates that have been published in previous surveys of household sources. We believe FLA are commonplace inhabitants of household water in this sample as they are in the environment.

  1. The use of dimethyl sulfoxide in contact lens disinfectants is a potential preventative strategy against contracting Acanthamoeba keratitis.

    PubMed

    Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah; Aqeel, Yousuf; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2016-10-01

    Acanthamoeba castellanii is the causative agent of blinding keratitis. Though reported in non-contact lens wearers, it is most frequently associated with improper use of contact lens. For contact lens wearers, amoebae attachment to the lens is a critical first step, followed by amoebae binding to the corneal epithelial cells during extended lens wear. Acanthamoeba attachment to surfaces (biological or inert) and migration is an active process and occurs during the trophozoite stage. Thus retaining amoebae in the cyst stage (dormant form) offers an added preventative measure in impeding parasite traversal from the contact lens onto the cornea. Here, we showed that as low as 3% DMSO, abolished A. castellanii excystation. Based on the findings, it is proposed that DMSO should be included in the contact lens disinfectants as an added preventative strategy against contracting Acanthamoeba keratitis.

  2. Prevalence of pathogenic Acanthamoeba (Protozoa:Amoebidae) in the atmosphere of the city of San Luis Potosi, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez-Zaragoza, S; Magana-Becerra, A

    1997-01-01

    Several species of pathogenic Acanthamoeba cause infections to humans, but amoebic keratitis is more frequently found than any other due to the increasing number of contact lens wearers in the world. Cysts and trophozoites of these amebas are airborne and may pollute water from the air. We investigated the proportion of pathogenic Acanthamoeba from the atmosphere of the city of San Luis Potosi. Samples were taken by the impinger method, every month during one year. We isolated 23 strains of Acanthamoeba, 61% of them were non-pathogenic, 31% were non-pathogenic with invasive capacity and 8% were pathogenic to mice. Almost 40% of these strains represent danger of infections to humans. The isolations were more abundant during the dry season in the south (urban) and west (suburban) stations, which means that the sanitary conditions around stands may enhance the proportion of pathogenic strains in the surroundings.

  3. The role of domestic tap water on Acanthamoeba keratitis in non-contact lens wearers and validation of laboratory methods.

    PubMed

    Koltas, Ismail Soner; Eroglu, Fadime; Erdem, Elif; Yagmur, Meltem; Tanır, Ferdi

    2015-09-01

    Acanthamoeba is increasingly recognized as an important cause of keratitis in non-contact lens wearers while contact lens wear is the leading risk factor for Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK). It is unlikely that the Acanthamoeba colonization is a feature which is effective only in patient's homes with infectious keratitis since the organism has been isolated from domestic tap water. Two hundred and thirty-one (231) corneal scrapings were taken from infectious keratitis cases, and four contact lens solutions and domestic tap waters were taken from 22 out of 44 AK-diagnosed patient's homes. Microscopic examination, culture, PCR, real-time PCR and DNA sequencing analyses were used for AK-diagnosed samples. The real-time PCR was the most sensitive (100 %) one among the methods used in diagnosis of AK. The 44 (19.0 %) out of 231 corneal scrapings, 4/4 (100 %) contact lens solution and 11/22 (50 %) of domestic tap water samples were found to be positive by real-time PCR for Acanthamoeba. A. griffini (T3), A. castellanii (T4) and A. jacobsi (T15) genotypes were obtained from corneal scrapings, contact lens solutions and domestic tap water samples taken from the patient's homes diagnosed with AK. The isolation of Acanthamoeba containing 6/22 (27.3 %) A. griffini (T3), 14/22 (63.6 %) A. castellanii (T4) and 2/22 (9.1 %) A. jacobsi (T15) from the domestic tap water outlets of 22 of 44 (50 %) of patient's homes revealed that is a significant source of these organisms. A. griffini (T3) and A. jacobsi (T15) genotypes have not been determined from AK cases in Turkey previously. Thus, we conclude that Acanthamoeba keratitis is associated with exposition of patients who has ocular trauma or ocular surface disease to domestic tap water in endemic or potentially endemic countries. PMID:26017346

  4. The role of domestic tap water on Acanthamoeba keratitis in non-contact lens wearers and validation of laboratory methods.

    PubMed

    Koltas, Ismail Soner; Eroglu, Fadime; Erdem, Elif; Yagmur, Meltem; Tanır, Ferdi

    2015-09-01

    Acanthamoeba is increasingly recognized as an important cause of keratitis in non-contact lens wearers while contact lens wear is the leading risk factor for Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK). It is unlikely that the Acanthamoeba colonization is a feature which is effective only in patient's homes with infectious keratitis since the organism has been isolated from domestic tap water. Two hundred and thirty-one (231) corneal scrapings were taken from infectious keratitis cases, and four contact lens solutions and domestic tap waters were taken from 22 out of 44 AK-diagnosed patient's homes. Microscopic examination, culture, PCR, real-time PCR and DNA sequencing analyses were used for AK-diagnosed samples. The real-time PCR was the most sensitive (100 %) one among the methods used in diagnosis of AK. The 44 (19.0 %) out of 231 corneal scrapings, 4/4 (100 %) contact lens solution and 11/22 (50 %) of domestic tap water samples were found to be positive by real-time PCR for Acanthamoeba. A. griffini (T3), A. castellanii (T4) and A. jacobsi (T15) genotypes were obtained from corneal scrapings, contact lens solutions and domestic tap water samples taken from the patient's homes diagnosed with AK. The isolation of Acanthamoeba containing 6/22 (27.3 %) A. griffini (T3), 14/22 (63.6 %) A. castellanii (T4) and 2/22 (9.1 %) A. jacobsi (T15) from the domestic tap water outlets of 22 of 44 (50 %) of patient's homes revealed that is a significant source of these organisms. A. griffini (T3) and A. jacobsi (T15) genotypes have not been determined from AK cases in Turkey previously. Thus, we conclude that Acanthamoeba keratitis is associated with exposition of patients who has ocular trauma or ocular surface disease to domestic tap water in endemic or potentially endemic countries.

  5. [Observations on Acanthamoeba trophozoites in axenic cultures and their staining characteristics with different stains].

    PubMed

    Polat, Zübeyde Akin; Ozçelik, Semra; Vural, Ayşe; Saygi, Gülendame

    2007-01-01

    Acanthamoeba spp. are among the most prevalent protozoa found in the environment. The species of this genus are the causative agents of granulomatous amebic encephalitis (GAE), a fatal disease of the central nervous system (CNS), and amebic keratitis (AK), a painful sight-threatening disease of the eye. In this study we have used two species of Acanthamoeba, Acanthamoeba castellanii and A. hatchetti, both were obtained from Vienna, Austria. They were cultivated on non-nutritious agar seeded with Escherichia coli and PPYG (protease peptone-yeast extract-glucose) medium. Our aim was to concentrate on three points in relation to the trophozoites and cysts stages of these species as follows: (i) to observe their morphology, (ii). to confirm our previous observation of a canal between two trophozoites. The bridge-like connection between these trophozoites greatly resembled the one that can be observed in conjugation during an exchange of genetic material. Two tro-phozoites with a bridge-like extension between them keep their position for at least 200 minutes. (iii). to detect the reactions of trophozoites to various stains. According to our findings in regard to these three points: (i). trophozoites with more than one nucleus are often seen in axenic cultures. (ii). This resembles a type of conjugation with a transfer of genetic material between two trophozoites. Certainly, this needs further investigation using more sophisticated methods. (iii). trophozoites equally stained well with Heidenhain's iron haematoxylin, Giemsa, PAS, Masson Trichrome, and Toludin-O stains. However, our results with reticulin, PAP, Van Gison, Musicarmine and Orsein stains were not satisfactory.

  6. Acanthamoeba encystment: multifactorial effects of buffers, biocides, and demulcents present in contact lens care solutions

    PubMed Central

    Kovacs, Christopher J; Lynch, Shawn C; Rah, Marjorie J; Millard, Kimberly A; Morris, Timothy W

    2015-01-01

    Purpose To determine whether agents which are purportedly capable of inducing encystment of Acanthamoeba can recapitulate the signal when tested in differing formulations. Methods In accordance with the International Standard ISO 19045, Acanthamoeba castellanii ATCC 50370 trophozoites were cultured in antibiotic-free axenic medium, treated with test solutions, and encystment rates plus viability were measured via bright field and fluorescent microscopy. Test solutions included phosphate-buffered saline (PBS), borate-buffered saline, biguanide- and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-based biocides, propylene glycol (PG) and povidone (POV) ophthalmic demulcents, and one-step H2O2-based contact lens disinfection systems. Results Only PBS solutions with 0.25 ppm polyaminopropyl biguanide (PAPB) and increasing concentrations of PG and POV stimulated A. castellanii encystment in a dose-dependent manner, whereas PBS solutions containing 3% H2O2 and increasing concentrations of PG and POV did not stimulate encystment. Borate-buffered saline and PBS/citrate solutions containing PG also did not stimulate encystment. In addition, no encystment was observed after 24 hours, 7 days, or 14 days of exposures of trophozoites to one-step H2O2 contact lens disinfection products or related solutions. Conclusion The lack of any encystment observed when trophozoites were treated with existing or new one-step H2O2 contact lens care products, as well as when trophozoites were exposed to various related test solutions, confirms that Acanthamoeba encystment is a complex process which depends upon simultaneous contributions of multiple factors including buffers, biocides, and demulcents. PMID:26508829

  7. Meningoencephalitis due to Acanthamoeba SP. Pathogenesis and clinico-pathological study.

    PubMed

    Martínez, A J; Sotelo-Avila, C; Garcia-Tamayo, J; Morón, J T; Willaert, E; Stamm, W P

    1977-03-31

    Amebic Meningoencephalitis (AM) and Primary Amebic Meningoencephalitis (PAM) are infectious diseases essentially confined to the Central Nervous System (CNS) and caused by free-living amebas of the genus Acanthamoeba (A.) and Naegleria (N.) respectively. AM due to A. sp. (Acanthamoeba castellanii and Acanthamoeba culbertsoni) have been reported in chronically ill debilitated individuals, some of them under immunosuppressive therapy, or in immunologically impaired patients without a history of recent swimming in contrast to cases due to N. sp. which usually occurs in healthy, young individuals with a recent history of swimming in man-made lakes or heated swimming pools. AM due to A.sp. is characterized by a subacute or chronic granulomatous meningoencephalitis involving mainly the midbrain, basal areas of the temporal and occipital lobes and posterior fossa structures. CNS lesions in AM are perhaps secondary and the portal of entry in humans is probably from the lower respiratory tract, genitourinary system or skin reaching the CNS by hematogenous spread. The predominant host reaction is usually composed of lymphocytes, plasma cells, monocytes and multinucleated foreign body giant cells. Necrosis is moderate and hemorrhage scant or absent. Cysts as well as trophozoites may be seen within the CNS lesions. PAM is due to Naegleria fowleri and is characterized by an hemorrhagic necrotizing meningoencephalities with an acute inflammatory response. Only trophozoites are found in lesions. The portal of entry is through the olfactory neuroepithelium. CNS tissues fixed in formalin may be used for further identification and taxonomical classification of the causative protoza using immunofluorescent antibody techniques (IFAT) and electron microscopic methods. PMID:857580

  8. Interaction of Escherichia coli K1 and K5 with Acanthamoeba castellanii Trophozoites and Cysts

    PubMed Central

    Matin, Abdul

    2011-01-01

    The existence of symbiotic relationships between Acanthamoeba and a variety of bacteria is well-documented. However, the ability of Acanthamoeba interacting with host bacterial pathogens has gained particular attention. Here, to understand the interactions of Escherichia coli K1 and E. coli K5 strains with Acanthamoeba castellanii trophozoites and cysts, association assay, invasion assay, survival assay, and the measurement of bacterial numbers from cysts were performed, and nonpathogenic E. coli K12 was also applied. The association ratio of E. coli K1 with A. castellanii was 4.3 cfu per amoeba for 1 hr but E. coli K5 with A. castellanii was 1 cfu per amoeba for 1 hr. By invasion and survival assays, E. coli K5 was recovered less than E. coli K1 but still alive inside A. castellanii. E. coli K1 and K5 survived and multiplied intracellularly in A. castellanii. The survival assay was performed under a favourable condition for 22 hr and 43 hr with the encystment of A. castellanii. Under the favourable condition for the transformation of trophozoites into cysts, E. coli K5 multiplied significantly. Moreover, the pathogenic potential of E. coli K1 from A. castellanii cysts exhibited no changes as compared with E. coli K1 from A. castellanii trophozoites. E. coli K5 was multiplied in A. castellanii trophozoites and survived in A. castellanii cysts. Therefore, this study suggests that E. coli K5 can use A. castellanii as a reservoir host or a vector for the bacterial transmission. PMID:22355201

  9. Growth phase dependent alterations in the surface coat of Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    PubMed

    Przełecka, A; Sobota, A

    1982-01-01

    Application of ruthenium red, cationized ferritin and concanavalin A to exponentially growing trophozoites reveals on their plasma membrane negatively charged surface coat bearing sugar residues. In the coat of trophozoites from advanced stationary growth phase no sugar residues can be visualized. In mature cysts the external layer of their wall is negatively charged, however, on their protoplast surface no terminals reacting with the 2 polycations, or with concanavalin A can be revealed, even though the penetration of the reagents has been ensured by enzymatic impairing of the cyst wall. The results are confronted with the known facts concerning alterations of physiological properties of plasma membrane occurring during the life cycle of Acanthamoeba.

  10. Detection of free living amoebae, Acanthamoeba and Naegleria, in swimming pools, Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Init, I; Lau, Y L; Arin Fadzlun, A; Foead, A I; Neilson, R S; Nissapatorn, V

    2010-12-01

    This study reports the detection of Acanthamoeba and Naegleria species in 14 swimming pools around Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Sampling was carried out at 4 sites (the platforms (P), wall (W), 1 meter from the wall (1) and middle (2)) of each swimming pool. These free living amoebae (FLA) were detected under light and inverted microscopes after being cultured on the surface of non-nutrient agar lawned with Escherichia coli. Acanthamoeba species were detected in higher number of culture plates from all sampling sites of all the swimming pools. While Naegleria, were detected in fewer culture plates at 3 sampling sites (absent at site P) of 8 swimming pools. This suggested that the thick double-walled cysts of Acanthamoeba were more resistant, thus remaining viable in the dry-hot areas of the platforms and in chlorinated water of the swimming pools whereas Naegleria cysts, that are fragile and susceptible to desiccation, preferred watery or moist areas for growth and proliferation. The prevalence of both FLA was highest at site W (76.2%), followed by site 1 (64.7%), lowest at site 2 (19.4%), and could be detected at all 3 sampling levels (top, middle and bottom) of these 3 sites. The surface of site W might act as a bio-film that accumulated all kinds of microbes providing sufficient requirement for the FLA to develop and undergo many rounds of life cycles as well as moving from top to bottom in order to graze food. Other factors such as human activities, the circulating system which was fixed at all swimming pools, blowing wind which might carry the cysts from surroundings and the swimming flagellate stage of Naegleria could also contribute to the distribution of the FLA at these sampling sites. Both FLA showed highest growth (80.4%) at room temperature (25-28 ºC) and lesser (70.0%) at 37 ºC which might be due to the overgrowth of other microbes (E. coli, fungi, algae, etc). While at 44 ºC, only Acanthamoeba species could survive thus showing that

  11. A novel antiamoebic agent against Acanthamoeba sp. - A causative agent for eye keratitis infection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kusrini, Eny; Hashim, Fatimah; Azmi, Wan Nor Nadhirah Wan Noor; Amin, Nakisah Mat; Estuningtyas, Ari

    2016-01-01

    The terbium trinitrate.trihydrate.18-crown ether-6, Tb(NO3)3(OH2)3.(18C6) complex has been characterized by elemental analysis, photoluminescence and single X-ray diffraction. The IC50 values were determined based on MTT assay while light and fluorescence microscopy imaging were employed to evaluate the cellular morphological changes. Alkaline comet assay was performed to analyze the DNA damage. The photoluminescence spectrum of the Tb complex excited at 325 nm displayed seven luminescence peaks corresponding to the 5D4 → 7F0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 transitions. The cytotoxicity and genotoxicity studies indicated that the Tb(NO3)3(OH2)3.(18C6) complex and its salt form as well as the 18C6 molecule have excellent anti-amoebic activity with very low IC50 values are 7, 2.6 and 1.2 μg/mL, respectively, with significant decrease (p < 0.05) in Acanthamoeba viability when the concentration was increased from 0 to 30 μg/mL. The mode of cell death in Acanthamoeba cells following treatment with the Tb complex was apoptosis. This is in contrast to the Tb(NO3)3.6H2O salt- and 18C6 molecule-treated Acanthamoeba, which exhibited necrotic type cells. The percentage of DNA damage following treatment with all the compounds at the IC25 values showed high percentage of type 1 with the % nuclei damage are 14.15 ± 2.4; 46.00 ± 4.2; 36.36 ± 2.4; 45.16 ± 0.6%, respectively for untreated, treated with Tb complex, Tb salt and 18C6 molecule. The work features promising potential of Tb(NO3)3(OH2)3.(18C6) complex as anti-amoebic agent, representing a therapeutic option for Acanthamoeba keratitis infection.

  12. A novel antiamoebic agent against Acanthamoeba sp.--A causative agent for eye keratitis infection.

    PubMed

    Kusrini, Eny; Hashim, Fatimah; Azmi, Wan Nor Nadhirah Wan Noor; Amin, Nakisah Mat; Estuningtyas, Ari

    2016-01-15

    The terbium trinitrate.trihydrate.18-crown ether-6, Tb(NO3)3(OH2)3.(18C6) complex has been characterized by elemental analysis, photoluminescence and single X-ray diffraction. The IC50 values were determined based on MTT assay while light and fluorescence microscopy imaging were employed to evaluate the cellular morphological changes. Alkaline comet assay was performed to analyze the DNA damage. The photoluminescence spectrum of the Tb complex excited at 325 nm displayed seven luminescence peaks corresponding to the (5)D4→(7)F(0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) transitions. The cytotoxicity and genotoxicity studies indicated that the Tb(NO3)3(OH2)3.(18C6) complex and its salt form as well as the 18C6 molecule have excellent anti-amoebic activity with very low IC50 values are 7, 2.6 and 1.2 μg/mL, respectively, with significant decrease (p<0.05) in Acanthamoeba viability when the concentration was increased from 0 to 30 μg/mL. The mode of cell death in Acanthamoeba cells following treatment with the Tb complex was apoptosis. This is in contrast to the Tb(NO3)3.6H2O salt- and 18C6 molecule-treated Acanthamoeba, which exhibited necrotic type cells. The percentage of DNA damage following treatment with all the compounds at the IC25 values showed high percentage of type 1 with the % nuclei damage are 14.15±2.4; 46.00±4.2; 36.36±2.4; 45.16±0.6%, respectively for untreated, treated with Tb complex, Tb salt and 18C6 molecule. The work features promising potential of Tb(NO3)3(OH2)3.(18C6) complex as anti-amoebic agent, representing a therapeutic option for Acanthamoeba keratitis infection.

  13. Phylogenetic analysis and the evolution of the 18S rRNA gene typing system of Acanthamoeba.

    PubMed

    Fuerst, Paul A; Booton, Gregory C; Crary, Monica

    2015-01-01

    Species of Acanthamoeba were first described using morphological characters including cyst structure and cytology of nuclear division. More than 20 nominal species were proposed using these methods. Morphology, especially cyst shape and size, has proven to be plastic and dependent upon culture conditions. The DNA sequence of the nuclear small-subunit (18S) rRNA, the Rns gene, has become the most widely accepted method for rapid diagnosis and classification of Acanthamoeba. The Byers-Fuerst lab first proposed an Rns typing system in 1996. Subsequent refinements, with an increasing DNA database and analysis of diagnostic fragments within the gene, have become widely accepted by the Acanthamoeba research community. The development of the typing system, including its current state of implementation is illustrated by three cases: (i) the division between sequence types T13 and T16; (ii) the diversity within sequence supertype T2/T6, and (iii) verification of a new sequence type, designated T20. Molecular studies make clear the disconnection between phylogenetic relatedness and species names, as applied for the genus Acanthamoeba. Future reconciliation of genetic types with species names must become a priority, but the possible shortcomings of the use of a single gene when reconstructing the evolutionary history of the acanthamoebidae must also be resolved. PMID:25284310

  14. Acanthamoeba belonging to T3, T4, and T11: genotypes isolated from air-conditioning units in Santiago, Chile.

    PubMed

    Astorga, Berbeli; Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob; Martín-Navarro, Carmen M; Alarcón, Verónica; Moreno, Johanna; González, Ana C; Navarrete, Elizabeth; Piñero, José E; Valladares, Basilio

    2011-01-01

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) of the genus Acanthamoeba are widely distributed in the environment, in the air, soil, and water, and have also been isolated from air-conditioning units. The objective of this work was to investigate the presence of this genus of FLA in the air-conditioning equipment at the Institute of Public Health of Chile in Santiago, Chile. Water and air samples were collected from air-conditioning systems and were checked for the presence of Acanthamoeba spp. Positive samples were further classified at the genotype level after sequencing the highly variable diagnostic fragment 3 (DF3) region of the 18S rRNA gene. This is the first report of the T3, T4, and T11 genotypes of Acanthamoeba in air-conditioning units from Chile. Overall, the widespread distribution of potentially pathogenic Acanthamoeba strains in the studied source demands more awareness within the public and health professionals in Chile as this pathogen is emerging as a risk for human health worldwide.

  15. Monitoring of in vitro dynamics of Acanthamoeba strains isolated from infected eyes as a useful tool in keratitis management.

    PubMed

    Chomicz, Lidia; Padzik, Marcin; Szaflik, Jacek P; Nahorski, Wacław L; Kryczka, Tomasz; Szaflik, Jerzy

    2014-11-01

    Free-living amoebae of Acanthamoeba genus are ubiquitous in various parts of the world. Some species of these amoebozoans present a serious risk to human health as the causative agents of vision-threatening diseases, Acanthamoeba keratitis. Correct diagnosis requires both a clinical examination of the cornea and amoebic form identification in affected eyes. Despite advances in pharmacotherapy, the infection is difficult to diagnose and to threat. Population dynamics of five different Acanthamoeba strains cultured in vitro under bacteria-free condition in BSC medium, was monitored in terms of diagnostic and therapeutic management. The range of protozoan number in the exponential growth phase, the morpho-physiological status of amoeba forms and their ability to multiply were evaluated. Results of the studies revealed that early and continued monitoring of the strains maintained in an axenic culture showed correlation between the dynamics of cultivated amoebae and the course of the disease, differences in response to pharmacotherapy and the surgical management efficacy. Concluding, the in vitro monitoring of dynamics of Acanthamoeba strains isolated from infected corneas may be important not only for proper diagnosis but also as a useful tool in keratitis management and therapeutic prognosis.

  16. Phylogenetic analysis and the evolution of the 18S rRNA gene typing system of Acanthamoeba.

    PubMed

    Fuerst, Paul A; Booton, Gregory C; Crary, Monica

    2015-01-01

    Species of Acanthamoeba were first described using morphological characters including cyst structure and cytology of nuclear division. More than 20 nominal species were proposed using these methods. Morphology, especially cyst shape and size, has proven to be plastic and dependent upon culture conditions. The DNA sequence of the nuclear small-subunit (18S) rRNA, the Rns gene, has become the most widely accepted method for rapid diagnosis and classification of Acanthamoeba. The Byers-Fuerst lab first proposed an Rns typing system in 1996. Subsequent refinements, with an increasing DNA database and analysis of diagnostic fragments within the gene, have become widely accepted by the Acanthamoeba research community. The development of the typing system, including its current state of implementation is illustrated by three cases: (i) the division between sequence types T13 and T16; (ii) the diversity within sequence supertype T2/T6, and (iii) verification of a new sequence type, designated T20. Molecular studies make clear the disconnection between phylogenetic relatedness and species names, as applied for the genus Acanthamoeba. Future reconciliation of genetic types with species names must become a priority, but the possible shortcomings of the use of a single gene when reconstructing the evolutionary history of the acanthamoebidae must also be resolved.

  17. Severe Amoebic Placentitis in a Horse Caused by an Acanthamoeba hatchetti Isolate Identified Using Next-Generation Sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Begg, Angela P.; Todhunter, Kristen; Donahoe, Shannon L.; Krockenberger, Mark

    2014-01-01

    A case of amoebic placentitis in a mare from eastern Australia was diagnosed postpartum by histopathological examination of the placenta. The identity of the etiological agent was confirmed as Acanthamoeba hatchetti by use of diversity profiling based on a next-generation sequencing approach. PMID:24829227

  18. Temperature limitation may explain the containment of the trophozoites in the cornea during Acanthamoeba castellanii keratitis.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Mattias Kiel; Nielsen, Kim; Hjortdal, Jesper; Sørensen, Uffe B Skov

    2014-12-01

    Acanthamoeba keratitis is a serious sight-threatening disease. The relatively low temperature of the cornea may explain why amoebic infections usually are localized in this tissue and rarely spread to other parts of the eye. In this study, the growth rate of the amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii was examined at different temperatures. The aim was to establish the optimal growth temperature for A. castellanii and to examine the growth within the vicinity of the core body temperature. The growth rates of four clinical and two environmental strains of A. castellanii were estimated at different temperatures, and temperature limitations for the trophozoite stage was established. Movements influenced by temperature gradients were monitored for two clinical strains of A. castellanii. The highest growth rate for each of the six amoebic strains tested was found to be close to 32 °C. The growth of the trophozoites of all examined strains was greatly reduced or completely halted at temperatures above 36 °C and encysted at the elevated temperature. Thus, the optimal growth temperature for the four strains of A. castellanii is close to the surface temperature of the human cornea, while the higher body core-temperature induced encysting of the amoebae. This may explain why most amoebic eye infections are confined to the cornea. PMID:25204727

  19. Cellulose degradation: a therapeutic strategy in the improved treatment of Acanthamoeba infections.

    PubMed

    Lakhundi, Sahreena; Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2015-01-01

    Acanthamoeba is an opportunistic free-living amoeba that can cause blinding keratitis and fatal brain infection. Early diagnosis, followed by aggressive treatment is a pre-requisite in the successful treatment but even then the prognosis remains poor. A major drawback during the course of treatment is the ability of the amoeba to enclose itself within a shell (a process known as encystment), making it resistant to chemotherapeutic agents. As the cyst wall is partly made of cellulose, thus cellulose degradation offers a potential therapeutic strategy in the effective targeting of trophozoite encased within the cyst walls. Here, we present a comprehensive report on the structure of cellulose and cellulases, as well as known cellulose degradation mechanisms with an eye to target the Acanthamoeba cyst wall. The disruption of the cyst wall will make amoeba (concealed within) susceptible to chemotherapeutic agents, and at the very least inhibition of the excystment process will impede infection recurrence, as we bring these promising drug targets into focus so that they can be explored to their fullest.

  20. Identification of Protein Arginine Methyltransferase 5 as a Regulator for Encystation of Acanthamoeba

    PubMed Central

    Moon, Eun-Kyung; Hong, Yeonchul; Chung, Dong-Il; Goo, Youn-Kyoung; Kong, Hyun-Hee

    2016-01-01

    Encystation is an essential process for Acanthamoeba survival under nutrient-limiting conditions and exposure to drugs. The expression of several genes has been observed to increase or decrease during encystation. Epigenetic processes involved in regulation of gene expression have been shown to play a role in several pathogenic parasites. In the present study, we identified the protein arginine methyltransferase 5 (PRMT5), a known epigenetic regulator, in Acanthamoeba castellanii. PRMT5 of A. castellanii (AcPRMT5) contained domains found in S-adenosylmethionine-dependent methyltransferases and in PRMT5 arginine-N-methyltransferase. Expression levels of AcPRMT5 were increased during encystation of A. castellanii. The EGFP-PRMT5 fusion protein was mainly localized in the nucleus of trophozoites. A. castellanii transfected with siRNA designed against AcPRMT5 failed to form mature cysts. The findings of this study lead to a better understanding of epigenetic mechanisms behind the regulation of encystation in cyst-forming pathogenic protozoa. PMID:27180570

  1. Purification from Acanthamoeba castellanii of proteins that induce gelation and syneresis of F-actin.

    PubMed

    Maruta, H; Korn, E D

    1977-01-10

    From Acanthamoeba castellanii, we have purified four proteins each of which alone causes a solution of F-actin to gel. The four active proteins have subunit molecular weights of about 23,000, 28,000, 32,000 and 38,000, respectively; the last three may be dimers in their native proteins. Together, these four proteins account for about 97% of the gelation activity of the whole extract; not more than about 3% of the total activity of the unfractionated extract can be due to a 250,000-dalton polypeptide. Another protein fraction, purified by agarose chromatography, induces shrinking (syneresis) of gels formed from F-actin and any of the gelation factors. That fraction contains a high Ca2+-, low (K+,EDTA)-ATPase and a major polypeptide of 170,000 daltons both of which bind to actin in the shrunken gel pellet. The active fraction does not contain the previously described Acanthamoeba myosin (Pollard, T. D., and Korn, E. D. (1973) J. Biol. Chem. 248, 4682-4690).

  2. Behavior of Yersinia enterocolitica in the presence of the bacterivorous Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    PubMed

    Lambrecht, E; Baré, J; Van Damme, I; Bert, W; Sabbe, K; Houf, K

    2013-10-01

    Free-living protozoa play an important role in the ecology and epidemiology of human-pathogenic bacteria. In the present study, the interaction between Yersinia enterocolitica, an important food-borne pathogen, and the free-living amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii was studied. Several cocultivation assays were set up to assess the resistance of Y. enterocolitica to A. castellanii predation and the impact of environmental factors and bacterial strain-specific characteristics. Results showed that all Y. enterocolitica strains persist in association with A. castellanii for at least 14 days, and associations with A. castellanii enhanced survival of Yersinia under nutrient-rich conditions at 25°C and under nutrient-poor conditions at 37°C. Amoebae cultivated in the supernatant of one Yersinia strain showed temperature- and time-dependent permeabilization. Intraprotozoan survival of Y. enterocolitica depended on nutrient availability and temperature, with up to 2.8 log CFU/ml bacteria displaying intracellular survival at 7°C for at least 4 days in nutrient-rich medium. Transmission electron microscopy was performed to locate the Yersinia cells inside the amoebae. As Yersinia and Acanthamoeba share similar ecological niches, this interaction identifies a role of free-living protozoa in the ecology and epidemiology of Y. enterocolitica. PMID:23934496

  3. Acanthamoeba castellanii metabolites increase the intracellular calcium level and cause cytotoxicity in wish cells.

    PubMed

    Mattana, A; Bennardini, F; Usai, S; Fiori, P L; Franconi, F; Cappuccinelli, P

    1997-08-01

    Previous studies have shown that trophozoites of the pathogenic free-living amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii rapidly lyse a variety of cells in vitro. However, the role played by cytolitic molecules that may participate in Acanthamoebal cytopathogenicity has yet to be completely elucidated. The aim of this work was to study whether soluble molecules released by A. castellanii trophozoites could induce cytopathic effect in human epithelial cells in vitro. The results obtained indicate that A. castellanii trophozoites constitutively elaborate and release soluble factors that immediately elicit a cytosolic free-calcium increase in target cells. This phenomenon is induced by low molecular weight amoebic metabolites and depends on a transmembrane influx of extracellular calcium. Morphological changes, cytoskeletal damage, cell death and cytolysis followed the elevation of cytosolic free-calcium levels. Calcium ions are very important for cell homeostasis, in fact, they control the functions of a variety of cellular responses, including secretion, cell proliferation and apoptosis. Our results suggest that the substained elevation of the cytosolic free-calcium in response to A. castellanii metabolites might play a fundamental role in target cell damage during Acanthamoeba infections. PMID:9245619

  4. Acanthamoeba castellanii : growth on human cell layers reactivates attenuated properties after prolonged axenic culture

    PubMed Central

    Koehsler, Martina; Leitsch, David; Duchêne, Michael; Nagl, Markus; Walochnik, Julia

    2009-01-01

    The free-living, but potentially pathogenic, bacteriovorous amoebae of the genus Acanthamoeba can be easily grown axenically in a laboratory culture. This, however, often leads to considerable losses in virulence, and encystment capacity, and to changes in drug susceptibility. We evaluated potential options for a reactivation of a number of physiological properties, attenuated by prolonged axenic laboratory culture, including encystment potential, protease activity, heat resistance, growth rates and drug susceptibility against N-chlorotaurine (NCT). Toward this end, a strain that had been grown axenically for 10 years was repeatedly passaged on human HEp-2 cell monolayers or treated with 5′-azacytidine (AzaC), a methyltransferase inhibitor, and trichostatin A (TSA), a histone deacetylase inhibitor, in order to uplift epigenetic gene regulation. Culture on human cell monolayers resulted in significantly enhanced encystment potentials and protease activities, and higher susceptibility against NCT, whereas the resistance against heat shock was not altered. Treatment with AzaC/TSA resulted in increased encystment rates and protease activities, indicating the participation of epigenetic mechanisms. However, lowered resistances against heat shock indicate that possible stress responses to AzaC/TSA have to be taken into account. Repeated growth on human cell monolayers appears to be a potential method to reactivate attenuated characteristics in Acanthamoeba. PMID:19732153

  5. Molecular characterization of Acanthamoeba strains isolated from domestic dogs in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain.

    PubMed

    Valladares, María; Reyes-Batlle, María; Martín-Navarro, Carmen M; López-Arencibia, Atteneri; Dorta-Gorrín, Alexis; Wagner, Carolina; Martínez-Carretero, Enrique; Piñero, José E; Valladares, Basilio; Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob

    2015-06-01

    The present study describes two cases of Acanthamoeba infections (keratitis and ascites/peritonitis) in small breed domestic dogs in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. In both cases, amoebic trophozoites were observed under the inverted microscope and isolated from the infected tissues and/or fluids, without detecting the presence of other viral, fungal or bacterial pathogens. Amoebae were isolated using 2 % non-nutrient agar plates and axenified for further biochemical and molecular analyses. Osmotolerance and thermotolerance assays revealed that both isolates were able to grow up to 37 °C and 1 M of mannitol and were thus considered as potentially pathogenic. Moreover, the strains were classified as highly cytotoxic as they cause more than 75 % of toxicity when incubated with two eukaryotic cell lines. In order to classify the strains at the molecular level, the diagnostic fragment 3 (DF3) region of the 18S rDNA of Acanthamoeba was amplified and sequenced, revealing that both isolates belonged to genotype T4. In both cases, owners of the animals did not allow any further studies or follow-up and therefore the current status of these animals is unknown. Furthermore, the isolation of these pathogenic amoebae should raise awareness with the veterinary community locally and worldwide.

  6. Morphological Features and In Vitro Cytopathic Effect of Acanthamoeba griffini Trophozoites Isolated from a Clinical Case

    PubMed Central

    González-Robles, Arturo; Salazar-Villatoro, Lizbeth; Omaña-Molina, Maritza; Reyes-Batlle, Maria; Martín-Navarro, Carmen M.; Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob

    2014-01-01

    Light and transmission electron microscopy observations are reported on the structure and in vitro cytopathic effect of Acanthamoeba griffini trophozoites isolated from a clinical case. Live trophozoites were moderately active with a remarkable pleomorphism which changed from ovoid to quite elongated shapes. When moving, amoebae formed cytoplasmic projections such as wide lamellae and acanthopodia of diverse size and thickness which contain a significant amount of actin. Ultrastructurally, the cytoplasm showed the main organelles found in other free-living amoebae. Coincubation of trophozoites with MDCK cell monolayers resulted in a local damage to target cells after 24 h of interaction, suggesting that the cytopathic effect is contact-dependent. By transmission electron microscopy, amoebae appeared to engulf small portions of the MDCK cells; however, the cells that were not in contact with trophozoites had an unaltered morphology. When epithelial monolayers were incubated with conditioned medium for 24 h, small areas of cell injury were also observed. The phylogenetical analysis as well as the sequencing of the acquired amplified product for the DF3 region of the amoebae isolate confirmed that it belongs to genotype T3, which includes other pathogenic amoebae; besides the activity of two drugs currently used against Acanthamoeba was tested on A. griffini. PMID:25313337

  7. Interactions of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Corynebacterium spp. with non-phagocytic brain microvascular endothelial cells and phagocytic Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    PubMed

    Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah; Lakhundi, Sahreena; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2015-06-01

    Several lines of evidence suggest that Acanthamoeba interact with bacteria, which may aid in pathogenic bacterial transmission to susceptible hosts, and these interactions may have influenced evolution of bacterial pathogenicity. In this study, we tested if Gram-negative Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Gram-positive Corynebacterium spp. can associate/invade and survive inside Acanthamoeba castellanii trophozoites and cysts, as well as non-phagocytic human brain microvascular endothelial cells. The results revealed that both Corynebacterium spp. and P. aeruginosa were able to associate as well as invade and/or taken up by the phagocytic A. castellanii trophozoite. In contrast, P. aeruginosa exhibited higher association as well as invasion of non-phagocytic HBMEC compared with Corynebacterium spp. Notably, P. aeruginosa remained viable during the encystment process and exhibited higher levels of recovery from mature cysts (74.54 bacteria per amoebae) compared with Corynebacterium spp. (2.69 bacteria per amoeba) (P < 0.05). As Acanthamoeba cysts can be airborne, these findings suggest that Acanthamoeba is a potential vector in the transmission of P. aeruginosa to susceptible hosts. When bacterial-ridden amoebae were exposed to favourable (nutrient-rich) conditions, A. castellanii emerged as vegetative trophozoites and remained viable, and likewise viable P. aeruginosa were also observed but rarely any Corynebacterium spp. were observed. Correspondingly, P. aeruginosa but not Corynebacterium spp. exhibited higher cytotoxicity to non-phagocytic HBMEC, producing more than 75% cell death in 24 h, compared to 20% cell death observed with Corynebacterium spp. Additionally, it was observed that the bacterial conditioned medium had no negative effect on A. castellanii growth. Further characterization of amoebal and bacterial interactions will assist in identifying the role of Acanthamoeba in the transmission and evolution of pathogenic bacteria. PMID:25792227

  8. Occurrence and molecular characterization of free-living amoeba species (Acanthamoeba, Hartmannella, and Saccamoeba limax) in various surface water resources of Iran.

    PubMed

    Mahmoudi, Mohammad Reza; Rahmati, Behnaz; Seyedpour, Seyed Hosssen; Karanis, Panagiotis

    2015-12-01

    This study was conducted to determine the presence and molecular identity of Acanthamoeba species in the surface water resources of four provinces in Iran, namely Guilan, Mazandaran (North of Iran), Alborz, and Tehran (capital city), using culture- and molecular-based methods. During March to November 2014, 49 surface water samples were collected from environmental water sources-the distinct surface waters of Guilan, Mazandaran, Alborz, and Tehran provinces, in Iran. For the isolation of Acanthamoeba species, approximately 500 ml of the water samples were filtered through a cellulose nitrate membrane with a pore size of 0.45 μ. The filter was transferred onto non-nutrient agar plates seeded with Gram-negative bacteria (Escherichia coli) as a food source. The presence of Acanthamoeba was confirmed by the genus-specific primer pair JDP1 and 2, and/or NA primers were used to identify Acanthamoeba and certain other free-living amoebae. In total, 38 out of 49 samples were positive by culture and/or PCR for Acanthamoeba and other free-living amoebae from all three provinces. By sequencing the positive isolates, the strains were shown to belong to Acanthamoeba (16 isolates belonged to T4 and 2 isolates belonged to T5), Hartmannella vermiformis (3/24), and Saccamoeba limax (2/24). The T4 and T5 genotypes were detected in Guilan and Mazandaran provinces. Two isolates from Guilan and Tehran provinces belonged to S. limax, and H. vermiformis was detected in Guilan province. The results of this study highlight the need to pay more attention to free-living amoebae, as human activity was observed in all of the localities from which these samples were taken. These surface waters can be potential sources for the distribution and transmission of pathogenic Acanthamoeba in the study areas, and free-living amoebas (FLA) (particularly the Acanthamoeba species) can serve as hosts for and vehicles of various microorganisms.

  9. Use of 18S rRNA Gene-Based PCR Assay for Diagnosis of Acanthamoeba Keratitis in Non-Contact Lens Wearers in India

    PubMed Central

    Pasricha, Gunisha; Sharma, Savitri; Garg, Prashant; Aggarwal, Ramesh K.

    2003-01-01

    Identification of Acanthamoeba cysts and trophozoites in ocular tissues requires considerable expertise and is often time-consuming. An 18S rRNA gene-based PCR test, highly specific for the genus Acanthamoeba, has recently been reported in the molecular diagnosis of Acanthamoeba keratitis. This PCR assay was compared with conventional microbiological tests for the diagnosis of Acanthamoeba keratitis. In a pilot study, the PCR conditions with modifications were first tested on corneal scrapings from patients with culture-proven non-contact lens-related Acanthamoeba, bacterial, and fungal keratitis. This was followed by testing of corneal scrapings from 53 consecutive cases of microbial keratitis to determine sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values of the assay. All corneal scrapings from patients with proven Acanthamoeba keratitis showed a 463-bp amplicon, while no amplicon was obtained from patients with bacterial or fungal keratitis. Some of these amplified products were sequenced and compared with EMBL database reference sequences to validate these to be of Acanthamoeba origin. Out of 53 consecutive cases of microbial keratitis included for evaluating the PCR, 10 (18.9%) cases were diagnosed as Acanthamoeba keratitis on the basis of combined results of culture, smear, and PCR of corneal scrapings. Based on culture results as the “gold standard,” the sensitivity of PCR was the same as that of the smear (87.5%); however, the specificity and the positive and negative predictive values of PCR were marginally higher than the smear examination (97.8 versus 95.6%, 87.5 versus 77.8%, and 97.8 versus 97.7%) although the difference was not significant. This study confirms the efficacy of the PCR assay and is the first study to evaluate a PCR-based assay against conventional methods of diagnosis in a clinical setting. PMID:12843065

  10. Isolation and molecular characterization of potentially pathogenic Acanthamoeba genotypes from diverse water resources including household drinking water from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Tanveer, Tania; Hameed, Abdul; Muazzam, Ambreen Gul; Jung, Suk-Yul; Gul, Asma; Matin, Abdul

    2013-08-01

    Acanthamoeba, an opportunistic protozoan pathogen, is ubiquitous in nature, and therefore plays a predatory role and helps control microbial communities in the ecosystem. These Acanthamoeba species are recognized as opportunistic human pathogens that may cause blinding keratitis and rare but fatal granulomatous encephalitis. To date, there is not a single report demonstrating Acanthamoeba isolation and identification from environmental sources in Pakistan, and that is the aim of this study. Acanthamoeba were identified by morphological characteristics of their cysts on non-nutrient agar plates seeded with Escherichia coli. Additionally, the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was performed with genus-specific primers followed by direct sequencing of the PCR product for molecular identification. Furthermore, our PCR and sequencing results confirmed seven different pathogenic and nonpathogenic genotypes, including T2-T10, T4, T5, T7, T15, T16, and T17. To the best of our knowledge, we have identified and isolated Acanthamoeba sp., for the first time, from water resources of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. There is an urgent need to address (1) the pathogenic potential of the identified genotypes and (2) explore other environmental sources from the country to examine the water quality and the current status of Acanthamoeba species in Pakistan, which may be a potential threat for public health across the country.

  11. The role of Src kinase in the biology and pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba castellanii

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Acanthamoeba species are the causative agents of fatal granulomatous encephalitis in humans. Haematogenous spread is thought to be a primary step, followed by blood–brain barrier penetration, in the transmission of Acanthmaoeba into the central nervous system, but the associated molecular mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we evaluated the role of Src, a non-receptor protein tyrosine kinase in the biology and pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba. Methods Amoebistatic and amoebicidal assays were performed by incubating amoeba in the presence of Src kinase-selective inhibitor, PP2 (4-amino-5-(4-chlorophenyl)-7-(t-butyl)pyrazolo[3,4-d]pyrimidine) and its inactive analog, PP3 (4-amino-7-phenylpyrazolo[3,4-d]pyrimidine). Using this inhibitor, the role of Src kinase in A. castellanii interactions with Escherichia coli was determined. Zymographic assays were performed to study effects of Src kinase on extracellular proteolytic activities of A. castellanii. The human brain microvascular endothelial cells were used to determine the effects of Src kinase on A. castellanii adhesion to and cytotoxicity of host cells. Results Inhibition of Src kinase using a specific inhibitor, PP2 (4-amino-5-(4 chlorophenyl)-7-(t-butyl)pyrazolo [3,4-d] pyrimidine) but not its inactive analog, PP3 (4-amino-7-phenylpyrazolo[3,4-d] pyrimidine), had detrimental effects on the growth of A. castellanii (keratitis isolate, belonging to the T4 genotype). Interestingly, inhibition of Src kinase hampered the phagocytic ability of A. castellanii, as measured by the uptake of non-invasive bacteria, but, on the contrary, invasion by pathogenic bacteria was enhanced. Zymographic assays revealed that inhibition of Src kinases reduced extracellular protease activities of A. castellanii. Src kinase inhibition had no significant effect on A. castellanii binding to and cytotoxicity of primary human brain microvascular endothelial cells, which constitute the blood–brain barrier. Conclusions For the first

  12. Giant virus with a remarkable complement of genes infects marine zooplankton

    PubMed Central

    Fischer, Matthias G.; Allen, Michael J.; Wilson, William H.; Suttle, Curtis A.

    2010-01-01

    As major consumers of heterotrophic bacteria and phytoplankton, microzooplankton are a critical link in aquatic foodwebs. Here, we show that a major marine microflagellate grazer is infected by a giant virus, Cafeteria roenbergensis virus (CroV), which has the largest genome of any described marine virus (≈730 kb of double-stranded DNA). The central 618-kb coding part of this AT-rich genome contains 544 predicted protein-coding genes; putative early and late promoter motifs have been detected and assigned to 191 and 72 of them, respectively, and at least 274 genes were expressed during infection. The diverse coding potential of CroV includes predicted translation factors, DNA repair enzymes such as DNA mismatch repair protein MutS and two photolyases, multiple ubiquitin pathway components, four intein elements, and 22 tRNAs. Many genes including isoleucyl-tRNA synthetase, eIF-2γ, and an Elp3-like histone acetyltransferase are usually not found in viruses. We also discovered a 38-kb genomic region of putative bacterial origin, which encodes several predicted carbohydrate metabolizing enzymes, including an entire pathway for the biosynthesis of 3-deoxy-d-manno-octulosonate, a key component of the outer membrane in Gram-negative bacteria. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that CroV is a nucleocytoplasmic large DNA virus, with Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus as its closest relative, although less than one-third of the genes of CroV have homologs in Mimivirus. CroV is a highly complex marine virus and the only virus studied in genetic detail that infects one of the major groups of predators in the oceans. PMID:20974979

  13. An intracellular replication niche for Vibrio cholerae in the amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    PubMed

    Van der Henst, Charles; Scrignari, Tiziana; Maclachlan, Catherine; Blokesch, Melanie

    2016-04-01

    Vibrio cholerae is a human pathogen and the causative agent of cholera. The persistence of this bacterium in aquatic environments is a key epidemiological concern, as cholera is transmitted through contaminated water. Predatory protists, such as amoebae, are major regulators of bacterial populations in such environments. Therefore, we investigated the interaction between V. cholerae and the amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii at the single-cell level. We observed that V. cholerae can resist intracellular killing. The non-digested bacteria were either released or, alternatively, established a replication niche within the contractile vacuole of A. castellanii. V. cholerae was maintained within this compartment even upon encystment. The pathogen ultimately returned to its aquatic habitat through lysis of A. castellanii, a process that was dependent on the production of extracellular polysaccharide by the pathogen. This study reinforces the concept that V. cholerae is a facultative intracellular bacterium and describes a new host-pathogen interaction.

  14. An intracellular replication niche for Vibrio cholerae in the amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii

    PubMed Central

    Van der Henst, Charles; Scrignari, Tiziana; Maclachlan, Catherine; Blokesch, Melanie

    2016-01-01

    Vibrio cholerae is a human pathogen and the causative agent of cholera. The persistence of this bacterium in aquatic environments is a key epidemiological concern, as cholera is transmitted through contaminated water. Predatory protists, such as amoebae, are major regulators of bacterial populations in such environments. Therefore, we investigated the interaction between V. cholerae and the amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii at the single-cell level. We observed that V. cholerae can resist intracellular killing. The non-digested bacteria were either released or, alternatively, established a replication niche within the contractile vacuole of A. castellanii. V. cholerae was maintained within this compartment even upon encystment. The pathogen ultimately returned to its aquatic habitat through lysis of A. castellanii, a process that was dependent on the production of extracellular polysaccharide by the pathogen. This study reinforces the concept that V. cholerae is a facultative intracellular bacterium and describes a new host–pathogen interaction. PMID:26394005

  15. Isolation of two strains of Acanthamoeba castellanii from human tissue and their pathogenicity and isoenzyme profiles.

    PubMed Central

    Visvesvara, G S; Mirra, S S; Brandt, F H; Moss, D M; Mathews, H M; Martinez, A J

    1983-01-01

    Two strains of amoebae, one (CDC:0180:1) from the lung tissue of a patient who died of granulomatous amoebic encephalitis and the other (CDC:0179:1) from the debrided tissue of a mandibular autograft, were isolated and identified as Acanthamoeba castellanii based on the morphological and immunofluorescent staining characteristics of the trophozoites and cysts. Both strains of amoebae caused cytopathic effects in mammalian cell cultures and destroyed the cell sheet. However, only the CDC:0180:1 strain, on intranasal instillation into mice, produced the disease manifested by ruffled fur and aimless wandering, followed by coma and death within 30 days. The CDC:0180:1 strain also differed consistently from CDC:0179:1 and another nonpathogenic A. castellanii strain (ATCC 30,011) in isoenzyme makeup, a dissimilarity which probably reflects its pathogenic potential. Images PMID:6655045

  16. Public health implications of Acanthamoeba and multiple potential opportunistic pathogens in roof-harvested rainwater tanks.

    PubMed

    Hamilton, K A; Ahmed, W; Palmer, A; Sidhu, J P S; Hodgers, L; Toze, S; Haas, C N

    2016-10-01

    A study of six potential opportunistic pathogens (Acanthamoeba spp., Legionella spp., Legionella longbeachae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Mycobacterium avium and Mycobacterium intracellulare) and an accidental human pathogen (Legionella pneumophila) in 134 roof-harvested rainwater (RHRW) tank samples was conducted using quantitative PCR (qPCR). All five opportunistic pathogens and accidental pathogen L. pneumophila were detected in rainwater tanks except Legionella longbeachae. Concentrations ranged up to 3.1×10(6) gene copies per L rainwater for Legionella spp., 9.6×10(5) gene copies per L for P. aeruginosa, 6.8×10(5) gene copies per L for M. intracellulare, 6.6×10(5) gene copies per L for Acanthamoeba spp., 1.1×10(5) gene copies per L for M. avium, and 9.8×10(3) gene copies per L for L. pneumophila. Among the organisms tested, Legionella spp. (99% tanks) were the most prevalent followed by M. intracellulare (78%). A survey of tank-owners provided data on rainwater end-uses. Fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) Escherichia coli and Enterococcus spp. were enumerated using culture-based methods, and assessed for correlations with opportunistic pathogens and L. pneumophila tested in this study. Opportunistic pathogens did not correlate well with FIB except E. coli vs. Legionella spp. (tau=0.151, P=0.009) and E. coli vs. M. intracellulare (tau=0.14, P=0.015). However, M. avium weakly correlated with both L. pneumophila (Kendall's tau=0.017, P=0.006) and M. intracellulare (tau=0.088, P=0.027), and Legionella spp. also weakly correlated with M. intracellulare (tau=0.128, P=0.028). The presence of these potential opportunistic pathogens in tank water may present health risks from both the potable and non-potable uses documented from the current survey data. PMID:27336236

  17. Amino Acid Uptake and Metabolism of Legionella pneumophila Hosted by Acanthamoeba castellanii*

    PubMed Central

    Schunder, Eva; Gillmaier, Nadine; Kutzner, Erika; Herrmann, Vroni; Lautner, Monika; Heuner, Klaus; Eisenreich, Wolfgang

    2014-01-01

    Legionella pneumophila survives and replicates within a Legionella-containing vacuole (LCV) of amoebae and macrophages. Less is known about the carbon metabolism of the bacteria within the LCV. We have now analyzed the transfer and usage of amino acids from the natural host organism Acanthamoeba castellanii to Legionella pneumophila under in vivo (LCV) conditions. For this purpose, A. castellanii was 13C-labeled by incubation in buffer containing [U-13C6]glucose. Subsequently, these 13C-prelabeled amoebae were infected with L. pneumophila wild type or some mutants defective in putative key enzymes or regulators of carbon metabolism. 13C-Isotopologue compositions of amino acids from bacterial and amoebal proteins were then determined by mass spectrometry. In a comparative approach, the profiles documented the efficient uptake of Acanthamoeba amino acids into the LCV and further into L. pneumophila where they served as precursors for bacterial protein biosynthesis. More specifically, A. castellanii synthesized from exogenous [U-13C6]glucose unique isotopologue mixtures of several amino acids including Phe and Tyr, which were also observed in the same amino acids from LCV-grown L. pneumophila. Minor but significant differences were only detected in the isotopologue profiles of Ala, Asp, and Glu from the amoebal or bacterial protein fractions, respectively, indicating partial de novo synthesis of these amino acids by L. pneumophila. The similar isotopologue patterns in amino acids from L. pneumophila wild type and the mutants under study reflected the robustness of amino acid usage in the LCV of A. castellannii. PMID:24904060

  18. Resistance of Acanthamoeba Cysts to Disinfection Treatments Used in Health Care Settings▿

    PubMed Central

    Coulon, Céline; Collignon, Anne; McDonnell, Gerald; Thomas, Vincent

    2010-01-01

    Free-living amoebae that belong to the genus Acanthamoeba are widespread in the environment, including water. They are responsible for human infections and can host pathogenic microorganisms. Under unfavorable conditions, they form cysts with high levels of resistance to disinfection methods, thus potentially representing a threat to public health. In the present study we evaluated the efficacies of various biocides against trophozoites and cysts of several Acanthamoeba strains. We demonstrated that disinfectant efficacy varied depending on the strains tested, with environmental strains demonstrating greater resistance than collection strains. Trophozoites were inactivated by all treatments except those using glutaraldehyde as an active compound: for these treatments, we observed resistance even after 30 min exposure. Cysts resisted many treatments, including certain conditions with glutaraldehyde and other biocides. Moist heat at 55°C was not efficient against cysts, whereas exposure at 65°C was. Several chemical formulations containing peracetic acid, hydrogen peroxide, or ortho-phthalaldehyde presented greater efficacy than glutaraldehyde, as did ethanol and sodium hypochlorite; however, some of these treatments required relatively long incubation times to achieve cyst inactivation. Amoebal cysts can be highly resistant to some high-level disinfectants, which has implications for clinical practice. These results highlight the need to consider the effective disinfection of protozoa in their vegetative and resistant forms due to their intrinsic resistance. This is important not only to prevent the transmission of protozoa themselves but also due to the risks associated with a range of microbial pathogens that are found to be associated intracellularly with these microorganisms. PMID:20519477

  19. Public health implications of Acanthamoeba and multiple potential opportunistic pathogens in roof-harvested rainwater tanks.

    PubMed

    Hamilton, K A; Ahmed, W; Palmer, A; Sidhu, J P S; Hodgers, L; Toze, S; Haas, C N

    2016-10-01

    A study of six potential opportunistic pathogens (Acanthamoeba spp., Legionella spp., Legionella longbeachae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Mycobacterium avium and Mycobacterium intracellulare) and an accidental human pathogen (Legionella pneumophila) in 134 roof-harvested rainwater (RHRW) tank samples was conducted using quantitative PCR (qPCR). All five opportunistic pathogens and accidental pathogen L. pneumophila were detected in rainwater tanks except Legionella longbeachae. Concentrations ranged up to 3.1×10(6) gene copies per L rainwater for Legionella spp., 9.6×10(5) gene copies per L for P. aeruginosa, 6.8×10(5) gene copies per L for M. intracellulare, 6.6×10(5) gene copies per L for Acanthamoeba spp., 1.1×10(5) gene copies per L for M. avium, and 9.8×10(3) gene copies per L for L. pneumophila. Among the organisms tested, Legionella spp. (99% tanks) were the most prevalent followed by M. intracellulare (78%). A survey of tank-owners provided data on rainwater end-uses. Fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) Escherichia coli and Enterococcus spp. were enumerated using culture-based methods, and assessed for correlations with opportunistic pathogens and L. pneumophila tested in this study. Opportunistic pathogens did not correlate well with FIB except E. coli vs. Legionella spp. (tau=0.151, P=0.009) and E. coli vs. M. intracellulare (tau=0.14, P=0.015). However, M. avium weakly correlated with both L. pneumophila (Kendall's tau=0.017, P=0.006) and M. intracellulare (tau=0.088, P=0.027), and Legionella spp. also weakly correlated with M. intracellulare (tau=0.128, P=0.028). The presence of these potential opportunistic pathogens in tank water may present health risks from both the potable and non-potable uses documented from the current survey data.

  20. Looking at protists as a source of pathogenic viruses.

    PubMed

    La Scola, Bernard

    2014-12-01

    In the environment, protozoa are predators of bacteria and feed on them. The possibility that some protozoa could be a source of human pathogens is consistent with the discovery that free-living amoebae were the reservoir of Legionella pneumophila, the agent of Legionnaires' disease. Later, while searching for Legionella in the environment using amoeba co-culture, the first giant virus, Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus, was discovered. Since then, many other giant viruses have been isolated, including Marseilleviridae, Pithovirus sibericum, Cafeteria roenbergensis virus and Pandoravirus spp. The methods used to isolate all of these viruses are herein reviewed. By analogy to Legionella, it was originally suspected that these viruses could be human pathogens. After showing by indirect evidence, such as sero-epidemiologic studies, that it was possible for these viruses to be human pathogens, the recent isolation of some of these viruses (belonging to the Mimiviridae and Marseilleviridae families) in humans in the context of pathologic conditions shows that they are opportunistic human pathogens in some instances.

  1. High-Throughput Isolation of Giant Viruses in Liquid Medium Using Automated Flow Cytometry and Fluorescence Staining.

    PubMed

    Khalil, Jacques Y B; Robert, Stephane; Reteno, Dorine G; Andreani, Julien; Raoult, Didier; La Scola, Bernard

    2016-01-01

    The isolation of giant viruses using amoeba co-culture is tedious and fastidious. Recently, the procedure was successfully associated with a method that detects amoebal lysis on agar plates. However, the procedure remains time-consuming and is limited to protozoa growing on agar. We present here advances for the isolation of giant viruses. A high-throughput automated method based on flow cytometry and fluorescent staining was used to detect the presence of giant viruses in liquid medium. Development was carried out with the Acanthamoeba polyphaga strain widely used in past and current co-culture experiments. The proof of concept was validated with virus suspensions: artificially contaminated samples but also environmental samples from which viruses were previously isolated. After validating the technique, and fortuitously isolating a new Mimivirus, we automated the technique on 96-well plates and tested it on clinical and environmental samples using other protozoa. This allowed us to detect more than 10 strains of previously known species of giant viruses and seven new strains of a new virus lineage. This automated high-throughput method demonstrated significant time saving, and higher sensitivity than older techniques. It thus creates the means to isolate giant viruses at high speed. PMID:26858703

  2. High-Throughput Isolation of Giant Viruses in Liquid Medium Using Automated Flow Cytometry and Fluorescence Staining

    PubMed Central

    Khalil, Jacques Y. B.; Robert, Stephane; Reteno, Dorine G.; Andreani, Julien; Raoult, Didier; La Scola, Bernard

    2016-01-01

    The isolation of giant viruses using amoeba co-culture is tedious and fastidious. Recently, the procedure was successfully associated with a method that detects amoebal lysis on agar plates. However, the procedure remains time-consuming and is limited to protozoa growing on agar. We present here advances for the isolation of giant viruses. A high-throughput automated method based on flow cytometry and fluorescent staining was used to detect the presence of giant viruses in liquid medium. Development was carried out with the Acanthamoeba polyphaga strain widely used in past and current co-culture experiments. The proof of concept was validated with virus suspensions: artificially contaminated samples but also environmental samples from which viruses were previously isolated. After validating the technique, and fortuitously isolating a new Mimivirus, we automated the technique on 96-well plates and tested it on clinical and environmental samples using other protozoa. This allowed us to detect more than 10 strains of previously known species of giant viruses and seven new strains of a new virus lineage. This automated high-throughput method demonstrated significant time saving, and higher sensitivity than older techniques. It thus creates the means to isolate giant viruses at high speed. PMID:26858703

  3. Fluorescent Oligonucleotide Probes for Clinical and Environmental Detection of Acanthamoeba and the T4 18S rRNA Gene Sequence Type

    PubMed Central

    Stothard, Diane R.; Hay, John; Schroeder-Diedrich, Jill M.; Seal, David V.; Byers, Thomas J.

    1999-01-01

    The first genus- and subgenus-specific fluorescent oligonucleotide probes for in situ staining of Acanthamoeba are described. Sequences of these phylogeny-based probes complement the 18S rRNA and the gene encoding it (18S rDNA). The genus-specific probe (GSP) is a fluorescein-labeled 22-mer specific for Acanthamoeba as shown here by its hybridization to growing trophozoites of all 12 known Acanthamoeba 18S rDNA sequence types and by its failure to hybridize with amoebae of two other genera (Hartmannella vermiformis and Balamuthia mandrillaris), two human cell lines, and two bacteria (Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli). The sequence type T4-specific probe (ST4P) is a rhodamine-labeled 30-mer specific for Acanthamoeba 18S rDNA sequence type T4, as shown here in hybridization tests with trophozoites of all 12 sequence types. T4 is the subgenus group associated most closely with Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK). GSP also was tested with corneal scrapings from 17 patients with a high index of clinical suspicion of AK plus 5 patient controls. GSP stained both trophozoites and cysts, although nonspecific cyst wall autofluorescence also was observed. Results could be obtained with GSP in 1 to 2 days, and based on results from cell culture tests, the probe correctly detected the presence or absence of Acanthamoeba in 21 of 24 specimens from the 22 patients. The use of GSP with cultured trophozoites and cysts from corneal scrapings has illustrated the suitability of using fluorescent oligonucleotide probes for identification of the genus Acanthamoeba in both environmental and clinical samples. In addition, the use of ST4P with cultured amoebae has indicated the potential of oligonucleotide probes for use in subgenus classification. PMID:10405422

  4. Influence of temperature, oxygen and bacterial strain identity on the association of Campylobacter jejuni with Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    PubMed

    Baré, Julie; Sabbe, Koen; Huws, Sharon; Vercauteren, Dries; Braeckmans, Kevin; van Gremberghe, Ineke; Favoreel, Herman; Houf, Kurt

    2010-11-01

    Campylobacteriosis is the most frequently reported foodborne disease in the industrialized world, mainly through consumption of contaminated chicken meat. To date, no information is available on the primary infection sources of poultry. In this study, the ability of five Campylobacter jejuni strains with different invasion potential towards Caco-2 cells to survive and replicate in the protozoan Acanthamoeba castellanii was tested under simulated in situ conditions (i.e. chicken broiler houses). Results indicate that environmental conditions play a crucial role in C. jejuni-A. castellanii interactions. Co-culture in general did not result in an increase of either bacteria or amoebae. However, co-culture with Acanthamoeba did result in a delayed decline and an increased long-term survival of Campylobacter. Bacterial strain-specific effects were observed, with higher survival rates for low-invasive strains. The presence of C. jejuni in general did not affect A. castellanii viability, except at 37 °C under microaerobic conditions, where the presence of the reference and low-invasive Campylobacter strains resulted in a significant decline in amoebal viability. Confocal laser scanning microscopy revealed that intra-amoebal campylobacters were not always colocated with acidic organelles, suggesting potential bacterial interference with digestive processes. As Acanthamoeba enhances the persistence of C. jejuni, the presence of the amoeba in broiler house environments may have important implications for the ecology and epidemiology of this food pathogen. PMID:20722733

  5. Direct photoaffinity labeling by nucleotides of the apparent catalytic site on the heavy chains of smooth muscle and Acanthamoeba myosins

    SciTech Connect

    Maruta, H.; Korn, E.D.

    1981-01-10

    The heavy chains of Acanthamoeba myosins, IA, IB and II, turkey gizzard myosin, and rabbit skeletal muscle myosin subfragment-1 were specifically labeled by radioactive ATP, ADP, and UTP, each of which is a substrate or product of myosin ATPase activity, when irradiated with uv light at 0/sup 0/C. With UTP, as much as 0.45 mol/mol of Acanthamoeba myosin IA heavy chain and 1 mol/mol of turkey gizzard myosin heavy chain was incorporated. Evidence that the ligands were associated with the catalytic site included the observations that reaction occurred only with nucleotides that are substrates or products of the ATPase activity; that the reaction was blocked by pyrophosphate which is an inhibitor of the ATPase activity; that ATP was bound as ADP; and that label was probably restricted to a single peptide following limited subtilisin proteolysis of labeled Acanthamoeba myosin IA heavy chain and extensive cleavage with CNBr and trypsin of labeled turkey gizzard myosin heavy chain.

  6. A fatal case of meningoencephalitis due to a free-living amoeba of uncertain identity--probably acanthamoeba sp.

    PubMed

    Carter, R F; Cullity, G J; Ojeda, V J; Silberstein, P; Willaert, E

    1981-01-01

    There are 2 main types of meningoencephalitis caused by free-living amoebae. The first is a well-defined acutely fatal disease resembling fulminating bacterial meningitis. It is caused by the single species Naegleria fowleri. The second is a more poorly defined disease that runs a subacute or chronic course and is characterized by focal granulomatous lesions in the brain. The causative organisms are probably Acanthamoeba sp. in most cases, but it is possible that other genera may be involved. The first case of the subacute form of the disease to be recognized in Australia is described. A 2 1/2-yr-old, previously well girl presented with ataxia and lower motor neurone paralyses. The cerebrospinal fluid was pleocytic and she was thought to be suffering from a relatively minor viral brain-stem encephalitis. Her symptoms persisted in a peculiarly fluctuating way for 30 d when she suddenly collapsed and died from an intracranial haemorrhage. Necropsy showed focal granulomatous lesions associated with necrotizing vasculitis in the basal regions of the brain. The lesions contained well preserved free-living amoebae which were morphologically different from N. fowleri and most closely resembled Acanthamoeba sp. The ultrastructure of the organisms was particularly well preserved and is described in some detail. Immunohistological studies also excluded N. fowleri but were inconclusive for Acanthamoeba or other genera of free-living amoebae. Difficulties with the diagnosis and treatment of this disease are discussed and some practical suggestions are made. PMID:6261208

  7. Conditioned medium from stimulated mononuclear leukocytes augments human neutrophil-mediated killing of a virulent Acanthamoeba sp.

    PubMed Central

    Ferrante, A; Abell, T J

    1986-01-01

    Human neutrophils in the presence of serum containing anti-amoeba antibody either lacked amoebicidal activity or were poorly amoebicidal for Acanthamoeba culbertsoni. In contrast, neutrophils preexposed for 1 h to supernatants from human peripheral blood mononuclear leukocytes (MNLs) stimulated with phytohemagglutinin demonstrated significant amoeba killing in the presence of serum containing anti-acanthamoeba antibodies. Supernatant from MNL cultured in the absence of phytohemagglutinin were not effective in stimulating significant activity in the neutrophils. Serum containing antibody promoted the adherence of many neutrophils to one amoeba. There was no significant difference between the ability of neutrophils treated with supernatants from stimulated MNLs (stimulated conditioned medium [sCM]) and supernatants from nonstimulated MNLs (nonstimulated conditioned medium [nsCM]) in their binding to acanthamoeba. The effects of sCM on neutrophils was a general phenomenon. For example, the sCM but not the nsCM enhanced the antibody-dependent neutrophil-mediated cytotoxicity against three tumor targets (K562 erythroid myeloid leukemia cell line, B16 melanoma, and P815 (DBA/2 mastocytoma). Furthermore, the sCM but not the nsCM increased the bactericidal (against Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae) and fungicidal (against Torulopsis glabrata) activity of the neutrophil. The sCM but not the nsCM contained activities which inhibited neutrophil migration and stimulated a respiratory burst in these leukocytes. These results suggest that the neutrophil antimicrobial power can be increased by exposing the leukocytes to MNL mediators. Images PMID:3943902

  8. [Acanthamoeba, naturally intracellularly infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, after their isolation from a microbiologically contaminated drinking water system in a hospital].

    PubMed

    Michel, R; Burghardt, H; Bergmann, H

    1995-03-01

    The drinking water system of a new hospital building that was highly contaminated with bacteria before opening was investigated too for the prevalence of small free living amoebae. Germ counts resulted in > 100 CFU/ml in 100% of the cold water samples, that showed also growth of P. aeruginosa, whereas E. coli and coliforme bacteria could not be identified. The investigation of 37 water samples for protozoa revealed growth of small freeliving amoebae in 20 samples (54%) belonging to 10 species of the genus Acanthamoeba, Naegleria, Hartmannella, Echinamoeba among others. In addition 2 Ciliate- and 2 Microflagellate-species could be observed. While all Naegleria strains isolated belonged to the N. gruberi-complex two of 16 Acanthamoeba-isolates proved to be pathogenic for laboratory mice. From 7 watersamples positive with P. aeruginosa 5 Acanthamoeba- and 2 Echinamoeba strains could be isolated which revealed intracellular multiplication of P. aeruginosa. Because of their well known resistances against chlorine, the amoebae and their cysts are considered to be vectors for these intracellular bacteria. A complete sanitation of the incriminated drinking water system was accomplished by combined chemical and thermic disinfection measures.

  9. Sequences, structural models, and cellular localization of the actin- related proteins Arp2 and Arp3 from Acanthamoeba

    PubMed Central

    1995-01-01

    We cloned and sequenced the two actin-related proteins (Arps) present in the profilin-binding complex of Acanthamoeba (Machesky, L. M., S. J. Atkinson, C. Ampe, J. Vandekerckhove, and T. D. Pollard. 1994, J. Cell Biol. 127:107-115). The sequence of Arp2 is more similar to other Arp2s than to actin, while the sequence of Arp3 is more similar to other Arp3s than to actin. Phylogenetic analysis of all known Arps demonstrates that most group into three major families, which are likely to be shared across all eukaryotic phyla. Together with conventional actins, the Arps form a larger family distinct from structurally related ATPases such as Hsp70's and sugar kinases. Atomic models of the Arps based on their sequences and the structure of actin provide some clues about function. Both Arps have atoms appropriately placed to bind ATP and divalent cation. Arp2, but not Arp3, has a conserved profilin-binding site. Neither Arp has the residues required to copolymerize with actin, but an Arp heterodimer present in the profilin-binding complex might serve as a pointed end nucleus for actin polymerization. Both Acanthamoeba Arps are soluble in cell homogenates, and both are concentrated in the cortex of Acanthamoeba. The cellular concentrations are 1.9 microM Arp2 and 5.1 microM Arp3, substoichiometric to actin (200 microM) but comparable to many actin- binding proteins. PMID:7593166

  10. Comparison of specific activity and cytopathic effects of purified 33 kDa serine proteinase from Acanthamoeba strains with different degree of virulence

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Won-Tae; Kong, Hyun-Hee; Ha, Young-Ran; Hong, Yeon-Chul; Jeong, Hae Jin; Yu, Hak Sun

    2006-01-01

    The pathogenic mechanism of granulomatous amebic encephalitis (GAE) and amebic keratitis (AK) by Acanthamoeba has yet to be clarified. Protease has been recognized to play an important role in the pathogenesis of GAE and AK. In the present study, we have compared specific activity and cytopathic effects (CPE) of purified 33 kDa serine proteinases from Acanthamoeba strains with different degree of virulence (A. healyi OC-3A, A. lugdunensis KA/E2, and A. castellanii Neff). Trophozoites of the 3 strains revealed different degrees of CPE on human corneal epithelial (HCE) cells. The effect was remarkably reduced by adding phenylmethylsulfonylfluoride (PMSF), a serine proteinase inhibitor. This result indicated that PMSF-susceptible proteinase is the main component causing cytopathy to HCE cells by Acanthamoeba. The purified 33 kDa serine proteinase showed strong activity toward HCE cells and extracellular matrix proteins. The purified proteinase from OC-3A, the most virulent strain, demonstrated the highest enzyme activity compared to KA/E2, an ocular isolate, and Neff, a soil isolate. Polyclonal antibodies against the purified 33 kDa serine proteinase inhibit almost completely the proteolytic activity of culture supernatant of Acanthamoeba. In line with these results, the 33 kDa serine proteinase is suggested to play an important role in pathogenesis and to be the main component of virulence factor of Acanthamoeba. PMID:17170574

  11. Atomic force microscopic imaging of Acanthamoeba castellanii and Balamuthia mandrillaris trophozoites and cysts.

    PubMed

    Aqeel, Yousuf; Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah; Ateeq, Muhammad; Raza Shah, Muhammad; Kulsoom, Huma; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2015-01-01

    Light microscopy and electron microscopy have been successfully used in the study of microbes, as well as free-living protists. Unlike light microscopy, which enables us to observe living organisms or the electron microscope which provides a two-dimensional image, atomic force microscopy provides a three-dimensional surface profile. Here, we observed two free-living amoebae, Acanthamoeba castellanii and Balamuthia mandrillaris under the phase contrast inverted microscope, transmission electron microscope and atomic force microscope. Although light microscopy was of lower magnification, it revealed functional biology of live amoebae such as motility and osmoregulation using contractile vacuoles of the trophozoite stage, but it is of limited value in defining the cyst stage. In contrast, transmission electron microscopy showed significantly greater magnification and resolution to reveal the ultra-structural features of trophozoites and cysts including intracellular organelles and cyst wall characteristics but it only produced a snapshot in time of a dead amoeba cell. Atomic force microscopy produced three-dimensional images providing detailed topographic description of shape and surface, phase imaging measuring boundary stiffness, and amplitude measurements including width, height and length of A. castellanii and B. mandrillaris trophozoites and cysts. These results demonstrate the importance of the application of various microscopic methods in the biological and structural characterization of the whole cell, ultra-structural features, as well as surface components and cytoskeleton of protist pathogens.

  12. Co-incubation of Acanthamoeba castellanii with strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa alters the survival of amoeba.

    PubMed

    Cengiz, A M; Harmis, N; Stapleton, F

    2000-06-01

    Enhanced survival of Acanthamoeba castellanii has previously been reported following co-incubation with a single strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of different strains of P. aeruginosa on amoebae survival. Four contact lens solutions were challenged with A. castellanii for between 6 and 24 h, and survival rates of amoeba were calculated. Subsequently, A. castellanii was co-incubated with different strains of P. aeruginosa (strain 6294, an invasive isolate; 6206, a cytotoxic isolate; and Paer 001, a null isolate). Differences in amoeba survival over time between solutions for each bacterial strain were analysed. Non-neutralized hydrogen peroxide was the most effective system against A. castellani at all time points (P<0.05). Survival rates were not different between multipurpose solutions and neutralized hydrogen peroxide. Co-incubation with P. aeruginosa altered amoeba survival, and maximum survival occurred in the presence of the invasive strain of P. aeruginosa. Enhanced amoeba survival may occur in the presence of certain strains of Gram-negative bacteria, and with certain types of contact lens disinfection systems.

  13. Acanthamoeba and other free-living amoebae in bat guano, an extreme habitat.

    PubMed

    Mulec, Janez; Dietersdorfer, Elisabeth; Üstüntürk-Onan, Miray; Walochnik, Julia

    2016-04-01

    Several representatives of the so-called free-living amoebae (FLA) are of medical relevance, not only as facultative pathogens but also as vehicles for pathogenic bacteria. Some FLA can survive and even grow under extreme environmental conditions. Bat guano is an exceptional habitat, the conditions becoming gradually more extreme with aging. In the current study, samples of bat guano of different ages from five caves in Slovenia were screened for the presence of FLA. FLA were isolated from almost all guano samples, including guano with a pH of 3.5. Only the two samples that had been drawn from >20-year-old guano were negative for FLA. Generally, FLA diversity correlated to high concentrations of cultivable bacteria (∼10(8) CFU/g) and fungi (∼10(5) CFU/g). Interestingly, the absence of FLA in seasoned guanos was mirrored by the presence of dictyostelid slime moulds. The isolated amoebae were identified as belonging to the genera Acanthamoeba, Copromyxa, Naegleria, Sappinia, Tetramitus, Thecamoeba, Vahlkampfia, Vannella and Vermamoeba. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study on the diversity of FLA in guano.

  14. Transcription and processing of mitochondrial RNA in the human pathogen Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    PubMed

    Accari, Jessica; Barth, Christian

    2015-07-01

    The size, structure, gene content and organisation of mitochondrial genomes can be highly diverse especially amongst the protists. We investigated the transcription and processing of the mitochondrial genome of the opportunistic pathogen Acanthamoeba castellanii and here we present a detailed transcription map of the 41.6 kb genome that encodes 33 proteins, 16 tRNAs and 2 rRNAs. Northern hybridisation studies identified six major polycistronic transcripts, most of which are co-transcriptionally processed into smaller mono-, di- and tricistronic RNAs. The maturation of the polycistronic transcripts is likely to involve endonucleolytic cleavage where tRNAs serve as processing signals. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reactions across the intervening regions between the six major polycistronic transcripts suggest that these transcripts were once part of an even larger transcript. Our findings indicate that the mitochondrial genome of A. castellanii is transcribed from only one or two promoters, very similar to the mode of transcription in the mitochondria of its close relative Dictyostelium discoideum, where transcription is known to occur from only a single transcription initiation site. Transcription initiation from a minimal number of promoters despite a large genome size may be an emerging trend in the mitochondria of protists.

  15. Swedish isolates of Vibrio cholerae enhance their survival when interacted intracellularly with Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    PubMed

    Shanan, Salah; Bayoumi, Magdi; Saeed, Amir; Sandström, Gunnar; Abd, Hadi

    2016-01-01

    Vibrio cholerae is a Gram-negative bacterium that occurs naturally in aquatic environment. Only V. cholerae O1 and V. cholerae O139 produce cholera toxin and cause cholera, other serogroups can cause gastroenteritis, open wounds infection, and septicaemia. V. cholerae O1 and V. cholerae O139 grow and survive inside Acanthamoeba castellanii. The aim of this study is to investigate the interactions of the Swedish clinical isolates V. cholerae O3, V. cholerae O4, V. cholerae O5, V. cholerae O11, and V. cholerae O160 with A. castellanii. The interaction between A. castellanii and V. cholerae strains was studied by means of amoeba cell counts, viable counts of the bacteria in the absence or presence of amoebae, and of the intracellularly growing bacteria, visualised by electron microscopy. These results show that all V. cholerae can grow and survive outside and inside the amoebae, disclosing that V. cholerae O3, V. cholerae O4, V. cholerae O5, V. cholerae O11, and V. cholerae O160 all can be considered as facultative intracellular bacteria. PMID:27118300

  16. Molecular and biochemical characterization of a novel actin bundling protein in Acanthamoeba

    PubMed Central

    Alafag, Joanna It-itan; Moon, Eun-Kyung; Hong, Yeon-Chul; Chung, Dong-Il

    2006-01-01

    Actin binding proteins play key roles in cell structure and movement particularly as regulators of the assembly, stability and localization of actin filaments in the cytoplasm. In the present study, a cDNA clone encoding an actin bundling protein named as AhABP was isolated from Acanthamoeba healyi, a causative agent of granulomatous amebic encephalitis. This clone exhibited high similarity with genes of Physarum polycephalum and Dictyostelium discoideum, which encode actin bundling proteins. Domain search analysis revealed the presence of essential conserved regions, i.e., an active actin binding site and 2 putative calcium binding EF-hands. Transfected amoeba cells demonstrated that AhABP is primarily localized in phagocytic cups, peripheral edges, pseudopods, and in cortical cytoplasm where actins are most abundant. Moreover, AhABP after the deletion of essential regions formed ellipsoidal inclusions within transfected cells. High-speed co-sedimentation assays revealed that AhABP directly interacted with actin in the presence of up to 10 µM of calcium. Under the electron microscope, thick parallel bundles were formed by full length AhABP, in contrast to the thin actin bundles formed by constructs with deletion sites. In the light of these results, we conclude that AhABP is a novel actin bundling protein that is importantly associated with actin filaments in the cytoplasm. PMID:17170575

  17. Yersinia pseudotuberculosis IP32953 survives and replicates in trophozoites and persists in cysts of Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    PubMed

    Santos-Montañez, Jennifer; Benavides-Montaño, Javier A; Hinz, Angela K; Vadyvaloo, Viveka

    2015-07-01

    Yersinia pseudotuberculosis is a foodborne enteric pathogen that causes a mild self-limiting diarrhea in humans. Yersinia pseudotuberculosis is able to persist in soil and water and in association with fresh produce, but the mechanism by which it persists is unknown. It has been shown that Y. pseudotuberculosis co-occurs with protozoans in these environments; therefore, this study investigates if bacterivorous free-living amoeba (FLA) are able to support persistence of Y. pseudotuberculosis. Coculture studies of Y. pseudotuberculosis and the prototype FLA, Acanthamoeba castellanii revealed that bacteria had an enhanced capacity to survive in association with amoeba and in the absence of any cytotoxic effects. Yersinia pseudotuberculosis is able to survive and replicate in trophozoites specifically localized within vacuoles, and persists within cysts over a period of at least a week. These data present the first evidence that Y. pseudotuberculosis is able to resist the bacterivorous nature of FLA and instead exhibits an enhanced ability to replicate and persist in coculture with amoeba. This study sheds light on the potential role of FLA in the ecology of Y. pseudotuberculosis which may have implications for food safety. PMID:26025069

  18. Interaction of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia with Acanthamoeba castellanii parallels macrophage-fungus interactions.

    PubMed

    Van Waeyenberghe, Lieven; Baré, Julie; Pasmans, Frank; Claeys, Myriam; Bert, Wim; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Houf, Kurt; Martel, An

    2013-12-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus and free-living amoebae are common inhabitants of soil. Mechanisms of A. fumigatus to circumvent the amoeba's digestion may facilitate overcoming the vertebrate macrophage defence mechanisms. We performed co-culture experiments using A. fumigatus conidia and the amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii. Approximately 25% of the amoebae ingested A. fumigatus conidia after 1 h of contact. During intra-amoebal passage, part of the ingested conidia was able to escape the food vacuole and to germinate inside the cytoplasm of A. castellanii. Fungal release into the extra-protozoan environment by exocytosis of conidia or by germination was observed with light and transmission electron microscopy. These processes resulted in structural changes in A. castellanii, leading to amoebal permeabilization without cell lysis. In conclusion, A. castellanii internalizes A. fumigatus conidia, resulting in fungal intracellular germination and subsequent amoebal death. As such, this interaction highly resembles that of A. fumigatus with mammalian and avian macrophages. This suggests that A. fumigatus virulence mechanisms to evade macrophage killing may be acquired by co-evolutionary interactions among A. fumigatus and environmental amoebae. PMID:24249290

  19. Axenic mass cultivation of the free-living soil amoeba, Acanthamoeba castellanii in a laboratory fermentor.

    PubMed

    Weekers, P H; Wijen, J P; Lomans, B P; Vogels, G D

    1996-05-01

    Axenic mass cultivation of Acanthamoeba castellanii in laboratory fermentors (141) yielded after 20 days approximately 3 g cells (wet weight). After a short lag phase amoebal cell numbers increased exponentially to a maximum of 3.5 x 10(5) cells per ml until cell death occurred after 20 days. Optical density and protein concentrations revealed identical patterns. During amoebal growth only 12-19% of the initially added glucose (100 mM) as sole carbon source was used. Large amounts of ammonia (1 g in 10.51 culture volume) were excreted into the medium which subsequently raised the pH from 6.6 to 7.7, and from 6.6 to 6.8 in 2 and 20 mM buffered media, respectively. Growth inhibition and cell death could not be explained by a depletion of glucose or oxygen limitations during growth. The production of ammonia had a growth inhibitory effect, however, the sudden termination of the exponential growth phase and cell death could not be explained by the toxic influence of ammonia only. PMID:8836429

  20. Interaction of Acinetobacter baumannii 19606 and 1656-2 with Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    PubMed

    Tamang, Migma Dorji; Kim, Shukho; Kim, Sung-Min; Kong, Hyun-Hee; Kim, Jungmin

    2011-10-01

    Acinetobacter baumannii is virtually avirulent for healthy people but maintains a high virulence among critically ill patients or immuno-compromised individuals. The ability of A. baumannii to adhere to cells and persist on surfaces as biofilms could be central to its pathogenicity. In the present study, we compared the virulence of the A. baumannii 1656-2 clinical strain, which is able to form a thick biofilm, with the virulence of the A. baumannii type strain (ATCC 19606(T)). Acanthamoeba castellanii, a single-celled organism, was used as the host model system to study the virulence of A. baumannii. Compared to A. baumannii ATCC 19606(T), A. baumannii 1656-2 exhibited a higher ability to adhere and invade A. castellanii cells and had a higher killing rate of A. castellanii cells. Furthermore, co-incubation of the amoeba cells and the cell-free supernatant of A. baumannii resulted in the cell death of the amoebae. Heat inactivation or proteinase K treatment of the supernatant did not eliminate its cytotoxicity, suggesting heat stable non-protein factors are responsible for its cytotoxicity to A. castellanii cells. In conclusion, this study for the first time has revealed the capacity of the A. baumannii strain and/or its metabolic products to induce cytotoxicity in A. castellanii cells. PMID:22068504

  1. Swedish isolates of Vibrio cholerae enhance their survival when interacted intracellularly with Acanthamoeba castellanii

    PubMed Central

    Shanan, Salah; Bayoumi, Magdi; Saeed, Amir; Sandström, Gunnar; Abd, Hadi

    2016-01-01

    Vibrio cholerae is a Gram-negative bacterium that occurs naturally in aquatic environment. Only V. cholerae O1 and V. cholerae O139 produce cholera toxin and cause cholera, other serogroups can cause gastroenteritis, open wounds infection, and septicaemia. V. cholerae O1 and V. cholerae O139 grow and survive inside Acanthamoeba castellanii. The aim of this study is to investigate the interactions of the Swedish clinical isolates V. cholerae O3, V. cholerae O4, V. cholerae O5, V. cholerae O11, and V. cholerae O160 with A. castellanii. The interaction between A. castellanii and V. cholerae strains was studied by means of amoeba cell counts, viable counts of the bacteria in the absence or presence of amoebae, and of the intracellularly growing bacteria, visualised by electron microscopy. These results show that all V. cholerae can grow and survive outside and inside the amoebae, disclosing that V. cholerae O3, V. cholerae O4, V. cholerae O5, V. cholerae O11, and V. cholerae O160 all can be considered as facultative intracellular bacteria. PMID:27118300

  2. Apoptosis-like cell death induced by Salmonella in Acanthamoeba rhysodes.

    PubMed

    Feng, Ye; Hsiao, Yi-Hsing; Chen, Hsiu-Ling; Chu, Chishih; Tang, Petrus; Chiu, Cheng-Hsun

    2009-08-01

    Free-living amoebae act as environmental hosts of several intracellular pathogens. We examined the interaction between Acanthamoeba rhysodes and Salmonella, a human intracellular pathogen. There was no difference among three different serovars of Salmonella in terms of their growth within A. rhysodes over time. The number of intracellular bacteria increased at 6 h post-infection, and the viability of A. rhysodes was significantly reduced at 24 h post-infection. Amoebic cell death was characterized by TUNEL and Annexin V assay, without DNA ladder identified, indicating an apoptosis-like cell death in Salmonella-infected A. rhysodes. Global gene expression screening between intracellular and extracellular Salmonella by microarray and quantitative PCR showed that genes from Salmonella pathogenicity islands and virulence plasmid were up-regulated within A. rhysodes. The phase-dependent expression pattern suggests their distinct roles in the pathogenesis. A. rhysodes and Salmonella provide a model to study transient symbiosis between bacterial pathogens and protozoa in an aquatic ecosystem. PMID:19446019

  3. Yersinia pseudotuberculosis IP32953 survives and replicates in trophozoites and persists in cysts of Acanthamoeba castellanii

    PubMed Central

    Santos-Montañez, Jennifer; Benavides-Montaño, Javier A.; Hinz, Angela K.; Vadyvaloo, Viveka

    2015-01-01

    Yersinia pseudotuberculosis is a foodborne enteric pathogen that causes a mild self-limiting diarrhea in humans. Yersinia pseudotuberculosis is able to persist in soil and water and in association with fresh produce, but the mechanism by which it persists is unknown. It has been shown that Y. pseudotuberculosis co-occurs with protozoans in these environments; therefore, this study investigates if bacterivorous free-living amoeba (FLA) are able to support persistence of Y. pseudotuberculosis. Coculture studies of Y. pseudotuberculosis and the prototype FLA, Acanthamoeba castellanii revealed that bacteria had an enhanced capacity to survive in association with amoeba and in the absence of any cytotoxic effects. Yersinia pseudotuberculosis is able to survive and replicate in trophozoites specifically localized within vacuoles, and persists within cysts over a period of at least a week. These data present the first evidence that Y. pseudotuberculosis is able to resist the bacterivorous nature of FLA and instead exhibits an enhanced ability to replicate and persist in coculture with amoeba. This study sheds light on the potential role of FLA in the ecology of Y. pseudotuberculosis which may have implications for food safety. PMID:26025069

  4. Increased Persistence of Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhi in the Presence of Acanthamoeba castellanii▿

    PubMed Central

    Douesnard-Malo, Frédéric; Daigle, France

    2011-01-01

    Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (S. Typhi) is the etiological agent of the systemic disease typhoid fever. Transmission occurs via ingestion of contaminated food or water. S. Typhi is specific to humans, and no animal or environmental reservoirs are known. As the free-living amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii is an environmental host for many pathogenic bacteria, this study investigates interactions between S. Typhi and A. castellanii by using cocultures. Growth of both organisms was estimated by cell count, viable count, flow cytometry, and fluorescence microscopy. Results indicate that S. Typhi can survive at least 3 weeks when grown with A. castellanii, as opposed to less than 10 days when grown as singly cultured bacteria under the same conditions. Interestingly, growth rates of amoebae after 14 days were similar in cocultures or when amoebae were singly cultured, suggesting that S. Typhi is not cytotoxic to A. castellanii. Bacteria surviving in coculture were not intracellular and did not require a physical contact with amoebae for their survival. These results suggest that S. Typhi may have a selective advantage when it is associated with A. castellanii and that amoebae may contribute to S. Typhi persistence in the environment. PMID:21926221

  5. Discovery and characterization of Acanthamoeba castellanii mitochondrial 5S rRNA.

    PubMed

    Bullerwell, Charles E; Schnare, Murray N; Gray, Michael W

    2003-03-01

    Although 5S rRNA is a highly conserved and universal component of eubacterial, archaeal, chloroplast, and eukaryotic cytoplasmic ribosomes, a mitochondrial DNA-encoded 5S rRNA has so far been identified only in land plants and certain protists. This raises the question of whether 5S rRNA is actually required for and used in mitochondrial translation. In the protist Acanthamoeba castellanii, BLAST searches fail to reveal a 5S rRNA gene in the complete mitochondrial genome sequence, nor is a 5S-sized RNA species detectable in ethidium bromide-stained gels of highly purified mitochondrial RNA preparations. Here we show that an alternative visualization technique, UV shadowing, readily detects a novel, mitochondrion-specific small RNA in A. castellanii mitochondrial RNA preparations, and that this RNA species is, in fact, a 5S rRNA encoded by the A. castellanii mitochondrial genome. These results emphasize the need for caution when interpreting negative results that suggest the absence of 5S rRNA and/or a mitochondrial DNA-encoded 5S rRNA sequence in other (particularly protist) mitochondrial systems.

  6. Composition of the mitochondrial electron transport chain in acanthamoeba castellanii: structural and evolutionary insights.

    PubMed

    Gawryluk, Ryan M R; Chisholm, Kenneth A; Pinto, Devanand M; Gray, Michael W

    2012-11-01

    The mitochondrion, derived in evolution from an α-proteobacterial progenitor, plays a key metabolic role in eukaryotes. Mitochondria house the electron transport chain (ETC) that couples oxidation of organic substrates and electron transfer to proton pumping and synthesis of ATP. The ETC comprises several multiprotein enzyme complexes, all of which have counterparts in bacteria. However, mitochondrial ETC assemblies from animals, plants and fungi are generally more complex than their bacterial counterparts, with a number of 'supernumerary' subunits appearing early in eukaryotic evolution. Little is known, however, about the ETC of unicellular eukaryotes (protists), which are key to understanding the evolution of mitochondria and the ETC. We present an analysis of the ETC proteome from Acanthamoeba castellanii, an ecologically, medically and evolutionarily important member of Amoebozoa (sister to Opisthokonta). Data obtained from tandem mass spectrometric (MS/MS) analyses of purified mitochondria as well as ETC complexes isolated via blue native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis are combined with the results of bioinformatic queries of sequence databases. Our bioinformatic analyses have identified most of the ETC subunits found in other eukaryotes, confirming and extending previous observations. The assignment of proteins as ETC subunits by MS/MS provides important insights into the primary structures of ETC proteins and makes possible, through the use of sensitive profile-based similarity searches, the identification of novel constituents of the ETC along with the annotation of highly divergent but phylogenetically conserved ETC subunits.

  7. Acanthamoeba and other free-living amoebae in bat guano, an extreme habitat.

    PubMed

    Mulec, Janez; Dietersdorfer, Elisabeth; Üstüntürk-Onan, Miray; Walochnik, Julia

    2016-04-01

    Several representatives of the so-called free-living amoebae (FLA) are of medical relevance, not only as facultative pathogens but also as vehicles for pathogenic bacteria. Some FLA can survive and even grow under extreme environmental conditions. Bat guano is an exceptional habitat, the conditions becoming gradually more extreme with aging. In the current study, samples of bat guano of different ages from five caves in Slovenia were screened for the presence of FLA. FLA were isolated from almost all guano samples, including guano with a pH of 3.5. Only the two samples that had been drawn from >20-year-old guano were negative for FLA. Generally, FLA diversity correlated to high concentrations of cultivable bacteria (∼10(8) CFU/g) and fungi (∼10(5) CFU/g). Interestingly, the absence of FLA in seasoned guanos was mirrored by the presence of dictyostelid slime moulds. The isolated amoebae were identified as belonging to the genera Acanthamoeba, Copromyxa, Naegleria, Sappinia, Tetramitus, Thecamoeba, Vahlkampfia, Vannella and Vermamoeba. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study on the diversity of FLA in guano. PMID:26678653

  8. Inhibition of Acanthamoeba myosin I heavy chain kinase by Ca(2+)-calmodulin.

    PubMed

    Brzeska, H; Kulesza-Lipka, D; Korn, E D

    1992-11-25

    The actin-activated Mg(2+)-ATPase activity of Acanthamoeba myosins I depends on phosphorylation of their single heavy chains by myosin I heavy chain kinase. Kinase activity is enhanced > 50-fold by autophosphorylation at multiple sites. The rate of kinase autophosphorylation is increased approximately 20-fold by acidic phospholipids independent of the presence of Ca2+ and diglycerides. We show in this paper that Ca(2+)-calmodulin inhibits phospholipid-stimulated autophosphorylation of myosin I heavy chain kinase and hence also inhibits the catalytic activity of unphosphorylated kinase in the presence of phospholipid. Ca(2+)-calmodulin does not inhibit kinase activity in the absence of phospholipid. Micromolar Ca(2+)-calmodulin also inhibits binding of myosin I heavy chain kinase to phospholipid vesicles and purified plasma membranes. Proteolytic removal of a 7-kDa NH2-terminal segment from the 97-kDa kinase prevents binding of both calmodulin and phospholipid; therefore, we propose that they bind to the same or overlapping sites. These data provide a mechanism by which Ca2+ could inhibit the actin-activated Mg(2+)-ATPase activity of the myosin I isozymes in vivo and thus regulate myosin I-dependent motile activities. PMID:1331103

  9. Apoptosis-like cell death induced by Salmonella in Acanthamoeba rhysodes.

    PubMed

    Feng, Ye; Hsiao, Yi-Hsing; Chen, Hsiu-Ling; Chu, Chishih; Tang, Petrus; Chiu, Cheng-Hsun

    2009-08-01

    Free-living amoebae act as environmental hosts of several intracellular pathogens. We examined the interaction between Acanthamoeba rhysodes and Salmonella, a human intracellular pathogen. There was no difference among three different serovars of Salmonella in terms of their growth within A. rhysodes over time. The number of intracellular bacteria increased at 6 h post-infection, and the viability of A. rhysodes was significantly reduced at 24 h post-infection. Amoebic cell death was characterized by TUNEL and Annexin V assay, without DNA ladder identified, indicating an apoptosis-like cell death in Salmonella-infected A. rhysodes. Global gene expression screening between intracellular and extracellular Salmonella by microarray and quantitative PCR showed that genes from Salmonella pathogenicity islands and virulence plasmid were up-regulated within A. rhysodes. The phase-dependent expression pattern suggests their distinct roles in the pathogenesis. A. rhysodes and Salmonella provide a model to study transient symbiosis between bacterial pathogens and protozoa in an aquatic ecosystem.

  10. Use of Subgenic 18S Ribosomal DNA PCR and Sequencing for Genus and Genotype Identification of Acanthamoebae from Humans with Keratitis and from Sewage Sludge

    PubMed Central

    Schroeder, Jill M.; Booton, Gregory C.; Hay, John; Niszl, Ingrid A.; Seal, David V.; Markus, Miles B.; Fuerst, Paul A.; Byers, Thomas J.

    2001-01-01

    This study identified subgenic PCR amplimers from 18S rDNA that were (i) highly specific for the genus Acanthamoeba, (ii) obtainable from all known genotypes, and (iii) useful for identification of individual genotypes. A 423- to 551-bp Acanthamoeba-specific amplimer ASA.S1 obtained with primers JDP1 and JDP2 was the most reliable for purposes i and ii. A variable region within this amplimer also identified genotype clusters, but purpose iii was best achieved with sequencing of the genotype-specific amplimer GTSA.B1. Because this amplimer could be obtained from any eukaryote, axenic Acanthamoeba cultures were required for its study. GTSA.B1, produced with primers CRN5 and 1137, extended between reference bp 1 and 1475. Genotypic identification relied on three segments: bp 178 to 355, 705 to 926, and 1175 to 1379. ASA.S1 was obtained from single amoeba, from cultures of all known 18S rDNA genotypes, and from corneal scrapings of Scottish patients with suspected Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK). The AK PCR findings were consistent with culture results for 11 of 15 culture-positive specimens and detected Acanthamoeba in one of nine culture-negative specimens. ASA.S1 sequences were examined for 6 of the 11 culture-positive isolates and were most closely associated with genotypic cluster T3-T4-T11. A similar distance analysis using GTSA.B1 sequences identified nine South African AK-associated isolates as genotype T4 and three isolates from sewage sludge as genotype T5. Our results demonstrate the usefulness of 18S ribosomal DNA PCR amplimers ASA.S1 and GTSA.B1 for Acanthamoeba-specific detection and reliable genotyping, respectively, and provide further evidence that T4 is the predominant genotype in AK. PMID:11326011

  11. Contact lens care solution killing efficacy against Acanthamoeba castellanii by in vitro testing and live-imaging.

    PubMed

    Kolar, Satya Sree N; Manarang, Joseph C; Burns, Alan R; Miller, William L; McDermott, Alison M; Bergmanson, Jan P G

    2015-12-01

    In the past decade there has been an increased incidence of Acanthamoeba keratitis, particularly in contact lens wearers. The aim of this study was to utilize in vitro killing assays and to establish a novel, time-lapse, live-cell imaging methodology to demonstrate the efficacy of contact lens care solutions in eradicating Acanthamoeba castellanii (A. castellanii) trophozoites and cysts. Standard qualitative and quantitative in vitro assays were performed along with novel time-lapse imaging coupled with fluorescent dye staining that signals cell death. Quantitative data obtained demonstrated that 3% non-ophthalmic hydrogen peroxide demonstrated the highest percent killing at 87.4% corresponding to a 4.4 log kill. The other contact lens care solutions which showed a 72.9 to 29.2% killing which was consistent with 4.3-2.8 log reduction in trophozoite viability. Both analytical approaches revealed that polyquaternium/PHMB-based was the least efficacious in terms of trophicidal activity. The cysticidal activity of the solutions was much less than activity against trophozoites and frequently was not detected. Live-imaging provided a novel visual endpoint for characterizing the trophocidal activity of the care solutions. All solutions caused rapid rounding or pseudocyst formation of the trophozoites, reduced motility and the appearance of different morphotypes. Polyquaternium/alexidine-based and peroxide-based lens care system induced the most visible damage indicated by significant accumulation of debris from ruptured cells. Polyquaternium/PHMB-based was the least effective showing rounding of the cells but minimal death. These observations are in keeping with care solution biocides having prominent activity at the plasma membrane of Acanthamoeba.

  12. Contact lens care solution killing efficacy against Acanthamoeba castellanii by in vitro testing and live-imaging.

    PubMed

    Kolar, Satya Sree N; Manarang, Joseph C; Burns, Alan R; Miller, William L; McDermott, Alison M; Bergmanson, Jan P G

    2015-12-01

    In the past decade there has been an increased incidence of Acanthamoeba keratitis, particularly in contact lens wearers. The aim of this study was to utilize in vitro killing assays and to establish a novel, time-lapse, live-cell imaging methodology to demonstrate the efficacy of contact lens care solutions in eradicating Acanthamoeba castellanii (A. castellanii) trophozoites and cysts. Standard qualitative and quantitative in vitro assays were performed along with novel time-lapse imaging coupled with fluorescent dye staining that signals cell death. Quantitative data obtained demonstrated that 3% non-ophthalmic hydrogen peroxide demonstrated the highest percent killing at 87.4% corresponding to a 4.4 log kill. The other contact lens care solutions which showed a 72.9 to 29.2% killing which was consistent with 4.3-2.8 log reduction in trophozoite viability. Both analytical approaches revealed that polyquaternium/PHMB-based was the least efficacious in terms of trophicidal activity. The cysticidal activity of the solutions was much less than activity against trophozoites and frequently was not detected. Live-imaging provided a novel visual endpoint for characterizing the trophocidal activity of the care solutions. All solutions caused rapid rounding or pseudocyst formation of the trophozoites, reduced motility and the appearance of different morphotypes. Polyquaternium/alexidine-based and peroxide-based lens care system induced the most visible damage indicated by significant accumulation of debris from ruptured cells. Polyquaternium/PHMB-based was the least effective showing rounding of the cells but minimal death. These observations are in keeping with care solution biocides having prominent activity at the plasma membrane of Acanthamoeba. PMID:26208952

  13. Free-living Acanthamoeba and Naegleria spp. amebae in water sources of León, Nicaragua.

    PubMed

    Leiva, Byron; Clasdotter, Emma; Linder, Ewert; Winiecka-Krusnell, Jadwiga

    2008-06-01

    Free-living amebae (FLA) are known to occur worldwide in water-related biotopes, but only limited information is available on these organisms in developing countries and so far no information on their presence is available from Nicaragua. The aims of this study were to evaluate the prevalence of potentially pathogenic Acanthamoeba spp. and Naegleria spp. in different water sources to which the population of Le6n municipality is exposed. Since pathogenic amebae are thermotolerant, we were especially interested in the occurrence of FLA in geothermal areas. Water samples were collected from Le6n area in Nicaragua: 88 samples were from rivers and springs, 111 from wells, 74 from water taps and 21 from water tanks in urban and suburban Le6n and from three nearby geothermal areas of San Jacinto, Posoltega and Tipitapa. Amebae were identified using morphological and physiological criteria, immunohistochemical staining procedures and molecular methods. Indirect immunofluorescent test was performed on cysts and trophozoites fixed on microscopical slides and incubated for 30 min at room temperature in separate experiments with the following antibodies: rabbit-anti N fowleri/N lovanensis (Nf-Pab), mouse monoclonal antibody anti N. fowleri (Nf-5D12u), rabbit antibodies against Acanthamoeba spp. And fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) was performed using 18S rRNA-targeted fluorescent oligonucleotide probes. Probes: GSP for the detection of Acanthamoeba and NAEG1088 for the detection of Naegleria. Free-living amebae were recovered from approximately 43 % of the samples. Acanthamoeba spp was found in 21% of samples from León municipality and in 2% of samples from geothermal areas. Amoeboflagellates were found in 10 % of samples from Le6n and in 19% in geothermal areas. Fifty three percent of tested wells in the geothermal area contained thermotolerant amoeboflagellates. Naegleria spp. was identified in 24 out of 39 (61.5 %) of isolated amoeboflagellates. Twelve of them were

  14. Quantification and Characterization of Phagocytosis in the Soil Amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii by Flow Cytometry

    PubMed Central

    Avery, S. V.; Harwood, J. L.; Lloyd, D.

    1995-01-01

    Phagocytosis in the common grazing soil amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii was characterized by flow cytometry. Uptake of fluorescently labelled latex microbeads by cells was quantified by appropriate setting of thresholds on light scatter channels and, subsequently, on fluorescence histograms. Confocal laser scanning microscopy was used to verify the effectiveness of sodium azide as a control for distinguishing between cell surface binding and internalization of beads. It was found that binding of beads at the cell surface was complete within 5 min and 80% of cells had beads associated with them after 10 min. However, the total number of phagocytosed beads continued to rise up to 2 h. The prolonged increase in numbers of beads phagocytosed was due to cell populations containing increasing numbers of beads peaking at increasing time intervals from the onset of phagocytosis. Fine adjustment of thresholds on light scatter channels was used to fractionate cells according to cell volume (cell cycle stage). Phagocytotic activity was approximately threefold higher in the largest (oldest) than in the smallest (newly divided) cells of A. castellanii and showed some evidence of periodicity. At no stage in the cell cycle did phagocytosis cease. Binding and phagocytosis of beads were also markedly influenced by culture age and rate of rotary agitation of cell suspensions. Saturation of phagocytosis (per cell) at increasing bead or decreasing cell concentrations occurred at bead/cell ratios exceeding 10:1. This was probably a result of a limitation of the vacuolar uptake system of A. castellanii, as no saturation of bead binding was evident. The advantages of flow cytometry for characterization of phagocytosis at the single-cell level in heterogeneous protozoal populations and the significance of the present results are discussed. PMID:16534962

  15. The efficacy of simulated solar disinfection (SODIS) against Ascaris, Giardia, Acanthamoeba, Naegleria, Entamoeba and Cryptosporidium.

    PubMed

    Heaselgrave, Wayne; Kilvington, Simon

    2011-08-01

    The antimicrobial activity of simulated solar disinfection (SODIS) in the presence and absence of riboflavin against various protozoa and helminth organisms was investigated in this study. Assays were conducted in transparent 12 well microtitre plates containing a suspension of test organisms in the presence or absence of 250 μM riboflavin. Plates were exposed to simulated sunlight at an optical irradiance of 550 Wm(-2) (watts per square metre) delivered from a SUNTEST™ CPS+ solar simulator. Aliquots of the test suspensions were taken at set time points and the viability of the test organisms was determined by either culture, microscopy or flow cytometry where applicable. With Acanthamoeba, Naegleria, Entamoeba and Giardia exposure to SODIS at an optical irradiance of 550 Wm(-2) for up to 6h resulted in significant inactivation of these organisms. The addition of riboflavin to this system significantly increased the level of inactivation observed with cysts of A. castellanii. With Cryptosporidium oocysts and Ascaris ova exposure to SODIS in the presence and absence of riboflavin for 6-8h resulted in a negligible reduction in viability of both organisms. In this present study we have been able to show that SODIS is effective against a variety of previously untested waterborne organisms and with A. castellanii cysts the addition of micro-molar concentrations of riboflavin can enhance cyst inactivation. However, care must be taken as Ascaris larvae continue to develop inside the ova after exposure to SODIS and Cryptosporidium remain impermeable to propidium iodide staining indicating they may still be infectious.

  16. Draft Genome Sequence of High-Temperature-Adapted Protochlamydia sp. HS-T3, an Amoebal Endosymbiotic Bacterium Found in Acanthamoeba Isolated from a Hot Spring in Japan.

    PubMed

    Yamaguchi, Hiroyuki; Matsuo, Junji; Yamazaki, Tomohiro; Ishida, Kasumi; Yagita, Kenji

    2015-02-05

    Here, we report the draft genome sequence of high-temperature-adapted Protochlamydia sp. strain HS-T3, an environmental chlamydia. This bacterium is an amoebal endosymbiont, found in Acanthamoeba isolated from a hot spring in Japan. Strain HS-T3 readily grew in mammalian cells at 37°C, a characteristic not previously reported for environmental chlamydiae.

  17. [The effect of silica on the development of experimental Acanthamoeba meningoencephalitis with reference to the macrophage role in mice].

    PubMed

    Lee, H S; Shin, H J; La, M S; Im, K

    1994-12-01

    The role of macrophages was observed in intranasally infected C3H/HeJ mice with trophozoites (3 x 10(5)) of Acanthamoeba culbertsoni which was a kind of free-living amoebae inducing meningoencephalitis in human and experimental animals. The mortality was 60% in the group of intraperitoneally injected mice with silica (0.5 mg/0.5 ml). It was much higher than that of 10% in the group of amoeba infected mice without silica administration. The phagocytic index of peritoneal macrophages co-cultured with Toxoplasma gondii was estimated daily. In contrast to the control and amoeba infected group which didn't show significant fluctuation of the phagocytic indices, the silica administrated group revealed under 3% until day 3, and gradual increase up to 24.7% in day 5 which was same level of amoeba infected group without silica administration. The level of interleukin-1b (IL-1b) measured by ELISA was the highest in the amoeba infected group without silica injection and the lowest in the amoeba infected group with silica administration. In the test of the amoebicidal activity of mice peritoneal macrophages in vitro, silica administration revealed reducing effect on amoebicidal activity of macrophages. In conclusion, macrophages were proven to play a significant role in defense mechanism against the development of experimentally induced Acanthamoeba meningoencephalitis. PMID:7834243

  18. Morphological characteristics of developmental stages of Acanthamoeba and Naegleria species before and after staining by various techniques.

    PubMed

    Ithoi, Init; Ahmad, Arine-Fadzlun; Mak, J W; Nissapatorn, Veeranoot; Lau, Yee-Ling; Mahmud, Rohela

    2011-11-01

    Seven stains were studied to determine the best color and contrast for staining the developmental stages of free living pathogenic Acanthamoeba and Naegleria species. The acid-fast bacilli stain (AFB) produced a blue color without contrast; trichrome-eosin and modified Field's showed various color contrasts; Giemsa, iron-hematoxylin, modified AFB and Gram produced only one color which distinguished the nucleus, nucleolus, cytoplasm, food- and water-vacuoles. The motile organs (acanthopodia, pseudopodia, lobopodia and flagella) were also clearly differentiated but produced a similar color as the cytoplasm. These motile organelles were first induced by incubating at 37 degrees C for at least 15 minutes and then fixing with methanol in order to preserve the protruding morphology prior to staining. The trichrome-eosin and iron-hematoxylin stains showed good color contrast for detecting all three stages, the trophozoite, cyst and flagellate; Giemsa and Gram stained the trophozoite and flagellate stages; the modified Field's and modified AFB stains stained only the trophozoite stage. Depending on the purpose, all these stains (except the AFB stain) can be used to identify the developmental stages of Acanthamoeba and Naegleria for clinical, epidemiological or public health use.

  19. Multiplex real-time PCR assay for simultaneous detection of Acanthamoeba spp., Balamuthia mandrillaris, and Naegleria fowleri.

    PubMed

    Qvarnstrom, Yvonne; Visvesvara, Govinda S; Sriram, Rama; da Silva, Alexandre J

    2006-10-01

    Infections caused by Naegleria fowleri, Acanthamoeba spp., and Balamuthia mandrillaris occur throughout the world and pose many diagnostic challenges. To date, at least 440 cases of severe central nervous system infections caused by these amebas have been documented worldwide. Rapid and specific identification of these free-living amebas in clinical samples is of crucial importance for efficient case management. We have developed a triplex real-time TaqMan PCR assay that can simultaneously identify Acanthamoeba spp., B. mandrillaris, and N. fowleri in the same PCR vessel. The assay was validated with 22 well-characterized amebic strains harvested from cultures and nine clinical specimens that were previously characterized by in vitro culture and/or immunofluorescence assay. The triplex assay demonstrated high specificity and a rapid test completion time of less than 5 h from the reception of the specimen in the laboratory. This assay was able to detect one single ameba per sample analyzed, as determined with cerebrospinal fluid spiked with diluted cultured amebas. This assay could become useful for fast laboratory diagnostic assessment of amebic infections (caused by free-living amebas) in laboratories with adequate infrastructure to perform real-time PCR testing.

  20. Acanthamoeba castellanii Genotype T4 Stimulates the Production of Interleukin-10 as Well as Proinflammatory Cytokines in THP-1 Cells, Human Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells, and Human Monocyte-Derived Macrophages.

    PubMed

    Mattana, Antonella; Sanna, Manuela; Cano, Antonella; Delogu, Giuseppe; Erre, Giuseppe; Roberts, Craig W; Henriquez, Fiona L; Fiori, Pier Luigi; Cappuccinelli, Piero

    2016-10-01

    Free-living amoebae of the genus Acanthamoeba can cause severe and chronic infections in humans, mainly localized in immune privileged sites, such as the brain and the eye. Monocytes/macrophages are thought to be involved in Acanthamoeba infections, but little is known about how these facultative parasites influence their functions. The aim of this work was to investigate the effects of Acanthamoeba on human monocytes/macrophages during the early phase of infection. Here, THP-1 cells, primary human monocytes isolated from peripheral blood, and human monocyte-derived macrophages were either coincubated with trophozoites of a clinical isolate of Acanthamoeba (genotype T4) or stimulated with amoeba-derived cell-free conditioned medium. Production of proinflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor alpha [TNF-α], interleukin-6 [IL-6], and IL-12), anti-inflammatory cytokine (IL-10), and chemokine (IL-8) was evaluated at specific hours poststimulation (ranging from 1.5 h to 23 h). We showed that both Acanthamoeba trophozoites and soluble amoebic products induce an early anti-inflammatory monocyte-macrophage phenotype, characterized by significant production of IL-10; furthermore, challenge with either trophozoites or their soluble metabolites stimulate both proinflammatory cytokines and chemokine production, suggesting that this protozoan infection results from the early induction of coexisting, opposed immune responses. Results reported in this paper confirm that the production of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines by monocytes and macrophages can play a role in the development of the inflammatory response during Acanthamoeba infections. Furthermore, we demonstrate for the first time that Acanthamoeba stimulates IL-10 production in human innate immune cells, which might both promote the immune evasion of Acanthamoeba and limit the induced inflammatory response. PMID:27481240

  1. Acanthamoeba castellanii Genotype T4 Stimulates the Production of Interleukin-10 as Well as Proinflammatory Cytokines in THP-1 Cells, Human Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells, and Human Monocyte-Derived Macrophages

    PubMed Central

    Sanna, Manuela; Cano, Antonella; Delogu, Giuseppe; Erre, Giuseppe; Roberts, Craig W.; Henriquez, Fiona L.; Fiori, Pier Luigi; Cappuccinelli, Piero

    2016-01-01

    Free-living amoebae of the genus Acanthamoeba can cause severe and chronic infections in humans, mainly localized in immune privileged sites, such as the brain and the eye. Monocytes/macrophages are thought to be involved in Acanthamoeba infections, but little is known about how these facultative parasites influence their functions. The aim of this work was to investigate the effects of Acanthamoeba on human monocytes/macrophages during the early phase of infection. Here, THP-1 cells, primary human monocytes isolated from peripheral blood, and human monocyte-derived macrophages were either coincubated with trophozoites of a clinical isolate of Acanthamoeba (genotype T4) or stimulated with amoeba-derived cell-free conditioned medium. Production of proinflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor alpha [TNF-α], interleukin-6 [IL-6], and IL-12), anti-inflammatory cytokine (IL-10), and chemokine (IL-8) was evaluated at specific hours poststimulation (ranging from 1.5 h to 23 h). We showed that both Acanthamoeba trophozoites and soluble amoebic products induce an early anti-inflammatory monocyte-macrophage phenotype, characterized by significant production of IL-10; furthermore, challenge with either trophozoites or their soluble metabolites stimulate both proinflammatory cytokines and chemokine production, suggesting that this protozoan infection results from the early induction of coexisting, opposed immune responses. Results reported in this paper confirm that the production of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines by monocytes and macrophages can play a role in the development of the inflammatory response during Acanthamoeba infections. Furthermore, we demonstrate for the first time that Acanthamoeba stimulates IL-10 production in human innate immune cells, which might both promote the immune evasion of Acanthamoeba and limit the induced inflammatory response. PMID:27481240

  2. Effects of harmful cyanobacteria on the freshwater pathogenic free-living amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    PubMed

    Urrutia-Cordero, Pablo; Agha, Ramsy; Cirés, Samuel; Lezcano, María Ángeles; Sánchez-Contreras, María; Waara, Karl-Otto; Utkilen, Hans; Quesada, Antonio

    2013-04-15

    Grazing is a major regulating factor in cyanobacterial population dynamics and, subsequently, considerable effort has been spent on investigating the effects of cyanotoxins on major metazoan grazers. However, protozoan grazers such as free-living amoebae can also feed efficiently on cyanobacteria, while simultaneously posing a major threat for public health as parasites of humans and potential reservoirs of opportunistic pathogens. In this study, we conducted several experiments in which the freshwater amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii was exposed to pure microcystin-LR (MC-LR) and six cyanobacterial strains, three MC-producing strains (MC-LR, MC-RR, MC-YR, MC-WR, [Dha7] MC-RR) and three strains containing other oligopeptides such as anabaenopeptins and cyanopeptolins. Although the exposure to high concentrations of pure MC-LR yielded no effects on amoeba, all MC-producing strains inflicted high mortality rates on amoeba populations, suggesting that toxic effects must be mediated through the ingestion of toxic cells. Interestingly, an anabaenopeptin-producing strain caused the greatest inhibition of amoeba growth, indicating that toxic bioactive compounds other than MCs are of great importance for amoebae grazers. Confocal scanning microscopy revealed different alterations in amoeba cytoskeleton integrity and as such, the observed declines in amoeba densities could have indeed been caused via a cascade of cellular events primarily triggered by oligopeptides with protein-phosphatase inhibition capabilities such as MCs or anabaenopeptins. Moreover, inducible-defense mechanisms such as the egestion of toxic, MC-producing cyanobacterial cells and the increase of resting stages (encystation) in amoebae co-cultivated with all cyanobacterial strains were observed in our experiments. Consequently, cyanobacterial strains showed different susceptibilities to amoeba grazing which were possibly influenced by the potentiality of their toxic secondary metabolites. Hence, this

  3. Multiplication of different Legionella species in Mono Mac 6 cells and in Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    PubMed Central

    Neumeister, B; Schöniger, S; Faigle, M; Eichner, M; Dietz, K

    1997-01-01

    Survival and distribution of legionellae in the environment are assumed to be associated with their multiplication in amoebae, whereas the ability to multiply in macrophages is usually regarded to correspond to pathogenicity. Since most investigations focused on Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1, we examined the intracellular multiplication of different Legionella species in Mono Mac 6 cells, which express phenotypic and functional features of mature monocytes, and in Acanthamoeba castellanii, an environmental host of Legionella spp. According to the bacterial doubling time in Mono Mac 6 cells and in A. castellanii, seven clusters of legionellae could be defined which could be split further with regard to finer differences. L. longbeachae serogroup 1, L. jordanis, and L. anisa were not able to multiply in either A. castellanii or Mono Mac 6 cells and are members of the first cluster. L. dumoffi did not multiply in Mono Mac 6 cells but showed a delayed multiplication in A. castellanii 72 h after infection and is the only member of the second cluster. L. steigerwaltii, L. gormanii, L. pneumophila serogroup 6 ATCC 33215, L. bozemanii, and L. micdadei showed a stable bacterial count in Mono Mac 6 cells after infection but a decreasing count in amoebae. They can be regarded as members of the third cluster. As the only member of the fourth cluster, L. oakridgensis was able to multiply slight in Mono Mac 6 cells but was killed within amoebae. A strain of L. pneumophila serogroup 1 Philadelphia obtained after 30 passages on SMH agar and a strain of L. pneumophila serogroup 1 Philadelphia obtained after intraperitoneal growth in guinea pigs are members of the fifth cluster, which showed multiplication in Mono Mac 6 cells but a decrease of bacterial counts in A. castellanii. The sixth cluster is characterized by intracellular multiplication in both host cell systems and consists of several strains of L. pneumophila serogroup 1 Philadelphia, a strain of L. pneumophila

  4. Antimicrobial activity of simulated solar disinfection against bacterial, fungal, and protozoan pathogens and its enhancement by riboflavin.

    PubMed

    Heaselgrave, Wayne; Kilvington, Simon

    2010-09-01

    Riboflavin significantly enhanced the efficacy of simulated solar disinfection (SODIS) at 150 watts per square meter (W m(-2)) against a variety of microorganisms, including Escherichia coli, Fusarium solani, Candida albicans, and Acanthamoeba polyphaga trophozoites (>3 to 4 log(10) after 2 to 6 h; P < 0.001). With A. polyphaga cysts, the kill (3.5 log(10) after 6 h) was obtained only in the presence of riboflavin and 250 W m(-2) irradiance.

  5. Antimicrobial activity of simulated solar disinfection against bacterial, fungal, and protozoan pathogens and its enhancement by riboflavin.

    PubMed

    Heaselgrave, Wayne; Kilvington, Simon

    2010-09-01

    Riboflavin significantly enhanced the efficacy of simulated solar disinfection (SODIS) at 150 watts per square meter (W m(-2)) against a variety of microorganisms, including Escherichia coli, Fusarium solani, Candida albicans, and Acanthamoeba polyphaga trophozoites (>3 to 4 log(10) after 2 to 6 h; P < 0.001). With A. polyphaga cysts, the kill (3.5 log(10) after 6 h) was obtained only in the presence of riboflavin and 250 W m(-2) irradiance. PMID:20639371

  6. Antimicrobial Activity of Simulated Solar Disinfection against Bacterial, Fungal, and Protozoan Pathogens and Its Enhancement by Riboflavin▿

    PubMed Central

    Heaselgrave, Wayne; Kilvington, Simon

    2010-01-01

    Riboflavin significantly enhanced the efficacy of simulated solar disinfection (SODIS) at 150 watts per square meter (W m−2) against a variety of microorganisms, including Escherichia coli, Fusarium solani, Candida albicans, and Acanthamoeba polyphaga trophozoites (>3 to 4 log10 after 2 to 6 h; P < 0.001). With A. polyphaga cysts, the kill (3.5 log10 after 6 h) was obtained only in the presence of riboflavin and 250 W m−2 irradiance. PMID:20639371

  7. Acanthamoeba castellanii of the T4 genotype is a potential environmental host for Enterobacter aerogenes and Aeromonas hydrophila

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Acanthamoeba can interact with a wide range of microorganisms such as viruses, algae, yeasts, protists and bacteria including Legionella pneumophila, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Vibrio cholerae, Helicobacter pylori, Listeria monocytogenes, Mycobacterium spp., and Escherichia coli. In this capacity, Acanthamoeba has been suggested as a vector in the transmission of bacterial pathogens to the susceptible hosts. Methods Here, we used a keratitis isolate of A. castellanii of the T4 genotype and studied its interactions with two bacterial genera which have not been tested before, Enterobacter aerogenes, and Aeromonas hydrophila, as well as E. coli. Assays were performed to determine bacterial association with and invasion of A. castellanii. Additionally, bacterial survival intracellular of A. castellanii trophozoites as well as cysts was determined. Results All three bacterial isolates tested, associated, invaded, and survived inside A. castellanii trophozoites as well as A. castellanii cysts. However, E. aerogenes and E. coli exhibited significantly reduced association with and invasion of A. castellanii as compared with A. hydrophila (P < 0.01 using paired T-test, one tail distribution). In the long term survival assays, all three bacterial isolates tested remained viable inside A. castellanii trophozoites, while amoeba remained intact; however A. hydrophila exhibited higher survival inside amoebae (14.54 ± 3.3 bacteria:amoeba ratio) compared with E. aerogenes (3.96 ± 0.7 bacteria:amoeba ratio) and E. coli (5.85 ± 1.1 bacteria:amoeba ratio). A. hydrophila, E. coli, and E. aerogenes remained viable during the encystment process and exhibited higher levels of recovery from mature cysts (14.13 ± 0.89 A. hydrophila:amoeba ratio, 10.13 ± 1.17 E. aerogenes:amoeba ratio, and 11.95 ± 0.7 E. coli:amoeba ratio). Conclusions A. hydrophila and E. aerogenes also joined the ranks of other bacteria that could benefit from A. castellanii

  8. By Releasing ADP, Acanthamoeba castellanii Causes an Increase in the Cytosolic Free Calcium Concentration and Apoptosis in Wish Cells

    PubMed Central

    Mattana, A.; Tozzi, M. G.; Costa, M.; Delogu, G.; Fiori, P. L.; Cappuccinelli, P.

    2001-01-01

    The role played by soluble molecules that may participate in acanthamoebal cytopathogenicity has yet to be fully characterized. We demonstrate here that Acanthamoeba castellanii trophozoites constitutively release ADP in the medium. Cell-free supernatants prepared from A. castellanii, by interaction with specific P2y2 purinoceptors expressed on the Wish cell membrane, caused a biphasic rise in [Ca2+]i, extensive cell membrane blebbing, cytoskeletal disorganization, and the breakdown of nuclei. Cell damage induced by amoebic supernatants was blocked by the P2y2 inhibitor Suramin. The same results were found in Wish cells exposed to purified ADP. These findings suggest that pathogenic free-living A. castellanii may have a cytopathic effect on human epithelial cells through ADP release, by a process that begins with a rise of cytosolic free-calcium concentration, and culminates in apoptosis. PMID:11349088

  9. Killing the dead: chemotherapeutic strategies against free-living cyst-forming protists (Acanthamoeba sp. and Balamuthia mandrillaris).

    PubMed

    Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah; Aqeel, Yousuf; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2013-01-01

    The opportunist free-living protists such as Acanthamoeba spp. and Balamuthia mandrillaris have become a serious threat to human life. As most available drugs target functional aspects of pathogens, the ability of free-living protists to transform into metabolically inactive cyst forms presents a challenge in treatment. It is hoped, that the development of broad spectrum antiprotist agents acting against multiple cyst-forming protists to provide target-directed inhibition will offer a viable drug strategy in the treatment of these rare infections. Here, we present a comprehensive report on upcoming drug targets, with emphasis on cyst wall biosynthesis along with the related biochemistry of encystment pathways, as we strive to bring ourselves a step closer to being able to combat these deadly diseases.

  10. Length variation in eukaryotic rRNAs: small subunit rRNAs from the protists Acanthamoeba castellanii and Euglena gracilis.

    PubMed

    Gunderson, J H; Sogin, M L

    1986-01-01

    We have sequenced the region of the Acanthamoeba castellanii ribosomal RNA transcription unit which encodes the mature small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU rRNA). It, like the SSU rRNA coding regions of Euglena gracilis and kinetoplastids, is approx. 30% larger than those reported from other eukaryotes. The extra nucleotides are present in highly variable regions of the rRNA genes. Direct sequence analysis of the corresponding variable regions in the rRNA of A. castellanii and E. gracilis demonstrates that the extra nucleotides are present in the mature rRNA; no post-transcriptional modification of the rRNAs occurs to reduce them to a size more typical of eukaryotes. The extra elements present in the rRNAs of these two organisms are not homologous; they have independent evolutionary origins.

  11. Effects of limited tryptic cleavage on the physical and enzymatic properties of myosin II from Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    PubMed

    Kuznicki, J; Atkinson, M A; Korn, E D

    1984-07-25

    Limited digestion of Acanthamoeba myosin II by trypsin selectively cleaved the 185,000-Da heavy chains into a 73,000-Da peptide containing the catalytic and actin-binding sites and a 112,000-Da peptide containing the regulatory phosphorylatable sites. The light chains were unaffected. The proteolytic products remained associated and formed bipolar filaments that were very similar in appearance to filaments of native myosin by negative staining electron microscopy. Filaments of trypsin-cleaved, dephosphorylated myosin, however, had a smaller sedimentation coefficient than filaments of native dephosphorylated myosin. Trypsin-cleaved dephosphorylated myosin retained complete Ca2+-ATPase activity but had no actin-activated ATPase activity under conditions that are optimal for native, dephosphorylated myosin (pH 7.0, 4 mM MgCl2, 30 degrees C or pH 6.4, 1 mM MgCl2, 30 degrees C). Trypsin-cleaved dephosphorylated myosin had higher actin-activated ATPase activity at pH 6.0 and 1 mM MgCl2 than undigested dephosphorylated myosin which is appreciably inhibited under these conditions. Trypsin-cleaved, dephosphorylated myosin inhibited the actin-activated ATPase activity of native, dephosphorylated myosin when both were present in the same co-polymers, when enzymatic activity was assayed at pH 7.0, 4 mM MgCl2, and 30 degrees C, but this inhibition was overcome by raising the MgCl2 to 6 mM. These results provide additional evidence that regulation of acanthamoeba myosin II occurs at the filament level and that, under most conditions of assay, the heavy chains must be intact and the regulatory serines unphosphorylated for actin-activated ATPase activity to be maximally expressed. PMID:6235225

  12. Prevalence of potentially pathogenic free-living amoebae from Acanthamoeba and Naegleria genera in non-hospital, public, internal environments from the city of Santos, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Teixeira, Lais Helena; Rocha, Silvana; Pinto, Rosa Maria Ferreiro; Caseiro, Marcos Montani; Costa, Sergio Olavo Pinto da

    2009-12-01

    Acanthamoeba and Naegleria species are free-living amoebae (FLA) found in a large variety of natural habitats. The prevalence of such amoebae was determined from dust samples taken from public non-hospital internal environments with good standards of cleanliness from two campuses of the same University in the city of Santos (SP), Brazil, and where young and apparently healthy people circulate. The frequency of free-living amoebae in both campuses was 39% and 17% respectively, with predominance of the genus Acanthamoeba. On the campus with a much larger number of circulating individuals, the observed frequency of free-living amoebae was 2.29 times larger (P< 0.00005). Two trophozoite forms of Naegleria fowleri, are the only species of this genus known to cause primary amoebian meningoencephalitis, a rare and non-opportunistic infection. We assume that the high frequency of these organisms in different internal locations represents some kind of public health risk.

  13. Emerging Threats for Human Health in Poland: Pathogenic Isolates from Drug Resistant Acanthamoeba Keratitis Monitored in terms of Their In Vitro Dynamics and Temperature Adaptability

    PubMed Central

    Chomicz, Lidia; Conn, David Bruce; Padzik, Marcin; Szaflik, Jacek P.; Walochnik, Julia; Zawadzki, Paweł J.; Pawłowski, Witold; Dybicz, Monika

    2015-01-01

    Amphizoic amoebae generate a serious human health threat due to their pathogenic potential as facultative parasites, causative agents of vision-threatening Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK). Recently, AK incidences have been reported with increasing frequency worldwide, particularly in contact lens wearers. In our study, severe cases of AK in Poland and respective pathogenic isolates were assessed at clinical, morphological, and molecular levels. Misdiagnoses and the unsuccessful treatment in other ophthalmic units delayed suitable therapy, and resistance to applied chemicals resulted in severe courses and treatment difficulties. Molecular assessment indicated that all sequenced pathogenic corneal isolates deriving from Polish patients with AK examined by us showed 98–100% homology with Acanthamoeba genotype T4, the most prevalent genotype in this human ocular infection worldwide. In vitro assays revealed that the pathogenic strains are able to grow at elevated temperature and have a wide adaptive capability. This study is our subsequent in vitro investigation on pathogenic Acanthamoeba strains of AK originating from Polish patients. Further investigations designed to foster a better understanding of the factors leading to an increase of AK observed in the past years in Poland may help to prevent or at least better cope with future cases. PMID:26682216

  14. Effect of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs on biological properties of Acanthamoeba castellanii belonging to the T4 genotype.

    PubMed

    Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah; Lakhundi, Sahreena; Iqbal, Junaid; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2016-09-01

    Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, Diclofenac, targeting COX have shown promise in the treatment of Acanthamoeba keratitis, but the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. Using various NSAIDs, Diclofenac sodium, Indomethacin, and Acetaminophen, here we determined the effects of NSAIDs on the biological properties of Acanthamoeba castellanii belonging to the T4 genotype. Using amoebicidal assays, the results revealed that Diclofenac sodium, and Indomethacin affected growth of A. castellanii. In contrast, none of the compounds tested had any effect on the viability of A. castellanii. Importantly, all NSAIDs tested abolished A. castellanii encystation. This is a significant finding as the ability of amoebae to transform into the dormant cyst form presents a significant challenge in the successful treatment of infection. The NSAIDs inhibit production of cyclo-oxegenase, which regulates the synthesis of prostaglandins suggesting that cyclooxygenases (COX-1 and COX-2) and prostaglandins play significant role(s) in Acanthamoeba biology. As NSAIDs are routinely used in the clinical practice, these findings may help design improved preventative strategies and/or of therapeutic value to improve prognosis, when used in combination with other anti-amoebic drugs. PMID:27381503

  15. Intramolecular interaction in the tail of Acanthamoeba myosin IC between the SH3 domain and a putative pleckstrin homology domain

    PubMed Central

    Hwang, Kae-Jung; Mahmoodian, Fatemeh; Ferretti, James A.; Korn, Edward D.; Gruschus, James M.

    2007-01-01

    The 466-aa tail of the heavy chain of Acanthamoeba myosin IC (AMIC) comprises an N-terminal 220-residue basic region (BR) followed by a 56-residue Gly/Pro/Ala-rich region (GPA1), a 55-residue Src homology 3 (SH3) domain, and a C-terminal 135-residue Gly/Pro/Ala-rich region (GPA2). Cryo-electron microscopy of AMIC had shown previously that the AMIC tail is folded back on itself, suggesting the possibility of interactions between its N- and C-terminal regions. We now show specific differences between the NMR spectrum of bacterially expressed full-length tail and the sum of the spectra of individually expressed BR and GPA1-SH3-GPA2 (GSG) regions. These results are indicative of interactions between the two subdomains in the full-length tail. From the NMR data, we could assign many of the residues in BR and GSG that are involved in these interactions. By combining homology modeling with the NMR data, we identify a putative pleckstrin homology (PH) domain within BR, and show that the PH domain interacts with the SH3 domain. PMID:17215368

  16. Determinants that govern the recognition and uptake of Escherichia coli O157 : H7 by Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    PubMed

    Arnold, Jason W; Spacht, Drew; Koudelka, Gerald B

    2016-10-01

    Predation by phagocytic predators is a major source of bacterial mortality. The first steps in protozoan predation are recognition and consumption of their bacterial prey. However, the precise mechanisms governing prey recognition and phagocytosis by protists, and the identities of the molecular and cellular factors involved in these processes are, as yet, ill-characterized. Here, we show that that the ability of the phagocytic bacterivorous amoebae, Acanthamoeba castellanii, to recognize and internalize Escherichia coli, a bacterial prey, varies with LPS structure and composition. The presence of an O-antigen carbohydrate is not required for uptake of E. coli by A. castellanii. However, O1-antigen types, not O157 O-antigen types, inhibit recognition and uptake of bacteria by amoeba. This finding implies that O-antigen may function as an antipredator defence molecule. Recognition and uptake of E. coli by A. castellanii is mediated by the interaction of mannose-binding protein located on amoebae's surface with LPS carbohydrate. Phagocytic mammalian cells also use mannose-binding lectins to recognize and/or mediate phagocytosis of E. coli. Nonetheless, A. castellanii's mannose binding protein apparently displays no sequence similarity with any known metazoan mannose binding protein. Hence, the similarity in bacterial recognition mechanisms of amoebae and mammalian phagocytes may be a result of convergent evolution. PMID:26990156

  17. The TOM Complex of Amoebozoans: the Cases of the Amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii and the Slime Mold Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Wojtkowska, Małgorzata; Buczek, Dorota; Stobienia, Olgierd; Karachitos, Andonis; Antoniewicz, Monika; Slocinska, Małgorzata; Makałowski, Wojciech; Kmita, Hanna

    2015-07-01

    Protein import into mitochondria requires a wide variety of proteins, forming complexes in both mitochondrial membranes. The TOM complex (translocase of the outer membrane) is responsible for decoding of targeting signals, translocation of imported proteins across or into the outer membrane, and their subsequent sorting. Thus the TOM complex is regarded as the main gate into mitochondria for imported proteins. Available data indicate that mitochondria of representative organisms from across the major phylogenetic lineages of eukaryotes differ in subunit organization of the TOM complex. The subunit organization of the TOM complex in the Amoebozoa is still elusive, so we decided to investigate its organization in the soil amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii and the slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum. They represent two major subclades of the Amoebozoa: the Lobosa and Conosa, respectively. Our results confirm the presence of Tom70, Tom40 and Tom7 in the A. castellanii and D. discoideum TOM complex, while the presence of Tom22 and Tom20 is less supported. Interestingly, the Tom proteins display the highest similarity to Opisthokonta cognate proteins, with the exception of Tom40. Thus representatives of two major subclades of the Amoebozoa appear to be similar in organization of the TOM complex, despite differences in their lifestyle. PMID:26074248

  18. The TOM Complex of Amoebozoans: the Cases of the Amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii and the Slime Mold Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Wojtkowska, Małgorzata; Buczek, Dorota; Stobienia, Olgierd; Karachitos, Andonis; Antoniewicz, Monika; Slocinska, Małgorzata; Makałowski, Wojciech; Kmita, Hanna

    2015-07-01

    Protein import into mitochondria requires a wide variety of proteins, forming complexes in both mitochondrial membranes. The TOM complex (translocase of the outer membrane) is responsible for decoding of targeting signals, translocation of imported proteins across or into the outer membrane, and their subsequent sorting. Thus the TOM complex is regarded as the main gate into mitochondria for imported proteins. Available data indicate that mitochondria of representative organisms from across the major phylogenetic lineages of eukaryotes differ in subunit organization of the TOM complex. The subunit organization of the TOM complex in the Amoebozoa is still elusive, so we decided to investigate its organization in the soil amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii and the slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum. They represent two major subclades of the Amoebozoa: the Lobosa and Conosa, respectively. Our results confirm the presence of Tom70, Tom40 and Tom7 in the A. castellanii and D. discoideum TOM complex, while the presence of Tom22 and Tom20 is less supported. Interestingly, the Tom proteins display the highest similarity to Opisthokonta cognate proteins, with the exception of Tom40. Thus representatives of two major subclades of the Amoebozoa appear to be similar in organization of the TOM complex, despite differences in their lifestyle.

  19. Survival of Campylobacter jejuni in co-culture with Acanthamoeba castellanii: role of amoeba-mediated depletion of dissolved oxygen.

    PubMed

    Bui, Xuan Thanh; Winding, Anne; Qvortrup, Klaus; Wolff, Anders; Bang, Dang Duong; Creuzenet, Carole

    2012-08-01

    Campylobacter jejuni is a major cause of infectious diarrhoea worldwide but relatively little is known about its ecology. In this study, we examined its interactions with Acanthamoeba castellanii, a protozoan suspected to serve as a reservoir for bacterial pathogens. We observed rapid degradation of intracellular C.jejuni in A.castellanii 5 h post gentamicin treatment at 25°C. Conversely, we found that A.castellanii promoted the extracellular growth of C.jejuni in co-cultures at 37°C in aerobic conditions. This growth-promoting effect did not require amoebae - bacteria contact. The growth rates observed with or without contact with amoeba were similar to those observed when C.jejuni was grown in microaerophilic conditions. Preconditioned media prepared with live or dead amoebae cultivated with or without C.jejuni did not promote the growth of C.jejuni in aerobic conditions. Interestingly, the dissolved oxygen levels of co-cultures with or without amoebae - bacteria contact were much lower than those observed with culture media or with C.jejuni alone incubated in aerobic conditions, and were comparable with levels obtained after 24 h of growth of C.jejuni under microaerophilic conditions. Our studies identified the depletion of dissolved oxygen by A.castellanii as the major contributor for the observed amoeba-mediated growth enhancement. PMID:22176643

  20. Growth and Survival of Mesorhizobium loti Inside Acanthamoeba Enhanced Its Ability to Develop More Nodules on Lotus corniculatus.

    PubMed

    Karaś, Magdalena A; Turska-Szewczuk, Anna; Trapska, Dominika; Urbanik-Sypniewska, Teresa

    2015-08-01

    The importance of protozoa as environmental reservoirs of pathogens is well recognized, while their impact on survival and symbiotic properties of rhizobia has not been explored. The possible survival of free-living rhizobia inside amoebae could influence bacterial abundance in the rhizosphere of legume plants and the nodulation competitiveness of microsymbionts. Two well-characterized strains of Mesorhizobium: Mesorhizobium loti NZP2213 and Mesorhizobium huakuii symbiovar loti MAFF303099 were assayed for their growth ability within the Neff strain of Acanthamoeba castellanii. Although the association ability and the initial uptake rate of both strains were similar, recovery of viable M. huakuii MAFF303099 after 4 h postinfection decreased markedly and that of M. loti NZP2213 increased. The latter strain was also able to survive prolonged co-incubation within amoebae and to self-release from the amoeba cell. The temperature 28 °C and PBS were established as optimal for the uptake of Mesorhizobium by amoebae. The internalization of mesorhizobia was mediated by the mannose-dependent receptor. M. loti NZP2213 bacteria released from amoebae developed 1.5 times more nodules on Lotus corniculatus than bacteria cultivated in an amoebae-free medium.

  1. Survival of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli in the presence of Acanthamoeba castellanii and its dependence on Pho regulon

    PubMed Central

    Chekabab, Samuel Mohammed; Daigle, France; Charette, Steve J; Dozois, Charles M; Harel, Josée

    2012-01-01

    Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) are involved in outbreaks of food-borne illness and transmitted to humans through bovine products or water contaminated by cattle feces. Microbial interaction is one of the strategies used by pathogenic bacteria to survive in the environment. Among protozoa, the free-living amoebae are known to host and protect several water-borne pathogens. In this study, the interaction between EHEC and the predacious protozoa Acanthamoeba castellanii was investigated. Using monoculture and cocultures, growth of both organisms was estimated for 3 weeks by total and viable cell counts. The numbers of EHEC were significantly higher when cultured with amoebae than without, and less EHEC shifted into a viable but nonculturable state in the presence of amoebae. Using several mutants, we observed that the Pho regulon is required for EHEC growth when cocultured with amoebae. In contrast, the Shiga toxins (Stx) were not involved in this association phenotype. Cocultures monitored by electron microscopy revealed a loss of the regular rod shape of EHEC and the secretion of multilamellar vesicles by the amoebae, which did not contain bacteria. As the interaction between A. castellanii and EHEC appears beneficial for bacterial growth, this supports a potential role for protozoa in promoting the persistence of EHEC in the environment. PMID:23233434

  2. Determinants that govern the recognition and uptake of Escherichia coli O157 : H7 by Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    PubMed

    Arnold, Jason W; Spacht, Drew; Koudelka, Gerald B

    2016-10-01

    Predation by phagocytic predators is a major source of bacterial mortality. The first steps in protozoan predation are recognition and consumption of their bacterial prey. However, the precise mechanisms governing prey recognition and phagocytosis by protists, and the identities of the molecular and cellular factors involved in these processes are, as yet, ill-characterized. Here, we show that that the ability of the phagocytic bacterivorous amoebae, Acanthamoeba castellanii, to recognize and internalize Escherichia coli, a bacterial prey, varies with LPS structure and composition. The presence of an O-antigen carbohydrate is not required for uptake of E. coli by A. castellanii. However, O1-antigen types, not O157 O-antigen types, inhibit recognition and uptake of bacteria by amoeba. This finding implies that O-antigen may function as an antipredator defence molecule. Recognition and uptake of E. coli by A. castellanii is mediated by the interaction of mannose-binding protein located on amoebae's surface with LPS carbohydrate. Phagocytic mammalian cells also use mannose-binding lectins to recognize and/or mediate phagocytosis of E. coli. Nonetheless, A. castellanii's mannose binding protein apparently displays no sequence similarity with any known metazoan mannose binding protein. Hence, the similarity in bacterial recognition mechanisms of amoebae and mammalian phagocytes may be a result of convergent evolution.

  3. Characterization of a human-pathogenic Acanthamoeba griffini isolated from a contact lens-wearing keratitis patient in Spain.

    PubMed

    Heredero-Bermejo, I; Criado-Fornelio, A; De Fuentes, I; Soliveri, J; Copa-Patiño, J L; Pérez-Serrano, J

    2015-02-01

    Amoebae were isolated from contact lenses of a symptomatic lens wearer in Spain. Protozoa were characterized by studying their morphology, biology, protease activity and the 18S rRNA gene sequence. Morphology of the organism was observed by light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. Its structure corresponded to an amphizoic amoeba. The protozoa grew well at 37 °C and poorly at lower temperatures. In addition, it was capable of lysing mammalian cells in vitro. A major 56 kDa proteolytic enzyme was observed in amoeba crude extracts by gelatin-sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Most proteolytic enzymes in protozoa extracts showed significant activity over a wide range of pH (3-9) and temperature (8-45 °C) values. The assays on inhibition of protease activity indicated strongly that enzymes detected in amoeba extracts corresponded to serine proteases and, to a lesser extent, cysteine proteases. The use of proteinase inhibitors on a tissue culture model proved that the proteinase activity is critical for developing focal lesions in HeLa cell monolayers. Finally, partial sequencing of the 18S ribosomal RNA gene and phylogenetic analyses indicated that the isolate is closely related to Acanthamoeba griffini H37 from the UK (T3 genotype).

  4. Genotypic heterogeneity based on 18S-rRNA gene sequences among Acanthamoeba isolates from clinical samples in Italy.

    PubMed

    Di Cave, David; D' Alfonso, Rossella; Dussey Comlavi, Kodjo A; D' Orazi, Carlo; Monno, Rosa; Berrilli, Federica

    2014-11-01

    Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) is an ocular disease caused by members of a genus of free-living amoebae and it is associated predominantly with contact lens (CL) use. This study reports 55 cases of AK diagnosed in Italy. Genotype identification was carried out by PCR assay followed by sequence analysis of the 18S rRNA gene using the genus specific primers JDP1 and JDP2. Genotype assignment was based on phenetic analysis of the ASA.S1 subset of the small-subunit rRNA gene sequences. The material has been collected at the Polyclinic Tor Vergata of Rome for a total of 19 isolates and at the Polyclinic Hospital of Bari (36 isolates). Thirty-three out of the 55 genetically characterized isolates were assigned to the genotype T4. Ten isolates were identified as belonging to the genotype T15 thus confirming the first association between the genotype T15 and human amoebic keratitis previously described from the same area. We underline the occurrence of the genotype T3 and T11 identified for the first time in the country.

  5. Effect of a membrane-stabilizing compound on calcium binding to the plasma membrane of Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    PubMed

    Przełecka, A; Fritsch, R S; Wollweber, L; Sobota, A

    1980-01-01

    Binding of calcium ions at the plasma membrane was studied in Acanthamoeba cells pretreated with ZIMET 3164, a benzimidazole nitrogen mustard derivative, which is known to show a potent immunosuppressive action combined with a membrane-stabilizing effect in mice. For reference, 2 compounds were applied: ZIMET 3393 (Cytostasan¿), another benzimidazole mustard derivative, which exerts only a moderate membrane effect and acts as a strong cytostatic, and ZIMET 176/68, a barbituric acid derivative, which acts as an inhibitor of humoral immune responses but without membrane-stabilizing effect. Application of any of the 3 compounds does not reduce the appearance of calcium binding sites, visualized by means of ultracytochemical reaction, notwithstanding their different action in the mammalian organism. On the contrary, it was estimated by morphometric analysis that the number of Ca-dependent deposits was augmented after treatment with low doses of any of the 3 compounds, what seems to be connected with the induced metabolic disturbances in low molecular phosphates level. High doses and/or prolongation of treatment of the cells resulted in diminution of the number of deposits and induces profound disturbances in cell ultrastructure, probably due to the toxic action of the applied doses. In these cases, band-like structures crosslinking the two leaflets of the plasma membrane may be observed; it is suggested that they represent integral membrane proteins. PMID:6774578

  6. Amoebicidal activity of a preserved contact lens multipurpose disinfecting solution compared to a disinfection/neutralisation peroxide system.

    PubMed

    Buck, S L; Rosenthal, R A; Abshire, R L

    1998-01-01

    The amoebicidal activity of a contact lens multipurpose disinfecting solution (MPDS) containing polyquaternium-1 and myristamidopropyl dimethylamine was compared to a disinfection/neutralisation peroxide system against Acanthamoeba castellanii and Acanthamoeba polyphaga trophozoites and cysts. A quantitative microtitre method was used to evaluate the solutions. The MPDS showed similar amoebicidal activity to the disinfection/neutralisation peroxide system against the trophozoites of both species and equal or more rapid activity against the cysts of both species. PMID:16303382

  7. Tracking amino acid's uptake into the protozoan Acanthamoeba castellanii by stable-isotope labelling and Raman spectral imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naemat, Abida; Elsheikha, Hany M.; Notingher, Ioan

    2016-04-01

    The capacity of pathogens to acquire nutrients from their host cells is one of the most fundamental aspects of infection biology. Hence, measuring the patterns of nutrients' uptake by pathogens is essential for understanding the interactions of pathogens with eukaryotic host cells. In this study, we optimized a technique that allows fast and non-destructive measurement of the amino acid Phenylalanine (Phe) acquired by the trophozoite stage of the protozoan Acanthamoeba castellanii (A. castellanii) as they engage with individual human retinal pigment epithelial cells (ARPE-19). ARPE-19 host cells were pre-saturated with Deuterated Phe (L-Phe(D8)) to replace the native substrate Phe (L-Phe). The uptake of L-Phe(D8) by A. castellanii trophozoites was measured by Raman microspectroscopy. This approach allowed us to characterize the uptake patterns of this essential amino acid into A. castellanii trophozoites at a single cell level. At 24 hours post infection (PI) A. castellanii trophozoites are capable of salvaging L-Phe(D8) from host cells. The uptake pattern was time-dependent during the first 24 hours of infection and complete substitution with L-Phe(D8) in all parasites was detected at 48 hours PI. On the other hand, isolated A. castellanii trachyzoites (grown without host cells) did not show significant uptake for L-Phe(D8) from the media; only achieved an uptake ratio of 16-18% of L-Phe(D8) from the culture medium after 24 hours. These findings demonstrate the potential of combining Raman microspectroscopy and stable isotope labelling approaches to elucidate the role of metabolism in mediating A. castellanii interaction with host cells.

  8. Heavy chain of Acanthamoeba myosine IB is a fusion of myosin-like and non-myosin-like sequences

    SciTech Connect

    Jung, G.; Korn, E.D.; Hammer, J.A. III

    1987-10-01

    Acanthamoeba castellanii myosins IA and IB demonstrate the catalytic properties of a myosin and can support analogues of contractile and motile activity in vitro, but their single, low molecular weight heavy chains, roughly globular shapes, and inabilities to self-assemble into filaments make them structurally atypical myosins. The authors present the complete amino acid sequence of the 128-kDa myosin IB heavy chain, which they deduced from the nucleotide sequence of the gene and which reveals that the polypeptide is a fusion of myosin-like and non-myosin-like sequences. Specifically, the amino-terminal approx. 76 kDa of amino acid sequence is highly similar to the globular head sequences of conventional myosins. By contrast, the remaining approx. 51 kDa of sequence shows no similarity to any portion of conventional myosin sequences, contains regions that are rich in glycine, proline, and alanine residues, and lacks the distinctive sequence characteristics of an ..cap alpha..-helical, coiled-coil structure. They conclude, therefore, that the protein is composed of a myosin globular head fused not to the typical coiled-coil rod-like myosin tail structure but rather to an unusual carboxyl-terminal domain. These results support the conclusion that filamentous myosin is not required for force generation and provide a further perspective on the structural requirements for myosin function. Finally, they find a striking conservation of intron/exon structure between this gene and a vertebrate muscle myosin gene. They discuss this observation in relation to the evolutionary origin of the myosin IB gene and the antiquity of myosin gene intron/exon structure.

  9. The Salmonella pathogenicity island 2-encoded type III secretion system is essential for the survival of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium in free-living amoebae.

    PubMed

    Bleasdale, Benjamin; Lott, Penelope J; Jagannathan, Aparna; Stevens, Mark P; Birtles, Richard J; Wigley, Paul

    2009-03-01

    Free-living amoebae represent a potential reservoir and predator of Salmonella enterica. Through the use of type III secretion system (T3SS) mutants and analysis of transcription of selected T3SS genes, we demonstrated that the Salmonella pathogenicity island 2 is highly induced during S. enterica serovar Typhimurium infection of Acanthamoeba polyphaga and is essential for survival within amoebae.

  10. Differential growth of Legionella pneumophila strains within a range of amoebae at various temperatures associated with in-premise plumbing

    EPA Science Inventory

    The potential effect of in-premise plumbing temperatures (24, 32, 37 and 41 °C) on the growth of five different L. pneumophila strains within free-living amoebae (Acanthamoeba polyphaga, Hartmannella vermiformis and Naegleria fowleri) was examined. Compared to controls only fed E...

  11. Counting Legionella cells within single amoeba host cells

    EPA Science Inventory

    Here we present the first attempt to quantify L. pneumophila cell numbers within individual amoebae hosts that may be released into engineered water systems. The maximum numbers of culturable L. pneumophila cells grown within Acanthamoeba polyphaga and Naegleria fowleri were 134...

  12. Counting Legionella cells within single amoeba host cells.

    PubMed

    Buse, Helen Y; Ashbolt, Nicholas J

    2012-03-01

    Here we present the first attempt to quantify Legionella pneumophila cell numbers within individual amoeba hosts that may be released into engineered water systems. The maximum numbers of culturable L. pneumophila cells grown within Acanthamoeba polyphaga and Naegleria fowleri were 1,348 (mean, 329) and 385 (mean, 44) CFU trophozoite(-1), respectively.

  13. Cooccurrence of free-living amoebae and nontuberculous Mycobacteria in hospital water networks, and preferential growth of Mycobacterium avium in Acanthamoeba lenticulata.

    PubMed

    Ovrutsky, Alida R; Chan, Edward D; Kartalija, Marinka; Bai, Xiyuan; Jackson, Mary; Gibbs, Sara; Falkinham, Joseph O; Iseman, Michael D; Reynolds, Paul R; McDonnell, Gerald; Thomas, Vincent

    2013-05-01

    The incidence of lung and other diseases due to nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) is increasing. NTM sources include potable water, especially in households where NTM populate pipes, taps, and showerheads. NTM share habitats with free-living amoebae (FLA) and can grow in FLA as parasites or as endosymbionts. FLA containing NTM may form cysts that protect mycobacteria from disinfectants and antibiotics. We first assessed the presence of FLA and NTM in water and biofilm samples collected from a hospital, confirming the high prevalence of NTM and FLA in potable water systems, particularly in biofilms. Acanthamoeba spp. (genotype T4) were mainly recovered (8/17), followed by Hartmannella vermiformis (7/17) as well as one isolate closely related to the genus Flamella and one isolate only distantly related to previously described species. Concerning mycobacteria, Mycobacterium gordonae was the most frequently found isolate (9/17), followed by Mycobacterium peregrinum (4/17), Mycobacterium chelonae (2/17), Mycobacterium mucogenicum (1/17), and Mycobacterium avium (1/17). The propensity of Mycobacterium avium hospital isolate H87 and M. avium collection strain 104 to survive and replicate within various FLA was also evaluated, demonstrating survival of both strains in all amoebal species tested but high replication rates only in Acanthamoeba lenticulata. As A. lenticulata was frequently recovered from environmental samples, including drinking water samples, these results could have important consequences for the ecology of M. avium in drinking water networks and the epidemiology of disease due to this species.

  14. Reevaluating the Role of Acanthamoeba Proteases in Tissue Invasion: Observation of Cytopathogenic Mechanisms on MDCK Cell Monolayers and Hamster Corneal Cells

    PubMed Central

    Omaña-Molina, Maritza; González-Robles, Arturo; Iliana Salazar-Villatoro, Lizbeth; Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob; Cristóbal-Ramos, Ana Ruth; Hernández-Ramírez, Verónica Ivonne; Talamás-Rohana, Patricia; Méndez Cruz, Adolfo René; Martínez-Palomo, Adolfo

    2013-01-01

    The morphological analysis of the cytopathic effect on MDCK cell monolayers and hamster cornea and qualitative and quantitative analyses of conditioned medium and proteases were evaluated and compared between two strains of Acanthamoeba genotype T4. Further than highlighting the biological differences found between both strains, the most important observation in this study was the fact that proteases both in total extracts and in conditioned medium are apparently not determinant in tissue destruction. An interestingly finding was that no lysis of corneal tissue was observed as it was previously suggested. These results, together with previous studies, allow us to conclude that the invasion and disruption of corneal tissue is performed by the penetration of the amoebae through cell junctions, either by the action of proteases promoting cellular separation but not by their destruction and/or a mechanical effect exerted by amoebae. Therefore, contact-dependent mechanisms in Acanthamoeba pathogenesis are more relevant than it has been previously considered. This is supported because the phagocytosis of recently detached cells as well as those attached to the corneal epithelium leads to the modification of the cellular architecture facilitating the migration and destruction of deeper layers of the corneal epithelium. PMID:23484119

  15. Stress-induced pseudocyst formation--a newly identified mechanism of protection against organic solvents in acanthamoebae of the T4 genotype.

    PubMed

    Kliescikova, Jarmila; Kulda, Jaroslav; Nohynkova, Eva

    2011-01-01

    Differentiation into highly resistant double-walled cysts is a major mechanism allowing amphizoic acanthamoebae to survive under long-lasting, unfavourable environmental conditions. We found that relatively low concentrations of methanol, acetone or DMSO stimulate promptAcanthamoebadifferentiation into a rounded cyst-like stage with a single envelope. To address whether this rapid response differs from the encystment, time-dependent changes in cell surface characteristics and cyst-specific gene expression were monitored in encystating cells and cells differentiating under methanol treatment using microscopic, lectin-binding, PCR and resistance studies. In contrast to the encystment: (1) a single-layered amorphous mannose/glucose coat was the only envelope assembled on the surface of the solvent-treated cells, (2) the cyst-specific protein (CSP21) was not expressed, (3) the coat did not protect cells against acidic pH and (4) in solvent-free encystment medium, the coated cells did not assemble the double-layered wall, thus indicating that these cells were not immature cysts. These findings lead us to specify a terminal stage of rapidAcanthamoebadifferentiation elicited by acute organic solvent stress as "pseudocyst", and to suggest that encystation and pseudocyst formation are distinct stress responses. Moreover, the possibility exists that pseudocysts might form in response to certain contact lens solutions thus increasing resistance of acanthamoebae to disinfecting agents.

  16. SJL mice infected with Acanthamoeba castellanii develop central nervous system autoimmunity through the generation of cross-reactive T cells for myelin antigens.

    PubMed

    Massilamany, Chandirasegaran; Marciano-Cabral, Francine; Rocha-Azevedo, Bruno da; Jamerson, Melissa; Gangaplara, Arunakumar; Steffen, David; Zabad, Rana; Illes, Zsolt; Sobel, Raymond A; Reddy, Jay

    2014-01-01

    We recently reported that Acanthamoeba castellanii (ACA), an opportunistic pathogen of the central nervous system (CNS) possesses mimicry epitopes for proteolipid protein (PLP) 139-151 and myelin basic protein 89-101, and that the epitopes induce experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in SJL mice reminiscent of the diseases induced with their corresponding cognate peptides. We now demonstrate that mice infected with ACA also show the generation of cross-reactive T cells, predominantly for PLP 139-151, as evaluated by T cell proliferation and IAs/dextramer staining. We verified that PLP 139-151-sensitized lymphocytes generated in infected mice contained a high proportion of T helper 1 cytokine-producing cells, and they can transfer disease to naïve animals. Likewise, the animals first primed with suboptimal dose of PLP 139-151 and later infected with ACA, developed EAE, suggesting that ACA infection can trigger CNS autoimmunity in the presence of preexisting repertoire of autoreactive T cells. Taken together, the data provide novel insights into the pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba infections, and the potential role of infectious agents with mimicry epitopes to self-antigens in the pathogenesis of CNS diseases such as multiple sclerosis.

  17. Concanavalin A-mediated agglutination and distribution of concanavalin A-binding sites in Acanthamoeba following treatment with colchicine and cytochalasin B.

    PubMed

    Paatero, G; Isomaa, B; Ranninen, T; Wessberg, S

    1983-01-01

    Incubation of Acanthamoeba castellanii (Neff strain) with FITC-ConA (15 micrograms/ml) resulted in the appearance of patches of fluorescence on the amoebae within 2 min of incubation. These patches disappeared following treatment of the amoebae with alpha-MeMan. Pretreatment of the amoebae with colchicine or cytochalasin B or with colchicine and cytochalasin B in combination did not significantly alter the distribution pattern of fluorescence in the amoebae. 2,4-Dinitrophenol and incubation at 4 degrees C on the other hand decreased the degree of patching of the amoebae. Pretreatment with 2,4-dinitrophenol and incubation at 4 degrees C also decreased the ConA-mediated agglutination of the amoebae. No effect on the ConA-mediated agglutination was, however, observed following pretreatment of the amoebae with colchicine and cytochalasin B neither alone nor in combination. Our results indicate that ConA-mediated agglutination and long-range ConA-receptor mobility in the Acanthamoeba are not under the control of structures sensitive to cytochalasin B or colchicine. PMID:6682041

  18. DNA-dependent RNA polymerase II from Acanthamoeba castellanii. Comparison of the catalytic properties and subunit architectures of the trophozoite and cyst enzymes.

    PubMed

    Detke, S; Paule, M R

    1978-09-27

    The actively growing cells (trophozoites) of the amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii were found to contain three or perhaps four different forms of class II DNA-dependent RNA polymerase (EC 2.7.7.6). The chromatographic and catalytic properties of all forms of the Acanthamoeba class II polymerases suggest them to be cognates of the class II polymerases previously reported. The predominant form was purified to near homogeneity and its subunit composition determined. Nine different polypeptides were found associated with the purified enzyme: 21 000; 185 000; 140 000; 70 000; 35 000; 21 000; 19 000; 18 500 and 16 200. These polypeptides were interpreted in terms of two class II RNA polymerases which differ in the molecular weight of their largest subunit. When A. castellanii is transferred to a medium lacking nutrients, the cells undergo cellular differentiation resulting in the formation of metabolically inactive cells (cyst formation). During this process there are significant changes in the RNA sequences transcribed. In contrast to this, we find that the chromatographic and catalytic properties of all of the class II RNA polymerases remain unchanged. Further, the subunit architecture of the predominant form(s) of polymerase II is unaltered. These findings suggest that although new RNA sequences are transcribed during encystment their appearance is not a consequence of extensive alterations in the subunit composition of the major class II RNA polymerase. PMID:708741

  19. Effects of single-base substitutions within the acanthamoeba castellanii rRNA promoter on transcription and on binding of transcription initiation factor and RNA polymerase I

    SciTech Connect

    Kownin, P.; Bateman, E.; Paule, M.R.

    1988-02-01

    Single-point mutations were introduced into the promoter region of the Acanthamoeba castellanii rRNA gene by chemical mutagen treatment of a single-stranded clone in vitro, followed by reverse transcription and cloning of the altered fragment. The promoter mutants were tested for transcription initiation factor (TIF) binding by a template commitment assay plus DNase I footprinting and for transcription by an in vitro runoff assay. Point mutations within the previously identified TIF interaction region (between -20 and -47, motifs A and B) indicated that TIF interacts most strongly with a sequence centered at -29 and less tightly with sequences upstream and downstream. Some alterations of the base sequence closer to the transcription start site (and outside the TIF-protected site) also significantly decrease specific RNA synthesis in vitro. These were within the region which is protected from DNAse I digestion by polymerase I, but these mutations did not detectably affect the binding of polymerase to the promoter.

  20. Granulomatous Amebic Encephalitis in a Patient with AIDS: Isolation of Acanthamoeba sp. Group II from Brain Tissue and Successful Treatment with Sulfadiazine and Fluconazole

    PubMed Central

    Seijo Martinez, M.; Gonzalez-Mediero, G.; Santiago, P.; Rodriguez de Lope, A.; Diz, J.; Conde, C.; Visvesvara, G. S.

    2000-01-01

    A patient with AIDS, treated with highly active antiretroviral therapy and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, presented with confusion, a hemifield defect, and a mass lesion in the right occipital lobe. A brain biopsy confirmed granulomatous amebic encephalitis (GAE) due to Acanthamoeba castellanii. The patient was treated with fluconazole and sulfadiazine, and the lesion was surgically excised. This is the first case of AIDS-associated GAE responding favorably to therapy. The existence of a solitary brain lesion, absence of other sites of infection, and intense cellular response in spite of a very low CD4 count conditioned the favorable outcome. We review and discuss the diagnostic microbiologic options for the laboratory diagnosis of infections due to free-living amebae. PMID:11015431

  1. A ribosomal protein gene cluster is encoded in the mitochondrial DNA of Dictyostelium discoideum: UGA termination codons and similarity of gene order to Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    PubMed

    Iwamoto, M; Pi, M; Kurihara, M; Morio, T; Tanaka, Y

    1998-04-01

    We sequenced a region of about 14.5 kb downstream from the ribosomal protein L11 gene (rpl11) in the mitochondrial DNA (54+/-2 kb) of the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum. Sequence analysis revealed that eleven ribosomal protein genes and six open reading frames (ORFs) formed a cluster arranged in the order: rpl11-orf189-rps12-rps7-rpl2-rps19-+ ++orf425-orf1740-rpl16-rpl14-orf188- rps14-rps8-rpl6-rps13-orf127-orf796. This order was very similar to that of homologous genes in Acanthamoeba castellanii mitochondrial DNA. The N-terminal region of ORF425 and the C-terminal region of ORF1740 had partial similarities to the S3 ribosomal protein of other organisms. The termination codons of rpl16 and orf188 were UGA, which has not hitherto been found in genes encoded in D. discoideum mitochondrial DNA. PMID:9560439

  2. In vitro efficacies of clinically available drugs against growth and viability of an Acanthamoeba castellanii keratitis isolate belonging to the T4 genotype.

    PubMed

    Baig, Abdul Mannan; Iqbal, Junaid; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2013-08-01

    The effects of clinically available drugs targeting muscarinic cholinergic, adrenergic, dopaminergic, and serotonergic receptors; intracellular calcium levels and/or the function of calcium-dependent biochemical pathways; ion channels; and cellular pumps were tested against a keratitis isolate of Acanthamoeba castellanii belonging to the T4 genotype. In vitro growth inhibition (amoebistatic) assays were performed by incubating A. castellanii with various concentrations of drugs in the growth medium for 48 h at 30°C. To determine amoebicidal effects, amoebae were incubated with drugs in phosphate-buffered saline for 24 h, and viability was determined using trypan blue exclusion staining. For controls, amoebae were incubated with the solvent alone. Of the eight drugs tested, amlodipine, prochlorperazine, and loperamide showed potent amoebicidal effects, as no viable trophozoites were observed (>95% kill rate), while amiodarone, procyclidine, digoxin, and apomorphine exhibited up to 50% amoebicidal effects. In contrast, haloperidol did not affect viability, but all the drugs tested inhibited A. castellanii growth. Importantly, amlodipine, prochlorperazine, and loperamide showed compelling cysticidal effects. The cysticidal effects were irreversible, as cysts treated with the aforementioned drugs did not reemerge as viable amoebae upon inoculation in the growth medium. Except for apomorphine and haloperidol, all the tested drugs blocked trophozoite differentiation into cysts in encystation assays. Given the limited availability of effective drugs to treat amoebal infections, the clinically available drugs tested in this study represent potential agents for managing keratitis and granulomatous amoebic encephalitis caused by Acanthamoeba spp. and possibly against other meningoencephalitis-causing amoebae, such as Balamuthia mandrillaris and Naegleria fowleri. PMID:23669391

  3. Chemiluminescence of Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    PubMed Central

    Lloyd, D; Boveris, A; Reiter, R; Filipkowski, M; Chance, B

    1979-01-01

    1. Chemiluminescence of Acanthomoeba castellanii in the presence of O2 was of similar intensity in organisms harvested early or late during exponential growth [when cyanide (1 mM) stimulates or inhibits respiration respectively]. 2. Cyanide (up to 1.5 mM) stimulated photoemission in both types of organism by 250--300 photons/s per 10(7) cells above the value observed under aerobic conditions. 3. 'Dibromothymoquinone' (2,5-dibromo-6-isopropyl-3-methyl-p-benzoquinone) (up to 80 microM) further increased chemiluminescence. 4. Similar responses were also demonstrated in whole homogenates and in subcellular fractions; 36% of the chemiluminescence was provided by a fraction sedimenting at 100000g-min, and 20% in that fraction that was non-sedimentable at 200000g-min. 5. Mitochondrial substrates (succinate, 2-oxoglutarate, NADH) in the presence or absence of ADP and Pi or peroxisomal substrates (glycollate, urate or ethanol) gave no increases in light emission by whole homogenates or in any of the fractions. 6. It is suggested that reactions responsible for production of chemiluminescence are those primarily producing superoxide anions and leading to lipid peroxidation and singlet-oxygen formation. Photoemission enhancement and superoxide dismutase inhibition showed similar cyanide concentration-dependencies. PMID:534514

  4. Acanthamoeba Keratitis FAQs

    MedlinePlus

    ... lenses improperly Disinfecting lenses improperly (such as using tap water or homemade solutions to clean the lenses) Swimming, ... rinsed with sterile contact lens solution (never use tap water), emptied, and left open to dry after each ...

  5. Establishment and Validation of Whole-Cell Based Fluorescence Assays to Identify Anti-Mycobacterial Compounds Using the Acanthamoeba castellanii - Mycobacterium marinum Host-Pathogen System

    PubMed Central

    Kicka, Sébastien; Trofimov, Valentin; Harrison, Christopher; Ouertatani-Sakouhi, Hajer; McKinney, John; Scapozza, Leonardo; Hilbi, Hubert; Cosson, Pierre; Soldati, Thierry

    2014-01-01

    Tuberculosis is considered to be one of the world’s deadliest disease with 2 million deaths each year. The need for new antitubercular drugs is further exacerbated by the emergence of drug-resistance strains. Despite multiple recent efforts, the majority of the hits discovered by traditional target-based screening showed low efficiency in vivo. Therefore, there is heightened demand for whole-cell based approaches directly using host-pathogen systems. The phenotypic host-pathogen assay described here is based on the monitoring of GFP-expressing Mycobacterium marinum during infection of the amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii. The assay showed straight-forward medium-throughput scalability, robustness and ease of manipulation, demonstrating its qualities as an efficient compound screening system. Validation with a series of known antitubercular compounds highlighted the advantages of the assay in comparison to previously published macrophage-Mycobacterium tuberculosis-based screening systems. Combination with secondary growth assays based on either GFP-expressing D. discoideum or M. marinum allowed us to further fine-tune compound characterization by distinguishing and quantifying growth inhibition, cytotoxic properties and antibiotic activities of the compounds. The simple and relatively low cost system described here is most suitable to detect anti-infective compounds, whether they present antibiotic activities or not, in which case they might exert anti-virulence or host defense boosting activities, both of which are largely overlooked by classical screening approaches. PMID:24498207

  6. Francisella tularensis type A Strains Cause the Rapid Encystment of Acanthamoeba castellanii and Survive in Amoebal Cysts for Three Weeks post Infection

    SciTech Connect

    El-Etr, S H; Margolis, J; Monack, D; Robison, R; Cohen, M; Moore, E; Rasley, A

    2009-07-28

    Francisella tularensis, the causative agent of the zoonotic disease tularemia, has recently gained increased attention due to the emergence of tularemia in geographical areas where the disease has been previously unknown, and the organism's potential as a bioterrorism agent. Although F. tularensis has an extremely broad host range, the bacterial reservoir in nature has not been conclusively identified. In this study, the ability of virulent F. tularensis strains to survive and replicate in the amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii was explored. We observe that A. castellanii trophozoites rapidly encyst in response to F. tularensis infection and that this rapid encystment phenotype (REP) is caused by factor(s) secreted by amoebae and/or F. tularensis into the co-culture media. Further, our results indicate that in contrast to LVS, virulent strains of F. tularensis can survive in A. castellanii cysts for at least 3 weeks post infection and that induction of rapid amoeba encystment is essential for survival. In addition, our data indicate that pathogenic F. tularensis strains block lysosomal fusion in A. castellanii. Taken together, these data suggest that the interactions between F. tularensis strains and amoeba may play a role in the environmental persistence of F. tularensis.

  7. Endocytobiont KC5/2 induces transformation into sol-like cytoplasm of its host Acanthamoeba sp. as substrate for its own development.

    PubMed

    Michel, R; Müller, K-D; Schmid, E N; Zöller, L; Hoffmann, R

    2003-05-01

    New investigations of a novel, recently described, non-cultivable endocytobiont of Acanthamoeba sp. reveal at least three hitherto unobserved developmental stages which shed some light on the nature of this peculiar organism. The development of the endocytobiont is closely connected with conspicuous changes in the host amoeba, inducing the transformation from gel to sol-like cytoplasm which bulges like a balloon inside the host cell. Young and transitory developmental stages were found within the homogenous, sol-like cytoplasm. The infectious stages, with their voluminous cell wall and a conspicuous ostiole, could be observed within all parts of the cytoplasm with the exception of the nucleus. It is a remarkable adaptation for this parasite to be able to induce this gel-sol transformation in order to facilitate its own development. The fate of the heavily infected host amoebae is death by rupture or lysis after being overcrowded with parasites. As no structures could be observed within the endoparasites that were comparable to other bacteria, the real nature and taxonomic position of these peculiar organisms remain obscure. PMID:12743804

  8. Regulation of the filament structure and assembly of Acanthamoeba myosin II by phosphorylation of serines in the heavy-chain nonhelical tailpiece.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiong; Hong, Myoung-Soon; Shu, Shi; Yu, Shuhua; Korn, Edward D

    2013-01-01

    Acanthamoeba myosin II (AMII) has two heavy chains ending in a 27-residue nonhelical tailpiece and two pairs of light chains. In a companion article, we show that five, and only five, serine residues can be phosphorylated both in vitro and in vivo: Ser639 in surface loop 2 of the motor domain and serines 1489, 1494, 1499, and 1504 in the nonhelical tailpiece of the heavy chains. In that paper, we show that phosphorylation of Ser639 down-regulates the actin-activated MgATPase activity of AMII and that phosphorylation of the serines in the nonhelical tailpiece has no effect on enzymatic activity. Here we show that bipolar tetrameric, hexameric, and octameric minifilaments of AMII with the nonhelical tailpiece serines either phosphorylated or mutated to glutamate have longer bare zones and more tightly clustered heads than minifilaments of unphosphorylated AMII, irrespective of the phosphorylation state of Ser639. Although antiparallel dimers of phosphorylated and unphosphorylated myosins are indistinguishable, phosphorylation inhibits dimerization and filament assembly. Therefore, the different structures of tetramers, hexamers, and octamers of phosphorylated and unphosphorylated AMII must be caused by differences in the longitudinal stagger of phosphorylated and unphosphorylated bipolar dimers and tetramers. Thus, although the actin-activated MgATPase activity of AMII is regulated by phosphorylation of Ser639 in loop 2 of the motor domain, the structure of AMII minifilaments is regulated by phosphorylation of one or more of four serines in the nonhelical tailpiece of the heavy chain. PMID:23248285

  9. Acanthamoeba myosin IC colocalizes with phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate at the plasma membrane due to the high concentration of negative charge.

    PubMed

    Brzeska, Hanna; Hwang, Kae-Jung; Korn, Edward D

    2008-11-14

    The tail of Acanthamoeba myosin IC (AMIC) has a basic region (BR), which contains a putative pleckstrin homology (PH) domain, followed by two Gly/Pro/Ala (GPA)-rich regions separated by a Src homology 3 (SH3) domain. Cryoelectron microscopy had shown that the tail is folded back on itself at the junction of BR and GPA1, and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy indicated that the SH3 domain may interact with the putative PH domain. The BR binds to acidic phospholipids, and the GPA region binds to F-actin. We now show that the folded tail does not affect the affinity of AMIC for acidic phospholipids. AMIC binds phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) with high affinity (approximately 1 microm), but binding is not stereospecific. When normalized to net negative charge, AMIC binds with equal affinity to phosphatidylserine (PS) and PIP2. This and other data show that the putative PH domain of AMIC is not a typical PIP2-specific PH domain. We have identified a 13-residue sequence of basic-hydrophobic-basic amino acids within the putative PH domain that may be a major determinant of binding of AMIC to acidic phospholipids. Despite the lack of stereospecificity, AMIC binds 10 times more strongly to vesicles containing 5% PIP2 plus 25% PS than to vesicles containing only 25% PS, suggesting that AMIC may be targeted to PIP2-enriched regions of the plasma membrane. In agreement with this, AMIC colocalizes with PIP2 at dynamic, protrusive regions of the plasma membrane. We discuss the possibility that AMIC binding to PIP2 may initiate the formation of a multiprotein complex at the plasma membrane.

  10. The Transcriptional Response of Cryptococcus neoformans to Ingestion by Acanthamoeba castellanii and Macrophages Provides Insights into the Evolutionary Adaptation to the Mammalian Host

    PubMed Central

    Paes, Hugo Costa; Albuquerque, Patrícia; Tavares, Aldo Henrique F. P.; Fernandes, Larissa; Silva-Pereira, Ildinete; Casadevall, Arturo

    2013-01-01

    Virulence of Cryptococcus neoformans for mammals, and in particular its intracellular style, was proposed to emerge from evolutionary pressures on its natural environment by protozoan predation, which promoted the selection of strategies that allow intracellular survival in macrophages. In fact, Acanthamoeba castellanii ingests yeast cells, which then can replicate intracellularly. In addition, most fungal factors needed to establish infection in the mammalian host are also important for survival within the amoeba. To better understand the origin of C. neoformans virulence, we compared the transcriptional profile of yeast cells internalized by amoebae and murine macrophages after 6 h of infection. Our results showed 656 and 293 genes whose expression changed at least 2-fold in response to the intracellular environments of amoebae and macrophages, respectively. Among the genes that were found in both groups, we focused on open reading frame (ORF) CNAG_05662, which was potentially related to sugar transport but had no determined biological function. To characterize its function, we constructed a mutant strain and evaluated its ability to grow on various carbon sources. The results showed that this gene, named PTP1 (polyol transporter protein 1), is involved in the transport of 5- and 6-carbon polyols such as mannitol and sorbitol, but its presence or absence had no effect on cryptococcal virulence for mice or moth larvae. Overall, these results are consistent with the hypothesis that the capacity for mammalian virulence originated from fungus-protozoan interactions in the environment and provide a better understanding of how C. neoformans adapts to the mammalian host. PMID:23524994

  11. Multiple Legionella pneumophila Type II Secretion Substrates, Including a Novel Protein, Contribute to Differential Infection of the Amoebae Acanthamoeba castellanii, Hartmannella vermiformis, and Naegleria lovaniensis

    PubMed Central

    Tyson, Jessica Y.; Pearce, Meghan M.; Vargas, Paloma; Bagchi, Sreya; Mulhern, Brendan J.

    2013-01-01

    Type II protein secretion (T2S) by Legionella pneumophila is required for intracellular infection of host cells, including macrophages and the amoebae Acanthamoeba castellanii and Hartmannella vermiformis. Previous proteomic analysis revealed that T2S by L. pneumophila 130b mediates the export of >25 proteins, including several that appeared to be novel. Following confirmation that they are unlike known proteins, T2S substrates NttA, NttB, and LegP were targeted for mutation. nttA mutants were impaired for intracellular multiplication in A. castellanii but not H. vermiformis or macrophages, suggesting that novel exoproteins which are specific to Legionella are especially important for infection. Because the importance of NttA was host cell dependent, we examined a panel of T2S substrate mutants that had not been tested before in more than one amoeba. As a result, RNase SrnA, acyltransferase PlaC, and metalloprotease ProA all proved to be required for optimal intracellular multiplication in H. vermiformis but not A. castellanii. Further examination of an lspF mutant lacking the T2S apparatus documented that T2S is also critical for infection of the amoeba Naegleria lovaniensis. Mutants lacking SrnA, PlaC, or ProA, but not those deficient for NttA, were defective in N. lovaniensis. Based upon analysis of a double mutant lacking PlaC and ProA, the role of ProA in H. vermiformis was connected to its ability to activate PlaC, whereas in N. lovaniensis, ProA appeared to have multiple functions. Together, these data document that the T2S system exports multiple effectors, including a novel one, which contribute in different ways to the broad host range of L. pneumophila. PMID:23429532

  12. [Comparative study of the pathogenicity of free-living amoebae in mice and their cytopathogenic effect in vitro].

    PubMed

    Grillot, R; Ambroise-Thomas, P

    1981-01-01

    The study of the experimental pathogenic effect on the mouse of 47 strains of free-living amoebas (Vahlkampfia, Naegleria, Hartmannella and Acanthamoeba) showed that 5 strains belonging all to the species A. polyphaga could induce a fatal meningo-encephalitis in the mouse. After axenisation of 12 strains of Acanthamoeba, the study of the cytopathogenic effect in vitro showed that all the strains studied were able to induce, sooner or later, the destruction of the cellular layer. But, using the same inoculum, the strains pathogenic for the animal, seemed to have a quicker cytopathogenic effect in vitro. PMID:6454465

  13. Isolation and identification of free-living amoebae from tap water in Sivas, Turkey.

    PubMed

    Coşkun, Kübra Açıkalın; Ozçelik, Semra; Tutar, Lütfi; Elaldı, Nazif; Tutar, Yusuf

    2013-01-01

    The present work focuses on a local survey of free-living amoebae (FLA) that cause opportunistic and nonopportunistic infections in humans. Determining the prevalence of FLA in water sources can shine a light on the need to prevent FLA related illnesses. A total of 150 samples of tap water were collected from six districts of Sivas province. The samples were filtered and seeded on nonnutrient agar containing Escherichia coli spread. Thirty-three (22%) out of 150 samples were found to be positive for FLA. The FLA were identified by morphology and by PCR using 18S rDNA gene. The morphological analysis and partial sequencing of the 18S rDNA gene revealed the presence of three different species, Acanthamoeba castellanii, Acanthamoeba polyphaga, and Hartmannella vermiformis. Naegleria fowleri, Balamuthia mandrillaris, or Sappinia sp. was not isolated during the study. All A. castellanii and A. polyphaga sequence types were found to be genotype T4 that contains most of the pathogenic Acanthamoeba strains. The results indicated the occurrence and distribution of FLA species in tap water in these localities of Sivas, Turkey. Furthermore, the presence of temperature tolerant Acanthamoeba genotype T4 in tap water in the region must be taken into account for health risks. PMID:23971043

  14. Isolation and identification of free-living amoebae from tap water in Sivas, Turkey.

    PubMed

    Coşkun, Kübra Açıkalın; Ozçelik, Semra; Tutar, Lütfi; Elaldı, Nazif; Tutar, Yusuf

    2013-01-01

    The present work focuses on a local survey of free-living amoebae (FLA) that cause opportunistic and nonopportunistic infections in humans. Determining the prevalence of FLA in water sources can shine a light on the need to prevent FLA related illnesses. A total of 150 samples of tap water were collected from six districts of Sivas province. The samples were filtered and seeded on nonnutrient agar containing Escherichia coli spread. Thirty-three (22%) out of 150 samples were found to be positive for FLA. The FLA were identified by morphology and by PCR using 18S rDNA gene. The morphological analysis and partial sequencing of the 18S rDNA gene revealed the presence of three different species, Acanthamoeba castellanii, Acanthamoeba polyphaga, and Hartmannella vermiformis. Naegleria fowleri, Balamuthia mandrillaris, or Sappinia sp. was not isolated during the study. All A. castellanii and A. polyphaga sequence types were found to be genotype T4 that contains most of the pathogenic Acanthamoeba strains. The results indicated the occurrence and distribution of FLA species in tap water in these localities of Sivas, Turkey. Furthermore, the presence of temperature tolerant Acanthamoeba genotype T4 in tap water in the region must be taken into account for health risks.

  15. Isolation and Identification of Free-Living Amoebae from Tap Water in Sivas, Turkey

    PubMed Central

    Coşkun, Kübra Açıkalın; Özçelik, Semra; Elaldı, Nazif; Tutar, Yusuf

    2013-01-01

    The present work focuses on a local survey of free-living amoebae (FLA) that cause opportunistic and nonopportunistic infections in humans. Determining the prevalence of FLA in water sources can shine a light on the need to prevent FLA related illnesses. A total of 150 samples of tap water were collected from six districts of Sivas province. The samples were filtered and seeded on nonnutrient agar containing Escherichia coli spread. Thirty-three (22%) out of 150 samples were found to be positive for FLA. The FLA were identified by morphology and by PCR using 18S rDNA gene. The morphological analysis and partial sequencing of the 18S rDNA gene revealed the presence of three different species, Acanthamoeba castellanii, Acanthamoeba polyphaga, and Hartmannella vermiformis. Naegleria fowleri, Balamuthia mandrillaris, or Sappinia sp. was not isolated during the study. All A. castellanii and A. polyphaga sequence types were found to be genotype T4 that contains most of the pathogenic Acanthamoeba strains. The results indicated the occurrence and distribution of FLA species in tap water in these localities of Sivas, Turkey. Furthermore, the presence of temperature tolerant Acanthamoeba genotype T4 in tap water in the region must be taken into account for health risks. PMID:23971043

  16. Preferential colonization and release of Legionella pneumophila from mature drinking water biofilms grown on copper versus unplasticized polyvinylchloride coupons.

    PubMed

    Buse, Helen Y; Lu, Jingrang; Struewing, Ian T; Ashbolt, Nicholas J

    2014-03-01

    Legionella occurrence in premise drinking water (DW) systems contributes to legionellosis outbreaks, especially in the presence of suitable protozoan hosts. This study examined L. pneumophila behavior within DW biofilms grown on copper (Cu) and unplasticized polyvinylchloride (uPVC) surfaces in the presence of Acanthamoeba polyphaga. One year-old DW biofilms were established within six CDC biofilm reactors: three each containing Cu or uPVC coupons. Biofilms were then inoculated with L. pneumophila (uPVC-Lp and Cu-Lp), or L. pneumophila and A. polyphaga (uPVC-Lp/Ap and Cu-Lp/Ap) and compared to sterile water inoculated controls (uPVC- and Cu-Control) over a 4 month period. L. pneumophila appeared more persistent by qPCR within Cu biofilms in the presence of A. polyphaga compared to uPVC biofilms with or without A. polyphaga, but maintained their cultivability in uPVC biofilms compared to Cu biofilms. Also, persistent shedding of L. pneumophila cells (assayed by qPCR) in the effluent water implied colonization of L. pneumophila within Cu-coupon reactors compared to no detection from uPVC-coupon reactor effluent 14 days after inoculation. Hence, L. pneumophila appeared to colonize Cu surfaces more effectively and may be shed from the biofilms at a greater frequency and duration compared to L. pneumophila colonized uPVC surfaces with host amoebae playing a role in L. pneumophila persistence within Cu biofilms.

  17. Solar and photocatalytic disinfection of protozoan, fungal and bacterial microbes in drinking water.

    PubMed

    Lonnen, J; Kilvington, S; Kehoe, S C; Al-Touati, F; McGuigan, K G

    2005-03-01

    The ability of solar disinfection (SODIS) and solar photocatalytic (TiO(2)) disinfection (SPC-DIS) batch-process reactors to inactivate waterborne protozoan, fungal and bacterial microbes was evaluated. After 8 h simulated solar exposure (870 W/m(2) in the 300 nm-10 microm range, 200 W/m(2) in the 300-400 nm UV range), both SPC-DIS and SODIS achieved at least a 4 log unit reduction in viability against protozoa (the trophozoite stage of Acanthamoeba polyphaga), fungi (Candida albicans, Fusarium solani) and bacteria (Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli). A reduction of only 1.7 log units was recorded for spores of Bacillus subtilis. Both SODIS and SPC-DIS were ineffective against the cyst stage of A. polyphaga.

  18. Microbiological investigations into an outbreak of Pontiac fever due to Legionella micdadei associated with use of a whirlpool.

    PubMed Central

    Fallon, R J; Rowbotham, T J

    1990-01-01

    In the investigation of a large outbreak of non-pneumonic legionellosis at a leisure complex in Lochgoilhead, Scotland all direct cultures of environmental samples were initially negative for legionellae. Legionellae readily infect appropriate protozoa under suitable conditions, and following immunofluorescence to select specimens for special study, Legionella micdadei was isolated from whirlpool water via co-cultivation with Acanthamoeba polyphaga. L micdadei was also isolated, along with host amoebae, from the whirlpool filter. The use of amoebae in the isolation of legionellae from environmental (and other) sources can be of great value, especially if specimens shown by indirect immunofluorescence to contain legionellae fail to yield legionellae on routine culture. PMID:2199533

  19. Microbial diversities (16S and 18S rRNA gene pyrosequencing) and environmental pathogens within drinking water biofilms grown on the common premise plumbing materials unplasticized polyvinylchloride and copper.

    PubMed

    Buse, Helen Y; Lu, Jingrang; Lu, Xinxin; Mou, Xiaozhen; Ashbolt, Nicholas J

    2014-05-01

    Drinking water (DW) biofilm communities influence the survival of opportunistic pathogens, yet knowledge about the microbial composition of DW biofilms developed on common in-premise plumbing material is limited. Utilizing 16S and 18S rRNA gene pyrosequencing, this study characterized the microbial community structure within DW biofilms established on unplasticized polyvinyl chloride (uPVC) and copper (Cu) surfaces and the impact of introducing Legionella pneumophila (Lp) and Acanthamoeba polyphaga. Mature (> 1 year old) biofilms were developed before inoculation with sterilized DW (control, Con), Lp, or Lp and A. polyphaga (LpAp). Comparison of uPVC and Cu biofilms indicated significant differences between bacterial (P = 0.001) and eukaryotic (P < 0.01) members attributable to the unique presence of several family taxa: Burkholderiaceae, Characeae, Epistylidae, Goniomonadaceae, Paramoebidae, Plasmodiophoridae, Plectidae, Sphenomonadidae, and Toxariaceae within uPVC biofilms; and Enterobacteriaceae, Erythrobacteraceae, Methylophilaceae, Acanthamoebidae, and Chlamydomonadaceae within Cu biofilms. Introduction of Lp alone or with A. polyphaga had no effect on bacterial community profiles (P > 0.05) but did affect eukaryotic members (uPVC, P < 0.01; Cu, P = 0.001). Thus, established DW biofilms host complex communities that may vary based on substratum matrix and maintain consistent bacterial communities despite introduction of Lp, an environmental pathogen.

  20. The first elateroid beetles (Coleoptera: Polyphaga: Elateroidea) from the Upper Jurassic of Australia.

    PubMed

    Oberprieler, Rolf G; Ashman, Lauren G; Frese, Michael; Ślipiński, Adam

    2016-01-01

    The first elateroid fossils from the Upper Jurassic Talbragar Fish Bed in Australia are described and illustrated. Wongaroo amplipectorale gen. et sp. n., based on two specimens, is placed in the family Cerophytidae due to its convex, posteriorly weakly angled and laterally carinate pronotum obscuring the head in dorsal view, its relatively long, pointed elytra and slender legs, its 9-striate elytra with deep basal pits and the absence of metacoxal plates. Beattieellus jurassicus gen. et sp. n., described from one specimen, possesses the acutely angled pronotum without a carina on the posterolateral angles and the ventral click apparatus typical of Eucnemidae and is classified in this family. Assignment of it to a eucnemid subfamily is impossible because of the insufficient preservation of relevant characters in the fossil. Four other elateroid fossils, possibly representing eucnemids and elaterids, are illustrated and briefly described but not named, due to their insufficient preservation. These fossils represent the first of their kind in Australia and in the Southern Hemisphere, and Beattieellus is also the oldest eucnemid fossil known and extends the fossil record of Eucnemidae into the Upper Jurassic. The discovery of elateroid fossils in the Talbragar Fish Bed adds to the coleopteran diversity of this ancient lake ecosystem, indicating that it was well wooded and provided suitable habitats of rotten wood for the development of the larvae of these taxa. PMID:27515614

  1. [Comparative histology of mushroom bodies in carnivorous beetles of the suborder polyphaga (Insecta, Coleoptera)].

    PubMed

    Panov, A A

    2013-01-01

    Mushroom bodies in beetles of the families Histeridae, Staphylinidae, Cantharidae, Trogossitidae, Peltidae, Cleridae, Malachiidae, and Coccinellidae are shown to be rather poorly developed. The calyx region of the mushroom bodies in these beetles never forms two separate cups, and the peduncular apparatus includes a unified shaft almost over its entire length. Only the pedunculus contains two separate shafts in a few cases. Two proliferative centers consisting of one to three neuroblasts are often found in each Kenyon cell group. The shift from carnivorous to feeding on pollen or leaves, which has taken place in some taxa, does not visibly affect the degree of mushroom body development.

  2. Molecular characterization of mariner-like elements in emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis (Coleoptera, Polyphaga).

    PubMed

    Rivera-Vega, L; Mittapalli, O

    2010-08-01

    Emerald ash borer (EAB, Agrilus planipennis), an exotic invasive pest, has killed millions of ash trees (Fraxinus spp.) in North America and continues to threaten the very survival of the entire Fraxinus genus. Despite its high-impact status, to date very little knowledge exists for this devastating insect pest at the molecular level. Mariner-like elements (MLEs) are transposable elements, which are ubiquitous in occurrence in insects and other invertebrates. Because of their low specificity and broad host range, they can be used for epitope-tagging, gene mapping, and in vitro mutagenesis. The majority of the known MLEs are inactive due to in-frame shifts and stop codons within the open reading frame (ORF). We report on the cloning and characterization of two MLEs in A. planipennis genome (Apmar1 and Apmar2). Southern analysis indicated a very high copy number for Apmar1 and a moderate copy number for Apmar2. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that both elements belong to the irritans subfamily. Based on the high copy number for Apmar1, the full-length sequence was obtained using degenerate primers designed to the inverted terminal repeat (ITR) sequences of irritans MLEs. The recovered nucleotide sequence for Apmar1 consisted of 1,292 bases with perfect ITRs, and an ORF of 1,050 bases encoding a putative transposase of 349 amino acids. The deduced amino acid sequence of Apmar1 contained the conserved regions of mariner transposases including WVPHEL and YSPDLAP, and the D,D(34)D motif. Both Apmar1 and Apmar2 could represent useful genetic tools and provide insights on EAB adaptation.

  3. The tetrahymena and acanthamoeba model systems.

    PubMed

    Berk, Sharon G; Garduño, Rafael A

    2013-01-01

    Although the study of protozoology has been active for centuries, very few current academic curricula incorporate requirements or even options for coursework on the study of protists; yet, protozoa are becoming widely recognized by investigators as organisms that play a significant role in the evolution, pathogenicity, protection and amplification of human pathogens in the environment. This is particularly true for the study of Legionella, as this accidental human pathogen has naturally evolved to infect protozoa in fresh water environments. Researchers have made great progress in the study of pathogenicity, evolution, and ecology of Legionella and its protozoan hosts, which include amoebae and ciliated protozoa. Our own collaboration in this field has been active for over a decade, and we have gained a valuable experience working with these protozoa, particularly aspects of their biology and the methods needed to address new experimental concepts. Therefore, in this chapter we provide the most effective procedures that we have developed or modified through our years of practice. We also offer notes on what procedures, in our opinion, should be avoided; and we provide the rationale for such precautions. PMID:23150411

  4. The tetrahymena and acanthamoeba model systems.

    PubMed

    Berk, Sharon G; Garduño, Rafael A

    2013-01-01

    Although the study of protozoology has been active for centuries, very few current academic curricula incorporate requirements or even options for coursework on the study of protists; yet, protozoa are becoming widely recognized by investigators as organisms that play a significant role in the evolution, pathogenicity, protection and amplification of human pathogens in the environment. This is particularly true for the study of Legionella, as this accidental human pathogen has naturally evolved to infect protozoa in fresh water environments. Researchers have made great progress in the study of pathogenicity, evolution, and ecology of Legionella and its protozoan hosts, which include amoebae and ciliated protozoa. Our own collaboration in this field has been active for over a decade, and we have gained a valuable experience working with these protozoa, particularly aspects of their biology and the methods needed to address new experimental concepts. Therefore, in this chapter we provide the most effective procedures that we have developed or modified through our years of practice. We also offer notes on what procedures, in our opinion, should be avoided; and we provide the rationale for such precautions.

  5. Survey of pathogenic free-living amoebae and Legionella spp. in mud spring recreation area.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Bing-Mu; Lin, Che-Li; Shih, Feng-Cheng

    2009-06-01

    Acanthamoeba, Hartmannella, and Naegleria are free-living amoebae, ubiquitous in aquatic environments. Several species within these genera are recognized as potential human pathogens. These free-living amoebae may facilitate the proliferation of their parasitical bacteria, such as Legionella. In this study, we identified Acanthamoeba, Hartmannella, Naegleria, and Legionella using various analytical procedures and investigated their occurrence at a mud spring recreation area in Taiwan. We investigated factors potentially associated with the prevalence of the pathogens, including various water types, and physical and microbiological water quality parameters. Spring water was collected from 34 sites and Acanthamoeba, Hartmannella, Naegleria, and Legionella were detected in 8.8%, 35.3%, 14.7%, and 47.1%, respectively. The identified species of Acanthamoeba included Acanthamoeba castellanii and Acanthamoeba polyphaga. Nearly all the Hartmannella isolates are identified as Hartmannella vermiformis. The Naegleria species included Naegleria australiensis and its sister groups, and two other isolates referred to a new clade of Naegleria genotypes. The Legionella species identified included unnamed Legionella genotypes, Legionella pneumophila serotype 6, uncultured Legionella spp., Legionella lytica, Legionella drancourtii, and Legionella waltersii. Significant differences (Mann-Whitney U test, P<0.05) were observed between the presence/absence of Hartmannella and total coliforms, between the presence/absence of Naegleria and heterotrophic plate counts, and between the presence/absence of Legionella and heterotrophic plate counts. This survey confirms that pathogenic free-living amoebae and Legionella are prevalent in this Taiwanese mud spring recreation area. The presence of pathogens should be considered a potential health threat when associated with human activities in spring water.

  6. Giant virus in the sea: Extending the realm of Megaviridae to Viridiplantae.

    PubMed

    Claverie, Jean-Michel

    2013-11-01

    The viral nature of the first "giant virus," Mimivirus, was realized in 2003, 10 y after its initial isolation from the water of a cooling tower in Bradford, UK. Soon after its genome was sequenced, the mining of the Global Ocean Sampling environmental sequence database revealed that the closest relatives of Mimivirus, only known to infect Acanthamoeba, were to be found in the sea. These predicted marine Mimivirus relatives remained elusive until 2010, with the first genomic characterization of a virus infecting a heterotrophic unicellular eukaryote, the microflagellate grazer Cafeteria roenbergensis. The genome analysis of a virus (PgV) infecting the common unicellular algae Phaeocystis globosa now shows that it is a bona fide member of the Mimivirus family (i.e., the Megaviridae), extending the realm of these giant viruses to abundant blooming phytoplankton species. Despite its smaller genome size (460 kb encoding 434 proteins), PgV exhibits the most intriguing feature of the previously characterized Megaviridae: an associated virophage. However, the 19-kb virophage genome, devoid of a capsid gene, is packaged in the PgV particle and propagated as a "viral plasmid," the first ever described. The PgV genome also exhibits the duplication of "core genes," normally present as single copies and a putative new type of mobile element. In a DNA polymerase phylogeny including representatives of the three cellular domains, PgV and the other Megaviridae cluster into their own clade deeply branching between domains Archaea and Eukarya domains, thus exhibiting the topology of a fourth domain in the Tree of Life. PMID:24563700

  7. The rapidly expanding universe of giant viruses: Mimivirus, Pandoravirus, Pithovirus and Mollivirus.

    PubMed

    Abergel, Chantal; Legendre, Matthieu; Claverie, Jean-Michel

    2015-11-01

    More than a century ago, the term 'virus' was introduced to describe infectious agents that are invisible by light microscopy and capable of passing through sterilizing filters. In addition to their extremely small size, most viruses have minimal genomes and gene contents, and rely almost entirely on host cell-encoded functions to multiply. Unexpectedly, four different families of eukaryotic 'giant viruses' have been discovered over the past 10 years with genome sizes, gene contents and particle dimensions overlapping with that of cellular microbes. Their ongoing analyses are challenging accepted ideas about the diversity, evolution and origin of DNA viruses.

  8. Mammalian cell entry genes in Streptomyces may provide clues to the evolution of bacterial virulence

    PubMed Central

    Clark, Laura C.; Seipke, Ryan F.; Prieto, Pilar; Willemse, Joost; van Wezel, Gilles P.; Hutchings, Matthew I.; Hoskisson, Paul A.

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the evolution of virulence is key to appreciating the role specific loci play in pathogenicity. Streptomyces species are generally non-pathogenic soil saprophytes, yet within their genome we can find homologues of virulence loci. One example of this is the mammalian cell entry (mce) locus, which has been characterised in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. To investigate the role in Streptomyces we deleted the mce locus and studied its impact on cell survival, morphology and interaction with other soil organisms. Disruption of the mce cluster resulted in virulence towards amoebae (Acanthamoeba polyphaga) and reduced colonization of plant (Arabidopsis) models, indicating these genes may play an important role in Streptomyces survival in the environment. Our data suggest that loss of mce in Streptomyces spp. may have profound effects on survival in a competitive soil environment, and provides insight in to the evolution and selection of these genes as virulence factors in related pathogenic organisms. PMID:23346366

  9. Protozoa and human macrophages infection by Legionella pneumophila environmental strains belonging to different serogroups.

    PubMed

    Messi, Patrizia; Patrizia, Messi; Bargellini, Annalisa; Annalisa, Bargellini; Anacarso, Immacolata; Immacolata, Anacarso; Marchesi, Isabella; Isabella, Marchesi; de Niederhäusern, Simona; Bondi, Moreno; Moreno, Bondi

    2013-02-01

    Three Legionella pneumophila strains isolated from municipal hot tap water during a multicentric Italian survey and belonging to serogroups 1, 6, 9 and the reference strain Philadelphia-1 were studied to determine the intracellular replication capability and the cytopathogenicity in human monocyte cell line U937 and in an Acanthamoeba polyphaga strain. Our results show that both serogroups 1 and Philadelphia-1 were able to multiply into macrophages inducing cytopathogenicity, while serogroup 6 and ever more serogroup 9 were less efficient in leading to death of the infected macrophages. Both serogroups 1 and 6 displayed a quite good capability of intracellular replication in A. polyphaga, although serogroup 1 was less cytopathogenic than serogroup 6. Serogroup 9, like Philadelphia-1 strain, showed a reduced efficiency of infection and replication and a low cytopathogenicity towards the protozoan. Our study suggests that bacterial pathogenesis is linked to the difference in the virulence expression of L. pneumophila serogroups in both hosts, as demonstrated by the fact that only L. pneumophila serogroup 1 shows the contextual expression of the two virulence traits. Serogroup 6 proves to be a good candidate as pathogen since it shows a good capacity for intracellular replication in protozoan.

  10. Relative importance of evolutionary dynamics depends on the composition of microbial predator-prey community.

    PubMed

    Friman, Ville-Petri; Dupont, Alessandra; Bass, David; Murrell, David J; Bell, Thomas

    2016-06-01

    Community dynamics are often studied in subsets of pairwise interactions. Scaling pairwise interactions back to the community level is, however, problematic because one given interaction might not reflect ecological and evolutionary outcomes of other functionally similar species interactions or capture the emergent eco-evolutionary dynamics arising only in more complex communities. Here we studied this experimentally by exposing Pseudomonas fluorescens SBW25 prey bacterium to four different protist predators (Tetrahymena pyriformis, Tetrahymena vorax, Chilomonas paramecium and Acanthamoeba polyphaga) in all possible single-predator, two-predator and four-predator communities for hundreds of prey generations covering both ecological and evolutionary timescales. We found that only T. pyriformis selected for prey defence in single-predator communities. Although T. pyriformis selection was constrained in the presence of the intraguild predator, T. vorax, T. pyriformis selection led to evolution of specialised prey defence strategies in the presence of C. paramecium or A. polyphaga. At the ecological level, adapted prey populations were phenotypically more diverse, less stable and less productive compared with non-adapted prey populations. These results suggest that predator community composition affects the relative importance of ecological and evolutionary processes and can crucially determine when rapid evolution has the potential to change ecological properties of microbial communities. PMID:26684728

  11. Relative importance of evolutionary dynamics depends on the composition of microbial predator-prey community.

    PubMed

    Friman, Ville-Petri; Dupont, Alessandra; Bass, David; Murrell, David J; Bell, Thomas

    2016-06-01

    Community dynamics are often studied in subsets of pairwise interactions. Scaling pairwise interactions back to the community level is, however, problematic because one given interaction might not reflect ecological and evolutionary outcomes of other functionally similar species interactions or capture the emergent eco-evolutionary dynamics arising only in more complex communities. Here we studied this experimentally by exposing Pseudomonas fluorescens SBW25 prey bacterium to four different protist predators (Tetrahymena pyriformis, Tetrahymena vorax, Chilomonas paramecium and Acanthamoeba polyphaga) in all possible single-predator, two-predator and four-predator communities for hundreds of prey generations covering both ecological and evolutionary timescales. We found that only T. pyriformis selected for prey defence in single-predator communities. Although T. pyriformis selection was constrained in the presence of the intraguild predator, T. vorax, T. pyriformis selection led to evolution of specialised prey defence strategies in the presence of C. paramecium or A. polyphaga. At the ecological level, adapted prey populations were phenotypically more diverse, less stable and less productive compared with non-adapted prey populations. These results suggest that predator community composition affects the relative importance of ecological and evolutionary processes and can crucially determine when rapid evolution has the potential to change ecological properties of microbial communities.

  12. The role of quorum sensing mediated developmental traits in the resistance of Serratia marcescens biofilms against protozoan grazing.

    PubMed

    Queck, Shu-Yeong; Weitere, Markus; Moreno, Ana María; Rice, Scott A; Kjelleberg, Staffan

    2006-06-01

    Resistance against protozoan grazers is a crucial factor that is important for the survival of many bacteria in their natural environment. However, the basis of resistance to protozoans and how resistance factors are regulated is poorly understood. In part, resistance may be due to biofilm formation, which is known to protect bacteria from environmental stress conditions. The ubiquitous organism Serratia marcescens uses quorum sensing (QS) control to regulate virulence factor expression and biofilm formation. We hypothesized that the QS system of S. marcescens also regulates mechanisms that protect biofilms against protozoan grazing. To investigate this hypothesis, we compared the interactions of wild-type and QS mutant strains of S. marcescens biofilms with two protozoans having different feeding types under batch and flow conditions. Under batch conditions, S. marcescens forms microcolony biofilms, and filamentous biofilms are formed under flow conditions. The microcolony-type biofilms were protected from grazing by the suspension feeder, flagellate Bodo saltans, but were not protected from the surface feeder, Acanthamoeba polyphaga. In contrast, the filamentous biofilm provided protection against A. polyphaga. The main findings presented in this study suggest that (i) the QS system is not involved in grazing resistance of S. marcescens microcolony-type biofilms; (ii) QS in S. marcescens regulates antiprotozoan factor(s) that do not interfere with the grazing efficiency of the protozoans; and (iii) QS-controlled, biofilm-specific differentiation of filaments and cell chains in biofilms of S. marcescens provides an efficient mechanism against protozoan grazing.

  13. Grazing resistance of Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms depends on type of protective mechanism, developmental stage and protozoan feeding mode.

    PubMed

    Weitere, Markus; Bergfeld, Tanja; Rice, Scott A; Matz, Carsten; Kjelleberg, Staffan

    2005-10-01

    In a previous study we identified microcolony formation and inhibitor production as the major protective mechanisms of Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms against flagellate grazing. Here we compared the efficacy of these two key protective mechanisms by exposing biofilms of the non-toxic alginate overproducing strain PDO300 and the wild-type toxic strain PAO1 to a range of feeding types commonly found in the succession of protozoans associated with natural biofilms. Alginate-mediated microcolony formation conferred effective protection for strain PDO300 against the suspension feeding flagellate Bodo saltans and, as reported earlier, the surface feeding flagellate Rhynchomonas nasuta, both of which are considered as early biofilm colonizers. However, microcolonies of mature PDO300 biofilms were highly susceptible to late biofilm colonizers, the surface-feeding amoeba Acanthamoeba polyphaga and the planktonic ciliate Tetrahymena sp., resulting in a significant reduction of biofilm biomass. Mature biofilms of strain PAO1 inhibited growth of flagellates and A. polyphaga while the grazing activity of Tetrahymena sp. remained unaffected. Our findings suggest that inhibitor production of mature P. aeruginosa biofilms is effective against a wider range of biofilm-feeding predators while microcolony-mediated protection is only beneficial in the early stages of biofilm formation.

  14. Pandoraviruses: amoeba viruses with genomes up to 2.5 Mb reaching that of parasitic eukaryotes.

    PubMed

    Philippe, Nadège; Legendre, Matthieu; Doutre, Gabriel; Couté, Yohann; Poirot, Olivier; Lescot, Magali; Arslan, Defne; Seltzer, Virginie; Bertaux, Lionel; Bruley, Christophe; Garin, Jérome; Claverie, Jean-Michel; Abergel, Chantal

    2013-07-19

    Ten years ago, the discovery of Mimivirus, a virus infecting Acanthamoeba, initiated a reappraisal of the upper limits of the viral world, both in terms of particle size (>0.7 micrometers) and genome complexity (>1000 genes), dimensions typical of parasitic bacteria. The diversity of these giant viruses (the Megaviridae) was assessed by sampling a variety of aquatic environments and their associated sediments worldwide. We report the isolation of two giant viruses, one off the coast of central Chile, the other from a freshwater pond near Melbourne (Australia), without morphological or genomic resemblance to any previously defined virus families. Their micrometer-sized ovoid particles contain DNA genomes of at least 2.5 and 1.9 megabases, respectively. These viruses are the first members of the proposed "Pandoravirus" genus, a term reflecting their lack of similarity with previously described microorganisms and the surprises expected from their future study.

  15. Chemical composition and amoebicidal activity of Croton pallidulus, Croton ericoides, and Croton isabelli (Euphorbiaceae) essential oils.

    PubMed

    Vunda, Sita Luvangadio Lukoki; Sauter, Ismael Pretto; Cibulski, Samuel Paulo; Roehe, Paulo Michel; Bordignon, Sérgio A Loreto; Rott, Marilise Brittes; Apel, Miriam A; von Poser, Gilsane Lino

    2012-09-01

    Acanthamoeba is a free-living amoebae genus that causes amoebic keratitis which is a painful sight-threatening disease of the eyes. Its treatment is difficult, and the search for new drugs is very important. Here, essential oils obtained from the aerial parts of Croton pallidulus, Croton isabelli, and Croton ericoides (Euphorbiaceae), native plants of Southern Brazil, were tested against Acanthamoeba polyphaga and analyzed by gas chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The essential oils of C. pallidulus and C. isabelli were characterized by the presence of sesquiterpenes: germacrene D (15.5 %), terpinen-4-ol (13.2 %), and β-caryophyllene (13.1 %) in C. pallidulus and bicyclogermacrene (48.9 %) in C. isabelli. The essential oil of C. ericoides presented mainly monoterpenes, β-pinene (39.0 %) being the main component. Laboratory tests were carried out to determine the effect of the essential oils against A. polyphaga trophozoites. The essential oil of C. ericoides was the most active, killing 87 % of trophozoites at the concentration of 0.5 mg/mL. The essential oil of C. pallidulus killed only 29 % of the trophozoites at the same concentration. The essential oil of C. isabelli presented the lowest activity, killing only 4 % of the trophozoites at the concentration of 10 mg/mL. The essential oils of the three species showed cytotoxic effect by the methyl thiazolyl tetrazolium (MTT) method in Vero cells. The oil of C. ericoides, which showed the highest amoebicidal activity, was the most cytotoxic on these mammalian cells.

  16. A New Zamilon-like Virophage Partial Genome Assembled from a Bioreactor Metagenome

    PubMed Central

    Bekliz, Meriem; Verneau, Jonathan; Benamar, Samia; Raoult, Didier; La Scola, Bernard; Colson, Philippe

    2015-01-01

    Virophages replicate within viral factories inside the Acanthamoeba cytoplasm, and decrease the infectivity and replication of their associated giant viruses. Culture isolation and metagenome analyses have suggested that they are common in our environment. By screening metagenomic databases in search of amoebal viruses, we detected virophage-related sequences among sequences generated from the same non-aerated bioreactor metagenome as recently screened by another team for virophage capsid-encoding genes. We describe here the assembled partial genome of a virophage closely related to Zamilon, which infects Acanthamoeba with mimiviruses of lineages B and C but not A. Searches for sequences related to amoebal giant viruses, other Megavirales representatives and virophages were conducted using BLAST against this bioreactor metagenome (PRJNA73603). Comparative genomic and phylogenetic analyses were performed using sequences from previously identified virophages. A total of 72 metagenome contigs generated from the bioreactor were identified as best matching with sequences from Megavirales representatives, mostly Pithovirus sibericum, pandoraviruses and amoebal mimiviruses from three lineages A–C, as well as from virophages. In addition, a partial genome from a Zamilon-like virophage, we named Zamilon 2, was assembled. This genome has a size of 6716 base pairs, corresponding to 39% of the Zamilon genome, and comprises partial or full-length homologs for 15 Zamilon predicted open reading frames (ORFs). Mean nucleotide and amino acid identities for these 15 Zamilon 2 ORFs with their Zamilon counterparts were 89% (range, 81–96%) and 91% (range, 78–99%), respectively. Notably, these ORFs included two encoding a capsid protein and a packaging ATPase. Comparative genomics and phylogenetic analyses indicated that the partial genome was that of a new Zamilon-like virophage. Further studies are needed to gain better knowledge of the tropism and prevalence of virophages in

  17. Interactions of Bacterial and Amoebal Populations in Soil Microcosms with Fluctuating Moisture Content

    PubMed Central

    Bryant, R. J.; Woods, L. E.; Coleman, D. C.; Fairbanks, B. C.; McClellan, J. F.; Cole, C. V.

    1982-01-01

    Sterilized soil samples (20 g of soil per 50-ml flask), amended with 600 μg of glucose-carbon and 60 μg of NH4-N · g of dry soil−1, were inoculated with bacteria (Pseudomonas paucimobilis) alone or with bacteria and amoebae (Acanthamoeba polyphaga). We used wet-dry treatments, which involved air drying the samples to a moisture content of approximately 2% and remoistening the samples three times during the 83-day experiment. Control treatments were kept moist. In the absence of amoebae, bacterial populations were reduced by the first drying to about 60% of the moist control populations, but the third drying had no such effect. With amoebae present, bacterial numbers were not significantly affected by the dryings. Amoebal grazing reduced bacterial populations to 20 to 25% of the ungrazed bacterial populations in both moisture treatments. Encystment was an efficient survival mechanism for amoebae subjected to wet-dry cycles. The amoebal population was entirely encysted in dry soil, but the total number of amoebae was not affected by the three dryings. Growth efficiencies for amoebae feeding on bacteria were 0.33 and 0.39 for wet-dry and constantly moist treatments, respectively, results that compared well with those previously reported for Acanthamoeba spp. PMID:16345984

  18. Long-term survival and virulence of Mycobacterium leprae in amoebal cysts.

    PubMed

    Wheat, William H; Casali, Amy L; Thomas, Vincent; Spencer, John S; Lahiri, Ramanuj; Williams, Diana L; McDonnell, Gerald E; Gonzalez-Juarrero, Mercedes; Brennan, Patrick J; Jackson, Mary

    2014-12-01

    Leprosy is a curable neglected disease of humans caused by Mycobacterium leprae that affects the skin and peripheral nerves and manifests clinically in various forms ranging from self-resolving, tuberculoid leprosy to lepromatous leprosy having significant pathology with ensuing disfiguration disability and social stigma. Despite the global success of multi-drug therapy (MDT), incidences of clinical leprosy have been observed in individuals with no apparent exposure to other cases, suggestive of possible non-human sources of the bacteria. In this study we show that common free-living amoebae (FLA) can phagocytose M. leprae, and allow the bacillus to remain viable for up to 8 months within amoebic cysts. Viable bacilli were extracted from separate encysted cocultures comprising three common Acanthamoeba spp.: A. lenticulata, A. castellanii, and A. polyphaga and two strains of Hartmannella vermiformis. Trophozoites of these common FLA take up M. leprae by phagocytosis. M. leprae from infected trophozoites induced to encyst for long-term storage of the bacilli emerged viable by assessment of membrane integrity. The majority (80%) of mice that were injected with bacilli extracted from 35 day cocultures of encysted/excysted A. castellanii and A. polyphaga showed lesion development that was similar to mice challenged with fresh M. leprae from passage mice albeit at a slower initial rate. Mice challenged with coculture-extracted bacilli showed evidence of acid-fast bacteria and positive PCR signal for M. leprae. These data support the conclusion that M. leprae can remain viable long-term in environmentally ubiquitous FLA and retain virulence as assessed in the nu/nu mouse model. Additionally, this work supports the idea that M. leprae might be sustained in the environment between hosts in FLA and such residence in FLA may provide a macrophage-like niche contributing to the higher-than-expected rate of leprosy transmission despite a significant decrease in human reservoirs

  19. Long-term Survival and Virulence of Mycobacterium leprae in Amoebal Cysts

    PubMed Central

    Wheat, William H.; Casali, Amy L.; Thomas, Vincent; Spencer, John S.; Lahiri, Ramanuj; Williams, Diana L.; McDonnell, Gerald E.; Gonzalez-Juarrero, Mercedes; Brennan, Patrick J.; Jackson, Mary

    2014-01-01

    Leprosy is a curable neglected disease of humans caused by Mycobacterium leprae that affects the skin and peripheral nerves and manifests clinically in various forms ranging from self-resolving, tuberculoid leprosy to lepromatous leprosy having significant pathology with ensuing disfiguration disability and social stigma. Despite the global success of multi-drug therapy (MDT), incidences of clinical leprosy have been observed in individuals with no apparent exposure to other cases, suggestive of possible non-human sources of the bacteria. In this study we show that common free-living amoebae (FLA) can phagocytose M. leprae, and allow the bacillus to remain viable for up to 8 months within amoebic cysts. Viable bacilli were extracted from separate encysted cocultures comprising three common Acanthamoeba spp.: A. lenticulata, A. castellanii, and A. polyphaga and two strains of Hartmannella vermiformis. Trophozoites of these common FLA take up M. leprae by phagocytosis. M. leprae from infected trophozoites induced to encyst for long-term storage of the bacilli emerged viable by assessment of membrane integrity. The majority (80%) of mice that were injected with bacilli extracted from 35 day cocultures of encysted/excysted A. castellanii and A. polyphaga showed lesion development that was similar to mice challenged with fresh M. leprae from passage mice albeit at a slower initial rate. Mice challenged with coculture-extracted bacilli showed evidence of acid-fast bacteria and positive PCR signal for M. leprae. These data support the conclusion that M. leprae can remain viable long-term in environmentally ubiquitous FLA and retain virulence as assessed in the nu/nu mouse model. Additionally, this work supports the idea that M. leprae might be sustained in the environment between hosts in FLA and such residence in FLA may provide a macrophage-like niche contributing to the higher-than-expected rate of leprosy transmission despite a significant decrease in human reservoirs

  20. Exposure to Synthetic Gray Water Inhibits Amoeba Encystation and Alters Expression of Legionella pneumophila Virulence Genes

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Jingrang; Ashbolt, Nicholas J.

    2014-01-01

    Water conservation efforts have focused on gray water (GW) usage, especially for applications that do not require potable water quality. However, there is a need to better understand environmental pathogens and their free-living amoeba (FLA) hosts within GW, given their growth potential in stored gray water. Using synthetic gray water (sGW) we examined three strains of the water-based pathogen Legionella pneumophila and its FLA hosts Acanthamoeba polyphaga, A. castellanii, and Vermamoeba vermiformis. Exposure to sGW for 72 h resulted in significant inhibition (P < 0.0001) of amoebal encystation versus control-treated cells, with the following percentages of cysts in sGW versus controls: A. polyphaga (0.6 versus 6%), A. castellanii (2 versus 62%), and V. vermiformis (1 versus 92%), suggesting sGW induced maintenance of the actively feeding trophozoite form. During sGW exposure, L. pneumophila culturability decreased as early as 5 h (1.3 to 2.9 log10 CFU, P < 0.001) compared to controls (Δ0 to 0.1 log10 CFU) with flow cytometric analysis revealing immediate changes in membrane permeability. Furthermore, reverse transcription-quantitative PCR was performed on total RNA isolated from L. pneumophila cells at 0 to 48 h after sGW incubation, and genes associated with virulence (gacA, lirR, csrA, pla, and sidF), the type IV secretion system (lvrB and lvrE), and metabolism (ccmF and lolA) were all shown to be differentially expressed. These results suggest that conditions within GW may promote interactions between water-based pathogens and FLA hosts, through amoebal encystment inhibition and alteration of bacterial gene expression, thus warranting further exploration into FLA and L. pneumophila behavior in GW systems. PMID:25381242

  1. Hydraena (Hydraenopsis) ateneo, new species (Coleoptera, Hydraenidae) and other aquatic Polyphaga from a small habitat patch in a highly urbanized landscape of Metro Manila, Philippines

    PubMed Central

    Freitag, Hendrik

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Seven species of Hydraenidae, Hydrophilidae and Elmidae are recorded from temporary freshwater habitats at the Ateneo de Manila University Campus in the metropolitan area of Manila, Philippines. They were identified as Enochrus (Lumetus) fragiloides d’Orchymont, Helochares (Hydrobaticus) lepidus d’Orchymont, Helochares (Helochares) pallens (MacLeay), Hydraena (Hydraenopsis) scabra d’Orchymont, Hydraena (Hydraenopsis) palawanensis Freitag & Jäch (new record for Luzon Island), Stenelmis sp. A further hydraenid species was unknown to science and is newly described: Hydraena (Hydraenopsis) ateneo Freitag, sp. n. Aedeagus, gonocoxite, spermatheca, and female tergite X are illustrated by computer-based line drawings. Habitus images of all three Hydraena Kugelann species recorded and a checklist of the Philippine Hydraena are provided. The presence of these seven species in the Ateneo campus is briefly discussed in regard to the area’s history. Measures to maintain and extend semi-natural islands of biodiversity in urban areas are suggested. PMID:24146550

  2. Different Photoresponses of Microorganisms: From Bioinhibition to Biostimulation.

    PubMed

    Decarli, Monize Caiado; Carvalho, Mariana Torres; Corrêa, Thaila Quatrini; Bagnato, Vanderlei Salvador; de Souza, Clovis Wesley Oliveira

    2016-04-01

    The effective treatment of antimicrobial modalities continues to be a serious challenge, mainly due to the increasing number of multidrug resistance pathogenic microorganisms. Microbial bioinhibition is an alternative method that has shown to be effective. This study investigated and described the effect of the visible light on five different microorganisms. The studied groups were composed by the species Acanthamoeba polyphaga, Candida albicans, Mycobacterium massiliense, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus aureus. These microorganisms were analyzed after six light doses exposition with three different wavelengths: 450, 520, and 630 nm. The present study indicates two different behaviors: bioinhibition and/or biostimulation. The bioinhibition effect was calculated using different percentages of the microorganism population, compared to the control group, in which the maximum value corresponds to 94% growth inhibition. The biostimulation effect was evaluated by the microorganism population increment for specific light doses. Our results showed a 132% population growth as the maximum value. These results were assessed by variance analysis. The Tukey's test was used for differentiating or comparing, depending on the circumstances. The obtained results suggested a visible light phototherapeutic effect that could be used as a microorganism inactivation method for the studied microorganisms. In some approaches, the biostimulation effect might also be a very interesting effect to be considered. This study supports the relevance of understanding the important role that phototherapy plays as a useful method for microbiological control studies and applications. PMID:26742773

  3. Pseudomonas aeruginosa adaptation to lungs of cystic fibrosis patients leads to lowered resistance to phage and protist enemies.

    PubMed

    Friman, Ville-Petri; Ghoul, Melanie; Molin, Søren; Johansen, Helle Krogh; Buckling, Angus

    2013-01-01

    Pathogenic life styles can lead to highly specialized interactions with host species, potentially resulting in fitness trade-offs in other ecological contexts. Here we studied how adaptation of the environmentally transmitted bacterial pathogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, to cystic fibrosis (CF) patients affects its survival in the presence of natural phage (14/1, ΦKZ, PNM and PT7) and protist (Tetrahymena thermophila and Acanthamoebae polyphaga) enemies. We found that most of the bacteria isolated from relatively recently intermittently colonised patients (1-25 months), were innately phage-resistant and highly toxic for protists. In contrast, bacteria isolated from long time chronically infected patients (2-23 years), were less efficient in both resisting phages and killing protists. Moreover, chronic isolates showed reduced killing of wax moth larvae (Galleria mellonella) probably due to weaker in vitro growth and protease expression. These results suggest that P. aeruginosa long-term adaptation to CF-lungs could trade off with its survival in aquatic environmental reservoirs in the presence of microbial enemies, while lowered virulence could reduce pathogen opportunities to infect insect vectors; factors that are both likely to result in poorer environmental transmission. From an applied perspective, phage therapy could be useful against chronic P. aeruginosa lung infections that are often characterized by multidrug resistance: chronic isolates were least resistant to phages and their poor growth will likely slow down the emergence of beneficial resistance mutations.

  4. The genealogic tree of mycobacteria reveals a long-standing sympatric life into free-living protozoa.

    PubMed

    Lamrabet, Otmane; Merhej, Vicky; Pontarotti, Pierre; Raoult, Didier; Drancourt, Michel

    2012-01-01

    Free-living protozoa allow horizontal gene transfer with and between the microorganisms that they host. They host mycobacteria for which the sources of transferred genes remain unknown. Using BLASTp, we searched within the genomes of 15 mycobacteria for homologous genes with 34 amoeba-resistant bacteria and the free-living protozoa Dictyostelium discoideum. Subsequent phylogenetic analysis of these sequences revealed that eight mycobacterial open-reading frames (ORFs) were probably acquired via horizontal transfer from beta- and gamma-Proteobacteria and from Firmicutes, but the transfer histories could not be reliably established in details. One further ORF encoding a pyridine nucleotide disulfide oxidoreductase (pyr-redox) placed non-tuberculous mycobacteria in a clade with Legionella spp., Francisella spp., Coxiella burnetii, the ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila and D. discoideum with a high reliability. Co-culturing Mycobacterium avium and Legionella pneumophila with the amoeba Acanthamoeba polyphaga demonstrated that these two bacteria could live together in amoebae for five days, indicating the biological relevance of intra-amoebal transfer of the pyr-redox gene. In conclusion, the results of this study support the hypothesis that protists can serve as a source and a place for gene transfer in mycobacteria.

  5. Complete genome sequence of Cannes 8 virus, a new member of the proposed family "Marseilleviridae".

    PubMed

    Aherfi, Sarah; Pagnier, Isabelle; Fournous, Ghislain; Raoult, Didier; La Scola, Bernard; Colson, Philippe

    2013-12-01

    Marseillevirus is a giant virus that was isolated in 2007 by culturing water collected from a cooling tower in Paris, France, on Acanthamoeba polyphaga. Since then, five other marseilleviruses have been detected in environmental or human samples. The genomes of two of the six marseilleviruses have been described in detail. We describe herein the genome of Cannes 8 virus, a new member of the proposed family "Marseilleviridae." Cannes 8 virus was isolated from water collected from a cooling tower in Cannes in southeastern France. Its genome is a circular double-stranded DNA molecule with 374,041 base pairs, larger than the Marseillevirus and Lausannevirus genomes. This genome harbors 484 open reading frames predicted to encode proteins with sizes ranging from 50 to 1,537 amino acids, among which 380 (79%) and 272 (56%) are bona fide orthologs of Marseillevirus and Lausannevirus proteins, respectively. In addition, 407 and 336 predicted proteins have significant hits against Marseillevirus and Lausannevirus proteins, respectively, and 294 proteins are shared by all three marseilleviruses. The Cannes 8 virus genome has a high level of collinearity (for 96% of orthologs) with the Marseillevirus genome. About two-thirds of the Cannes 8 virus gene repertoire is composed of family ORFans. The description and annotation of the genomes of new marseilleviruses that will undoubtedly be recovered from environmental or clinical samples will be helpful to increase our knowledge of the pan-genome of the family "Marseilleviridae." PMID:23912978

  6. Giant virus Megavirus chilensis encodes the biosynthetic pathway for uncommon acetamido sugars.

    PubMed

    Piacente, Francesco; De Castro, Cristina; Jeudy, Sandra; Molinaro, Antonio; Salis, Annalisa; Damonte, Gianluca; Bernardi, Cinzia; Abergel, Chantal; Tonetti, Michela G

    2014-08-29

    Giant viruses mimicking microbes, by the sizes of their particles and the heavily glycosylated fibrils surrounding their capsids, infect Acanthamoeba sp., which are ubiquitous unicellular eukaryotes. The glycans on fibrils are produced by virally encoded enzymes, organized in gene clusters. Like Mimivirus, Megavirus glycans are mainly composed of virally synthesized N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc). They also contain N-acetylrhamnosamine (RhaNAc), a rare sugar; the enzymes involved in its synthesis are encoded by a gene cluster specific to Megavirus close relatives. We combined activity assays on two enzymes of the pathway with mass spectrometry and NMR studies to characterize their specificities. Mg534 is a 4,6-dehydratase 5-epimerase; its three-dimensional structure suggests that it belongs to a third subfamily of inverting dehydratases. Mg535, next in the pathway, is a bifunctional 3-epimerase 4-reductase. The sequential activity of the two enzymes leads to the formation of UDP-l-RhaNAc. This study is another example of giant viruses performing their glycan synthesis using enzymes different from their cellular counterparts, raising again the question of the origin of these pathways.

  7. Evolutionary dynamics of giant viruses and their virophages.

    PubMed

    Wodarz, Dominik

    2013-07-01

    Giant viruses contain large genomes, encode many proteins atypical for viruses, replicate in large viral factories, and tend to infect protists. The giant virus replication factories can in turn be infected by so called virophages, which are smaller viruses that negatively impact giant virus replication. An example is Mimiviruses that infect the protist Acanthamoeba and that are themselves infected by the virophage Sputnik. This study examines the evolutionary dynamics of this system, using mathematical models. While the models suggest that the virophage population will evolve to increasing degrees of giant virus inhibition, it further suggests that this renders the virophage population prone to extinction due to dynamic instabilities over wide parameter ranges. Implications and conditions required to avoid extinction are discussed. Another interesting result is that virophage presence can fundamentally alter the evolutionary course of the giant virus. While the giant virus is predicted to evolve toward increasing its basic reproductive ratio in the absence of the virophage, the opposite is true in its presence. Therefore, virophages can not only benefit the host population directly by inhibiting the giant viruses but also indirectly by causing giant viruses to evolve toward weaker phenotypes. Experimental tests for this model are suggested. PMID:23919155

  8. Evolutionary dynamics of giant viruses and their virophages.

    PubMed

    Wodarz, Dominik

    2013-07-01

    Giant viruses contain large genomes, encode many proteins atypical for viruses, replicate in large viral factories, and tend to infect protists. The giant virus replication factories can in turn be infected by so called virophages, which are smaller viruses that negatively impact giant virus replication. An example is Mimiviruses that infect the protist Acanthamoeba and that are themselves infected by the virophage Sputnik. This study examines the evolutionary dynamics of this system, using mathematical models. While the models suggest that the virophage population will evolve to increasing degrees of giant virus inhibition, it further suggests that this renders the virophage population prone to extinction due to dynamic instabilities over wide parameter ranges. Implications and conditions required to avoid extinction are discussed. Another interesting result is that virophage presence can fundamentally alter the evolutionary course of the giant virus. While the giant virus is predicted to evolve toward increasing its basic reproductive ratio in the absence of the virophage, the opposite is true in its presence. Therefore, virophages can not only benefit the host population directly by inhibiting the giant viruses but also indirectly by causing giant viruses to evolve toward weaker phenotypes. Experimental tests for this model are suggested.

  9. Conserved mechanisms of Mycobacterium marinum pathogenesis within the environmental amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    PubMed

    Kennedy, George M; Morisaki, J Hiroshi; Champion, Patricia A DiGiuseppe

    2012-03-01

    Mycobacterium marinum is a waterborne mycobacterial pathogen. Due to their common niche, protozoa likely represent natural hosts for M. marinum. We demonstrate that the ESX-1 secretion system is required for M. marinum pathogenesis and that M. marinum utilizes actin-based motility in amoebae. Therefore, at least two virulence pathways used by M. marinum in macrophages are conserved during M. marinum infection of amoebae.

  10. MOLECULAR AND PHYSIOLOGICAL EVALUATION OF SUBTROPICAL ENVIRONMENTAL ISOLATES OF ACANTHAMOEBA KERATITIS. (R828830)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  11. In vitro amoebicidal activities of Satureja cuneifolia and Melissa officinalis on Acanthamoeba castellanii cysts and trophozoites.

    PubMed

    Malatyali, E; Tepe, B; Degerli, S; Berk, S

    2012-06-01

    Amoebic keratitis is difficult to treat without total efficacy in some patients because of cysts, which are less susceptible than trophozoites to the usual treatments. The aim of this study is to evaluate the in vitro amoebicidal activity of the methanolic extracts of Satureja cuneifolia and Melissa officinalis. In the presence of methanolic extracts (ranging from 1.0 to 32.0 mg/ml), numbers of the viable Acanthamoe castellanii trophozoites and cysts were decreased during the experimental process. Both extracts showed a time- and dose-dependent amoebicidal action on the trophozoites and cysts. Among the extracts tested, S. cuneifolia showed the strongest amoebicidal effect on the trophozoites and cysts. In the presence of 32 mg/ml extract, no viable trophozoites were observed within 24 h. At the same concentration value, the extract was found effective against the cysts at a rate of 46.3% within 72 h of the experimental process. At 16 mg/ml extract concentration, no viable trophozoites were also observed in the 24th hour of the experiment. At the end of the experimental process, 34.7% of the cysts were killed by the extract. M. officinalis showed moderate amoebicidal effect. At the concentration of 32 mg/ml, 44.3% and 30.0% of the trophozoites and cysts were killed by the extract, respectively. Results obtained from these concentration values were found statistically different in terms of their actions both on trophozoites and cysts (p<0.05).

  12. Interaction of Blastomyces dermatitidis, Sporothrix schenckii, and Histoplasma capsulatum with Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    PubMed

    Steenbergen, Judith N; Nosanchuk, Joshua D; Malliaris, Stephanie D; Casadevall, Arturo

    2004-06-01

    Several dimorphic fungi are important human pathogens, but the origin and maintenance of virulence in these organisms is enigmatic, since an interaction with a mammalian host is not a requisite for fungal survival. Recently, Cryptococcus neoformans was shown to interact with macrophages, slime molds, and amoebae in a similar manner, suggesting that fungal pathogenic strategies may arise from environmental interactions with phagocytic microorganisms. In this study, we examined the interactions of three dimorphic fungi with the soil amoeba Acanthameobae castellanii. Yeast forms of Blastomyces dermatitidis, Sporothrix schenckii, and Histoplasma capsulatum were each ingested by amoebae and macrophages, and phagocytosis of yeast cells resulted in amoeba death and fungal growth. H. capsulatum conidia were also cytotoxic to amoebae. For each fungal species, exposure of yeast cells to amoebae resulted in an increase in hyphal cells. Exposure of an avirulent laboratory strain of H. capsulatum to A. castellanii selected for, or induced, a phenotype of H. capsulatum that caused a persistent murine lung infection. These results are consistent with the view that soil amoebae may contribute to the selection and maintenance of certain traits in pathogenic dimorphic fungi that confer on these microbes the capacity for virulence in mammals. PMID:15155655

  13. PRODUCTION OF RESPIRABLE VESICLES CONTAINING LIVE LEGIONELLA PNEUMOPHILA CELLS BY TWO ACANTHAMOEBA SPP. (R825352)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  14. Survey of Legionella spp. in Mud Spring Recreation Area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsu, B.-M.; Ma, P.-H.; Su, I.-Z.; Chen, N.-S.

    2009-04-01

    Legionella genera are parasites of FLA, and intracellular bacterial replication within the FLA plays a major role in the transmission of disease. At least 13 FLA species—including Acanthamoeba spp., Naegleria spp., and Hartmannella spp.—support intracellular bacterial replication. In the study, Legionellae were detected with microbial culture or by direct DNA extraction and analysis from concentrated water samples or cultured free-living amoebae, combined with molecular methods that allow the taxonomic identification of these pathogens. The water samples were taken from a mud spring recreation area located in a mud-rock-formation area in southern Taiwan. Legionella were detected in 15 of the 34 samples (44.1%). Four of the 34 samples analyzed by Legionella culture were positive for Legionella, five of 34 were positive for Legionella when analyzed by direct DNA extraction and analysis, and 11 of 34 were positive for amoebae-resistant Legionella when analyzed by FLA culture. Ten samples were shown to be positive for Legionella by one analysis method and five samples were shown to be positive by two analysis methods. However, Legionella was detected in no sample by all three analysis methods. This suggests that the three analysis methods should be used together to detect Legionella in aquatic environments. In this study, L. pneumophila serotype 6 coexisted with A. polyphaga, and two uncultured Legionella spp. coexisted with either H. vermiformis or N. australiensis. Of the unnamed Legionella genotypes detected in six FLA culture samples, three were closely related to L. waltersii and the other three were closely related to L. pneumophila serotype 6. Legionella pneumophila serotype 6, L. drancourtii, and L. waltersii are noted endosymbionts of FLA and are categorized as pathogenic bacteria. This is significant for human health because these Legionella exist within FLA and thus come into contact with typically immunocompromised people.

  15. Influence of intra-amoebic and other growth conditions on the surface properties of Legionella pneumophila.

    PubMed Central

    Barker, J; Lambert, P A; Brown, M R

    1993-01-01

    The surface properties of Legionella pneumophila were examined by analyzing outer membrane (OM) proteins, lipopolysaccharides (LPS), and cellular fatty acids after growth within Acanthamoeba polyphaga and in vitro under various nutrient-depleted conditions. Intra-amoeba-grown legionellae were found to differ in several respects from cells grown in vitro; most notably, they contained a 15-kDa OM protein and a monounsaturated straight-chain fatty acid (18:1(9)). These compounds were also found in abundant quantities in the host amoeba. Immunoblot analysis of intra-amoeba-grown legionellae with antiacanthamoebic serum revealed that both the bacterial whole cells and Sarkosyl-extracted OMs contained amoebic antigens. The findings suggest that the 15-kDa OM protein is likely to be of amoebic origin and associates with the OM of the bacterium. It is proposed that disruption of amoebic membranes, as a result of intra-amoebic infection, may liberate macromolecules, including a 15-kDa polypeptide, a major constituent of the amoebic membrane, which adhere to the surface of the legionellae. Growth under specific nutrient depletions also had a significant effect on the surface composition of L. pneumophila. Cells grown under phosphate depletion were markedly sensitive to protease K digestion and contained lower levels of LPS, as observed by silver staining of the digests on polyacrylamide gels. Intra-amoeba-grown cells contained more bands than the in vitro-grown organisms, reflecting further differences in the nature of the LPS. The whole-cell fatty acids of the phosphate-depleted cells were appreciably different from those of cells grown under other nutritional conditions. We found no evidence for expression of iron-regulated OM proteins under iron depletion. Images PMID:8335382

  16. Free-living protozoa in two unchlorinated drinking water supplies, identified by phylogenic analysis of 18S rRNA gene sequences.

    PubMed

    Valster, Rinske M; Wullings, Bart A; Bakker, Geo; Smidt, Hauke; van der Kooij, Dick

    2009-07-01

    Free-living protozoan communities in water supplies may include hosts for Legionella pneumophila and other undesired bacteria, as well as pathogens. This study aimed at identifying free-living protozoa in two unchlorinated groundwater supplies, using cultivation-independent molecular approaches. For this purpose, samples (<20 degrees C) of treated water, distributed water, and distribution system biofilms were collected from supply A, with a low concentration of natural organic matter (NOM) (<0.5 ppm of C), and from supply B, with a high NOM concentration (7.9 ppm of C). Eukaryotic communities were studied using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism and clone library analyses of partial 18S rRNA gene fragments and a Hartmannella vermiformis-specific quantitative PCR (qPCR). In both supplies, highly diverse eukaryotic communities were observed, including free-living protozoa, fungi, and metazoa. Sequences of protozoa clustered with Amoebozoa (10 operational taxonomic units [OTUs]), Cercozoa (39 OTUs), Choanozoa (26 OTUs), Ciliophora (29 OTUs), Euglenozoa (13 OTUs), Myzozoa (5 OTUs), and Stramenopiles (5 OTUs). A large variety of protozoa were present in both supplies, but the estimated values for protozoan richness did not differ significantly. H. vermiformis was observed in both supplies but was not a predominant protozoan. One OTU with the highest similarity to Acanthamoeba polyphaga, an opportunistic human pathogen and a host for undesired bacteria, was observed in supply A. The high level of NOM in supply B corresponded with an elevated level of active biomass and with elevated concentrations of H. vermiformis in distributed water. Hence, the application of qPCR may be promising in elucidating the relationship between drinking water quality and the presence of specific protozoa.

  17. Relationship between Organic Carbon and Opportunistic Pathogens in Simulated Glass Water Heaters

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Krista; Pruden, Amy; Falkinham, Joseph O.; Edwards, Marc

    2015-01-01

    Controlling organic carbon levels in municipal water has been hypothesized to limit downstream growth of bacteria and opportunistic pathogens in premise plumbing (OPPPs). Here, the relationships between influent organic carbon (0–15,000 µg ozonated fulvic acid /L) and the number of total bacteria [16S rRNA genes and heterotrophic plate counts (HPCs)] and a wide range of OPPPs (gene copy numbers of Acanthamoeba polyphaga, Vermamoeba vermiformis, Legionella pneumophila, and Mycobacterium avium) were examined in the bulk water of 120-mL simulated glass water heaters (SGWHs). The SGWHs were operated at 32–37 °C, which is representative of conditions encountered at the bottom of electric water heaters, with water changes of 80% three times per week to simulate low use. This design presented advantages of controlled and replicated (triplicate) conditions and avoided other potential limitations to OPPP growth in order to isolate the variable of organic carbon. Over seventeen months, strong correlations were observed between total organic carbon (TOC) and both 16S rRNA gene copy numbers and HPC counts (avg. R2 > 0.89). Although M. avium gene copies were occasionally correlated with TOC (avg. R2 = 0.82 to 0.97, for 2 out of 4 time points) and over a limited TOC range (0–1000 µg/L), no other correlations were identified between other OPPPs and added TOC. These results suggest that reducing organic carbon in distributed water is not adequate as a sole strategy for controlling OPPPs, although it may have promise in conjunction with other approaches. PMID:26066310

  18. Free-Living Protozoa in Two Unchlorinated Drinking Water Supplies, Identified by Phylogenic Analysis of 18S rRNA Gene Sequences▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Valster, Rinske M.; Wullings, Bart A.; Bakker, Geo; Smidt, Hauke; van der Kooij, Dick

    2009-01-01

    Free-living protozoan communities in water supplies may include hosts for Legionella pneumophila and other undesired bacteria, as well as pathogens. This study aimed at identifying free-living protozoa in two unchlorinated groundwater supplies, using cultivation-independent molecular approaches. For this purpose, samples (<20°C) of treated water, distributed water, and distribution system biofilms were collected from supply A, with a low concentration of natural organic matter (NOM) (<0.5 ppm of C), and from supply B, with a high NOM concentration (7.9 ppm of C). Eukaryotic communities were studied using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism and clone library analyses of partial 18S rRNA gene fragments and a Hartmannella vermiformis-specific quantitative PCR (qPCR). In both supplies, highly diverse eukaryotic communities were observed, including free-living protozoa, fungi, and metazoa. Sequences of protozoa clustered with Amoebozoa (10 operational taxonomic units [OTUs]), Cercozoa (39 OTUs), Choanozoa (26 OTUs), Ciliophora (29 OTUs), Euglenozoa (13 OTUs), Myzozoa (5 OTUs), and Stramenopiles (5 OTUs). A large variety of protozoa were present in both supplies, but the estimated values for protozoan richness did not differ significantly. H. vermiformis was observed in both supplies but was not a predominant protozoan. One OTU with the highest similarity to Acanthamoeba polyphaga, an opportunistic human pathogen and a host for undesired bacteria, was observed in supply A. The high level of NOM in supply B corresponded with an elevated level of active biomass and with elevated concentrations of H. vermiformis in distributed water. Hence, the application of qPCR may be promising in elucidating the relationship between drinking water quality and the presence of specific protozoa. PMID:19465529

  19. Thirty-thousand-year-old distant relative of giant icosahedral DNA viruses with a pandoravirus morphology

    PubMed Central

    Legendre, Matthieu; Bartoli, Julia; Shmakova, Lyubov; Jeudy, Sandra; Labadie, Karine; Adrait, Annie; Lescot, Magali; Poirot, Olivier; Bertaux, Lionel; Bruley, Christophe; Couté, Yohann; Rivkina, Elizaveta; Abergel, Chantal; Claverie, Jean-Michel

    2014-01-01

    The largest known DNA viruses infect Acanthamoeba and belong to two markedly different families. The Megaviridae exhibit pseudo-icosahedral virions up to 0.7 μm in diameter and adenine–thymine (AT)-rich genomes of up to 1.25 Mb encoding a thousand proteins. Like their Mimivirus prototype discovered 10 y ago, they entirely replicate within cytoplasmic virion factories. In contrast, the recently discovered Pandoraviruses exhibit larger amphora-shaped virions 1 μm in length and guanine–cytosine-rich genomes up to 2.8 Mb long encoding up to 2,500 proteins. Their replication involves the host nucleus. Whereas the Megaviridae share some general features with the previously described icosahedral large DNA viruses, the Pandoraviruses appear unrelated to them. Here we report the discovery of a third type of giant virus combining an even larger pandoravirus-like particle 1.5 μm in length with a surprisingly smaller 600 kb AT-rich genome, a gene content more similar to Iridoviruses and Marseillevirus, and a fully cytoplasmic replication reminiscent of the Megaviridae. This suggests that pandoravirus-like particles may be associated with a variety of virus families more diverse than previously envisioned. This giant virus, named Pithovirus sibericum, was isolated from a >30,000-y-old radiocarbon-dated sample when we initiated a survey of the virome of Siberian permafrost. The revival of such an ancestral amoeba-infecting virus used as a safe indicator of the possible presence of pathogenic DNA viruses, suggests that the thawing of permafrost either from global warming or industrial exploitation of circumpolar regions might not be exempt from future threats to human or animal health. PMID:24591590

  20. Thirty-thousand-year-old distant relative of giant icosahedral DNA viruses with a pandoravirus morphology.

    PubMed

    Legendre, Matthieu; Bartoli, Julia; Shmakova, Lyubov; Jeudy, Sandra; Labadie, Karine; Adrait, Annie; Lescot, Magali; Poirot, Olivier; Bertaux, Lionel; Bruley, Christophe; Couté, Yohann; Rivkina, Elizaveta; Abergel, Chantal; Claverie, Jean-Michel

    2014-03-18

    The largest known DNA viruses infect Acanthamoeba and belong to two markedly different families. The Megaviridae exhibit pseudo-icosahedral virions up to 0.7 μm in diameter and adenine-thymine (AT)-rich genomes of up to 1.25 Mb encoding a thousand proteins. Like their Mimivirus prototype discovered 10 y ago, they entirely replicate within cytoplasmic virion factories. In contrast, the recently discovered Pandoraviruses exhibit larger amphora-shaped virions 1 μm in length and guanine-cytosine-rich genomes up to 2.8 Mb long encoding up to 2,500 proteins. Their replication involves the host nucleus. Whereas the Megaviridae share some general features with the previously described icosahedral large DNA viruses, the Pandoraviruses appear unrelated to them. Here we report the discovery of a third type of giant virus combining an even larger pandoravirus-like particle 1.5 μm in length with a surprisingly smaller 600 kb AT-rich genome, a gene content more similar to Iridoviruses and Marseillevirus, and a fully cytoplasmic replication reminiscent of the Megaviridae. This suggests that pandoravirus-like particles may be associated with a variety of virus families more diverse than previously envisioned. This giant virus, named Pithovirus sibericum, was isolated from a >30,000-y-old radiocarbon-dated sample when we initiated a survey of the virome of Siberian permafrost. The revival of such an ancestral amoeba-infecting virus used as a safe indicator of the possible presence of pathogenic DNA viruses, suggests that the thawing of permafrost either from global warming or industrial exploitation of circumpolar regions might not be exempt from future threats to human or animal health.

  1. Development of DNA mismatch repair gene, MutS, as a diagnostic marker for detection and phylogenetic analysis of algal Megaviruses.

    PubMed

    Wilson, William H; Gilg, Ilana C; Duarte, Amy; Ogata, Hiroyuki

    2014-10-01

    Megaviruses are generically defined as giant viruses with genomes up to 1.26Mb that infect eukaryotic unicellular protists; they are clearly delineated in DNA polymerase B phylogenetic trees; in addition, common features often include an associated virophage observed during infection; the presence of an amino acyl tRNA synthetase gene; and a nucleic acid mismatch repair protein, MutS gene. The archetypal representative of this evolving putative family is Mimivirus, an opportunistic pathogen of Acanthamoeba spp. originally thought to be a bacterium until its genome sequence was published in 2004. Subsequent analysis of marine metagenomic data revealed Megaviruses are likely ubiquitous on the surface ocean. Analysis of genome sequences of giant viruses isolated from naturally occurring marine protists such as microalgae and a microflagellate grazer, started the expansion of the Megaviridae. Here, we explored the possibility of developing Megavirus specific markers for mutS that could be used in virus molecular ecology studies. MutS is split into 15 different clades representing a wide range of cellular life, and two that contain Megaviruses, clade MutS7 and clade MutS8. We developed specific PCR primers that recognized Megavirus clade MutS8, a clade that we propose discriminates most of the algal Megaviruses. Analysis of seawater off the coast of Maine, US, revealed novel groups of algal Megaviruses that were present in all samples tested. The Megavirus clade MutS8 marker should be considered as a tool to reveal new diversity and distribution of this enigmatic group of viruses.

  2. Giant viruses of amoebae as potential human pathogens.

    PubMed

    Colson, Philippe; La Scola, Bernard; Raoult, Didier

    2013-01-01

    Giant viruses infecting phagocytic protists are composed of mimiviruses, the record holders of particle and genome size amongst viruses, and marseilleviruses. Since the discovery in 2003 at our laboratory of the first of these giant viruses, the Mimivirus, a growing body of data has revealed that they are common inhabitants of our biosphere. Moreover, from the outset, the story of Mimivirus has been linked to that of patients exhibiting pneumonia and it was shown that patients developed antibodies to this amoebal pathogen. Since then, there have been several proven cases of human infection or colonization with giant viruses of amoebae, which are known to host several bacteria that are human pathogens. Mimiviruses and marseilleviruses represent a major challenge in human pathology, as virological procedures implemented to date have not used appropriate media to allow their culture, and molecular techniques have used filtration steps that likely prevented their detection. Nevertheless, there is an increasing body of evidence that mimiviruses might cause pneumonia and that humans carry marseilleviruses, and re-analyses of metagenomic databases have provided evidence that these giant viruses can be common in human samples. The proportion of human infections related to these giant mimiviruses and marseilleviruses and the precise short- and long-term consequences of these infections have been scarcely investigated so far and should be the subject of future works. PMID:24157884

  3. Giant viruses of amoebae as potential human pathogens.

    PubMed

    Colson, Philippe; La Scola, Bernard; Raoult, Didier

    2013-01-01

    Giant viruses infecting phagocytic protists are composed of mimiviruses, the record holders of particle and genome size amongst viruses, and marseilleviruses. Since the discovery in 2003 at our laboratory of the first of these giant viruses, the Mimivirus, a growing body of data has revealed that they are common inhabitants of our biosphere. Moreover, from the outset, the story of Mimivirus has been linked to that of patients exhibiting pneumonia and it was shown that patients developed antibodies to this amoebal pathogen. Since then, there have been several proven cases of human infection or colonization with giant viruses of amoebae, which are known to host several bacteria that are human pathogens. Mimiviruses and marseilleviruses represent a major challenge in human pathology, as virological procedures implemented to date have not used appropriate media to allow their culture, and molecular techniques have used filtration steps that likely prevented their detection. Nevertheless, there is an increasing body of evidence that mimiviruses might cause pneumonia and that humans carry marseilleviruses, and re-analyses of metagenomic databases have provided evidence that these giant viruses can be common in human samples. The proportion of human infections related to these giant mimiviruses and marseilleviruses and the precise short- and long-term consequences of these infections have been scarcely investigated so far and should be the subject of future works.

  4. Interactions of Neuropathogenic Escherichia coli K1 (RS218) and Its Derivatives Lacking Genomic Islands with Phagocytic Acanthamoeba castellanii and Nonphagocytic Brain Endothelial Cells

    PubMed Central

    Yousuf, Farzana Abubakar; Yousuf, Zuhair; Iqbal, Junaid; Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah; Khan, Hafsa; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2014-01-01

    Here we determined the role of various genomic islands in E. coli K1 interactions with phagocytic A. castellanii and nonphagocytic brain microvascular endothelial cells. The findings revealed that the genomic islands deletion mutants of RS218 related to toxins (peptide toxin, α-hemolysin), adhesins (P fimbriae, F17-like fimbriae, nonfimbrial adhesins, Hek, and hemagglutinin), protein secretion system (T1SS for hemolysin), invasins (IbeA, CNF1), metabolism (D-serine catabolism, dihydroxyacetone, glycerol, and glyoxylate metabolism) showed reduced interactions with both A. castellanii and brain microvascular endothelial cells. Interestingly, the deletion of RS218-derived genomic island 21 containing adhesins (P fimbriae, F17-like fimbriae, nonfimbrial adhesins, Hek, and hemagglutinin), protein secretion system (T1SS for hemolysin), invasins (CNF1), metabolism (D-serine catabolism) abolished E. coli K1-mediated HBMEC cytotoxicity in a CNF1-independent manner. Therefore, the characterization of these genomic islands should reveal mechanisms of evolutionary gain for E. coli K1 pathogenicity. PMID:24818136

  5. Amoebal Endosymbiont Parachlamydia acanthamoebae Bn9 Can Grow in Immortal Human Epithelial HEp-2 Cells at Low Temperature; An In Vitro Model System to Study Chlamydial Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Nakamura, Shinji; Matsuo, Junji; Ishida, Kasumi; Yamazaki, Sumire; Oguri, Satoshi; Shouji, Natsumi; Hayashi, Yasuhiro; Yoshida, Mitsutaka; Yimin; Yamaguchi, Hiroyuki

    2015-01-01

    Ancient chlamydiae diverged into pathogenic and environmental chlamydiae 0.7–1.4 billion years ago. However, how pathogenic chlamydiae adapted to mammalian cells that provide a stable niche at approximately 37°C, remains unknown, although environmental chlamydiae have evolved as endosymbionts of lower eukaryotes in harsh niches of relatively low temperatures. Hence, we assessed whether an environmental chlamydia, Parachlamydia Bn9, could grow in human HEp-2 cells at a low culture temperature of 30°C. The assessment of inclusion formation by quantitative RT-PCR revealed that the numbers of bacterial inclusion bodies and the transcription level of 16SrRNA significantly increased after culture at 30°C compared to at 37°C. Confocal microscopy showed that the bacteria were located close to HEp-2 nuclei and were actively replicative. Transmission electron microscopy also revealed replicating bacteria consisting of reticular bodies, but with a few elementary bodies. Cytochalasin D and rifampicin inhibited inclusion formation. Lactacystin slightly inhibited bacterial inclusion formation. KEGG analysis using a draft genome sequence of the bacteria revealed that it possesses metabolic pathways almost identical to those of pathogenic chlamydia. Interestingly, comparative genomic analysis with pathogenic chlamydia revealed that the Parachlamydia similarly possess the genes encoding Type III secretion system, but lacking genes encoding inclusion membrane proteins (IncA to G) required for inclusion maturation. Taken together, we conclude that ancient chlamydiae had the potential to grow in human cells, but overcoming the thermal gap was a critical event for chlamydial adaptation to human cells. PMID:25643359

  6. Pathogenic free-living amoebae in Korea

    PubMed Central

    Shin, Ho-Joon

    2004-01-01

    Acanthamoeba and Naegleria are widely distributed in fresh water, soil and dust throughout the world, and cause meningoencephalitis or keratoconjunctivitis in humans and other mammals. Korean isolates, namely, Naegleria sp. YM-1 and Acanthamoeba sp. YM-2, YM-3, YM-4, YM-5, YM-6 and YM-7, were collected from sewage, water puddles, a storage reservoir, the gills of a fresh water fish, and by corneal washing. These isolates were categorized into three groups based on the mortalities of infected mice namely, highly virulent (YM-4), moderately virulent (YM-2, YM-5 and YM-7) and nonpathogenic (YM-3). In addition, a new species of Acanthamoeba was isolated from a freshwater fish in Korea and tentatively named Korean isolate YM-4. The morphologic characters of its cysts were similar to those of A. culbertsoni and A. royreba, which were previously designated as Acanthamoeba group III. Based on experimentally infected mouse mortality, Acanthamoeba YM-4 was highly virulent. The isoenzymes profile of Acanthamoeba YM-4 was similar to that of A. royreba. Moreover, an anti-Acanthamoeba YM-4 monoclonal antibody reacted only with Acanthamoeba YM-4, and not with A. culbertsoni. Random amplified polymorphic DNA marker analysis and RFLP analysis of mitochondrial DNA and of a 18S small subunit ribosomal RNA, placed Acanthamoeba YM-4 in a separate cluster based on phylogenic distances. Thus Acanthamoeba YM-4 was identified as a new species, and assigned Acanthamoeba sohi. Up to the year 2002 in Korea, two clinical cases were found to be infected with Acanthamoeba spp. These patients died of meningoencephalitis. In addition, one case of Acanthamoeba pneumonia with an immunodeficient status was reported and Acanthamoeba was detected in several cases of chronic relapsing corneal ulcer, chronic conjunctivitis, and keratitis. PMID:15381859

  7. Infection cycles of large DNA viruses: Emerging themes and underlying questions

    SciTech Connect

    Mutsafi, Yael Fridmann-Sirkis, Yael; Milrot, Elad; Hevroni, Liron; Minsky, Abraham

    2014-10-15

    The discovery of giant DNA viruses and the recent realization that such viruses are diverse and abundant blurred the distinction between viruses and cells. These findings elicited lively debates on the nature and origin of viruses as well as on their potential roles in the evolution of cells. The following essay is, however, concerned with new insights into fundamental structural and physical aspects of viral replication that were derived from studies conducted on large DNA viruses. Specifically, the entirely cytoplasmic replication cycles of Mimivirus and Vaccinia are discussed in light of the highly limited trafficking of large macromolecules in the crowded cytoplasm of cells. The extensive spatiotemporal order revealed by cytoplasmic viral factories is described and contended to play an important role in promoting the efficiency of these ‘nuclear-like’ organelles. Generation of single-layered internal membrane sheets in Mimivirus and Vaccinia, which proceeds through a novel membrane biogenesis mechanism that enables continuous supply of lipids, is highlighted as an intriguing case study of self-assembly. Mimivirus genome encapsidation was shown to occur through a portal different from the ‘stargate’ portal that is used for genome release. Such a ‘division of labor’ is proposed to enhance the efficacy of translocation processes of very large viral genomes. Finally, open questions concerning the infection cycles of giant viruses to which future studies are likely to provide novel and exciting answers are discussed. - Highlights: • The discovery of giant DNA viruses blurs the distinction between viruses and cells. • Mimivirus and Vaccinia replicate exclusively in their host cytoplasm. • Mimivirus genome is delivered through a unique portal coined the Stargate. • Generation of Mimivirus internal membrane proceeds through a novel pathway.

  8. Corneal ulcers and infections

    MedlinePlus

    Bacterial keratitis; Fungal keratitis; Acanthamoeba keratitis; Herpes simplex keratitis ... occur in people with a suppressed immune system. Herpes simplex keratitis is a serious viral infection. It ...

  9. Intracellular multiplication of Legionella species and the influence of amoebae on their intracellular growth in human monocytes: mono mac 6 cells and Acanthamoeba castellanii as suitable in vitro models.

    PubMed

    Neumeister, Birgid

    2004-01-01

    Legionellae are important etiological agents of pneumonia. Legionella pneumophila (predominantly serogroup 1) is detected in most cases of legionellosis; other species only occasionally cause infections, predominantly in immunocompromized patients. Aquiferous technical systems are the primary source of infection (air-conditioning systems, refrigerators, showers, whirlpools, springs, taps, moisturizing equipment, medical nebulizers, and swimming pools). Legionellae are present in the water in these systems, within the amoebae, flagellates, and ciliates in which they replicate. After inhalation of contaminated aerosols, the bacteria multiply intracellularly within alveolar macrophages. The ability to multiply within monocytic host cells is usually considered to correspond to pathogenicity. The mechanisms of intracellular replication have been only partially characterized. Analysis of the molecular pathogenesis of Legionella infection, both in the pathogen itself and in the host cell, is the subject of current research and may lead to new options in prophylaxis and treatment. We have established the human Mono Mac 6 cell line (MM6) instead of the previously used histiocytic lymphoma cell line U 937 or the promyelocytic leukemia cell line HL-60 to investigate the intracellular replication of legionellae and the molecular pathogenesis of Legionella infection within human monocytic host cells. MM6 cells represent a more mature macrophage-like cell line that expresses phenotypic and functional properties of mature monocytes and that does not need to be stimulated by phorbol esters or 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3. A good correlation between the prevalence of a given Legionella species and its intracellular multiplication in MM6 cells could be demonstrated.In addition to Legionella, MM6 cells were found to support the intracellular growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Chlamydia pneumoniae, two other important bacterial agents involved in induction of pneumonia. Therefore, the MM6 model might be adaptable to investigations of the molecular pathogenesis of other intracellular bacteria that can replicate within human monocytes and induce disease.

  10. Granulomatous Amebic Encephalitis in a Child with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Successfully Treated with Multimodal Antimicrobial Therapy and Hyperbaric Oxygen▿

    PubMed Central

    Maritschnegg, P.; Sovinz, P.; Lackner, H.; Benesch, M.; Nebl, A.; Schwinger, W.; Walochnik, J.; Urban, C.

    2011-01-01

    Acanthamoeba is the causative agent of granulomatous amebic encephalitis, a rare and usually fatal disease. We report a child with acute lymphoblastic leukemia who developed brain abscesses caused by Acanthamoeba during induction therapy. Multimodal antimicrobial chemotherapy and hyperbaric oxygen therapy resulted in complete resolution of symptoms and of pathology as seen by magnetic resonance imaging. PMID:21084511

  11. Pathogenic free-living amoebae: epidemiology and clinical review.

    PubMed

    Trabelsi, H; Dendana, F; Sellami, A; Sellami, H; Cheikhrouhou, F; Neji, S; Makni, F; Ayadi, A

    2012-12-01

    Free-living amoebae are widely distributed in soil and water. Small number of them was implicated in human disease: Acanthamoeba spp., Naegleria fowleri, Balamuthia mandrillaris and Sappinia diploidea. Some of the infections were opportunistic, occurring mainly in immunocompromised hosts (Acanthamoeba and Balamuthia encephalitis) while others are non opportunistic (Acanthamoeba keratitis, Naegleria meningoencephalitis and some cases of Balamuthia encephalitis). Although, the number of infections caused by these amoebae is low, their diagnosis was still difficult to confirm and so there was a higher mortality, particularly, associated with encephalitis. In this review, we present some information about epidemiology, ecology and the types of diseases caused by these pathogens amoebae. PMID:22520593

  12. Pathogenic free-living amoebae: epidemiology and clinical review.