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Sample records for acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus

  1. Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus virophage seroconversion in travelers returning from Laos.

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-01

    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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus NDK: preliminary crystallographic analysis of the first viral nucleoside diphosphate kinase

    SciTech Connect

    Jeudy, Sandra; Coutard, Bruno; Lebrun, Régine; Abergel, Chantal

    2005-06-01

    A. polyphaga mimivirus, the largest known double-stranded DNA virus, is the first virus to exhibit a nucleoside diphosphate kinase gene. The expression and crystallization of the viral NDK are reported. The complete sequence of the largest known double-stranded DNA virus, Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus, has recently been determined [Raoult et al. (2004 ▶), Science, 306, 1344–1350] and revealed numerous genes not expected to be found in a virus. A comprehensive structural and functional study of these gene products was initiated [Abergel et al. (2005 ▶), Acta Cryst. F61, 212–215] both to better understand their role in the virus physiology and to obtain some clues to the origin of DNA viruses. Here, the preliminary crystallographic analysis of the viral nucleoside diphosphate kinase protein is reported. The crystal belongs to the cubic space group P2{sub 1}3, with unit-cell parameter 99.425 Å. The self-rotation function confirms that there are two monomers per asymmetric unit related by a twofold non-crystallographic axis and that the unit cell thus contains four biological entities.

  5. Distinct DNA exit and packaging portals in the virus Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus.

    PubMed

    Zauberman, Nathan; Mutsafi, Yael; Halevy, Daniel Ben; Shimoni, Eyal; Klein, Eugenia; Xiao, Chuan; Sun, Siyang; Minsky, Abraham

    2008-05-13

    Icosahedral double-stranded DNA viruses use a single portal for genome delivery and packaging. The extensive structural similarity revealed by such portals in diverse viruses, as well as their invariable positioning at a unique icosahedral vertex, led to the consensus that a particular, highly conserved vertex-portal architecture is essential for viral DNA translocations. Here we present an exception to this paradigm by demonstrating that genome delivery and packaging in the virus Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus occur through two distinct portals. By using high-resolution techniques, including electron tomography and cryo-scanning electron microscopy, we show that Mimivirus genome delivery entails a large-scale conformational change of the capsid, whereby five icosahedral faces open up. This opening, which occurs at a unique vertex of the capsid that we coined the "stargate", allows for the formation of a massive membrane conduit through which the viral DNA is released. A transient aperture centered at an icosahedral face distal to the DNA delivery site acts as a non-vertex DNA packaging portal. In conjunction with comparative genomic studies, our observations imply a viral packaging pathway akin to bacterial DNA segregation, which might be shared by diverse internal membrane-containing viruses.

  6. 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

  7. Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus stability in environmental and clinical substrates: implications for virus detection and isolation.

    PubMed

    Dornas, Fábio P; Silva, Lorena C F; de Almeida, Gabriel M; Campos, Rafael K; Boratto, Paulo V M; Franco-Luiz, Ana P M; La Scola, Bernard; Ferreira, Paulo C P; Kroon, Erna G; Abrahão, Jônatas S

    2014-01-01

    Viruses are extremely diverse and abundant and are present in countless environments. Giant viruses of the Megavirales order have emerged as a fascinating research topic for virologists around the world. As evidence of their ubiquity and ecological impact, mimiviruses have been found in multiple environmental samples. However, isolation of these viruses from environmental samples is inefficient, mainly due to methodological limitations and lack of information regarding the interactions between viruses and substrates. In this work, we demonstrate the long-lasting stability of mimivirus in environmental (freshwater and saline water) and hospital (ventilator plastic device tube) substrates, showing the detection of infectious particles after more than 9 months. In addition, an enrichment protocol was implemented that remarkably increased mimivirus detection from all tested substrates, including field tests. Moreover, biological, morphological and genetic tests revealed that the enrichment protocol maintained mimivirus particle integrity. In conclusion, our work demonstrated the stability of APMV in samples of environmental and health interest and proposed a reliable and easy protocol to improve giant virus isolation. The data presented here can guide future giant virus detection and isolation studies.

  8. Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus Stability in Environmental and Clinical Substrates: Implications for Virus Detection and Isolation

    PubMed Central

    de Almeida, Gabriel M.; Campos, Rafael K.; Boratto, Paulo V. M.; Franco-Luiz, Ana P. M.; La Scola, Bernard; Ferreira, Paulo C. P.; Kroon, Erna G.; Abrahão, Jônatas S.

    2014-01-01

    Viruses are extremely diverse and abundant and are present in countless environments. Giant viruses of the Megavirales order have emerged as a fascinating research topic for virologists around the world. As evidence of their ubiquity and ecological impact, mimiviruses have been found in multiple environmental samples. However, isolation of these viruses from environmental samples is inefficient, mainly due to methodological limitations and lack of information regarding the interactions between viruses and substrates. In this work, we demonstrate the long-lasting stability of mimivirus in environmental (freshwater and saline water) and hospital (ventilator plastic device tube) substrates, showing the detection of infectious particles after more than 9 months. In addition, an enrichment protocol was implemented that remarkably increased mimivirus detection from all tested substrates, including field tests. Moreover, biological, morphological and genetic tests revealed that the enrichment protocol maintained mimivirus particle integrity. In conclusion, our work demonstrated the stability of APMV in samples of environmental and health interest and proposed a reliable and easy protocol to improve giant virus isolation. The data presented here can guide future giant virus detection and isolation studies. PMID:24498379

  9. Acanthamoeba and mimivirus interactions: the role of amoebal encystment and the expansion of the 'Cheshire Cat' theory.

    PubMed

    Silva, Ludmila Karen Dos Santos; Boratto, Paulo Victor Miranda; La Scola, Bernard; Bonjardim, Cláudio Antônio; Abrahão, Jônatas Santos

    2016-06-01

    Acanthamoeba are natural hosts for giant viruses and their life cycle comprises two stages: a trophozoite and a cryptobiotic cyst. Encystment involves a massive turnover of cellular components under molecular regulation. Giant viruses are able to infect only the trophozoite, while cysts are resistant to infection. Otherwise, upon infection, mimiviruses are able to prevent encystment. This review highlights the important points of Acanthamoeba and giant virus interactions regarding the encystment process. The existence of an acanthamoebal non-permissive cell for Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus, the prototype member of the Mimivirus genus, is analyzed at the molecular and ecological levels, and compared to a similar phenomenon previously described for Emiliana huxleyi and its associated phycodnaviruses: the 'Cheshire Cat' escape strategy.

  10. Survival of Environmental Mycobacteria in Acanthamoeba polyphaga

    PubMed Central

    Adékambi, Toïdi; Ben Salah, Skandar; Khlif, Mohamed; Raoult, Didier; Drancourt, Michel

    2006-01-01

    Free-living amoebae in water are hosts to many bacterial species living in such an environment. Such an association enables bacteria to select virulence factors and survive in adverse conditions. Waterborne mycobacteria (WBM) are important sources of community- and hospital-acquired outbreaks of nontuberculosis mycobacterial infections. However, the interactions between WBM and free-living amoebae in water have been demonstrated for only few Mycobacterium spp. We investigated the ability of a number (n = 26) of Mycobacterium spp. to survive in the trophozoites and cysts of Acanthamoeba polyphaga. All the species tested entered the trophozoites of A. polyphaga and survived at this location over a period of 5 days. Moreover, all Mycobacterium spp. survived inside cysts for a period of 15 days. Intracellular Mycobacterium spp. within amoeba cysts survived when exposed to free chlorine (15 mg/liter) for 24 h. These data document the interactions between free-living amoebae and the majority of waterborne Mycobacterium spp. Further studies are required to examine the effects of various germicidal agents on the survival of WBM in an aquatic environment. PMID:16957218

  11. 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.

  12. Interactions of some common pathogenic bacteria with Acanthamoeba polyphaga.

    PubMed

    Huws, Sharon A; Morley, Robert J; Jones, Martin V; Brown, Michael R W; Smith, Anthony W

    2008-05-01

    Protozoan grazing is a major trophic pathway whereby the biomass re-enters the food web. Nonetheless, not all bacteria are digested by protozoa and the number known to evade digestion, resulting in their environmental augmentation, is increasing. We investigated the interactions of Bacillus cereus, Enterococcus faecalis, Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC), Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, and methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA), with the amoeba, Acanthamoeba polyphaga. There was evidence of predation of all bacterial species except L. monocytogenes and S. aureus, where extracellular numbers were significantly higher when cultured with amoebae compared with growth in the absence of amoebae. Intracellular growth kinetic experiments and fluorescent confocal microscopy suggest that S. aureus survived and may even multiply within A. polyphaga, whereas there was no apparent intra-amoebal replication of L. monocytogenes and higher numbers were likely sustained on metabolic waste products released during coculture.

  13. Acanthamoeba polyphaga is a possible host for Vibrio cholerae in aquatic environments.

    PubMed

    Sandström, Gunnar; Saeed, Amir; Abd, Hadi

    2010-09-01

    Acanthamoeba is a genus of free-living amoebae found to be able to host many bacterial species living in the environment. Acanthamoebae and Vibrio cholerae are found in the aquatic environments of cholera endemic areas. Previously it has been shown that V. cholerae O1 and O139 can survive and grow in Acanthamoeba castellanii. The aim of this study was to examine the ability of Acanthamoeba polyphaga to host V. cholerae O1 and O139. The interaction between A. polyphaga and V. cholerae strains was studied by means of viable amoeba cell counts and viable count of the bacteria in the absence and presence of amoebae. The viable count of intracellularly growing bacteria was estimated by utilizing gentamicin assay. Electron microscopy was used to determine the localization of V. cholerae inside A. polyphaga. The results showed that A. polyphaga enhanced growth and survival of V. cholerae, which grew and survived inside the amoeba cells for 2weeks. The electron microscopy showed that A. polyphaga hosted intracellular V. cholerae localized in the vacuoles of amoeba cell. Neither the presence of V. cholerae together with A. polyphaga nor the intracellular localization of the bacteria inhibited growth and survival of A. polyphaga. The outcome of the interaction between these microorganisms may support strongly the role of A. polyphaga as host for V. cholerae O1 and O139.

  14. 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

  15. Crescent bodies of Parachlamydia acanthamoeba and its life cycle within Acanthamoeba polyphaga: an electron micrograph study.

    PubMed

    Greub, Gilbert; Raoult, Didier

    2002-06-01

    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.

  16. 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

  17. In vitro comparative assessment of different viability assays in Acanthamoeba castellanii and Acanthamoeba polyphaga trophozoites.

    PubMed

    Heredero-Bermejo, I; Copa-Patiño, J L; Soliveri, J; Gómez, R; de la Mata, F J; Pérez-Serrano, J

    2013-12-01

    The species of the genus Acanthamoeba are opportunistic protozoan parasites that cause different diseases in humans, such as amoebic keratitis and granulomatous encephalitis. The rise in the rate of Acanthamoeba keratitis, mainly due to the increase in contact lens wearers, turns the development of viability assays using a multi-well plate reader as a tool for screening new antiamoebic agents in vitro into an important goal. In our study, the viability assays PrestoBlue®, resazurin sodium salt, 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) and CellTiter96® were tested for their suitability as time-saving alternatives to the classical manual or direct-counting method, assessing the effect of the antiamoebic agent chlorhexidine digluconate and temperature on Acanthamoeba castellanii (ATCC® 30234™) and Acanthamoeba polyphaga 2961. Although resazurin and MTT have already been previously used in amoeba viability assays to test the activities of antiamoebic agents in vitro, it is the first time that PrestoBlue® and CellTiter96® are used for this purpose. Results indicated that the viability assays were strain-dependent leading in some cases to an overestimation of the real situation of viable cells. This implies that each viability assay ought to be set up for each amoeba strain studied.

  18. 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.

  19. 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 Central

    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

  20. 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

  1. Human IgA inhibits adherence of Acanthamoeba polyphaga to epithelial cells and contact lenses.

    PubMed

    Campos-Rodríguez, Rafael; Oliver-Aguillón, Gabriela; Vega-Pérez, Luz M; Jarillo-Luna, Adriana; Hernández-Martínez, Dolores; Rojas-Hernández, Saúl; Rodríguez-Monroy, Marco A; Rivera-Aguilar, Víctor; González-Robles, Arturo

    2004-09-01

    Specific anti-Acanthamoeba IgA antibodies have been detected in the serum and tears of patients and healthy individuals. However, the role of human secretory IgA antibodies in inhibiting the adherence of Acanthamoeba had not been previously investigated. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to purify secretory IgA from human colostrum and analyze its effect on the adherence of Acanthamoeba trophozoites to contact lenses and Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells. IgA antibodies to Acanthamoeba polyphaga in colostrum of healthy women as well as in saliva and serum of healthy subjects were analyzed by ELISA and Western blot analysis. In serum, saliva, and colostrum, we detected IgA antibodies that recognized several antigens of A. polyphaga. In addition, colostrum and IgA antibodies purified from it inhibited adherence of A. polyphaga trophozoites to contact lenses and MDCK cells. These results suggest that IgA antibodies may participate in the resistance to the amoebic infection, probably by inhibiting the adherence of the trophozoites to contact lenses and corneal epithelial cells.

  2. Campylobacter jejuni Actively Invades the Amoeba Acanthamoeba polyphaga and Survives within Non Digestive Vacuoles

    PubMed Central

    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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Effects of magainins on ameba and cyst stages of Acanthamoeba polyphaga.

    PubMed Central

    Schuster, F L; Jacob, L S

    1992-01-01

    Amebic keratitis produced by Acanthamoeba spp. is an increasingly important ocular infection in extended-use contact lens wearers. Problems associated with the infection are compounded by the lack of effective and well-tolerated chemotherapeutic agents. The magainins, a group of naturally occurring and synthetic membrane-active peptide compounds, have been shown to be active in vitro against a clinical isolate of Acanthamoeba polyphaga. Two magainins tested extensively had minimal inhibitory and minimal amebicidal values of 20 and 25 micrograms/ml for magainin MSI-103 and 25 and 40 micrograms/ml for magainin MSI-94, respectively. Both amebastatic and amebicidal activities are enhanced by combining the magainins with silver nitrate (200 micrograms/ml) and/or other marginally effective antimicrobial agents. These combinations have activity against both trophic and cystic stages in the Acanthamoeba life cycle and have promise as antimicrobial agents in the treatment of amebic keratitis. PMID:1416825

  6. 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.

  7. Acanthamoeba polyphaga, a potential environmental vector for the transmission of food-borne and opportunistic pathogens.

    PubMed

    Anacarso, Immacolata; de Niederhäusern, Simona; Messi, Patrizia; Guerrieri, Elisa; Iseppi, Ramona; Sabia, Carla; Bondi, Moreno

    2012-06-01

    The endosymbiotic relationship could represent for many bacteria an important condition favouring their spread in the environment and in foods. For this purpose we studied the behaviour of some food-borne and opportunistic pathogens (Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis, Aeromonas hydrophila, Yersinia enterocolitica) when internalized in Acanthamoeba polyphaga. Our results confirm the capability of the bacteria tested to grow within amoebal hosts. We can observe two types of interactions of the bacteria internalized in A. polyphaga. The first type, showed by Y. enterocolitica and A. hydrophila, was characterized by an early replication, probably followed by the killing and digestion of the bacteria. The second type, showed by E. faecalis and S. aureus was characterized by the persistence and grow inside the host without lysis. Lastly, when amoebae were co-cultured with L. monocytogenes and S. Enteritidis, an eclipse phase followed by an active intracellular growth was observed, suggesting a third type of predator-prey trend. The extracellular count in presence of A. polyphaga, as a result of an intracellular multiplication and subsequent release, was characterized by an increase of E. faecalis, S. aureus, L. monocytogenes and S. Enteritidis, and by a low or absent cell count for Y. enterocolitica and A. hydrophila. Our study suggests that the investigated food-borne and opportunistic pathogens are, in most cases, able to interact with A. polyphaga, to intracellularly replicate and, lastly, to be potentially spread in the environment, underlining the possible role of this protozoan in food contamination.

  8. Interaction Between Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Acanthamoeba polyphaga.

    PubMed

    de Souza, Thamires Klein; Soares, Scheila Silva; Benitez, Lisianne Brittes; Rott, Marilise Brittes

    2017-05-01

    The interactions that occur between bacteria and amoebae can give through mutual relations, where both organisms benefit from the association or parasitic in which one organism benefits at the expense of the other. When these organisms share the same environment, it can result in some changes in the growth of organisms, in adaptation patterns, in morphology, development or even in their ability to synthesize proteins and other substances. In this study, the interaction between Acanthamoeba polyphaga and Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) was evaluated using a co-culture model at different incubation times. The results showed that 89% of amoebic cells remained viable after contact with the bacteria. The bacterial isolate was visualized inside the amoeba through confocal microscopy and fluorescence for up to 216 h of co-cultivation. The lysate of amoebic culture increased the growth of S. aureus (MRSA), and the effect of supernatant of culture inhibited bacterial growth over the incubation times, suggesting that A. polyphaga produced some metabolite, that inhibited the growth of bacteria. Moreover, the encystment of the A. polyphaga was increased by the bacteria presence. The results show that A. polyphaga and S. aureus interaction may have an important influence on survival of both, and specially indicate a possible effect on the metabolics characteristics each other.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

    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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Mechanism involved in phagocytosis and killing of Listeria monocytogenes by Acanthamoeba polyphaga.

    PubMed

    Akya, Alisha; Pointon, Andrew; Thomas, Connor

    2009-10-01

    Intra-cellular pathogen, Listeria monocytogenes, is capable of invasion and survival within mammalian cells. However, Acanthamoeba polyphaga trophozoites phagocytose and rapidly degrade Listeria cells. In order to provide more information on amoeba phagocytosis and killing mechanisms, this study used several inhibitor agents known to affect the phagocytosis and killing of bacteria by eukaryotes. Amoebae were pre-treated with mannose, cytochalasin D, wortmannin, suramin, ammonium chloride, bafilomycin A and monensin followed by co-culture with bacteria. Phagocytosis and killing of bacterial cells by amoeba trophozoites was assessed using plate counting methods and microscopy. The data presented indicates that actin polymerisation and cytoskeletal rearrangement are involved in phagocytosis of L. monocytogenes cells by A. polyphaga trophozoites. Further, both phagosomal acidification and phagosome-lysosome fusion are involved in killing and degradation of L. monocytogenes cells by A. polyphaga. However, the mannose-binding protein receptor does not play an important role in uptake of bacteria by amoeba trophozoites. In conclusion, this data reveals the similar principles of molecular mechanisms used by different types of eukaryotes in uptake and killing of bacteria.

  13. Infection of Acanthamoeba polyphaga with Simkania negevensis and S. negevensis Survival within Amoebal Cysts

    PubMed Central

    Kahane, Simona; Dvoskin, Bella; Mathias, Mazit; Friedman, Maureen G.

    2001-01-01

    Simkania negevensis, a novel microorganism belonging to the family Simkaniaceae in the order Chlamydiales, has an intracellular developmental cycle during which two morphological entities, elementary bodies (EB) and reticulate bodies (RB), are seen by electron microscopy. Rates of seropositivity to the organism are high in certain population groups, and S. negevensis has been associated with respiratory illness in humans. This study reports for the first time the ability of S. negevensis to survive and grow inside Acanthamoeba polyphaga in addition to its known ability to grow in cell cultures of human or simian origin. Infectivity of S. negevensis and growth in amoebae were monitored by immunoperoxidase assays. Long-term persistence and exponential growth of S. negevensis in amoebal trophozoites were demonstrated by infectivity assays and by electron microscopy. EB and dividing RB of S. negevensis were observed within inclusion bodies inside A. polyphaga. When S. negevensis-infected A. polyphaga amoebae were exposed to adverse conditions resulting in encystation of the amoebae, several possible outcomes were observed: cysts containing both normal amoebic cytoplasm and S. negevensis; cysts in which S. negevensis cells were relegated to the space between cyst walls; and cysts containing S. negevensis, but apparently lacking amoebal cytoplasm. S. negevensis within dried amoebal cysts was capable of long-term survival. The possibility that amoebae may have a role in natural transmission of S. negevensis needs to be investigated. PMID:11571186

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Mycobacterium gilvum illustrates size-correlated relationships between mycobacteria and Acanthamoeba polyphaga.

    PubMed

    Lamrabet, Otmane; Drancourt, Michel

    2013-03-01

    Mycobacteria are isolated from soil and water environments, where free-living amoebae live. Free-living amoebae are bactericidal, yet some rapidly growing mycobacteria are amoeba-resistant organisms that survive in the amoebal trophozoites and cysts. Such a capacity has not been studied for the environmental rapidly growing organism Mycobacterium gilvum. We investigated the ability of M. gilvum to survive in the trophozoites of Acanthamoeba polyphaga strain Linc-AP1 by using optical and electron microscopy and culture-based microbial enumerations in the presence of negative controls. We observed that 29% of A. polyphaga cells were infected by M. gilvum mycobacteria by 6 h postinfection. Surviving M. gilvum mycobacteria did not multiply and did not kill the amoebal trophozoites during a 5-day coculture. Extensive electron microscopy observations indicated that M. gilvum measured 1.4 ± 0.5 μm and failed to find M. gilvum organisms in the amoebal cysts. Further experimental study of two other rapidly growing mycobacteria, Mycobacterium rhodesiae and Mycobacterium thermoresistibile, indicated that both measured <2 μm and exhibited the same amoeba-mycobacterium relationships as M. gilvum. In general, we observed that mycobacteria measuring <2 μm do not significantly grow within and do not kill amoebal trophozoites, in contrast to mycobacteria measuring >2 μm (P < 0.05). The mechanisms underlying such an observation remain to be determined.

  17. Mycobacterium gilvum Illustrates Size-Correlated Relationships between Mycobacteria and Acanthamoeba polyphaga

    PubMed Central

    Lamrabet, Otmane

    2013-01-01

    Mycobacteria are isolated from soil and water environments, where free-living amoebae live. Free-living amoebae are bactericidal, yet some rapidly growing mycobacteria are amoeba-resistant organisms that survive in the amoebal trophozoites and cysts. Such a capacity has not been studied for the environmental rapidly growing organism Mycobacterium gilvum. We investigated the ability of M. gilvum to survive in the trophozoites of Acanthamoeba polyphaga strain Linc-AP1 by using optical and electron microscopy and culture-based microbial enumerations in the presence of negative controls. We observed that 29% of A. polyphaga cells were infected by M. gilvum mycobacteria by 6 h postinfection. Surviving M. gilvum mycobacteria did not multiply and did not kill the amoebal trophozoites during a 5-day coculture. Extensive electron microscopy observations indicated that M. gilvum measured 1.4 ± 0.5 μm and failed to find M. gilvum organisms in the amoebal cysts. Further experimental study of two other rapidly growing mycobacteria, Mycobacterium rhodesiae and Mycobacterium thermoresistibile, indicated that both measured <2 μm and exhibited the same amoeba-mycobacterium relationships as M. gilvum. In general, we observed that mycobacteria measuring <2 μm do not significantly grow within and do not kill amoebal trophozoites, in contrast to mycobacteria measuring >2 μm (P < 0.05). The mechanisms underlying such an observation remain to be determined. PMID:23275502

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    1992-08-01

    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.

  20. Mycobacterium avium bacilli grow saprozoically in coculture with Acanthamoeba polyphaga and survive within cyst walls.

    PubMed

    Steinert, M; Birkness, K; White, E; Fields, B; Quinn, F

    1998-06-01

    Protozoans are gaining recognition as environmental hosts for a variety of waterborne pathogens. We compared the growth of Mycobacterium avium, a human pathogen associated with domestic water supplies, in coculture with the free-living amoeba Acanthamoeba polyphaga with the growth of M. avium when it was separated from amoebae by a 0.1-micron-pore-size polycarbonate membrane (in a parachamber). Although viable mycobacteria were observed within amoebal vacuoles, there was no significant difference between bacterial growth in coculture and bacterial growth in the parachamber. This suggests that M. avium is able to grow saprozoically on products secreted by the amoebae. In contrast, Legionella pneumophila, a well-studied intracellular parasite of amoebae, multiplied only in coculture. A comparison of amoebae infected with L. pneumophila and amoebae infected with M. avium by electron microscopy demonstrated that there were striking differences in the locations of the bacteria within amoebal cysts. While L. pneumophila resided within the cysts, M. avium was found within the outer walls of the double-walled cysts of A. polyphaga. These locations may provide a reservoir for the bacteria when environmental conditions become unfavorable.

  1. Influence of Legionella pneumophila and other water bacteria on the survival and growth of Acanthamoeba polyphaga.

    PubMed

    Anacarso, I; Guerrieri, E; Bondi, M; de Niederhäusern, S; Iseppi, R; Sabia, C; Contri, M; Borella, P; Messi, P

    2010-10-01

    We investigated in solid medium, in water microcosm co-cultures and by light and transmission electron microscopy the influence of Legionella pneumophila Lp-1, Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 27853, Burkholderia cepacia ATCC 25416 and Pseudomonas fluorescens SSD35 on the growth and survival of Acanthamoeba polyphaga. The infection with L. pneumophila was microscopically characterized by the presence of few bacteria inside protozoa at 4th h, and by the beginning of disruptive effects in late phase of trial. In water microcosm studies, performed at different temperature, the more significant interactions were observed at 30°C. In these conditions, L. pneumophila caused a marked reduction in trophozoite and cyst counts from the 4th day until the end of incubation (11 days). B. cepacia showed, by microscopic observation, few and generally single rods within protozoan phagosomes and caused a light reduction of trophozoite viability and cyst formation in co-cultures. A more invasive type of endocytosis, characterized by an early invasion with the presence of a high bacteria number inside amoebae, was observed for Pseudomonas strains. P. fluorescens produced a violent lysis of the host, whereas P. aeruginosa did not cause lysis or suffering. These results underline that water bacteria other than legionella are capable of intracellular survival in Acanthamoeba, influencing the protozoa viable cycle.

  2. Mimivirus relatives in the Sargasso sea.

    PubMed

    Ghedin, Elodie; Claverie, Jean-Michel

    2005-08-16

    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.

  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. Comparison of Hydrogen Peroxide Contact Lens Disinfection Systems and Solutions against Acanthamoeba polyphaga

    PubMed Central

    Hughes, Reanne; Kilvington, Simon

    2001-01-01

    Acanthamoeba is a free-living amoeba causing a potentially blinding infection of the cornea. Contact lens wearers are most at risk and account for some 95% of cases. Hydrogen peroxide is used for contact lens disinfection due to its broad antimicrobial activity. Lenses must be neutralized before use to avoid pronounced stinging and possible corneal damage. Neutralization is achieved by adding a catalyst during the disinfection process (one-step) or afterwards (two-step). Here, the activities of commercial peroxide systems and individual solutions against trophozoites and cysts of Acanthamoeba polyphaga were compared. All disinfection systems were active against trophozoites, giving a ≥3-log (99.9%) kill within 1 h. Of the four one-step systems, only one showed some cysticidal activity, giving a 1.28 ± 0.41-log reduction. Both two-step systems were cysticidal, giving a ≥3-log kill at 4 h. All system peroxide solutions were cysticidal, giving a ≥3-log kill by 4 to 6 h. Variation in the cysticidal rate was observed with two solutions that gave a 1.8- to 2.1-log kill at 4 h compared with 3.0 to 4.0 for the rest (P < 0.05). No cysticidal activity was found with the peroxigen sodium perborate or the contact lens protein remover subtilisin A. Two-step systems are cysticidal providing contact times of at least 4 h are employed. Variation in cyst killing occurs between peroxide solutions, possibly due to formulation differences. One-step systems are less effective against Acanthamoeba cysts due to rapid peroxide neutralization. The cysticidal activity of one-step systems could be improved if neutralization rates were retarded. PMID:11408220

  5. 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.

  6. Detection limits of Legionella pneumophila in environmental samples after co-culture with Acanthamoeba polyphaga

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The efficiency of recovery and the detection limit of Legionella after co-culture with Acanthamoeba polyphaga are not known and so far no investigations have been carried out to determine the efficiency of the recovery of Legionella spp. by co-culture and compare it with that of conventional culturing methods. This study aimed to assess the detection limits of co-culture compared to culture for Legionella pneumophila in compost and air samples. Compost and air samples were spiked with known concentrations of L. pneumophila. Direct culturing and co-culture with amoebae were used in parallel to isolate L. pneumophila and recovery standard curves for both methods were produced for each sample. Results The co-culture proved to be more sensitive than the reference method, detecting 102-103 L. pneumophila cells in 1 g of spiked compost or 1 m3 of spiked air, as compared to 105-106 cells in 1 g of spiked compost and 1 m3 of spiked air. Conclusions Co-culture with amoebae is a useful, sensitive and reliable technique to enrich L. pneumophila in environmental samples that contain only low amounts of bacterial cells. PMID:23442526

  7. 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...

  8. Broad spectrum of mimiviridae virophage allows its isolation using a mimivirus reporter.

    PubMed

    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.

  9. 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

  10. Vaccinia-like cytoplasmic replication of the giant Mimivirus.

    PubMed

    Mutsafi, Yael; Zauberman, Nathan; Sabanay, Ilana; Minsky, Abraham

    2010-03-30

    Poxviruses are considered to be unique among all DNA viruses, because their infection cycle is carried out exclusively in the host cytoplasm. Such an infection strategy is of interest, because it necessitates generation of elaborate factories in which viral replication and assembly are promoted. By using diverse imaging techniques, we show that the infection cycle of the largest virus currently identified, the Acanthamoeba polyphaga Mimivirus, similarly occurs exclusively in the host cytoplasm. We further show that newly synthesized mRNAs accumulate at discrete cytoplasmic sites that are distinct from the sites where viral replication occurs, and this is observed in vaccinia infection. By revealing substantial physiologic similarity between poxviruses and Mimivirus and thus, implying that an entirely cytoplasmic viral replication might be more common than generally considered, these findings underscore the ability of DNA viruses to generate large and elaborate replication factories.

  11. Disruption of the phagosomal membrane and egress of Legionella pneumophila into the cytoplasm during the last stages of intracellular infection of macrophages and Acanthamoeba polyphaga.

    PubMed

    Molmeret, Maëlle; Bitar, Dina M; Han, Lihui; Kwaik, Yousef Abu

    2004-07-01

    Although the early stages of intracellular infection by Legionella pneumophila are well established at the ultrastructural level, a detailed ultrastructural analysis of late stages of intracellular replication has never been done. Here we show that the membrane of the L. pneumophila-containing phagosome (LCP) is intact for up to 8 h postinfection of macrophages and Acanthamoeba polyphaga. At 12 h, 71 and 74% of the LCPs are disrupted within macrophages and A. polyphaga, respectively, while the plasma membrane remains intact. At 18 and 24 h postinfection, cytoplasmic elements such as mitochondria, lysosomes, vesicles, and amorphous material are dispersed among the bacteria and these bacteria are considered cytoplasmic. At 18 h, 77% of infected macrophages and 32% of infected A. polyphaga amoebae harbor cytoplasmic bacteria. At 24 h, 99 and 78% of infected macrophages and amoebae, respectively, contain cytoplasmic bacteria. On the basis of lysosomal acid phosphatase staining of infected macrophages and A. polyphaga, the lysosomal enzyme is present among the bacteria when host vesicles are dispersed among bacteria. Our data indicate that bacterial replication proceeds despite physical disruption of the phagosomal membrane. We also show that an lspG mutant that is defective in the type II secretion system and therefore does not secrete the hydrolytic enzymes metalloprotease, p-nitrophenol phosphorylcholine hydrolase, lipase, phospholipase A, and lysophospholipase A is as efficient as the wild-type strain in disruption of the LCP. Therefore, L. pneumophila disrupts the phagosomal membrane and becomes cytoplasmic at the last stages of infection in both macrophages and A. polyphaga. Lysosomal elements, mitochondria, cytoplasmic vesicles, and amorphous material are all dispersed among the bacteria, after phagosomal disruption, within both human macrophages and A. polyphaga. The disruption of the LCP is independent of the hydrolytic enzymes exported by the type II secretion

  12. Acanthamoeba polyphaga Strain Age and Method of Cyst Production Influence the Observed Efficacy of Therapeutic Agents and Contact Lens Disinfectants

    PubMed Central

    Hughes, Reanne; Heaselgrave, Wayne; Kilvington, Simon

    2003-01-01

    The effects of age in culture and the type of medium used for induction of Acanthamoeba polyphaga (Ros) cysts on susceptibilities to polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB; 3 μg/ml), chlorhexidine digluconate (30 μg/ml), myristamidopropyl dimethylamine (20 μg/ml), H2O2 (3%), and two multipurpose contact lens solutions (MPS-1 and MPS-2, based on 1 μg of PHMB per ml) were examined. Strain Ros-02 was cryopreserved on isolation in 1991, while strain Ros-91 had been in continuous axenic culture. Significant differences in susceptibilities to the disinfectants were found depending on the medium used for cyst preparation and the age of the test strain, with Ros-02 generally being more resistant. For example, the killing of Ros-91 cysts produced from an axenic culture of trophozoites in the presence of 50 mM MgCl2 by MPS-2 was 4 logs, but the killing of Ros-02 by MPS-2 was only 2 logs (P < 0.05) and killing of both strains with cysts obtained from monoxenic cultures with Escherichia coli was only 1 log (P < 0.001). Assays repeated with different batches of the various cyst types gave consistent results. A batch of Ros-91 cysts stored at 4°C and tested over an 8-week period with MPS-1 showed progressively increasing susceptibility to disinfection, although there was no loss of viability during storage (P < 0.01). These observations have important implications for the standardization and interpretation of Acanthamoeba disinfectant and therapeutic agent testing. PMID:14506012

  13. Mimivirus: leading the way in the discovery of giant viruses of amoebae.

    PubMed

    Colson, Philippe; La Scola, Bernard; Levasseur, Anthony; Caetano-Anollés, Gustavo; Raoult, Didier

    2017-04-01

    The accidental discovery of the giant virus of amoeba - Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus (APMV; more commonly known as mimivirus) - in 2003 changed the field of virology. Viruses were previously defined by their submicroscopic size, which probably prevented the search for giant viruses, which are visible by light microscopy. Extended studies of giant viruses of amoebae revealed that they have genetic, proteomic and structural complexities that were not thought to exist among viruses and that are comparable to those of bacteria, archaea and small eukaryotes. The giant virus particles contain mRNA and more than 100 proteins, they have gene repertoires that are broader than those of other viruses and, notably, some encode translation components. The infection cycles of giant viruses of amoebae involve virus entry by amoebal phagocytosis and replication in viral factories. In addition, mimiviruses are infected by virophages, defend against them through the mimivirus virophage resistance element (MIMIVIRE) system and have a unique mobilome. Overall, giant viruses of amoebae, including mimiviruses, marseilleviruses, pandoraviruses, pithoviruses, faustoviruses and molliviruses, challenge the definition and classification of viruses, and have increasingly been detected in humans.

  14. 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

  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

    2008-09-04

    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.

  16. Experimental demonstration of the possible role of Acanthamoeba polyphaga in the infection and disease progression in Buruli Ulcer (BU) using ICR mice

    PubMed Central

    Azumah, Bright K.; Addo, Phyllis G.; Dodoo, Alfred; Awandare, Gordon; Mosi, Lydia; Boakye, Daniel A.

    2017-01-01

    The transmission of Buruli ulcer (BU), caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans (MU), remains puzzling although a number of hypothesis including through bites of infected aquatic insects have been proposed. We report the results of experiments using ICR mice that give credence to our hypothesis that Acanthamoeba species may play a role in BU transmission. We cocultured MU N2 and MU 1615 which expresses red fluorescent protein (RFP) and Acanthamoeba polyphaga (AP), and confirmed infected AP by Ziehl-Neelsen (ZN) staining. We tested for viability of MU inside AP and observed strong RFP signals inside both trophozoites and cysts after 3 and 42 days of coculturing respectively. ICR mice were topically treated, either on shaved intact or shaved pinpricked rumps, with one of the following; MU N2 only (2.25 x 106 colony forming units [CFU] / ml), MU N2:AP coculture (2.96 x 104 CFU: 1.6 x 106 cells/ml), AP only (1.6 x 106 cells/ml), PYG medium and sterile distilled water. Both MU N2 only and MU N2:AP elicited reddening on day (D) 31; edema on D 45 and D 44 respectively, and ulcers on D 49 at pinpricked sites only. To ascertain infectivity and pathogenicity of MU N2 only and MU N2:AP, and compare their virulence, the standard mouse footpad inoculation method was used. MU N2:AP elicited reddening in footpads by D 3 compared to D 14 with MU N2 only of the same dose of MU N2 (2.96 x 104 CFU). ZN-stained MU were observed in both thin sectioned and homogenized lesions, and aspirates from infected sites. Viable MU N2 were recovered from cultures of the homogenates and aspirates. This study demonstrates in ICR mice MU transmission via passive infection, and shows that punctures in the skin are prerequisite for infection, and that coculturing of MU with AP enhances pathogenesis. PMID:28329001

  17. Mimivirus and its virophage.

    PubMed

    Claverie, Jean-Michel; Abergel, Chantal

    2009-01-01

    Mimivirus, a virus infecting amoebae of the acanthamoeba genus, is the prototype member of the Mimiviridae, the latest addition to the family of the nucleocytoplasmic large DNA viruses, already including the Poxviridae, the Iridoviridae, the Asfarviridae, and the Phycodnaviridae. Because of the size of its particle-a fiber-covered icosahedral protein capsid 0.75 microm in diameter-Mimivirus was initially mistaken for a parasitic bacterium. Its 1.2-Mb genome sequence encodes more than 900 proteins, many of them associated with functions never before encountered in a virus, such as four aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases. These findings revived the debate about the origin of DNA viruses and their possible role in the emergence of the eukaryotic nucleus. The recent isolation of a new type of satellite virus, called a virophage, associated with a second strain of Mimivirus, confirmed its unique position within the virus world. Post-genomic studies are now in progress, slowly shedding some light on the physiology of the most complex virus isolated to date.

  18. Mimiviruses and the Human Interferon System: Viral Evasion of Classical Antiviral Activities, But Inhibition By a Novel Interferon-β Regulated Immunomodulatory Pathway.

    PubMed

    Almeida, Gabriel Magno de Freitas; Silva, Lorena C Ferreira; Colson, Philippe; Abrahao, Jonatas Santos

    2017-01-01

    In this review we discuss the role of mimiviruses as potential human pathogens focusing on clinical and evolutionary evidence. We also propose a novel antiviral immunomodulatory pathway controlled by interferon-β (IFN-β) and mediated by immune-responsive gene 1 (IRG1) and itaconic acid, its product. Acanthamoeba polyphaga Mimivirus (APMV) was isolated from amoebae in a hospital while investigating a pneumonia outbreak. Mimivirus ubiquity and role as protist pathogens are well understood, and its putative status as a human pathogen has been gaining strength as more evidence is being found. The study of APMV and human cells interaction revealed that the virus is able to evade the IFN system by inhibiting the regulation of interferon-stimulated genes, suggesting that the virus and humans have had host-pathogen interactions. It also has shown that the virus is capable of growing on IFN-α2, but not on IFN-β-treated cells, hinting at an exclusive IFN-β antiviral pathway. Our hypothesis based on preliminary data and published articles is that IFN-β preferentially upregulates IRG1 in human macrophagic cells, which in turn produces itaconic acid. This metabolite links metabolism to antiviral activity by inactivating the virus, in a novel immunomodulatory pathway relevant for APMV infections and probably to other infectious diseases as well.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  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. Preliminary crystallographic analysis of a possible transcription factor encoded by the mimivirus L544 gene

    PubMed Central

    Ciaccafava, Alexandre; Lartigue, Audrey; Mansuelle, Pascal; Jeudy, Sandra; Abergel, Chantal

    2011-01-01

    Mimivirus is the prototype of a new family (the Mimiviridae) of nucleocytoplasmic large DNA viruses (NCLDVs), which already include the Poxviridae, Iridoviridae, Phycodnaviridae and Asfarviridae. Mimivirus specifically replicates in cells from the genus Acanthamoeba. Proteomic analysis of purified mimivirus particles revealed the presence of many subunits of the DNA-directed RNA polymerase II complex. A fully functional pre-transcriptional complex appears to be loaded in the virions, allowing mimivirus to initiate transcription within the host cytoplasm immediately upon infection independently of the host nuclear apparatus. To fully understand this process, a systematic study of mimivirus proteins that are predicted (by bioinformatics) or suspected (by proteomic analysis) to be involved in transcription was initiated by cloning and expressing them in Escherichia coli in order to determine their three-dimensional structures. Here, preliminary crystallographic analysis of the recombinant L544 protein is reported. The crystals belonged to the orthorhombic space group C2221 with one monomer per asymmetric unit. A MAD data set was used for preliminary phasing using the selenium signal present in a selenomethionine-substituted protein crystal. PMID:21821896

  4. Mimivirus and Mimiviridae: giant viruses with an increasing number of potential hosts, including corals and sponges.

    PubMed

    Claverie, Jean-Michel; Grzela, Renata; Lartigue, Audrey; Bernadac, Alain; Nitsche, Serge; Vacelet, Jean; Ogata, Hiroyuki; Abergel, Chantal

    2009-07-01

    Mimivirus, a giant DNA virus (i.e. "girus") infecting species of the genus Acanthamoeba, was first identified in 2003. With a particle size of 0.7microm in diameter, and a genome size of 1.2Mb encoding more than 900 proteins, it is the most complex virus described to date. Beyond its unusual size, the Mimivirus genome was found to contain the first viral homologues of many genes thought to be the trademark of cellular organisms, such as central components of the translation apparatus. These findings revived the debate on the origin of DNA viruses, and the role they might have played in the emergence of eukaryotes. Published and ongoing studies on Mimivirus continue to lead to unexpected findings concerning a variety of aspects, such as the structure of its particle, unique features of its replication cycle, or the distribution and abundance of Mimivirus relatives in the oceans. Following a summary of these recent findings, we present preliminary results suggesting that octocorals might have come in close contact with an ancestor of Mimivirus, and that modern sponges might be host to a yet unidentified, even larger, member of the Mimiviridae.

  5. Genotypic, phenotypic, biochemical, physiological and pathogenicity-based categorisation of Acanthamoeba strains.

    PubMed

    Khan, Naveed Ahmed; Tareen, Noor Khan

    2003-06-01

    The genus Acanthamoeba includes more than 20 morphological species, but classification is problematical. Recently, the discovery of substantial interstrain differences in ribosomal DNA (rDNA) sequences has prompted questions about the relatedness of strains of the same species. In this study, therefore, we have investigated relationships between two isolates of A. polyphaga, CCAP 1501/3c and ATCC 30871, using morphological, biochemical, physiological, molecular and cytotoxicity assays. We observed that A. polyphaga ATCC 30871 exhibited up to six arms in endocyst while A. polyphaga CCAP 1501/3c exhibited a maximum of 5 arms thus indicating their position in group 2 and 3, respectively. Acanthamoeba polyphaga ATCC 30871 exhibited growth at 37 degrees C and growth on 1M mannitol plates while A. polyphaga CCAP 1501/3c did not. In addition, both isolates exhibited differences in isoenzyme banding patterns and rDNA restriction fragment polymorphisms. More importantly, A. polyphaga ATCC 30871 produced cytotoxicity on corneal epithelial cells while A. polyphaga CCAP 1501/3c had no effects, suggesting differences in pathogenicity. Thus, all the results provide evidence for significant differences between the strains and further provided the basis for reclassification of the isolates. Implications of these results in the clinical diagnosis of pathogenic Acanthamoeba are discussed.

  6. Phagocytosis Affects Biguanide Sensitivity of Acanthamoeba spp.

    PubMed Central

    Noble, Judith A.; Ahearn, Donald G.; Avery, Simon V.; Crow Jr., Sidney A.

    2002-01-01

    The incidence of Acanthamoeba keratitis, a disease associated with contact lens wear, has been in apparent decline with the advent of multipurpose contact lens solutions. The concentrations of the biguanides chlorhexidine digluconate (CHX) and particularly polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB) included in multipurpose solutions (MPSs) are sublethal for amoebae. We evaluated by flow cytometry the effects of these two biguanides on phagocytosis of particles and the survival of trophozoites of Acanthamoeba castellanii and A. polyphaga. Trophozoites of A. castellanii and A. polyphaga (106/ml) were exposed to solutions of 5 and 50 μg of PHMB and CHX per ml in the presence and absence of particles (i.e., heat-killed yeasts and bacteria and latex beads). In addition, trophozoites were exposed to particles treated with these concentrations of the two biguanides. In the absence of particles, trophozoites of A. polyphaga appeared to be more resistant to the biguanides than those of A. castellanii. In the presence of particles, the rates of survival of both species were decreased. In most instances, particles treated with sublethal concentrations of both biguanides that were adsorbed onto the particles reduced the incidence of phagocytosis. Particles present in MPSs in contact lens cases may be involved in the decreased incidence of Acanthamoeba keratitis. PMID:12069957

  7. Phagocytosis affects biguanide sensitivity of Acanthamoeba spp.

    PubMed

    Noble, Judith A; Ahearn, Donald G; Avery, Simon V; Crow, Sidney A

    2002-07-01

    The incidence of Acanthamoeba keratitis, a disease associated with contact lens wear, has been in apparent decline with the advent of multipurpose contact lens solutions. The concentrations of the biguanides chlorhexidine digluconate (CHX) and particularly polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB) included in multipurpose solutions (MPSs) are sublethal for amoebae. We evaluated by flow cytometry the effects of these two biguanides on phagocytosis of particles and the survival of trophozoites of Acanthamoeba castellanii and A. polyphaga. Trophozoites of A. castellanii and A. polyphaga (10(6)/ml) were exposed to solutions of 5 and 50 microg of PHMB and CHX per ml in the presence and absence of particles (i.e., heat-killed yeasts and bacteria and latex beads). In addition, trophozoites were exposed to particles treated with these concentrations of the two biguanides. In the absence of particles, trophozoites of A. polyphaga appeared to be more resistant to the biguanides than those of A. castellanii. In the presence of particles, the rates of survival of both species were decreased. In most instances, particles treated with sublethal concentrations of both biguanides that were adsorbed onto the particles reduced the incidence of phagocytosis. Particles present in MPSs in contact lens cases may be involved in the decreased incidence of Acanthamoeba keratitis.

  8. Resistance of Acanthamoeba cysts to disinfection in multiple contact lens solutions.

    PubMed

    Johnston, Stephanie P; Sriram, Rama; Qvarnstrom, Yvonne; Roy, Sharon; Verani, Jennifer; Yoder, Jonathan; Lorick, Suchita; Roberts, Jacquelin; Beach, Michael J; Visvesvara, Govinda

    2009-07-01

    Acanthamoebae are free-living amoebae found in the environment, including soil, freshwater, brackish water, seawater, hot tubs, and Jacuzzis. Acanthamoeba species can cause keratitis, a painful vision-threatening infection of the cornea, and fatal granulomatous encephalitis in humans. More than 20 species of Acanthamoeba belonging to morphological groups I, II, and III distributed in 15 genotypes have been described. Among these, Acanthamoeba castellanii, A. polyphaga, and A. hatchetti are frequently identified as causing Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK). Improper contact lens care and contact with nonsterile water while wearing contact lenses are known risk factors for AK. During a recent multistate outbreak, AK was found to be associated with the use of Advanced Medical Optics Complete MoisturePlus multipurpose contact lens solution, which was hypothesized to have had insufficient anti-Acanthamoeba activity. As part of the investigation of that outbreak, we compared the efficacies of 11 different contact lens solutions against cysts of A. castellanii, A. polyphaga, and A. hatchetti (the isolates of all species were genotype T4), which were isolated in 2007 from specimens obtained during the outbreak investigation. The data, generated with A. castellanii, A. polyphaga, and A. hatchetti cysts, suggest that the two contact lens solutions containing hydrogen peroxide were the only solutions that showed any disinfection ability, with 0% and 66% growth, respectively, being detected with A. castellanii and 0% and 33% growth, respectively, being detected with A. polyphaga. There was no statistically significant difference in disinfection efficacy between the 11 solutions for A. hatchetti.

  9. Acanthamoeba sohi, n. sp., a pathogenic Korean isolate YM-4 from a freshwater fish

    PubMed Central

    Im, Kyung-il

    2003-01-01

    A new species of Acanthamoeba was isolated from a freshwater fish in Korea and tentatively named Acanthamoeba sp. YM-4 (Korean isolate YM-4). The trophozoites were 11.0-23.0 µm in length and had hyaline filamentous projections. Cysts were similar to those of A. culbertsoni and A. royreba, which were previously designated as Acanthamoeba group III. Acanthamoeba YM-4 can survive at 40℃, and its generation time was 19.6 hr, which was longer than that of A. culbertsoni. In terms of the in vitro cytotoxicity of lysates, Acanthamoeba YM-4 was weaker than A. culbertsoni, but stronger than A. polyphaga. On the basis of the mortality of experimentally infected mice, Acanthamoeba YM-4 was found to be highly virulent. The isoenzymes profile of Acanthamoeba YM-4 was similar to that of A. royreba. An anti-Acanthamoeba YM-4 monoclonal antibody, McAY7, was found to react only with Acanthamoeba YM-4, and not with A. culbertsoni. Random amplified polymorphic DNA marker analysis and RFLP analysis of mitochondrial DNA and of 18S small subunit ribosomal RNA, placed Acanthamoeba YM-4 in a separate cluster on the basis of phylogenetic distances. Thus the Acanthamoeba Korean isolate YM-4 was identified as a new species, and assigned as Acanthamoeba sohi. PMID:14699258

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. [Acanthamoeba keratitis].

    PubMed

    Bouheraoua, N; Labbé, A; Chaumeil, C; Liang, Q; Laroche, L; Borderie, V

    2014-10-01

    Early diagnosis and appropriate therapy are key elements for a good prognosis in Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK). AK should be considered in any case of corneal trauma complicated by exposure to soil or contaminated water, and in all contact lens (CL) wearers. A presumptive diagnosis of AK can be made clinically and with in vivo confocal microscopy, although a definitive diagnosis requires identification of Acanthamoeba on direct scraping, histology, or identification of Acanthamoeba DNA by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). We use cysticidal drugs for treating AK because encysted forms are more resistant than trophozoites to treatment. The treatment protocol used a biguanide (PHMB 0.02% or chlorhexidine 0.02%) and a diamidine (propamidine 0.1% or hexamidine 0.1%). New diagnostic modalities and more specific topical anti-amoebic treatments would substantially benefit patients with AK.

  13. 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

  14. Riboflavin and ultraviolet-A as adjuvant treatment against Acanthamoeba cysts

    PubMed Central

    Lamy, Ricardo; Chan, Elliot; Good, Samuel D; Cevallos, Vicky; Porco, Travis C; Stewart, Jay M

    2015-01-01

    Background Experimental studies have shown that the standard dose of R or R+UVA as solo treatment are not able to exterminate Acanthamoeba cysts or even trophozoites. The purpose of this study is to determine whether the application of R+UVA can enhance the cysticidal effects of cationic antiseptic agents in vitro. Methods The log of either polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB) or chlorhexidine minimal cysticidal concentration (MCC) in solutions containing riboflavin (concentrations 0.1 %; 0.05% and 0.025 %) plus either Acanthamoeba castellanii cysts or Acanthamoeba polyphaga cysts was determined and compared in groups treated with UVA 30 mW/cm2 for 30 min and in control groups (with no exposure to UVA). A permutation test was used to determine the P-value associated with treatment. Results Regardless of the riboflavin concentration and UVA treatment condition, no trophozoites were seen in plates where the cysts were previously exposed to cationic antiseptic agents concentrations ≥ 200 µg/mL for Acanthamoeba castellanii samples and ≥ 100 µg/mL for Acanthamoeba polyphaga samples. There was no statistical evidence that R+UVA treatment was associated with MCC (P = 0.82). Conclusion R+UVA in doses up to 10 times higher than recommended for corneal crosslinking does not enhance the cysticidal effect of either polyhexamethylene biguanide or chlorhexidine in vitro. PMID:26355273

  15. Mimivirus Circulation among Wild and Domestic Mammals, Amazon Region, Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Dornas, Fábio P.; Rodrigues, Felipe P.; Boratto, Paulo V.M.; Silva, Lorena C.F.; Ferreira, Paulo C.P.; Bonjardim, Cláudio A.; Trindade, Giliane S.; Kroon, Erna G.; La Scola, Bernard

    2014-01-01

    To investigate circulation of mimiviruses in the Amazon Region of Brazil, we surveyed 513 serum samples from domestic and wild mammals. Neutralizing antibodies were detected in 15 sample pools, and mimivirus DNA was detected in 9 pools of serum from capuchin monkeys and in 16 pools of serum from cattle. PMID:24564967

  16. 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

  17. Pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba infections.

    PubMed

    Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2003-06-01

    Acanthamoeba are free-living, harmless organisms, however, given the opportunity and the appropriate conditions, they can cause painful, sight-threatening as well as fatal infections and, thus, are considered opportunistic pathogens. Acanthamoeba infections have become increasingly important in the past few years due to increasing populations of contact lens users and AIDS patients. The mechanisms associated with the pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba tend to be highly complex, depending on parasite, host and the environmental factors. Elucidation of the biochemical, cellular and molecular basis of the pathogenesis of diseases caused by Acanthamoeba may lead to the development of therapeutic interventions.

  18. Persistence of acanthamoeba antigen following acanthamoeba keratitis

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Y; Matheson, M; Dart, J; Cree, I

    2001-01-01

    AIM—To investigate the hypothesis that persistent corneal and scleral inflammation following acanthamoeba keratitis is not always caused by active amoebic infection but can be due to persisting acanthamoebic antigens
METHODS—24 lamellar corneal biopsy and penetrating keratoplasty specimens were obtained from 14 consecutive patients at various stages of their disease and divided for microscopy and culture. Histological sections were immunostained and screened for the presence of Acanthamoeba cysts by light microscopy. Cultures were carried out using partly homogenised tissues on non-nutrient agar seeded with E coli. Clinical data were obtained retrospectively from the case notes of these patients.
RESULTS—Of the 24 specimens, 20 were obtained from eyes that were clinically inflamed at the time of surgery. Acanthamoeba cysts were present in 16 (80%) of these 20 specimens, while only five (25%) were culture positive. Acanthamoeba cysts were found to persist for up to 31 months after antiamoebic treatment.
CONCLUSION—These findings support the hypothesis that Acanthamoeba cysts can remain in corneal tissue for an extended period of time following acanthamoeba keratitis and may cause persistent corneal and scleral inflammation in the absence of active amoebic infection. In view of these findings, prolonged intensive antiamoebic therapy may be inappropriate when the inflammation is due to retained antigen rather than to viable organisms

 PMID:11222330

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

    PubMed Central

    Shama, Gilbert; Andrew, Peter W.

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26994079

  20. Amoebae as Battlefields for Bacteria, Giant Viruses, and Virophages

    PubMed Central

    Slimani, Meriem; Pagnier, Isabelle; Raoult, Didier

    2013-01-01

    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

  1. 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.

  2. Identification of giant Mimivirus protein functions using RNA interference.

    PubMed

    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.

  3. 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

  4. Isolation and characterization of Acanthamoeba spp. from air-conditioners in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Chan, Li-Li; Mak, Joon-Wah; Low, Yoon-Tong; Koh, Thuan-Tzen; Ithoi, Init; Mohamed, Shar Mariam

    2011-01-01

    During a study on the quality of the indoor environment, Acanthamoeba spp. were detected in 20 out of 87 dust samples collected from air-conditioners installed in a four-story campus building located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Twenty-one cloned Acanthamoeba isolates designated as IMU1 to IMU21 were established from the positive primary cultures. Five species were identified from the 16 isolates according to the morphological criteria of Pussard and Pons; i.e. A. castellanii, A. culbertsoni, A. griffini, A. hatchetti and A. polyphaga. Species identities for the remaining five isolates (IMU4, IMU5, IMU15, IMU20 and IMU21), however, could not be determined morphologically. At genotypic characterization, these isolates were placed into T3 (IMU14); T5 (IMU16 and IMU17) and T4 (all the remaining isolates). To predict the potential pathogenicity of these Acanthamoeba isolates, thermo- and osmotolerance tests were employed; many isolates were predicted as potential human pathogens based on the outcome of these tests. This is the first time potentially pathogenic Acanthamoeba have been isolated from air-conditioners in Malaysia.

  5. Viability of Listeria monocytogenes in co-culture with Acanthamoeba spp.

    PubMed

    Akya, Alisha; Pointon, Andrew; Thomas, Connor

    2009-10-01

    Listeria monocytogenes is a human pathogen, ubiquitous in the environment, and can grow and survive under a wide range of environmental conditions. It contaminates foods via raw materials or food-processing environments. However, the current knowledge of its ecology and, in particular, the mode of environmental survival and transmission of this intracellular pathogen remains limited. Research has shown that several intracellular pathogens are able to survive or replicate within free-living amoebae. To examine the viability of L. monocytogenes in interaction with Acanthamoeba spp., bacteria were co-cultured with three freshly isolated amoebae, namely Acanthamoeba polyphaga, Acanthamoeba castellanii and Acanthamoeba lenticulata. The survival of bacteria and amoebae was determined using culture techniques and microscopy. Under the experimental conditions used, all amoebae were able to eliminate bacteria irrespective of the hly gene. Bacteria did not survive or replicate within amoeba cells. However, extra-amoebic bacteria grew saprophytically on materials released from amoebae, which may play an important role in the survival of bacteria under extreme environmental conditions.

  6. Acanthamoeba keratitis in Pondicherry.

    PubMed

    Parija, S C; Prakash, M R; Rao, V A; Vellaniparambil, R J

    2001-06-01

    Acanthamoeba keratitis is a potentially devastating infection of the cornea caused by the free-living amoebae, Acanthamoeba species. During the period from 1997 to 2000, a total of 136 corneal scrapings from clinically suspected cases were screened and examined for the presence of the Acanthamoeba. On examination of the direct smear by microscopy, 11 out of 136 cases were positive for Acanthamoeba. Eight patients were males and 3 were females. The age of these patients ranged from 15 to 57 years. All of these cases were agricultural workers who did not use contact lens. Four cases gave a history of injury to the eye and 1 patient gave a history of applying cow dung on the eye after the injury. Rest of the patients did not give any history of trauma or wearing contact lenses. The patients were treated with topical application of neosporin ointment. Many of our cases had complications such as poor vision (all 11 cases had 6/60 or less), scar formation (3 cases), opacity (5 cases) and corneal perforation (2 cases). This report documents for the first time the cases of Acanthamoeba keratitis in Pondicherry.

  7. Induction of morphological and electrophysiological changes in hamster cornea after in vitro interaction with trophozoites of Acanthamoeba spp.

    PubMed

    Omaña-Molina, Maritza; Navarro-García, Fernando; González-Robles, Arturo; Serrano-Luna, José de Jesús; Campos-Rodríguez, Rafael; Martínez-Palomo, Adolfo; Tsutsumi, Víctor; Shibayama, Mineko

    2004-06-01

    Acanthamoeba castellani and Acanthamoeba polyphaga are free-living amebae that cause keratitis and granulomatous encephalitis in humans. We have analyzed the early morphological and electrophysiological changes occurring during the in vitro interaction of cultured amebae with intact or physically damaged corneas obtained from hamsters. Both species of Acanthamoeba produced similar cytopathic changes, as seen by light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. After adhesion to the epithelial surface, trophozoites formed clumps and migrated toward the cell borders, causing the separation of adjacent cells at 1 h of coculture. At later stages (2 to 4 h), some amebae were found under desquamating epithelial cells whereas others were seen associated with damaged cells or forming amebostome-like structures to ingest detached epithelial cells. Control corneas incubated in culture medium conditioned with amebae showed a cytoplasmic vacuolization and blurring of the epithelial-stromal junction. The early stages of corneal epithelial damage caused by amebae were also analyzed by measuring the transepithelial resistance changes in corneas mounted in Ussing chambers. Both species of Acanthamoeba caused a rapid decrease in electrical resistance. The present observations demonstrate that under in vitro conditions, Acanthamoeba trophozoites rapidly cause significant damage to the corneal epithelium. Furthermore, in our experimental model, previous physical damage to the corneas was not a prerequisite for the development of amebic corneal ulcerations.

  8. Induction of Morphological and Electrophysiological Changes in Hamster Cornea after In Vitro Interaction with Trophozoites of Acanthamoeba spp.

    PubMed Central

    Omaña-Molina, Maritza; Navarro-García, Fernando; González-Robles, Arturo; Serrano-Luna, José de Jesús; Campos-Rodríguez, Rafael; Martínez-Palomo, Adolfo; Tsutsumi, Víctor; Shibayama, Mineko

    2004-01-01

    Acanthamoeba castellani and Acanthamoeba polyphaga are free-living amebae that cause keratitis and granulomatous encephalitis in humans. We have analyzed the early morphological and electrophysiological changes occurring during the in vitro interaction of cultured amebae with intact or physically damaged corneas obtained from hamsters. Both species of Acanthamoeba produced similar cytopathic changes, as seen by light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. After adhesion to the epithelial surface, trophozoites formed clumps and migrated toward the cell borders, causing the separation of adjacent cells at 1 h of coculture. At later stages (2 to 4 h), some amebae were found under desquamating epithelial cells whereas others were seen associated with damaged cells or forming amebostome-like structures to ingest detached epithelial cells. Control corneas incubated in culture medium conditioned with amebae showed a cytoplasmic vacuolization and blurring of the epithelial-stromal junction. The early stages of corneal epithelial damage caused by amebae were also analyzed by measuring the transepithelial resistance changes in corneas mounted in Ussing chambers. Both species of Acanthamoeba caused a rapid decrease in electrical resistance. The present observations demonstrate that under in vitro conditions, Acanthamoeba trophozoites rapidly cause significant damage to the corneal epithelium. Furthermore, in our experimental model, previous physical damage to the corneas was not a prerequisite for the development of amebic corneal ulcerations. PMID:15155626

  9. Membrane assembly during the infection cycle of the giant Mimivirus.

    PubMed

    Mutsafi, Yael; Shimoni, Eyal; Shimon, Amir; Minsky, Abraham

    2013-01-01

    Although extensively studied, the structure, cellular origin and assembly mechanism of internal membranes during viral infection remain unclear. By combining diverse imaging techniques, including the novel Scanning-Transmission Electron Microscopy tomography, we elucidate the structural stages of membrane biogenesis during the assembly of the giant DNA virus Mimivirus. We show that this elaborate multistage process occurs at a well-defined zone localized at the periphery of large viral factories that are generated in the host cytoplasm. Membrane biogenesis is initiated by fusion of multiple vesicles, ~70 nm in diameter, that apparently derive from the host ER network and enable continuous supply of lipid components to the membrane-assembly zone. The resulting multivesicular bodies subsequently rupture to form large open single-layered membrane sheets from which viral membranes are generated. Membrane generation is accompanied by the assembly of icosahedral viral capsids in a process involving the hypothetical major capsid protein L425 that acts as a scaffolding protein. The assembly model proposed here reveals how multiple Mimivirus progeny can be continuously and efficiently generated and underscores the similarity between the infection cycles of Mimivirus and Vaccinia virus. Moreover, the membrane biogenesis process indicated by our findings provides new insights into the pathways that might mediate assembly of internal viral membranes in general.

  10. Saudi Moumouvirus, the First Group B Mimivirus Isolated from Asia.

    PubMed

    Bajrai, Leena H; de Assis, Felipe L; Azhar, Esam I; Jardot, Priscilla; Robert, Catherine; Abrahão, Jônatas; Raoult, Didier; La Scola, Bernard

    2016-01-01

    The number of novel giant viruses identified and characterized from the recently proposed order Megavirales has increased in recent years and new questions have been raised regarding viral diversity and evolution. Here, we describe the isolation and characterization of Saudi moumouvirus (SDMV), a new giant virus belonging to Mimivirus lineage B, isolated from a sewage sample taken from the King Abdulaziz University hospital in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. SDMV presented 500 nm icosahedral particles with a 1,046,087 bp genome, which is larger than moumouvirus-like genomes which have been described in the past. The SDMV genome was predicted to encode 868 ORFs, ranging in size from 54 to 2,914 amino acids, with a mean size of 349 aa. Furthermore, this genome was predicted to encode 40 new genes (ORFans) without similarity with other sequences (ORFan L850 transcript was detected by qPCR in infected amoeba), in addition to 42 hypothetical proteins (pseudo-ORFs) with less than 100 aa, which matched other sequences in the NCBI nr database. Phylogenetic analysis showed that SDMV clustered together with mimiviruses from lineage B, including moumouvirus-like strains. It is, therefore, the third Mimivirus to be isolated in Asia and the first of group B.

  11. Saudi Moumouvirus, the First Group B Mimivirus Isolated from Asia

    PubMed Central

    Bajrai, Leena H.; de Assis, Felipe L.; Azhar, Esam I.; Jardot, Priscilla; Robert, Catherine; Abrahão, Jônatas; Raoult, Didier; La Scola, Bernard

    2016-01-01

    The number of novel giant viruses identified and characterized from the recently proposed order Megavirales has increased in recent years and new questions have been raised regarding viral diversity and evolution. Here, we describe the isolation and characterization of Saudi moumouvirus (SDMV), a new giant virus belonging to Mimivirus lineage B, isolated from a sewage sample taken from the King Abdulaziz University hospital in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. SDMV presented 500 nm icosahedral particles with a 1,046,087 bp genome, which is larger than moumouvirus-like genomes which have been described in the past. The SDMV genome was predicted to encode 868 ORFs, ranging in size from 54 to 2,914 amino acids, with a mean size of 349 aa. Furthermore, this genome was predicted to encode 40 new genes (ORFans) without similarity with other sequences (ORFan L850 transcript was detected by qPCR in infected amoeba), in addition to 42 hypothetical proteins (pseudo-ORFs) with less than 100 aa, which matched other sequences in the NCBI nr database. Phylogenetic analysis showed that SDMV clustered together with mimiviruses from lineage B, including moumouvirus-like strains. It is, therefore, the third Mimivirus to be isolated in Asia and the first of group B. PMID:28066355

  12. Membrane Assembly during the Infection Cycle of the Giant Mimivirus

    PubMed Central

    Mutsafi, Yael; Shimoni, Eyal; Shimon, Amir; Minsky, Abraham

    2013-01-01

    Although extensively studied, the structure, cellular origin and assembly mechanism of internal membranes during viral infection remain unclear. By combining diverse imaging techniques, including the novel Scanning-Transmission Electron Microscopy tomography, we elucidate the structural stages of membrane biogenesis during the assembly of the giant DNA virus Mimivirus. We show that this elaborate multistage process occurs at a well-defined zone localized at the periphery of large viral factories that are generated in the host cytoplasm. Membrane biogenesis is initiated by fusion of multiple vesicles, ∼70 nm in diameter, that apparently derive from the host ER network and enable continuous supply of lipid components to the membrane-assembly zone. The resulting multivesicular bodies subsequently rupture to form large open single-layered membrane sheets from which viral membranes are generated. Membrane generation is accompanied by the assembly of icosahedral viral capsids in a process involving the hypothetical major capsid protein L425 that acts as a scaffolding protein. The assembly model proposed here reveals how multiple Mimivirus progeny can be continuously and efficiently generated and underscores the similarity between the infection cycles of Mimivirus and Vaccinia virus. Moreover, the membrane biogenesis process indicated by our findings provides new insights into the pathways that might mediate assembly of internal viral membranes in general. PMID:23737745

  13. 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.

  14. Biology and pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba.

    PubMed

    Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2012-01-10

    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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Giant viruses, giant chimeras: The multiple evolutionary histories of Mimivirus genes

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background Although capable to evolve, viruses are generally considered non-living entities because they are acellular and devoid of metabolism. However, the recent publication of the genome sequence of the Mimivirus, a giant virus that parasitises amoebas, strengthened the idea that viruses should be included in the tree of life. In fact, the first phylogenetic analyses of a few Mimivirus genes that are also present in cellular lineages suggested that it could define an independent branch in the tree of life in addition to the three domains, Bacteria, Archaea and Eucarya. Results We tested this hypothesis by carrying out detailed phylogenetic analyses for all the conserved Mimivirus genes that have homologues in cellular organisms. We found no evidence supporting Mimivirus as a new branch in the tree of life. On the contrary, our phylogenetic trees strongly suggest that Mimivirus acquired most of these genes by horizontal gene transfer (HGT) either from its amoebal hosts or from bacteria that parasitise the same hosts. The detection of HGT events involving different eukaryotic donors suggests that the spectrum of hosts of Mimivirus may be larger than currently known. Conclusion The large number of genes acquired by Mimivirus from eukaryotic and bacterial sources suggests that HGT has been an important process in the evolution of its genome and the adaptation to parasitism. PMID:18205905

  19. Adaptive immune responses to Acanthamoeba cysts.

    PubMed

    McClellan, Kathy; Howard, Kevin; Mayhew, Elizabeth; Niederkorn, Jerry; Alizadeh, Hassan

    2002-09-01

    Acanthamoeba cysts are not eliminated from the corneas of human subjects or experimentally infected animals. The persistence of Acanthamoeba cysts in the cornea indicates that either the cysts escape immunological elimination or are not recognized by the host's immunological elements. The aim of this study was to determine the immunogenicity and antigenicity of the Acanthamoeba cyst. Mice were immunized intraperitoneally and serum anti-Acanthamoeba IgG was measured by ELISA. Lymphoproliferative assay and delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH) responses to Acanthamoeba castellanii cyst and trophozoite antigens were used to determine the cell mediated immune responses against Acanthamoeba cysts. A. castellanii cysts were both immunogenic and antigenic, producing anti-Acanthamoeba serum IgG, T lymphocyte proliferation, and delayed type hypersensitivity responses. These results indicate that Acanthamoeba cysts are recognized by the immune system. The persistence of the organism in the human cornea means that these adaptive immune responses fail to kill Acanthamoeba cysts.

  20. Treatment of Acanthamoeba keratitis.

    PubMed

    Seal, David

    2003-08-01

    The treatment of Acanthamoeba keratitis has now been possible since the first successful therapy developed in the mid 1980s with a combination of propamidine 0.1% (Brolene) and neomycin 1%. However, only half the patients responded to this regimen as the cysts were often resistant to neomycin and relatively insensitive to propamidine. This led to research for better therapy, culminating in the mid 1990s with research in Glasgow demonstrating much increased effectiveness with use of the biguanide chlorhexidine 0.02% and in London and Bristol for similar effectiveness with the polymeric polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB) 0.02%. Both biguanides were combined with propamidine for enhanced effectiveness but were also shown to be effective as monotherapy. While this therapy inactivates the trophozoites and cysts in Acanthamoeba keratitis in the majority of patients (approximately 90%), there have been notable failures particularly when presentation is late with deep stromal infection. Additional highly acanthamoebicidal drugs are needed that can penetrate the stroma for synergistic action. This role may be taken up by certain antineoplastic drugs, such as alkylphosphocholine-1 (Miltefosine), that also have antiprotozoal activity.

  1. Photochemotherapeutic strategies against Acanthamoeba keratitis

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Here, we determined the potential of photochemotherapy, namely the application of photodynamic compounds followed by exposure to a suitable source of UV-visible radiation against corneal pathogen, Acanthamoeba. Organometallic macromolecule, tin porphyrin [Sn(IV)porphyrin] was synthesized and purity confirmed using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The Sn(IV)porphyrin was tested against a keratitis isolate of Acanthamoeba castellanii belonging to the T4 genotype using growth and viability assays. The effects of Sn(IV)porphyrin on A. castellanii binding to and cytopathogenicity of human corneal epithelial cells in vitro were tested. The metalloporphyrin showed potent amoebistatic effects. The tin porphyrin inhibited amoebae binding to and cytopathogenicity of corneal epithelial cells. By using derivatives of photodynamic compounds [Sn(IV)porphyrin-antibody conjugates] for selective targeting of the parasite together with appropriate selection of light source will determine the potential of photochemotherapy against Acanthamoeba keratitis. PMID:22950898

  2. 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.

  3. PINOCYTOSIS IN ACANTHAMOEBA CASTELLANII

    PubMed Central

    Bowers, Blair; Olszewski, Thomas E.

    1972-01-01

    The uptake of radioactively labeled albumin, inulin, leucine, and glucose by Acanthamoeba castellanii (Neff strain) was measured. The uptake is linear with time and appears to be continuous under the conditions of these experiments. Uptake is abolished at 0°C. No evidence for saturation of the uptake mechanism was obtained with either albumin or leucine. Each of the four tracer molecules enters the ameba at a similar rate when the uptake is calculated as volume of fluid ingested per unit time. The data suggest that each of these molecules enters the cell by pinocytosis. The highest rate of uptake was obtained with cells in their usual culture medium containing proteose peptone, glucose, and salts but pinocytosis also continued at a reduced rate in a simple salt solution. The calculated volume of fluid taken in during pinocytosis in culture medium was about 2 µl/hr per 106 cells. The route of uptake was examined in the electron microscope using horseradish peroxidase (HRP) as a tracer. HRP activity was found exclusively within membrane profiles within the cytoplasm, confirming the pinocytotic mode of uptake. An estimate of the rate of surface membrane turnover due to pinocytosis was made using the biochemical and morphological data obtained. This estimate suggests that the plasma membrane turnover of one cell is on the order of several times an hour. PMID:5028259

  4. Acanthamoeba castellanii STAT Protein

    PubMed Central

    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

  5. The analysis of translation-related gene set boosts debates around origin and evolution of mimiviruses

    PubMed Central

    Colson, Philippe; La Scola, Bernard

    2017-01-01

    The giant mimiviruses challenged the well-established concept of viruses, blurring the roots of the tree of life, mainly due to their genetic content. Along with other nucleo-cytoplasmic large DNA viruses, they compose a new proposed order—named Megavirales—whose origin and evolution generate heated debate in the scientific community. The presence of an arsenal of genes not widespread in the virosphere related to important steps of the translational process, including transfer RNAs, aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases, and translation factors for peptide synthesis, constitutes an important element of this debate. In this review, we highlight the main findings to date about the translational machinery of the mimiviruses and compare their distribution along the distinct members of the family Mimiviridae. Furthermore, we discuss how the presence and/or absence of the translation-related genes among mimiviruses raises important insights to boost the debate on their origin and evolutionary history. PMID:28207761

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Pathogenicity, morphology, and differentiation of Acanthamoeba.

    PubMed

    Khan, N A

    2001-12-01

    Acanthamoeba keratitis is sight threatening corneal infection caused by pathogenic Acanthamoeba. Previous studies have shown the genotypic differences between pathogenic and non-pathogenic species/strains of Acanthamoeba. In this study, we examined the morphological differences between pathogenic and non-pathogenic species/strains using scanning electron microscopy. Pathogenic Acanthamoeba exhibited higher number of acanthopodia (structures associated with the binding of amoeba to the target cells) as compared to non-pathogens. In addition, interactions of amoeba with the corneal epithelial cells were studied. Only pathogenic amoeba exhibited adhesion to epithelial cells. Further results indicated that phagocytosis occurs in the pathogenic amoeba by the formation of amoebastome (characteristic of amoeba phagocyte). This study showed that Acanthamoeba phagocytosis may be both an efficient means of obtaining nutrients for the amoeba and a significant factor in the pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba infections.

  10. Exploring ORFan domains in giant viruses: structure of mimivirus sulfhydryl oxidase R596.

    PubMed

    Hakim, Motti; Ezerina, Daria; Alon, Assaf; Vonshak, Ohad; Fass, Deborah

    2012-01-01

    The mimivirus genome contains many genes that lack homologs in the sequence database and are thus known as ORFans. In addition, mimivirus genes that encode proteins belonging to known fold families are in some cases fused to domain-sized segments that cannot be classified. One such ORFan region is present in the mimivirus enzyme R596, a member of the Erv family of sulfhydryl oxidases. We determined the structure of a variant of full-length R596 and observed that the carboxy-terminal region of R596 assumes a folded, compact domain, demonstrating that these ORFan segments can be stable structural units. Moreover, the R596 ORFan domain fold is novel, hinting at the potential wealth of protein structural innovation yet to be discovered in large double-stranded DNA viruses. In the context of the R596 dimer, the ORFan domain contributes to formation of a broad cleft enriched with exposed aromatic groups and basic side chains, which may function in binding target proteins or localization of the enzyme within the virus factory or virions. Finally, we find evidence for an intermolecular dithiol/disulfide relay within the mimivirus R596 dimer, the first such extended, intersubunit redox-active site identified in a viral sulfhydryl oxidase.

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

    SciTech Connect

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  13. Exploring ORFan Domains in Giant Viruses: Structure of Mimivirus Sulfhydryl Oxidase R596

    PubMed Central

    Hakim, Motti; Ezerina, Daria; Alon, Assaf; Vonshak, Ohad; Fass, Deborah

    2012-01-01

    The mimivirus genome contains many genes that lack homologs in the sequence database and are thus known as ORFans. In addition, mimivirus genes that encode proteins belonging to known fold families are in some cases fused to domain-sized segments that cannot be classified. One such ORFan region is present in the mimivirus enzyme R596, a member of the Erv family of sulfhydryl oxidases. We determined the structure of a variant of full-length R596 and observed that the carboxy-terminal region of R596 assumes a folded, compact domain, demonstrating that these ORFan segments can be stable structural units. Moreover, the R596 ORFan domain fold is novel, hinting at the potential wealth of protein structural innovation yet to be discovered in large double-stranded DNA viruses. In the context of the R596 dimer, the ORFan domain contributes to formation of a broad cleft enriched with exposed aromatic groups and basic side chains, which may function in binding target proteins or localization of the enzyme within the virus factory or virions. Finally, we find evidence for an intermolecular dithiol/disulfide relay within the mimivirus R596 dimer, the first such extended, intersubunit redox-active site identified in a viral sulfhydryl oxidase. PMID:23209798

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. A comparison of cyst age and assay method of the efficacy of contact lens disinfectants against Acanthamoeba

    PubMed Central

    Kilvington, S.; Anger, C.

    2001-01-01

    AIMS—(i) To determine effect of Acanthamoeba cyst age, method of production, and (ii) to assay technique on the efficacy of multipurpose solutions (MPS) and hydrogen peroxide based contact lens disinfectants. (iii) To establish if MPS can remove mature cysts from contact lenses according to the ISO/DIS 14729 regimen test for microbe removal.
METHODS—Immature and mature cysts of A polyphaga were tested against the MPS Opti-Free express and the hydrogen peroxide based solutions Oxysept 1Step and Oxysept 1 using two assay methods. Simulated patient regimen testing was performed with the Opti-Free express and Complete using mature cysts inoculated on to group I or group IV lenses.
RESULTS—Immature cysts were sensitive to disinfection by all solutions. No killing was observed with mature cysts with Opti-Free express, while immature cysts yielded a 1-2 log reduction in viability. Oxysept 1Step gave a 1.1 (SD 0.3) log reduction in mature cysts after 6 hours. Oxysept 1 gave a 2.4 (0.3) log reduction in mature cysts after 4 hours and a 3.8 (0.5) log reduction after 6 hours. Patient regimen testing using Opti-Free express and Complete resulted in no recovery of viable mature cysts from the contact lenses or from the soaking solutions.
CONCLUSION—Cyst age but not method of production used in this study influences the efficacy of contact lens disinfectants against Acanthamoeba. MPS are effective in removing cysts from contact lens surfaces and may have a role in the prevention of acanthamoeba keratitis.

 PMID:11222342

  17. 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.

  18. Acanthamoeba keratitis after photorefractive keratectomy.

    PubMed

    Kaldawy, Roger M; Sutphin, John E; Wagoner, Michael D

    2002-02-01

    A 37-year-old women developed severe suppurative keratitis immediately after having photorefractive keratectomy in her left eye. The keratitis was unresponsive to intensive topical antibiotic agents and topical and systemic steroids. Although the differential diagnosis included nonmicrobial and fungal keratitis, the clinical course and confocal microscopy suggested, and subsequent histopathologic examination confirmed, a diagnosis of Acanthamoeba keratitis. The amebic contamination probably resulted from exposure of the deepithelialized cornea to contaminated freshwater in a northern Wisconsin marsh. This case emphasizes the importance of encouraging patients with epithelial defects and bandage soft contact lenses to avoid exposure to contaminated freshwater until reepithelialization is complete.

  19. Laboratory diagnosis of Acanthamoeba keratitis in Hungary.

    PubMed

    Orosz, Erika; Farkas, Ágnes; Kucsera, István

    2016-09-01

    Acanthamoeba species are free-living amebae that can be found in almost every range of environments. Within this genus, numerous species are recognized as human pathogens, potentially causing Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK). AK is a corneal disease that is predominantly associated with contact lens use, the epidemiology of which is related to the specific genotype of Acanthamoeba. This study reports seven (7/16; 43.75%) positive cases. Detection of Acanthamoeba in corneal scrapings is based on cultivation and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) combined with the molecular taxonomic identification method. By PCR, seven samples were positive; cultivation was successful for five samples, probably because of the low quantity of samples. Genotype identification was carried out with a real-time fluorescence resonance energy transfer PCR assay based on sequence analysis of the 18S rRNA gene, and sensitivity and specificity were evaluated in comparison with traditional parasitological techniques. All seven detected Acanthamoeba strains belonged to the T4 genotype, the main AK-related genotype worldwide. These results confirmed the importance of a complete diagnostic protocol, including a PCR assay, for the clinical diagnosis of AK from human samples. Genotyping allowed the identification of all isolates in the T4 group, thus demonstrating the prevalence of this genotype in Hungary.

  20. First cases of Acanthamoeba keratitis in Slovakia.

    PubMed

    Ondriska, Frantisek; Mrva, Martin; Lichvár, Martin; Ziak, Peter; Murgasová, Zuzana; Nohýnková, Eva

    2004-01-01

    We present the case report of the first identification of Acanthamoeba as a causative agent of keratitis in the Slovak Republic. For the first time, Acanthamoeba sp. Group III was isolated from a 53-year-old patient with keratitis, which was manifested after an injury of the right eye. A delayed visit to a physician as well as a late diagnosis of the illness led to the advanced stage of eye disease. As the treatment with itraconazol and cornea transplantation showed no result, enucleation of the eye was decided. Acanthamoeba ludgunensis was also the causative agent of keratitis in a 39-year-old patient wearing contact lenses. His complaints occurred a month after bathing in a thermal swimming pool. The symptoms presented in the left eye were those of herpetic keratitis, and led to a cloudy cornea with circular infliltrate and poor vision. A prompt clinical and laboratory diagnosis, along with treatment with propamidine-isetionate resulted in a significant improvement of the eye condition. Contact lenses were probably related to another case of Acanthamoeba keratitis. The patient, a 15-year-old girl, kept wearing contact lenses during bathing in various swimming pools and in the sea; her contact lenses were also regularly washed under tap water. Due to the fact that cysts of Acanthamoeba sp. group II were found in the contact lens solution, this is presumed to be the source of the eye infection.

  1. A case of trauma related Acanthamoeba keratitis.

    PubMed

    Kamel, A G M; Faridah, H; Yusof, S; Norazah, A; Nakisah, M A

    2004-12-01

    Acanthamoeba is an uncommon cause of keratitis but one of the most severe because of the prolonged and painful course of the disease and poor visual outcome. Although contact lens use is the principal risk factor, about 10% of cases occur following trauma and exposure to contaminated soil or water. Two cases of Acanthamoeba keratitis involving women contact lens wearers have previously been reported in Malaysia but this is the first time, a non contact lens related Acanthamoeba keratitis is reported. The case involved a 28 year old Indonesian male construction worker who had a trauma of the right eye during work. His eye was struck by sand and dust particles after which he quickly washed with water from an open tank at the construction site. He experienced pain, redness, glaring and blurring of vision of the right eye three days later. The diagnosis was missed at initial presentation but culture of the corneal scraping had proven Acanthamoeba as the aetiological agent. The history and clinical findings of this trauma related Acanthamoeba keratitis are briefly discussed.

  2. 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.

  3. Molecular and physiological evaluation of subtropical environmental isolates of Acanthamoeba spp., causal agent of Acanthamoeba keratitis.

    PubMed

    Booton, Gregory C; Rogerson, Andrew; Bonilla, Tonya D; Seal, David V; Kelly, Daryl J; Beattie, Tara K; Tomlinson, Alan; Lares-Villa, Fernando; Fuerst, Paul A; Byers, Thomas J

    2004-01-01

    Previous molecular examination of Acanthamoeba spp. has resulted in the determination of distinct genotypes in this genus (designated T1-T12, T14). Genotype T4 has been responsible for the majority of cases of Acanthamoeba keratitis. Here we examine the relative abundance of environmental T4 isolates on beaches and ask whether they have temperature and salinity tolerances that could enhance pathogenicity. Twenty-four Acanthamoeba strains were isolated from beach sand (n = 20), soil (n = 3), and tap water (n = 1) in south Florida. Phylogenetic analysis identified 19 of 24 isolates as T4, the Acanthamoeba keratitis-associated genotype. The remaining isolates were genotype T5 (4) and T11 (1). Nearly all beach isolates were genotype T4, whereas the tap water and soil isolates were mostly T5. All amoebae grew at 0, 1.0, and 2.0% salt and 19 of 20 beach isolates also grew at 3.2%. No soil or tap-water acanthamoebae reproduced at 3.2%. All isolates grew at 37 degrees C and two (T5) at 42 degrees C. Little correlation existed between beach location, salt-tolerance, and genetic relatedness. Overall, the large majority of environmental isolates obtained were genotype T4, suggesting it may be the most common genotype in this environment and could be a potential source of Acanthamoeba keratitis infections.

  4. Autophagy Inhibitors as a Potential Antiamoebic Treatment for Acanthamoeba Keratitis

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25896709

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  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. A clinical Acanthamoeba isolate harboring two distinct bacterial endosymbionts.

    PubMed

    Müller, Anneliese; Walochnik, Julia; Wagner, Martin; Schmitz-Esser, Stephan

    2016-10-01

    Acanthamoebae feed on bacteria but are also frequent hosts of bacterial symbionts. Here, we describe the stable co-occurrence of two symbionts, one affiliated to the genus Parachlamydia and the other to the candidate genus Paracaedibacter (Alphaproteobacteria), within a clinical isolate of Acanthamoeba hatchetti genotype T4. We performed fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to describe this symbiosis. Our study adds to other reports of simultaneous co-occurrence of two symbionts within one Acanthamoeba cell.

  10. Acanthamoeba: biology and increasing importance in human health.

    PubMed

    Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2006-07-01

    Acanthamoeba is an opportunistic protozoan that is widely distributed in the environment and is well recognized to produce serious human infections, including a blinding keratitis and a fatal encephalitis. This review presents our current understanding of the burden of Acanthamoeba infections on human health, their pathogenesis and pathophysiology, and molecular mechanisms associated with the disease, as well as virulence traits of Acanthamoeba that may be targets for therapeutic interventions and/or the development of preventative measures.

  11. Mimivirus inaugurated in the 21st century the beginning of a reclassification of viruses.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Vikas; Colson, Philippe; Pontarotti, Pierre; Raoult, Didier

    2016-06-01

    Mimivirus and other giant viruses are visible by light microscopy and bona fide microbes that differ from other viruses and from cells that have a ribosome. They can be defined by: giant virion and genome sizes; their complexity, with the presence of DNA and mRNAs and dozens or hundreds of proteins in virions; the presence of translation-associated components; a mobilome including (pro)virophages (and a defence mechanism, named MIMIVIRE, against them) and transpovirons; their monophyly; the presence of the most archaic protein motifs they share with cellular organisms but not other viruses; a broader host range than other viruses. These features show that giant viruses are specific, autonomous, biological entities that warrant the creation of a new branch of microbes.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Novel Parachlamydia acanthamoebae quantification method based on coculture with amoebae.

    PubMed

    Matsuo, Junji; Hayashi, Yasuhiro; Nakamura, Shinji; Sato, Marie; Mizutani, Yoshihiko; Asaka, Masahiro; Yamaguchi, Hiroyuki

    2008-10-01

    Parachlamydia acanthamoebae, belonging to the order Chlamydiales, is an obligately intracellular bacterium that infects free-living amoebae and is a potential human pathogen. However, no method exists to accurately quantify viable bacterial numbers. We present a novel quantification method for P. acanthamoebae based on coculture with amoebae. P. acanthamoebae was cultured either with Acanthamoeba spp. or with mammalian epithelial HEp-2 or Vero cells. The infection rate of P. acanthamoebae (amoeba-infectious dose [AID]) was determined by DAPI (4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole) staining and was confirmed by fluorescent in situ hybridization. AIDs were plotted as logistic sigmoid dilution curves, and P. acanthamoebae numbers, defined as amoeba-infectious units (AIU), were calculated. During culture, amoeba numbers and viabilities did not change, and amoebae did not change from trophozoites to cysts. Eight amoeba strains showed similar levels of P. acanthamoebae growth, and bacterial numbers reached ca. 1,000-fold (10(9) AIU preculture) after 4 days. In contrast, no increase was observed for P. acanthamoebae in either mammalian cell line. However, aberrant structures in epithelial cells, implying possible persistent infection, were seen by transmission electron microscopy. Thus, our method could monitor numbers of P. acanthamoebae bacteria in host cells and may be useful for understanding chlamydiae present in the natural environment as human pathogens.

  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. 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.

  17. The Development of Drugs against Acanthamoeba Infections.

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-01

    For the past several decades, there has been little improvement in the morbidity and mortality associated with Acanthamoeba keratitis and Acanthamoeba encephalitis, respectively. The discovery of a plethora of antiacanthamoebic compounds has not yielded effective marketed chemotherapeutics. The rate of development of novel antiacanthamoebic chemotherapies of translational value and the lack of interest of the pharmaceutical industry in developing such chemotherapies have been disappointing. On the other hand, the market for contact lenses/contact lens disinfectants is a multi-billion-dollar industry and has been successful and profitable. A better understanding of drugs, their targets, and mechanisms of action will facilitate the development of more-effective chemotherapies. Here, we review the progress toward phenotypic drug discovery, emphasizing the shortcomings of useable therapies.

  18. A type-1 metacaspase from Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    PubMed

    Trzyna, Wendy C; Legras, Xavier D; Cordingley, John S

    2008-01-01

    The complete sequence of a type-1 metacaspase from Acanthamoeba castellanii is reported comprising 478 amino acids. The metacaspase was recovered from an expression library using sera specific for membrane components implicated in stimulating encystation. A central domain of 155 amino acid residues contains the Cys/His catalytic dyad and is the most conserved region containing at least 30 amino acid identities in all metacaspases. The Acanthamoeba castellanii metacaspase has the most proline-rich N-terminus so far reported in type-1 metacaspases with over 40 prolines in the first 150 residues. Ala-Pro-Pro is present 11 times. Phylogenies constructed using only the conserved proteolytic domains or the complete sequences show identical branching patterns, differing only in the rates of change.

  19. 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

  20. Influence of Acanthamoeba genotype on clinical course and outcomes for patients with Acanthamoeba keratitis in Spain.

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

    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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Endosymbionts of Acanthamoeba isolated from domestic tap water in Korea.

    PubMed

    Choi, Seon Hee; Cho, Min Kyoung; Ahn, Soon Cheol; Lee, Ji Eun; Lee, Jong Soo; Kim, Dong-Hee; Xuan, Ying-Hua; Hong, Yeon Chul; Kong, Hyun Hee; Chung, Dong Il; Yu, Hak Sun

    2009-12-01

    In a previous study, we reported our discovery of Acanthamoeba contamination in domestic tap water; in that study, we determined that some Acanthamoeba strains harbor endosymbiotic bacteria, via our molecular characterization by mitochondrial DNA restriction fragment length polymorphism (Mt DNA RFLP). Five (29.4%) among 17 Acanthamoeba isolates contained endosymbionts in their cytoplasm, as demonstrated via orcein staining. In order to estimate their pathogenicity, we conducted a genetic characterization of the endosymbionts in Acanthamoeba isolated from domestic tap water via 16S rDNA sequencing. The endosymbionts of Acanthamoeba sp. KA/WP3 and KA/WP4 evidenced the highest level of similarity, at 97% of the recently published 16S rDNA sequence of the bacterium, Candidatus Amoebophilus asiaticus. The endosymbionts of Acanthamoeba sp. KA/WP8 and KA/WP12 shared a 97% sequence similarity with each other, and were also highly similar to Candidatus Odyssella thessalonicensis, a member of the alpha-proteobacteria. The endosymbiont of Acanthamoeba sp. KA/WP9 exhibits a high degree of similarity (85-95%) with genus Methylophilus, which is not yet known to harbor any endosymbionts. This is the first report, to the best of our knowledge, to show that Methylophilus spp. can live in the cytoplasm of Acanthamoeba.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Acanthamoeba induces cell-cycle arrest in host cells.

    PubMed

    Sissons, James; Alsam, Selwa; Jayasekera, Samantha; Kim, Kwang Sik; Stins, Monique; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2004-08-01

    Acanthamoeba can cause fatal granulomatous amoebic encephalitis (GAE) and eye keratitis. However, the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of these emerging diseases remain unclear. In this study, the effects of Acanthamoeba on the host cell cycle using human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMEC) and human corneal epithelial cells (HCEC) were determined. Two isolates of Acanthamoeba belonging to the T1 genotype (GAE isolate) and T4 genotype (keratitis isolate) were used, which showed severe cytotoxicity on HBMEC and HCEC, respectively. No tissue specificity was observed in their ability to exhibit binding to the host cells. To determine the effects of Acanthamoeba on the host cell cycle, a cell-cycle-specific gene array was used. This screened for 96 genes specific for host cell-cycle regulation. It was observed that Acanthamoeba inhibited expression of genes encoding cyclins F and G1 and cyclin-dependent kinase 6, which are proteins important for cell-cycle progression. Moreover, upregulation was observed of the expression of genes such as GADD45A and p130 Rb, associated with cell-cycle arrest, indicating cell-cycle inhibition. Next, the effect of Acanthamoeba on retinoblastoma protein (pRb) phosphorylation was determined. pRb is a potent inhibitor of G1-to-S cell-cycle progression; however, its function is inhibited upon phosphorylation, allowing progression into S phase. Western blotting revealed that Acanthamoeba abolished pRb phosphorylation leading to cell-cycle arrest at the G1-to-S transition. Taken together, these studies demonstrated for the first time that Acanthamoeba inhibits the host cell cycle at the transcriptional level, as well as by modulating pRb phosphorylation using host cell-signalling mechanisms. A complete understanding of Acanthamoeba-host cell interactions may help in developing novel strategies to treat Acanthamoeba infections.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Predator vs aliens: bacteria interactions with Acanthamoeba.

    PubMed

    Khan, Naveed Ahmed; Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah

    2014-06-01

    By interactions with other microbes, free-living amoebae play a significant role in microbiology, environmental biology, physiology, cellular interactions, ecology and evolution. Here, we discuss astonishing interactions of bacteria and amoebae, in the light of evolution and functional aspects impacting human health. In favourable environmental conditions, the interaction of Acanthamoeba with non-virulent bacteria results in lysis of the bacteria. However, the interaction with weak-virulent bacteria results in a symbiotic relationship or amoebal lysis may occur. The microbial survival of amoebae in harsh environments, ability to interact with bacteria, and their ability to aid transmission to susceptible hosts is of great concern to human, animal and ecosystem health.

  12. Study of Gene Trafficking between Acanthamoeba and Giant Viruses Suggests an Undiscovered Family of Amoeba-Infecting Viruses

    PubMed Central

    Maumus, Florian; Blanc, Guillaume

    2016-01-01

    The nucleocytoplasmic large DNA viruses (NCLDV) are a group of extremely complex double-stranded DNA viruses, which are major parasites of a variety of eukaryotes. Recent studies showed that certain unicellular eukaryotes contain fragments of NCLDV DNA integrated in their genome, when surprisingly many of these organisms were not previously shown to be infected by NCLDVs. These findings prompted us to search the genome of Acanthamoeba castellanii strain Neff (Neff), one of the most prolific hosts in the discovery of giant NCLDVs, for possible DNA inserts of viral origin. We report the identification of 267 markers of lateral gene transfer with viruses, approximately half of which are clustered in Neff genome regions of viral origins, transcriptionally inactive or exhibit nucleotide-composition signatures suggestive of a foreign origin. The integrated viral genes had diverse origin among relatives of viruses that infect Neff, including Mollivirus, Pandoravirus, Marseillevirus, Pithovirus, and Mimivirus. However, phylogenetic analysis suggests the existence of a yet-undiscovered family of amoeba-infecting NCLDV in addition to the five already characterized. The active transcription of some apparently anciently integrated virus-like genes suggests that some viral genes might have been domesticated during the amoeba evolution. These insights confirm that genomic insertion of NCLDV DNA is a common theme in eukaryotes. This gene flow contributed fertilizing the eukaryotic gene repertoire and participated in the occurrence of orphan genes, a long standing issue in genomics. Search for viral inserts in eukaryotic genomes followed by environmental screening of the original viruses should be used to isolate radically new NCLDVs. PMID:27811174

  13. Study of Gene Trafficking between Acanthamoeba and Giant Viruses Suggests an Undiscovered Family of Amoeba-Infecting Viruses.

    PubMed

    Maumus, Florian; Blanc, Guillaume

    2016-12-14

    The nucleocytoplasmic large DNA viruses (NCLDV) are a group of extremely complex double-stranded DNA viruses, which are major parasites of a variety of eukaryotes. Recent studies showed that certain unicellular eukaryotes contain fragments of NCLDV DNA integrated in their genome, when surprisingly many of these organisms were not previously shown to be infected by NCLDVs. These findings prompted us to search the genome of Acanthamoeba castellanii strain Neff (Neff), one of the most prolific hosts in the discovery of giant NCLDVs, for possible DNA inserts of viral origin. We report the identification of 267 markers of lateral gene transfer with viruses, approximately half of which are clustered in Neff genome regions of viral origins, transcriptionally inactive or exhibit nucleotide-composition signatures suggestive of a foreign origin. The integrated viral genes had diverse origin among relatives of viruses that infect Neff, including Mollivirus, Pandoravirus, Marseillevirus, Pithovirus, and Mimivirus However, phylogenetic analysis suggests the existence of a yet-undiscovered family of amoeba-infecting NCLDV in addition to the five already characterized. The active transcription of some apparently anciently integrated virus-like genes suggests that some viral genes might have been domesticated during the amoeba evolution. These insights confirm that genomic insertion of NCLDV DNA is a common theme in eukaryotes. This gene flow contributed fertilizing the eukaryotic gene repertoire and participated in the occurrence of orphan genes, a long standing issue in genomics. Search for viral inserts in eukaryotic genomes followed by environmental screening of the original viruses should be used to isolate radically new NCLDVs.

  14. [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.

  15. 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.

  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. 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

  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. 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

  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. Genotyping of clinical isolates of Acanthamoeba genus in Venezuela.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Carolina; Reyes-Batlle, María; Ysea, María Alejandra Vethencourt; Pérez, Mónica V Galindo; de Rondón, Carmen Guzmán; Paduani, Anaibeth J Nessi; Pérez, Angelyseb Dorta; López-Arencibia, Atteneri; Sifaoui, Ines; de Galindo, María Virginia Pérez; de Suárez, Eva Pérez; Martínez-Carretero, Enrique; Valladares, Basilio; Piñero, José E; Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob

    2016-12-01

    Free-living amoebae of Acanthamoeba genus are opportunistic pathogens distributed worldwide. Strains included in this genus are causative agents of a fatal encephalitis and a sight-threating keratitis in humans and other animals. In this study, 550 clinical samples which were collected between 1984 and 2014 from different patients with suspected infections due to Acanthamoeba were initially screened for the presence of this amoebic genus at the Laboratorio de Amibiasis-Escuela de Bioanálisis at the Universidad Central de Venezuela. Samples were cultured in 2% Non-Nutrient agar plates seeded with a layer of heat killed Escherichia coli. From the 550 clinical samples included in this study, 18 of them were positive for Acanthamoeba genus after culture identification. Moreover, positive samples were confirmed after amplification of the Diagnostic Fragment 3 (DF3) of the Acanthamoeba18S rDNA genus and sequencing was carried out in order to genotype the isolated strains of Acanthamoeba. Furthermore, the pathogenic potential of the strains was checked by performing thermotolerance and osmotolerance assays. Sequencing of the DF3 region resulted in the identification of genotype T4 in all the isolated strains. Moreover, most isolates were thermotolerant or both thermotolerant and osmotolerant and thus were classified as potentially pathogenic strains. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on the molecular characterization at the genotype level of Acanthamoeba strains in Venezuela.

  2. Multilocus Sequence Typing and FlaA Sequencing Reveal the Genetic Stability of Campylobacter jejuni Enrichment during Coculture with Acanthamoeba polyphaga

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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

  3. Isolation and identification of amoeba-resisting bacteria from water in human environment by using an Acanthamoeba polyphaga co-culture procedure.

    PubMed

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

    2008-05-01

    Amoeba-resisting bacteria (ARB) such as Legionella spp. are currently regarded as potential human pathogens living in the environment. To detect ARB from both human and environmental samples, co-culture with amoebae has been demonstrated as an efficient tool. However, using this procedure, mostly water from cooling towers and hospital water supplies have been investigated as the possible reservoir of ARB. In the present study, we studied ARB population in 77 environmental water samples including rivers, fountains, lakes and domestic wells in the south of France. As a result, a total of 244 isolates corresponding to 89 different species of ARB, but not Legionella spp., were identified. Ability to grow within and/or to be lytic for amoebae was revealed for the first time for several human pathogens. Six isolates are likely to be the members of a new or uncharacterized genus/species. An anaerobic bacterium, Clostridium frigidicarnis was demonstrated to be lytic for amoebae. This preliminary work demonstrates that the water environment in the vicinity of humans is a reservoir of ARB, including well-known pathogens for which amoebae and/or water was not recognized earlier as a possible reservoir.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Compounds from Polyphaga plancyi and their inhibitory activities against JAK3 and DDR1 kinases.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Hong-Jie; Yan, Yong-Ming; Tu, Zheng-Chao; Luo, Jin-Feng; Liang, Rui; Yang, Tong-Hua; Cheng, Yong-Xian; Wang, Shu-Mei

    2016-10-01

    Plancyamides A (1) and B (3), plancypyrazine A (2), and plancyols A (4) and B (5), five new compounds (1-5), and three known ones (6-8), were isolated from the whole bodies of Polyphaga plancyi Bolivar. Their structures were elucidated by a combination of spectroscopic analyses including 1D and 2D NMR, and HRESIMS. Among them, compound 3 is racemic, chiral HPLC separation afforded its respective enantiomers. The absolute configuration of 1 was assigned by computational methods. Biological evaluation of all the compounds with exception of 7 and 8 discloses that compounds 2 and 4 could inhibit JAK3 kinase with IC50 values of 12.6 and 5.0μM, respectively. In addition, compound 4 exhibit inhibitory activity towards DDR1 kinase with IC50 value of 4.87μM.

  8. Nearly Complete Genome Sequences of Two Mimivirus Strains Isolated from a Japanese Freshwater Pond and River Mouth

    PubMed Central

    Mikami, Tatsuya; Murono, Shingo

    2016-01-01

    Members of the Mimiviridae family are large DNA viruses that infect Acanthamoeba cells. Here, we report the genome sequences of two new Mimiviridae family members, isolated from water samples from Shirakoma Pond and the mouth of the Arakawa River in Japan, with nearly complete genome sizes of 1,182,849 and 1,182,801 bp, respectively. PMID:27932662

  9. Encystment in Acanthamoeba castellanii: a review.

    PubMed

    Lloyd, David

    2014-11-01

    Differentiation of Acanthamoeba castellanii trophozoites involves massive turnover of cellular components and remodelling of organelle structure and function so as to produce a cryptobiotic cell, resistant to desiccation, heat, freezing, and chemical treatments. This review presents a summary of a decade of research on the most studied aspects of the biochemistry of this process, with emphasis on problems of biocide and drug resistances, putative new targets, molecular and cell biology of the process of encystment, and the characteristics of the encysted state. As well as the intrinsic pathogenicity of the organism towards the cornea, and the ability of related species to invade the human brain, its propensity for harbouring and transmitting pathogenic bacteria and viruses is considerable and leads to increasing concerns. The long-term survival and resistance of cysts to drugs and biocides adds another layer of complexity to the problem of their elimination.

  10. Acanthamoeba keratitis in the south of Sweden.

    PubMed

    Skarin, A; Florén, I; Kiss, K; Miörner, H; Stenevi, U

    1996-12-01

    Eight patients with Acanthamoeba keratitis were diagnosed and treated at our clinic between February 1991 and February 1993. Five of these were contact lens wearers, two had suffered recent corneal trauma and one had recently undergone penetrating keratoplasty. The diagnoses were based on both culture and histological examination of biopsy material in three cases, on culture alone in two cases and on histological examination alone in three cases. In all but one primary treatment was Propamidine isethionate and Neomycin/Polymyxin B topically and Ketoconazole orally. Because of poor healing three patients additionally received Paromomycin and Miconazole or Clotrimazol topically; two of these were further treated with Polyhexamethylene biguanide topically. The interval from initial symptoms to accurate diagnoses varied from one to eleven months. In one patient the eye could not be saved; in the remaining patients visual acuity after healing ranged from hand movements to 1.0.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Ecto-ATPases of clinical and non-clinical isolates of Acanthamoeba.

    PubMed

    Sissons, James; Alsam, Selwa; Jayasekera, Samantha; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2004-11-01

    Acanthamoeba are opportunistic protozoan parasites that can cause fatal granulomatous amoebic encephalitis and eye keratitis, however the pathogenic mechanisms of Acanthamoeba remain unclear. In this study, we described the ability of live Acanthamoeba to hydrolyse extracellular ATP. Both clinical and non-clinical isolates belonging to genotypes, T1, T2, T3, T4 and T7 exhibited ecto-ATPase activities in vitro. Using non-denaturing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, ecto-ATPases were further characterized. All Acanthamoeba isolates tested, exhibited a single ecto-ATPase band (approximate molecular weight of 272 kDa). However, clinical isolates exhibited additional bands suggesting that ecto-ATPases may play a role in the pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba. This was supported using suramin (ecto-ATPase inhibitor), which inhibited Acanthamoeba-induced host cell cytotoxicity. Previously, we and others have shown that Acanthamoeba binds to host cells using their mannose-binding protein and binding can be blocked using exogenous alpha-mannose. In this study, we observed that alpha-mannose significantly increased ecto-ATPase activities of pathogenic Acanthamoeba belonging to T1, T2, T3 and T4 genotypes but had no effect on non-pathogenic Acanthamoeba (belonging to T7 genotype). Overall, we have shown, for the first time, that Acanthamoeba exhibit ecto-ATPase activities, which may play a role in the pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba as well as their potential role in the differentiation of pathogenic Acanthamoeba.

  15. Acanthamoeba spp. as Agents of Disease in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Marciano-Cabral, Francine; Cabral, Guy

    2003-01-01

    Acanthamoeba spp. are free-living amebae that inhabit a variety of air, soil, and water environments. However, these amebae can also act as opportunistic as well as nonopportunistic pathogens. They are the causative agents of granulomatous amebic encephalitis and amebic keratitis and have been associated with cutaneous lesions and sinusitis. Immuno compromised individuals, including AIDS patients, are particularly susceptible to infections with Acanthamoeba. The immune defense mechanisms that operate against Acanthamoeba have not been well characterized, but it has been proposed that both innate and acquired immunity play a role. The ameba's life cycle includes an active feeding trophozoite stage and a dormant cyst stage. Trophozoites feed on bacteria, yeast, and algae. However, both trophozoites and cysts can retain viable bacteria and may serve as reservoirs for bacteria with human pathogenic potential. Diagnosis of infection includes direct microscopy of wet mounts of cerebrospinal fluid or stained smears of cerebrospinal fluid sediment, light or electron microscopy of tissues, in vitro cultivation of Acanthamoeba, and histological assessment of frozen or paraffin-embedded sections of brain or cutaneous lesion biopsy material. Immunocytochemistry, chemifluorescent dye staining, PCR, and analysis of DNA sequence variation also have been employed for laboratory diagnosis. Treatment of Acanthamoeba infections has met with mixed results. However, chlorhexidine gluconate, alone or in combination with propamidene isethionate, is effective in some patients. Furthermore, effective treatment is complicated since patients may present with underlying disease and Acanthamoeba infection may not be recognized. 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. PMID:12692099

  16. Acanthamoeba spp. as agents of disease in humans.

    PubMed

    Marciano-Cabral, Francine; Cabral, Guy

    2003-04-01

    Acanthamoeba spp. are free-living amebae that inhabit a variety of air, soil, and water environments. However, these amebae can also act as opportunistic as well as nonopportunistic pathogens. They are the causative agents of granulomatous amebic encephalitis and amebic keratitis and have been associated with cutaneous lesions and sinusitis. Immuno compromised individuals, including AIDS patients, are particularly susceptible to infections with Acanthamoeba. The immune defense mechanisms that operate against Acanthamoeba have not been well characterized, but it has been proposed that both innate and acquired immunity play a role. The ameba's life cycle includes an active feeding trophozoite stage and a dormant cyst stage. Trophozoites feed on bacteria, yeast, and algae. However, both trophozoites and cysts can retain viable bacteria and may serve as reservoirs for bacteria with human pathogenic potential. Diagnosis of infection includes direct microscopy of wet mounts of cerebrospinal fluid or stained smears of cerebrospinal fluid sediment, light or electron microscopy of tissues, in vitro cultivation of Acanthamoeba, and histological assessment of frozen or paraffin-embedded sections of brain or cutaneous lesion biopsy material. Immunocytochemistry, chemifluorescent dye staining, PCR, and analysis of DNA sequence variation also have been employed for laboratory diagnosis. Treatment of Acanthamoeba infections has met with mixed results. However, chlorhexidine gluconate, alone or in combination with propamidene isethionate, is effective in some patients. Furthermore, effective treatment is complicated since patients may present with underlying disease and Acanthamoeba infection may not be recognized. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Expressed sequence tags (ESTs) analysis of Acanthamoeba healyi

    PubMed Central

    Kong, Hyun-Hee; Hwang, Mee-Yeul; Kim, Hyo-Kyung

    2001-01-01

    Randomly selected 435 clones from Acanthamoeba healyi cDNA library were sequenced and a total of 387 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) had been generated. Based on the results of BLAST search, 130 clones (34.4%) were identified as the genes enconding surface proteins, enzymes for DNA, energy production or other metabolism, kinases and phosphatases, protease, proteins for signal transduction, structural and cytoskeletal proteins, cell cycle related proteins, transcription factors, transcription and translational machineries, and transporter proteins. Most of the genes (88.5%) are newly identified in the genus Acanthamoeba. Although 15 clones matched the genes of Acanthamoeba located in the public databases, twelve clones were actin gene which was the most frequently expressed gene in this study. These ESTs of Acanthamoeba would give valuable information to study the organism as a model system for biological investigations such as cytoskeleton or cell movement, signal transduction, transcriptional and translational regulations. These results would also provide clues to elucidate factors for pathogenesis in human granulomatous amoebic encephalitis or keratitis by Acanthamoeba. PMID:11441502

  20. [Treatment of Acanthamoeba keratitis: possibilities, problems, and new approaches].

    PubMed

    Walochnik, Julia; Duchêne, Michael; Eibl, Hansjörg; Aspöck, Horst

    2003-01-01

    Acanthamoeba keratitis is a corneal disease associated predominantly with contact lens wear. The occurrence of Acanthamoeba keratitis has been rising since 1990 in correlation to the growing number of contact lens wearers. To date approximately 2000 cases have been published around the world. Due to the complicated diagnostics, the elaborate treatment and the usually bad compliance of the patients, Acanthamoeba keratitis unfortunately very often takes a serious progression, which may lead to serious visual loss and perforating keratoplasty. Today, local treatment with a combination of polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB) and propamidine isethionate (Brolene) is considered the first line therapy for Acanthamoeba keratitis. Alternatively also a combination of propamidine and chlorhexidine or neomycine achieves good therapeutic results. However, the complicated mode of application consistently remains a problem. The intensive local treatment, i.e. hourly application of therapeutics during the first three days day and night makes hospitalization inevitable. Moreover, sufficient efficacy can not always be achieved, and also resistance against propamidine has already been observed. Recently propamidine has sometimes been replaced by hexamidine, which seems to have a greater cysticidal activity. A new path might be struck by the application of alkylphosphocholines. These are phosphocholines esterified to aliphatic alcohols. They exhibit in vitro and in vivo antineoplastic activity and have been shown to be cytotoxic against Leishmania donovani, Trypanosoma cruzi, and Entamoeba histolytica. A recent study has demonstrated that particularly hexadecylphosphocholine is highly effective also against various strains of Acanthamoeba.

  1. Recent advances in the treatment of Acanthamoeba keratitis.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Raman; Lloyd, David

    2002-08-15

    Infection of the eye caused by Acanthamoeba species constitutes a burgeoning and unsolved problem. Of individuals with Acanthamoeba keratitis, 85% wear contact lenses; abrasion of the cornea is implicated. Corneal infection often can be prevented by good lens care and hygiene. Severe Acanthamoeba keratitis often can be very difficult to treat; surgery can be less than successful and may lead to further problems. The encysted stage in the life cycle of Acanthamoeba species appears to cause the most problems; many biocides are ineffective in killing the highly resistant cysts. Combination therapy--that is, use of 2 or 3 biocides, sometimes with antibacterial antibiotics--appears to work best. Recurrence is common if treatment is stopped prematurely. Immunologic methods are being investigated as a form of prevention, and oral immunization of animals recently has been successful in the prevention of Acanthamoeba keratitis by inducing immunity before infection occurs. Immunization thus may eventually become the best approach for reduction of the incidence of amebic infection in humans.

  2. Acanthamoeba keratitis: an emerging disease gathering importance worldwide?

    PubMed

    Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob; Martín-Navarro, Carmen María; López-Arencibia, Atteneri; Arnalich-Montiel, Francisco; Piñero, José E; Valladares, Basilio

    2013-04-01

    Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) is increasingly being recognized as a severe sight-threatening ocular infection worldwide. Although contact lens wear is the leading risk factor for AK, Acanthamoeba parasites are also an important cause of keratitis in non-contact lens wearers. Diagnosis of AK is challenging, and the available treatments are lengthy and not fully effective against all strains. The pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba is still under study, and the identification of the key factors involved in this process should be useful for the development of fully effective therapies. This review focuses on recent developments on AK pathogenesis and diagnosis as well as novel strategies for the evaluation of anti-amoebic agents that could be applied in the near future against these pathogens.

  3. Acanthamoeba T4 genotype associated with keratitis infections in Tunisia.

    PubMed

    Dendana, F; Sellami, H; Trabelsi, H; Neji, S; Cheikhrouhou, F; Makni, F; Ayadi, A

    2013-01-01

    Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) is a sight-threatening infection. We report five cases of AK diagnosed from 2005 to 2009 in the Laboratory of Parasitology-Mycology at Habib Bourguiba Sfax Hospital, Tunisia. All were associated with improper care of contact lenses (rinsing of contact lenses with tap water and inappropriate cleaning) and lens storage. The patients displayed different clinical presentations: corneal inflammation, corneal ulceration, and corneal abscess. The diagnosis was made after direct examination, culture, and polymerase chain reaction amplification with specific primers. The genotype classification was based on the highly variable DF3 region in the 18S rRNA gene. This is the first study characterizing Acanthamoeba genotype in Tunisia and North Africa. All Acanthamoeba isolates were associated to the T4 genotype. Three different DF3 sequence types were related to AK infections T4/10, T4/15, and T4/16.

  4. 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.

  5. The association of contact lens solution use and Acanthamoeba keratitis

    PubMed Central

    Joslin, Charlotte E.; Tu, Elmer Y.; Shoff, Megan E.; Booton, Gregory C.; Fuerst, Paul A.; McMahon, Timothy T.; Anderson, Robert J.; Dworkin, Mark S.; Sugar, Joel; Davis, Faith G.; Stayner, Leslie T.

    2009-01-01

    Purpose Diagnosis of Acanthamoeba keratitis, a rare but serious corneal infection, has recently increased significantly at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Cornea Service. The purpose is to investigate Acanthamoeba keratitis risk factors. Design Retrospective case-control study. Methods Setting University, tertiary care hospital. Patients Fifty-five Acanthamoeba keratitis cases with contact lens use were diagnosed between May 1, 2003 and September 15, 2006. Clinic-matched controls with contact lens use were recruited. Subjects completed surveys targeting lens hygiene, contact lens solution use, and water exposure. Main Outcome Measure Acanthamoeba keratitis. Results Thirty-nine (73.6%) cases and 113 (65.3%) controls participated; 38 cases had complete contact lens data. Thirty-five of 38 cases (92.1%) and 47 of 100 controls (47.0%) used soft lenses. Analysis was performed on 30 cases and 39 controls with matched pairs with soft lens use. Exclusive use of AMO Complete MoisturePlus Multi-Purpose Solution was independently associated with Acanthamoeba keratitis in multivariable analysis (55.2% vs. 10.5%; OR, 16.67; 95% CI, 2.11–162.63; p = 0.008). However, 38.8% of cases reported no use of AMO Complete MoisturePlus Multi-Purpose Solution or used it in combination with other solutions. Although not statistically significant, additional hygiene-related variables (solution ‘reuse’, lack of ‘rubbing’, and showering with lenses) suggest a pattern of risk,. Conclusions AMO Complete MoisturePlus Multi-Purpose Solution use is independently associated with Acanthamoeba keratitis among soft contact lens users. However, it does not explain all cases, suggesting additional factors. Further research into environmental risk factors and hygiene practices is warranted, especially considering this is the second outbreak of an atypical, contact lens-related infection. PMID:17588524

  6. IL-17A-Mediated Protection against Acanthamoeba Keratitis

    PubMed Central

    Suryawanshi, Amol; Cao, Zhiyi; Sampson, James F.

    2014-01-01

    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 Treg 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 as well as local draining lymph nodes (dLN). 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 dLN. Thus, in sharp contrast to other corneal infections such as herpes and P. aeruginosa keratitis where IL-17A exacerbates corneal pathology and inflammation, findings presented in this manuscript suggest that IL-17A production after Acanthamoeba infection plays an important role in host protection against invading parasites. PMID:25505284

  7. 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

  8. Epidemiological typing of Acanthamoeba strains isolated from keratitis cases in Belgium.

    PubMed

    De Jonckheere, J F

    2003-01-01

    From the corneas of nine keratitis patients and from their contact lenses, contact lens boxes and saline solutions, 15 strains of Acanthamoeba have been isolated. An Acanthamoeba strain was isolated from the swimming pool where one of the patients swam, while in the tapwater of the houses of three patients investigated, no Acanthamoeba could be detected. All the Acanthamoeba isolates from the cornea belong to genotype T4, but are different subtypes of T4. The Acanthamoeba detected on the contact lenses (and/or associated paraphernalia) of a patient are of the same subtype as that isolated from the cornea. The only Acanthamoeba strain isolated from a contact lens which was not related to an Acanthamoeba keratitis infection proved to be another genotype. A strain of Hartmannella from a cornea and two vahlkampfiids isolated from contact lenses had no connection with keratitis. This study confirms that, as found elsewhere, only Acanthamoeba genotype T4 of the 12 known Acanthamoeba genotypes is responsible for keratitis in Belgium. Most cases of Acanthamoeba keratitis cases are due to poor hygiene in the treatment (cleaning and storage) of contact lenses.

  9. 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...

  10. Cytotoxic Activities of Alkylphosphocholines against Clinical Isolates of Acanthamoeba spp.

    PubMed Central

    Walochnik, Julia; Duchêne, Michael; Seifert, Karin; Obwaller, Andreas; Hottkowitz, Thomas; Wiedermann, Gerhard; Eibl, Hansjörg; Aspöck, Horst

    2002-01-01

    Free-living amoebae of the genus Acanthamoeba are causing serious chronic conditions such as destructive keratitis in contact lens wearers or granulomatous amoebic encephalitis in individuals with compromised immune systems. Both are characterized by the lack of availability of sufficiently effective and uncomplicated, manageable treatments. Hexadecylphosphocholine (miltefosine) is licensed for use as a topical antineoplastic agent, but it is also active in vitro against several protozoan parasites, and it was applied very successfully for the treatment of human visceral leishmaniasis. The aim of our study was to evaluate the efficacy of hexadecylphosphocholine and other alkylphosphocholines (APCs) against Acanthamoeba spp. The in vitro activities of eight different APCs against three Acanthamoeba strains of various pathogenicities were determined. All substances showed at least amoebostatic effects, and some of them disrupted the amoebae, as shown by the release of cytoplasmic enzyme activity. Hexadecylphosphocholine exhibited the highest degree of cytotoxicity against trophozoites, resulting in complete cell death at a concentration as low as 40 μM, and also displayed significant cysticidal activity. Hexadecylphosphocholine may be a promising new candidate for the topical treatment of Acanthamoeba keratitis and, conceivably, even for the oral treatment of granulomatous amoebic encephalitis. PMID:11850250

  11. Cytotoxic activities of alkylphosphocholines against clinical isolates of Acanthamoeba spp.

    PubMed

    Walochnik, Julia; Duchêne, Michael; Seifert, Karin; Obwaller, Andreas; Hottkowitz, Thomas; Wiedermann, Gerhard; Eibl, Hansjörg; Aspöck, Horst

    2002-03-01

    Free-living amoebae of the genus Acanthamoeba are causing serious chronic conditions such as destructive keratitis in contact lens wearers or granulomatous amoebic encephalitis in individuals with compromised immune systems. Both are characterized by the lack of availability of sufficiently effective and uncomplicated, manageable treatments. Hexadecylphosphocholine (miltefosine) is licensed for use as a topical antineoplastic agent, but it is also active in vitro against several protozoan parasites, and it was applied very successfully for the treatment of human visceral leishmaniasis. The aim of our study was to evaluate the efficacy of hexadecylphosphocholine and other alkylphosphocholines (APCs) against Acanthamoeba spp. The in vitro activities of eight different APCs against three Acanthamoeba strains of various pathogenicities were determined. All substances showed at least amoebostatic effects, and some of them disrupted the amoebae, as shown by the release of cytoplasmic enzyme activity. Hexadecylphosphocholine exhibited the highest degree of cytotoxicity against trophozoites, resulting in complete cell death at a concentration as low as 40 microM, and also displayed significant cysticidal activity. Hexadecylphosphocholine may be a promising new candidate for the topical treatment of Acanthamoeba keratitis and, conceivably, even for the oral treatment of granulomatous amoebic encephalitis.

  12. 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

  13. Bioassay guided isolation and identification of anti-Acanthamoeba compounds from Tunisian olive leaf extracts.

    PubMed

    Sifaoui, Ines; López-Arencibia, Atteneri; Ticona, Juan Carlos; Martín-Navarro, Carmen M; Reyes-Batlle, María; Mejri, Mondher; Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob; Jiménez, Antonio Ignacio; Valladares, Basilio; Lopez-Bazzocchi, Isabel; Abderabba, Manef; Piñero, José E

    2014-11-01

    Pathogenic Acanthamoeba strains are causative agents of Granulomatous Amoebic Encephalitis (GAE) and Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) worldwide. The existence of the cyst stage complicates Acanthamoeba therapy as it is highly resistant to antibiotics and physical agents. The aim of this study was to investigate the activity of Limouni olive leaf cultivar against the trophozoite stage of Acanthamoeba. The ethyl acetate and methanol extracts of this variety were tested against Acanthamoeba castellanii Neff. The ethyl acetate extract of olive leaf was the most active showing an IC50 of 5.11±0.71μg/ml of dry extract. Bio-guided fractionation of this extract was conducted and led to the identification of three active compounds namely oleanolic and maslinic acids and oleuropein which could be used for the development of novel therapeutic approaches against Acanthamoeba infections.

  14. Acanthamoeba can be differentiated by the polymerase chain reaction and simple plating assays.

    PubMed

    Khan, N A; Jarroll, E L; Paget, T A

    2001-09-01

    Acanthamoeba are opportunistic pathogens with invasive and noninvasive species. For clinical purposes it is important to differentiate potentially pathogenic from nonpathogenic isolates. For the rapid and sensitive identification of Acanthamoeba at the genus level, we used a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based method which detected as few as five cells. Further, we tested nine isolates of Acanthamoeba for their ability to produce cytopathic effects (CPE) on corneal epithelial cells. On the basis of the results, Acanthamoeba were divided into pathogenic or nonpathogenic groups. However, because CPE assays are not available to every diagnostic laboratory, we developed a simple plating assay based on osmotolerance which correlated well with the CPE assays. Pathogenic Acanthamoeba showed growth on higher osmolarity (agar plates containing one molar mannitol), while growth of nonpathogens was inhibited on these plates. In conclusion, we have developed methods for the rapid identification and differentiation of Acanthamoeba.

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. Acanthamoeba protease activity promotes allergic airway inflammation via protease-activated receptor 2.

    PubMed

    Park, Mi Kyung; Cho, Min Kyoung; Kang, Shin Ae; Park, Hye-Kyung; Kim, Dong-Hee; Yu, Hak Sun

    2014-01-01

    Acanthamoeba is a free-living amoeba commonly present in the environment and often found in human airway cavities. Acanthamoeba possesses strong proteases that can elicit allergic airway inflammation. To our knowledge, the aeroallergenicity of Acanthamoeba has not been reported. We repeatedly inoculated mice with Acanthamoeba trophozoites or excretory-secretory (ES) proteins intra-nasally and evaluated symptoms and airway immune responses. Acanthamoeba trophozoites or ES proteins elicited immune responses in mice that resembled allergic airway inflammation. ES proteins had strong protease activity and activated the expression of several chemokine genes (CCL11, CCL17, CCL22, TSLP, and IL-25) in mouse lung epithelial cells. The serine protease inhibitor phenyl-methane-sulfonyl fluoride (PMSF) inhibited ES protein activity. ES proteins also stimulated dendritic cells and enhanced the differentiation of naive T cells into IL-4-secreting T cells. After repeated inoculation of the protease-activated receptor 2 knockout mouse with ES proteins, airway inflammation and Th2 immune responses were markedly reduced, but not to basal levels. Furthermore, asthma patients had higher Acanthamoeba-specific IgE titers than healthy controls and we found Acanthamoeba specific antigen from house dust in typical living room. Our findings suggest that Acanthamoeba elicits allergic airway symptoms in mice via a protease allergen. In addition, it is possible that Acanthamoeba may be one of the triggers human airway allergic disease.

  19. 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.

  20. Characterization of isolates of Acanthamoeba from the nasal mucosa and cutaneous lesions of dogs.

    PubMed

    Carlesso, A M; Mentz, M B; da Machado, M L S; Carvalho, A; Nunes, T E T; Maschio, V J; Rott, M B

    2014-06-01

    Acanthamoeba spp. are free-living amoebae that are ubiquitously distributed in the environment and can cause encephalomyelitis in animals and humans. The factors that contribute to Acanthamoeba infections include parasite biology, genetic diversity, environmental spread, and host susceptibility. The aim of the present study was to characterize isolates of Acanthamoeba from the nasal mucosa and cutaneous lesions of dogs in order to access the occurence and pathogenicity of these organisms in this animal group. We studied 13 isolates of Acanthamoeba confirmed by polymerase chain reaction. They were sequenced, the genotype was determined, and their potential of pathogenicity was evaluated.

  1. The role of the innate and adaptive immune responses in Acanthamoeba keratitis.

    PubMed

    Niederkorn, Jerry Y

    2002-01-01

    Infections of the corneal surface are an important cause of blindness. Protozoal, viral, bacterial, and helminthic infections of the cornea account for up to 9 million cases of corneal blindness. Free-living amoebae of the genus Acanthamoeba produce a progressive infection of the cornea called Acanthamoeba keratitis. Disease is usually transmitted by Acanthamoeba trophozoites bound to soft contact lenses. Infection of the cornea is initiated when the parasite binds to the corneal epithelial surface. Recrudescence can occur and suggests that the adaptive immune response is not aroused by corneal Acanthamoeba infections. Systemic immunization with Acanthamoeba antigens elicits robust Th1 cell-mediated immunity and serum IgG antibody, yet fails to prevent the development of Acanthamoeba keratitis. However, immunization via mucosal surfaces induces anti-Acanthamoeba IgA antibodies in the tears and provides solid protection against the development of Acanthamoeba keratitis. Unlike other immune effector mechanisms that rely on cytolysis, inflammation, release of toxic molecules, or the induction of host cell death, the adaptive immune apparatus prevents Acanthamoeba infections of the cornea by simply preventing the attachment of the parasite to the epithelial surface. The beauty of this mechanism lies in its exquisite simplicity and efficacy.

  2. The head morphology of Clambidae and its implications for the phylogeny of Scirtoidea (Coleoptera: Polyphaga).

    PubMed

    Anton, Eric; Yavorskaya, Margarita I; Beutel, Rolf G

    2016-05-01

    External and internal structures of the head of adults of Clambus are described and illustrated in detail. The results are compared with structural features found in the clambid genus Calyptomerus, in representatives of other scirtoid families, and also in species of other coleopteran suborders, notably Myxophaga. The results tentatively support the monophyly of Scirtoidea and a close relationship between Clambidae and Eucinetidae is suggested by one shared derived feature of the mandible, a long and slender apical tooth with a serrate edge. The monophyly of Clambidae is very strongly supported and Acalyptomerus is probably the sistergroup of a clade Calyptomerus + Clambinae. Potential scirtoid autapomorphies are the loss of the dorsal tentorial arms, a bulging gula, a strongly transverse labrum, and a ridge separating the mediostipes from the lacinia. However, all these features are homoplasious. The monophyly of Clambidae is supported by modifications of the head capsule which is strongly flattened and broadened, by a deep clypeofrontal incision enabling vertical antennal movements, and a series of antennal features. Synapomorphies of Clambinae + Calyptomerus (Clambidae excluding Acalyptomerus) are the conglobate body form with the ventral side of the head capsule in contact with the mesocoxae, and compound eyes integrated in the contour of the head. The completely subdivided eye is an autapomorphy of Clambus. An entire series of features is shared by Clambidae (or Scirtoidea) and Myxophaga. Most of them are apomorphies that apparently evolved independently in both groups. However, the presence of well-developed maxillary and labial glands is arguably a retained groundplan feature of Coleoptera, with parallel loss in Archostemata, Adephaga and various groups of Polyphaga.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Effect of bacteria on survival and growth of Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    PubMed

    Wang, X; Ahearn, D G

    1997-04-01

    The growth and survival of Acanthamoeba castellanii in the presence of Gram-negative bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, Serratia marcescens, and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia varied with the densities and species of bacteria. All species of bacteria suspended in a buffered saline at densities of 10(5) to 10(6)/ml supported the growth and survival of 10(6)/ml trophozoites of Acanthamoeba castellanii in a buffered saline solution. At densities of bacteria to amoebae of 100:1 or greater, growth and survival of A. castellanii were suppressed, particularly by P. aeruginosa. In an enrichment medium, the rapid growth of most co-inoculated bacteria inhibited the growth and survival of the amoeba.

  7. Three-dimensional solution structure of Acanthamoeba profilin-I

    PubMed Central

    1993-01-01

    We have determined a medium resolution three-dimensional solution structure of Acanthamoeba profilin-I by multidimensional nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. This 13-kD actin binding protein consists of a five stranded antiparallel beta sheet flanked by NH2- and COOH-terminal helices on one face and by a third helix and a two stranded beta sheet on the other face. Data from actin-profilin cross- linking experiments and the localization of conserved residues between profilins in different phyla indicate that actin binding occurs on the molecular face occupied by the terminal helices. The other face of the molecule contains the residues that differ between Acanthamoeba profilins-I and II and may be important in determining the difference in polyphosphoinositide binding between these isoforms. This suggests that lipids and actin bind to different faces of the molecule. PMID:8397216

  8. Polyphenol oxidase produced during encystation of Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    PubMed

    Sykes, D E; Band, R N

    1985-08-01

    Acanthamoeba castellanii has a phenol oxidase activity that is believed to be a laccase. Enzyme activity was found in the outer cyst wall, in the cytoplasm of encysting amoebae and in the encystment medium. Encystment procedures were modified to promote an increase in the amount of soluble enzyme secreted during encystation. Acanthamoeba polyphenol oxidase has a pH optimum of 6.0 and a Km value of 0.21 mM with dihydroxyphenylalanine. The enzyme does not oxidize tyrosine, and it is inhibited by chloride but not by inhibitors of peroxidase. Its synthesis coincides with encystation, and known inhibitors of polyphenol oxidase prevent encystation. Polyphenol oxidase may have a role in making the cyst resistant to mechanical and chemical breakdown.

  9. 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.

  10. Molecular and physiological differentiation between pathogenic and nonpathogenic Acanthamoeba.

    PubMed

    Khan, Naveed A; Jarroll, Edward L; Paget, Timothy A

    2002-09-01

    In this study, 14 isolates of Acanthamoeba from both clinical and environmental sources belonging to seven different species were assayed for tolerance of high osmotic pressure, temperature tolerance, extracellular proteases, and cytopathic effects (CPE) on immortalized rabbit corneal epithelial cells. On the basis of the results, amoeba isolates were divided into pathogenic and nonpathogenic groups. Ribosomal DNA sequencing was performed on these isolates. Phylogenetic relationships revealed that all the pathogenic strains tested clustered together as one group, while nonpathogenic strains clustered into other groups. Sequence comparisons with previously published sequences determined that among the six new pathogenic isolates used in this study, five belong to T4 genotype and one to T11. This is the first report of a T11 genotype being found in Acanthamoeba keratitis.

  11. 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

  12. Chlorhexidine Monotherapy with Adjunctive Topical Corticosteroids for Acanthamoeba Keratitis

    PubMed Central

    Rahimi, Firoozeh; Hashemian, Seyed Mohammad Nasser; Tafti, Mohammadreza Falah; Mehjerdi, Mohammadali Zare; Safizadeh, Mona Seyed; Pour, Elias Khalili; Sefidan, Bahram Bohrani

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: To assess the efficacy of chlorhexidine monotherapy for Acanthamoeba keratitis, and to determine the therapeutic outcomes of concomitant topical corticosteroids. Methods: In this prospective interventional case series, 31 eyes of 31 patients with Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) were treated with chlorhexidine 0.02% as monotherapy, from April 2010 to April 2011. The diagnosis of AK was made based on clinical manifestations and positive confocal microscopic (confoscan 3.4, Nidek Co. Ltd., Gamagori, Japan) results. We report the percentage of a favorable clinical response within two weeks of initiating treatment, worsening of the infection while receiving chlorhexidine, recovery of visual acuity (VA), duration of treatment with chlorhexidine and corticosteroids, necessity for addition of other anti-Acanthamoeba agents, presence of corneal scar at the end of the treatment, and need for penetrating keratoplasty (PK). Results: Two weeks after initiation of chlorhexidine, improvement in signs and symptoms was observed in 26 (83.9%) patients but 3 eyes required the addition of propamidine. After initial improvement in one patient, the infection worsened, necessitating the addition of Polyhexamethylene Biguanide (PHMB) and propamidine. A total of 26 (83.9%) patients received topical corticosteroids with mean duration of 65.8 ± 45.1 days. In 22 (71%) eyes, final visual acuity was ≥0.80. Improved VA occurred in 29 eyes (93.5%). Optical PK was considered in 3 (9.7%) eyes and a corneal scar developed in 8 (25.8%) eyes. Conclusion: Chlorhexidine is effective for monotherapy in AK and could be a good choice for initiating treatment. After the initial response to anti-Acanthamoeba agents, corticosteroids can be used as adjunctive therapy depending on the clinical condition. PMID:26425310

  13. Activities of Therapeutic Agents and Myristamidopropyl Dimethylamine against Acanthamoeba Isolates

    PubMed Central

    Kilvington, Simon; Hughes, Reanne; Byas, James; Dart, John

    2002-01-01

    The activities of therapeutic agents and myristamidopropyl dimethylamine (MAPD) against Acanthamoeba strains recalcitrant to medical therapy were studied. MAPD minimum cysticidal concentrations were 6.25 to 25 μg/ml; 10 to 30 μg/ml gave at least a 3-log cyst kill after 6 h, and 50 and 100 μg/ml gave at least a 3-log cyst kill within 2 and 1 h, respectively. PMID:12019127

  14. Activities of therapeutic agents and myristamidopropyl dimethylamine against Acanthamoeba isolates.

    PubMed

    Kilvington, Simon; Hughes, Reanne; Byas, James; Dart, John

    2002-06-01

    The activities of therapeutic agents and myristamidopropyl dimethylamine (MAPD) against Acanthamoeba strains recalcitrant to medical therapy were studied. MAPD minimum cysticidal concentrations were 6.25 to 25 microg/ml; 10 to 30 microg/ml gave at least a 3-log cyst kill after 6 h, and 50 and 100 microg/ml gave at least a 3-log cyst kill within 2 and 1 h, respectively.

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

    PubMed

    Igras, Estera; Murphy, Conor

    2015-04-15

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. Rapid detection and simultaneous molecular profile characterization of Acanthamoeba infections.

    PubMed

    Goldschmidt, Pablo; Degorge, Sandrine; Benallaoua, Djida; Batellier, Laurence; Di Cave, David; Chaumeil, Christine

    2012-10-01

    Diagnosis of Acanthamoeba by microscopic examination, culture, and polymerase chain reactions (PCRs) has several limitations (sensitivity, specificity, lack of detection of several strains, cost of testing for discrimination among strains). We developed a new high-resolution melting real-time PCR (HRM) to detect and characterize Acanthamoeba infections. HRM performances were evaluated with strains from the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) and with 20 corneal scrapings. The DNA extracted from specimens were amplified, detected, and characterized in 1 run using 2 original primers diluted in a solution containing an intercalating dye. Detection and molecular characterization of Acanthamoeba infections could be achieved in less than 2.5 h with a dramatic reduction in cost of reactants (postamplification procedures and radioactive or fluorescent-labeled molecular probes were unnecessary). HRM detection limits were 0.1 cyst/μL or less (including genotypes T5 and T11), and its sensitivity and specificity were higher than other molecular tests. For the tested strains from the ATCC, the HRM drafted 4 different profiles: Type I (genotypes T2 and T4), Type II (T5 and T7), Type III (T8), and Type IV (T1, T3, T6, T9, T11, T12, and T13).

  18. 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.

  19. Characterization and pathogenetic role of proteinase from Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    PubMed

    Na, B K; Kim, J C; Song, C Y

    2001-01-01

    A secreted proteinase was purified from the culture supernatant of Acanthamoeba castellanii with several chromatographic steps. The purified proteinase was a chymotrypsin-like serine proteinase. Its molecular weight was approximately 12 kDa on SDS-PAGE, and its native molecular weight was 12 kDa when determined by molecular sieve chromatography. It showed a broad temperature optimum ranging 30-55 degrees C with an optimal at 55 degrees C and an optimal pH of 8.5. It could degrade various protein substrates, such as collagen, fibronectin, laminin, secretory immunoglobulin A, immunoglobulin G, plasminogen, fibrinogen, haemoglobin and rabbit corneal proteins. It showed strong cytopathic effects in cultured cells, including HEp2 and HEK cells. The corneal lesions, induced by both the purified proteinase and A. castellanii, displayed similar clinical results for both cases, in which the stromal infiltration and opacity with the epithelial defect were revealed. These results suggest that the enzyme was highly associated with the pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba. The fact that cytopathic effects and development of corneal lesions caused by the proteinase of Acanthamoeba were inhibited by the proteinase inhibitor suggest that the proteinase inhibitor might be useful as a therapeutic agent.

  20. Uptake and Replication of Salmonella enterica in Acanthamoeba rhysodes

    PubMed Central

    Tezcan-Merdol, Dilek; Ljungström, Marianne; Winiecka-Krusnell, Jadwiga; Linder, Ewert; Engstrand, Lars; Rhen, Mikael

    2004-01-01

    The ability of salmonellae to become internalized and to survive and replicate in amoebae was evaluated by using three separate serovars of Salmonella enterica and five different isolates of axenic Acanthamoeba spp. In gentamicin protection assays, Salmonella enterica serovar Dublin was internalized more efficiently than Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis or Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium in all of the amoeba isolates tested. The bacteria appeared to be most efficiently internalized by Acanthamoeba rhysodes. Variations in bacterial growth conditions affected internalization efficiency, but this effect was not altered by inactivation of hilA, a key regulator in the expression of the invasion-associated Salmonella pathogenicity island 1. Microscopy of infected A. rhysodes revealed that S. enterica resided within vacuoles. Prolonged incubation resulted in a loss of intracellular bacteria associated with morphological changes and loss of amoebae. In part, these alterations were associated with hilA and the Salmonella virulence plasmid. The data show that Acanthamoeba spp. can differentiate between different serovars of salmonellae and that internalization is associated with cytotoxic effects mediated by defined Salmonella virulence loci. PMID:15184177

  1. First Isolation of a Giant Virus from Wild Hirudo medicinalis Leech: Mimiviridae isolation in Hirudo medicinalis

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:24287596

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Orosz, Erika; Farkas, Agnes; Ködöböcz, László; Becságh, Péter; Danka, József; Kucsera, István; Füleky, György

    2013-03-01

    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 (CAR HAS). 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.

  5. Microarray analysis of differentially expressed genes between cysts and trophozoites of Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-01

    Acanthamoeba infection is difficult to treat because of the resistance property of Acanthamoeba cyst against the host immune system, diverse antibiotics, and therapeutic agents. To identify encystation mediating factors of Acanthamoeba, we compared the transcription profile between cysts and trophozoites using microarray analysis. The DNA chip was composed of 12,544 genes based on expressed sequence tag (EST) from an Acanthamoeba ESTs database (DB) constructed in our laboratory, genetic information of Acanthamoeba from TBest DB, and all of Acanthamoeba related genes registered in the NCBI. Microarray analysis indicated that 701 genes showed higher expression than 2 folds in cysts than in trophozoites, and 859 genes were less expressed in cysts than in trophozoites. The results of real-time PCR analysis of randomly selected 9 genes of which expression was increased during cyst formation were coincided well with the microarray results. Eukaryotic orthologous groups (KOG) analysis showed an increment in T article (signal transduction mechanisms) and O article (posttranslational modification, protein turnover, and chaperones) whereas significant decrement of C article (energy production and conversion) during cyst formation. Especially, cystein proteinases showed high expression changes (282 folds) with significant increases in real-time PCR, suggesting a pivotal role of this proteinase in the cyst formation of Acanthamoeba. The present study provides important clues for the identification and characterization of encystation mediating factors of Acanthamoeba.

  6. Characterisation and expression analysis of trophozoite and cyst proteins of Acanthamoeba spp. isolated from Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) patient.

    PubMed

    Behera, Himansu Sekhar; Satpathy, Gita

    2016-01-01

    The study was carried out to characterise and analyze the expression pattern of proteins of infective trophozoite and cyst forms of Acanthamoeba spp. isolated from an amoebic keratitis patient. Protein was isolated from the trophozoites and cysts of Acanthamoeba spp. isolates and subjected to SDS PAGE, 2D PAGE analysis where a large number of protein bands and protein spots were observed. Four prominent protein spots i.e. 2 from trophozoites and 2 from cysts that appeared more intense compared to the corresponding spots in other corresponding gel were excised from the 2D PAGE gels and analysed by MALDI-TOF/TOF MS assay and Mascot search software. Protein spots from trophozoites were identified as "hypothetical protein ACA1" and "eukaryotic porin protein" and those from cysts were identified as "chaperone protein DnaK" and "chaperonin protein" respectively. Proteomic results of 4 proteins were further validated by reverse genomics using quantitative real time PCR assay which showed a 1388 fold and 4.35 fold increase in expression of "hypothetical protein ACA1" gene and "eukaryotic porin protein" gene respectively in trophozoites compared to cysts and a 15 fold and 12.36 fold increase in expression of "chaperone protein DnaK" gene and "chaperonin protein" gene respectively in cysts compared to trophozoites. "Hypothetical protein ACA1" of trophozoites, whose function is unknown might have some important role in the parasite division and pathogenicty of Acanthamoeba spp. which needs further study. As trophozoites are the active and feeding form of Acanthamoeba spp., "eukaryotic porin" proteins may have some important role in efflux of toxic metabolites and exudates from interior of cell to outside along with some role in pathogenicity. Similarly proteins such as "chaperone protein DnaK" and "chaperonin protein" which belongs to group of heat shock proteins may have a role in folding of cyst specific proteins in cyst which needs further study.

  7. Voriconazole as a first-line treatment against potentially pathogenic Acanthamoeba strains from Peru.

    PubMed

    Cabello-Vílchez, Alfonso Martín; Martín-Navarro, Carmen M; López-Arencibia, Atteneri; Reyes-Batlle, María; Sifaoui, Ines; Valladares, Basilio; Piñero, José E; Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob

    2014-02-01

    Pathogenic strains of Acanthamoeba genus are the causative agents of fatal granulomatous amoebic encephalitis and a serious sight-threatening infection of the eye known as Acanthamoeba keratitis. In a previous study, Acanthamoeba strains were isolated from nasal swabs collected from healthy individuals in Peru. In the present study, the pathogenic potential of the isolated strains was established based on temperature and osmotolerance assays as well as the secretion rate of extracellular proteases. Based on these experiments, four strains that showed the highest pathogenic potential were selected for sensitivity assays against two molecules (voriconazole and chlorhexidine) which are currently used for the treatment of Acanthamoeba infections. After performing sensitivity and activity assays, it was found that both drugs were active against the tested strains. However, voriconazole showed higher activity against the studied strains compared to chlorhexidine. Therefore, voriconazole should be established as a first-line treatment against Acanthamoeba infections at least in the studied region of Peru.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Genotyping of Acanthamoeba isolated from water in recreational areas of Tehran, Iran.

    PubMed

    Nazar, M; Haghighi, A; Niyyati, M; Eftekhar, M; Tahvildar-Biderouni, F; Taghipour, N; Abadi, A; Nazemalhosseini Mojarad, E; Athari, A

    2011-09-01

    A comprehensive survey assessing the presence of Acanthamoeba was conducted on 50 samples from water sources in parks and public squares from 22 municipal districts of Tehran, Iran. The prevalence and genotypes of Acanthamoeba were determined by PCR and the PCR fragments of ribosomal RNA genes sequenced. Sixteen (32%) samples were positive for Acanthamoeba spp. Sequence analysis revealed that the positive isolates belonged to the T4 and T5 genotypes. Fourteen isolates (87.5%) were T4, and two (12.5%) were T5. Acanthamoeba may be a problematic organism for contact lens wearers and for immunocompromised individuals. In Iran, Acanthamoeba keratitis has increased in recent years, mainly due to poor hygiene in contact lens wearers. A thorough survey for the prevalence of this amoeba could have a significant role in prevention of disease. This is the first report of the T5 genotype from water in recreational areas of Tehran.

  11. Rapid and sensitive diagnosis of Acanthamoeba keratitis by loop-mediated isothermal amplification.

    PubMed

    Ge, Z; Qing, Y; Zicheng, S; Shiying, S

    2013-11-01

    A loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay was developed for the detection of Acanthamoeba. The sensitivity of the LAMP assay was tested using different copies of positive DNA. The specificity of the assay was tested using DNA extracted from Acanthamoeba, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida albicans, herpes simplex virus-1 and human corneal epithelial cells. Its effectiveness was evaluated and compared with culture, corneal smear examination and real-time PCR in corneal samples from mice with Acanthamoeba keratitis. We also tested three corneal samples from patients with suspected Acanthamoeba or fungal infection using LAMP. Loop-mediated isothermal amplification was confirmed to be very sensitive, with the lowest detection limit being ten copies/tube of Acanthamoeba DNA. The LAMP primers only amplified Acanthamoeba DNA. During the development of Acanthamoeba keratitis in mice, almost all of the positive rates of LAMP at each time post-infection were higher than those of culture or corneal smear examination. The total positive rate of LAMP was significantly higher than those of culture and corneal smear examination (p <0.05), whereas the sensitivities of LAMP and real-time PCR were comparable. However, the trends of positive change in these different test methods were generally similar. Of the three clinical corneal specimens, two with suspected Acanthamoeba keratitis tested positive for Acanthamoeba using LAMP along with culture or corneal smear examination, whereas the other suspected fungal keratitis tested negative. The LAMP assay is a simple, rapid, highly specific and sensitive method for the diagnosis of keratitis caused by Acanthamoeba.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Giant viruses in the oceans: the 4th Algal Virus Workshop.

    PubMed

    Claverie, Jean-Michel

    2005-06-20

    Giant double-stranded DNA viruses (such as record breaking Acanthamoeba polyphaga Mimivirus), with particle sizes of 0.2 to 0.6 microm, genomes of 300 kbp to 1.200 kbp, and commensurate complex gene contents, constitute an evolutionary mystery. They challenge the common vision of viruses, traditionally seen as highly streamlined genomes optimally fitted to the smallest possible--filterable--package. Such giant viruses are now discovered in increasing numbers through the systematic sampling of ocean waters as well as freshwater aquatic environments, where they play a significant role in controlling phyto- and bacterio- plankton populations. The 4th Algal Virus Workshop showed that the study of these ecologically important viruses is now massively entering the genomic era, promising a better understanding of their diversity and, hopefully, some insights on their origin and the evolutionary forces that shaped their genomes.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Loop-mediated isothermal amplification targeting 18S ribosomal DNA for rapid detection of Acanthamoeba.

    PubMed

    Yang, Hye-Won; Lee, Yu-Ran; Inoue, Noboru; Jha, Bijay Kumar; Danne, Dinzouna-Boutamba Sylvatrie; Kim, Hong-Kyun; Lee, Junhun; Goo, Youn-Kyoung; Kong, Hyun-Hee; Chung, Dong-Il; Hong, Yeonchul

    2013-06-01

    Amoebic keratitis (AK) caused by Acanthamoeba is one of the most serious corneal infections. AK is frequently misdiagnosed initially as viral, bacterial, or fungal keratitis, thus ensuring treatment delays. Accordingly, the early detection of Acanthamoeba would contribute significantly to disease management and selection of an appropriate anti-amoebic therapy. Recently, the loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) method has been applied to the clinical diagnosis of a range of infectious diseases. Here, we describe a rapid and efficient LAMP-based method targeting Acanthamoeba 18S rDNA gene for the detection of Acanthamoeba using clinical ocular specimens in the diagnosis of AK. Acanthamoeba LAMP assays detected 11 different strains including all AK-associated species. The copy number detection limit for a positive signal was 10 DNA copies of 18S rDNA per reaction. No cross-reactivity with the DNA of fungi or other protozoa was observed. The sensitivity of LAMP assay was higher than those of Nelson primer PCR and JDP primer PCR. In the present study, LAMP assay based on directly heat-treated samples was found to be as efficient at detecting Acanthamoeba as DNA extracted using a commercial kit, whereas PCR was only effective when commercial kit-extracted DNA was used. This study showed that the devised Acanthamoeba LAMP assay could be used to diagnose AK in a simple, sensitive, and specific manner.

  18. Molecular detection and genotyping of Acanthamoeba spp. among stray dogs using conjunctival swab sampling.

    PubMed

    Karakuş, Mehmet; Aykur, Mehmet; Özbel, Yusuf; Töz, Seray; Dağcı, Hande

    2016-12-01

    Acanthamoeba is one of the most common free-living amoebas (FLA) that present in environment. In humans, Acanthamoeba can cause an infection of the eye termed Acanthamoeba keratitis, which mostly occurs in contact lens wearers. In the present study, we aimed to screen the presence of Acanthamoeba DNA in stray dogs using previously collected conjunctival swab samples in a hyper-endemic area for canine leishmaniasis. Totally, 184 dogs were included in the study and 27 of them (14.6%) were found positive for Acanthamoeba according to the 18s rRNA gene sequencing. Two different genotypes (T4 and T5) were identified and T5 was firstly reported in Turkey in the present study. Statistical analysis was performed and no correlation was found between Leishmania and Acanthamoeba positivity (P<0.05). To best of our knowledge, this is the first study conducted to screen Acanthamoeba among stray dogs. Further studies are necessary to reveal the infection status and genotypes among dogs and its possible correlation with leishmaniasis.

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

    PubMed

    Deng, Yihong; Ran, Wei; Man, Suqin; Li, Xueping; Gao, Hongjian; Tang, Wei; Tachibana, Hiroshi; Cheng, Xunjia

    2015-08-01

    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.

  20. Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification Targeting 18S Ribosomal DNA for Rapid Detection of Acanthamoeba

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Hye-Won; Lee, Yu-Ran; Inoue, Noboru; Jha, Bijay Kumar; Danne, Dinzouna-Boutamba Sylvatrie; Kim, Hong-Kyun; Lee, Junhun; Goo, Youn-Kyoung; Kong, Hyun-Hee; Chung, Dong-Il

    2013-01-01

    Amoebic keratitis (AK) caused by Acanthamoeba is one of the most serious corneal infections. AK is frequently misdiagnosed initially as viral, bacterial, or fungal keratitis, thus ensuring treatment delays. Accordingly, the early detection of Acanthamoeba would contribute significantly to disease management and selection of an appropriate anti-amoebic therapy. Recently, the loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) method has been applied to the clinical diagnosis of a range of infectious diseases. Here, we describe a rapid and efficient LAMP-based method targeting Acanthamoeba 18S rDNA gene for the detection of Acanthamoeba using clinical ocular specimens in the diagnosis of AK. Acanthamoeba LAMP assays detected 11 different strains including all AK-associated species. The copy number detection limit for a positive signal was 10 DNA copies of 18S rDNA per reaction. No cross-reactivity with the DNA of fungi or other protozoa was observed. The sensitivity of LAMP assay was higher than those of Nelson primer PCR and JDP primer PCR. In the present study, LAMP assay based on directly heat-treated samples was found to be as efficient at detecting Acanthamoeba as DNA extracted using a commercial kit, whereas PCR was only effective when commercial kit-extracted DNA was used. This study showed that the devised Acanthamoeba LAMP assay could be used to diagnose AK in a simple, sensitive, and specific manner. PMID:23864737

  1. 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

  2. "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.

  3. Acanthamoeba T3, T4 and T5 in swimming-pool waters from Southern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Caumo, Karin; Rott, Marilise B

    2011-03-01

    Species of Acanthamoeba, known to cause keratitis (AK) and granulomatous encephalitis in humans are frequently isolated from a variety of water sources. In this study, 13 Acanthamoeba isolates from swimming pools were classified at the genotype level based on the sequence analysis of the Acanthamoeba small-subunit rRNA gene. Nine of the 13 isolates were genotype T5, three were genotype T4, and one was T3. Several genotypes have been reported worldwide as causative agents of AK, including genotypes T3, T4, and T5. The present study indicates that genotype T5 is a common contaminant in swimming-pool water.

  4. 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.

  5. Disseminated Acanthamoeba sinusitis in a patient with AIDS: a possible role for early antiretroviral therapy.

    PubMed

    Carter, Wendy W; Gompf, Sandra G; Toney, John F; Greene, John N; Cutolo, Edward P

    2004-01-01

    Acanthamoeba, a free-living ameba, has been reported to infect humans with subacute encephalitis, sinusitis, or keratitis. Multiple cases of Acanthamoeba sinusitis with dissemination have been reported in association with AIDS, with high mortality. We report successful treatment of a 35-year-old woman who presented with sinusitis that progressed to disseminated acanthamebiasis as her initial manifestation of AIDS. To our knowledge, our patient was one of the few and longest-lived survivors of disseminated Acanthamoeba infection with AIDS. As with other opportunistic infections, early aggressive therapy including HAART may alter the outcome in this almost uniformly fatal disease.

  6. [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.

  7. Encystation in Acanthamoeba castellanii: development of biocide resistance.

    PubMed

    Lloyd, D; Turner, N A; Khunkitti, W; Hann, A C; Furr, J R; Russell, A D

    2001-01-01

    Since the early 1960s, axenic culture and the development of procedures for the induction of encystation have made Acanthamoeba spp. superb experimental systems for studies of cell biology and differentiation. More recently, since their roles as human pathogens causing keratitis and encephalitis have become widely recognized, it has become urgent to understand the parameters that determine differentiation, as cysts are much more resistant to biocides than are the trophozoites. Viability of trophozoites of the soil amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii (Neff), is conveniently measured by its ability to form plaques on a lawn of Escherichia coli. Use of confocal laser scanning microscopy with Calcofluor white, Congo Red or the anionic oxonol dye, DiBAC4(3) or flow cytometry with propidium iodide diacetate and fluorescein or oxonol provides more rapid assessment. For cysts, the plaque method is still the best, because dye exclusion does not necessarily indicate viability and therefore the plate count method has been used to study the sequence of development of biocide resistance during the differentiation process. After two hours, resistance to HCl was apparent. Polyhexamethylene biguanide, benzalkonium chloride, propamidine isethionate, pentamidine isethionate, dibromopropamine isethionate, and H2O2 and moist heat, all lost effectiveness at between 14 and 24 h after trophozoites were inoculated into encystation media. Chlorhexidine diacetate resistance was observed at between 24 and 36 h. The molecular biology and biochemistry of the modifications that underlie these changes are now being investigated.

  8. Methanolic extract of Peganum harmala exhibit potent activity against Acanthamoeba castellanii cysts and its encystment in vitro.

    PubMed

    Shohaib, Hafiz Muhammad; Nawaz, Salik; Matin, Abdul

    2016-11-01

    Acanthamoeba castellanii is member of free living amoeba that may cause painful sight-threatening keratitis and life threatening encephalitis which involves central nervous system. Treatments for both infections are problematic because of the amoebic cysts resistance to therapeutic agents. Here we evaluated in vitro strength of methanolic seed extract of Peganum harmala on Acanthamoeba cysts and its encystment mechanism. Our results revealed seed extracts (1 to 30mg/ml) exhibited amoebicidal effects against Acanthamoeba cysts. Furthermore Acanthamoeba encystment was also inhibited in concentration dependent manner with maximum inhibition at 2µg/ml after 48h incubation. In conclusion, we demonstrated for the first time that methanolic extracts exhibit remarkable inhibition of Acanthamoeba cysts and encystment in vitro which could serve a potential new natural agent against Acanthamoeba.

  9. Isolation of Acanthamoeba species in surface waters of Gilan province-north of Iran.

    PubMed

    Mahmoudi, Mohammad Reza; Taghipour, Niloofar; Eftekhar, Mohammad; Haghighi, Ali; Karanis, Panagiotis

    2012-01-01

    We analyzed water samples to determine the prevalence of free-living Acanthamoeba in water sources from Gilan, greater area, Iran. A total of 27 surface water samples were collected from environmental sources, including natural (rivers, lakes, springs, and lagoon) and freshwater source. The samples were filtrated and transferred to non-nutrient agar plates seeded with Escherichia coli and incubated for 2 to 7 days at 30°C or 42°C. The plates were examined by microscopy to morphologically identify Acanthamoeba species. Following DNA extraction, PCR was used to confirm the microscopically identification. A total of 19 out of 27 samples (70.3%) were positive for Acanthamoeba species based on the morphological criteria, and 14 (73.7%) were confirmed by PCR method. The high frequency of Acanthamoeba spp. in different environmental water sources of Gilan is an alert for the public health related to water sources in Iran.

  10. Acanthamoeba keratitis in a non-contact lens wearer with human immunodeficiency virus.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Birgitte; Kronborg, Gitte

    2003-01-01

    Acanthamoeba keratitis is potentially blinding and often associated with contact lens wearing. A human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive patient, a non-contact lens wearer, presented with keratitis. She experienced a protracted course of disease, characterized by exacerbations and remissions, and was treated with various topical antibiotics and steroids. 13 months after symptom onset the eye was removed owing to serious scarring of cornea and unbearable pain. Microbiological and histopathological examination of the cornea showed Acanthamoeba. In non-contact lens wearers suffering from Acanthamoeba keratitis the diagnosis is delayed, pathognomonic features are often not seen and visual outcome is usually poor. There is no known relation between HIV infection and Acanthamoeba keratitis.

  11. 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.

  12. [Acanthamoeba sp.: a case report in a non-contact lens wearer].

    PubMed

    Menghi, Claudia; Caride, María C; Gatta, Claudia

    2012-01-01

    Acanthamoeba sp. keratitis is generally related to wearing contact lenses, and, to a lesser extent, to contaminated water. It is characterized by reduced visual capacity and the presence of severe ocular pain. Clinically, it can be mistaken for a herpes infection. if it is not diagnosed, and timely and adequately treated, it can result in corneal perforation and, eventually, in vision loss. One of the few registered cases of Acanthamoeba sp. keratitis not related to the use of contact lenses is herein reported.

  13. 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.

  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 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

  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. Cloning and characterization of a novel mannose-binding protein of Acanthamoeba.

    PubMed

    Garate, Marco; Cao, Zhiyi; Bateman, Erik; Panjwani, Noorjahan

    2004-07-09

    Acanthamoebae produce a painful, blinding infection of the cornea. The mannose-binding protein (MBP) of Acanthamoeba is thought to play a key role in the pathogenesis of the infection by mediating the adhesion of parasites to the host cells. We describe here the isolation and molecular cloning of Acanthamoeba MBP. The MBP was isolated by chromatography on the mannose affinity gel. Gel filtration experiments revealed that the Acanthamoeba lectin is a approximately 400-kDa protein that is constituted of multiple 130-kDa subunits. Cloning and sequencing experiments indicated that the Acanthamoeba MBP gene is composed of 6 exons and 5 introns that span 3.6 kb of the amoeba genome and that MBP cDNA codes for a precursor protein of 833 amino acids. That the cloned cDNA encodes authentic MBP was demonstrated by showing that: (i). recombinant MBP possesses mannose binding activity, and (ii). polyclonal antibodies prepared against Acanthamoeba MBP bound to the recombinant protein. Sequence analysis revealed that the MBP contains a large N-terminal extracellular domain, a transmembrane domain, and a short C-terminal cytoplasmic domain. Despite extensive BLAST searches using the MBP sequence, no significant matches were retrieved. The most striking feature of the Acanthamoeba MBP sequence is the presence of a cysteine-rich region containing 14 CXCXC motifs within the extracellular domain. In summary, we have isolated, cloned, and characterized a novel MBP from Acanthamoeba. Because the presence of antibodies to MBP in tears provides protection against infection, the availability of the MBP cDNA sequence and rMBP should help develop: (i). a tear-based test to identify individuals who are at risk of developing the keratitis and (ii). strategies to immunize high-risk individuals.

  18. 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.

  19. Isolation and characterization of Acanthamoeba strains from soil samples in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain.

    PubMed

    Reyes-Batlle, María; Todd, Cheridah D; Martín-Navarro, Carmen M; López-Arencibia, Atteneri; Cabello-Vilchez, Alfonso Martín; González, Ana C; Córdoba-Lanús, Elizabeth; Lindo, John F; Valladares, Basilio; Piñero, José E; Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob

    2014-04-01

    Free-living Amoebae of Acanthamoeba genus include non-pathogenic and pathogenic strains that are currently classified in 18 different genotypes, T1-T18. In this study, a survey was carried out to evaluate the presence of Acanthamoeba strains in soil samples collected between 2012 and 2013 in Gran Canaria Island, Canary Islands, Spain. Samples were inoculated onto non-nutrient agar (NNA) plates and were checked for the presence of Acanthamoeba. Identification of Acanthamoeba strains was based on the morphology of the cyst and trophozoite forms. Subsequently, positive samples were cloned for their molecular characterization at the genotype level by sequencing the DF3 region located in the 18S rDNA gene of Acanthamoeba as previously described. Sequencing results revealed the presence of T2, T5 and T4 genotypes within the studied samples. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report demonstrating the presence of Acanthamoeba in Gran Canaria Island and the first study at the genotype level in the Canary Islands.

  20. 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

  1. Detection of Acanthamoeba and Toxoplasma in River Water Samples by Molecular Methods in Iran

    PubMed Central

    MAHMOUDI, Mohammad Reza; KAZEMI, Bahram; HAGHIGHI, Ali; KARANIS, Panagiotis

    2015-01-01

    Background: Free-living amoebae such as Acanthamoeba species may act as carriers of Cryptosporidium and Toxoplasma oocysts, thus, may play an important role in the water-borne transmission of these parasites. In the present study, a loop mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) method for detection of Toxoplasma and a PCR assay were developed for investigation of Acanthamoeba in environmental water samples. Methods: A total of 34 samples were collected from the surface water in Guilan Province. Water samples were filtrated with membrane filters and followed by DNA extraction. PCR and LAMP methods used for detection of the protozoan parasites Acanthamoeba and Toxoplasma respectively. Results: Totally 30 and 2 of 34 samples were positive for Acanthamoeba and Toxoplasma oocysts respectively. Two samples were positive for both investigated parasites. Conclusion: The investigated water supplies, are contaminated by Toxoplasma and Acanthamoeba (oo)cystes. Acanthamoeba may play an important role in water-borne transmission of Toxoplasma in the study area. For the first time in Iran, protocol of LAMP method was used effectively for the detection of Toxoplasma in surface water samples in Iran. PMID:26246823

  2. Health effects of Acanthamoeba spp. and its potential for waterborne transmission.

    PubMed

    Nwachuku, Nena; Gerba, Charles P

    2004-01-01

    Risk from Acanthamoeba keratitis is complex, depending upon the virulence of the particular strain, exposure, trauma, or other stress to the eye, and host immune response. Bacterial endosymbionts may also play a factor in the pathogenicity of Acanthamoeba. Which factor(s) may be the most important is not clear. The ability of the host to produce IgA antibodies in tears may be a significant factor. The immune response of the host is a significant risk factor for GAE infection. If so, then a certain subpopulation with an inability to produce IgA in the tears may be at greatest risk. There was no sufficient data on the occurrence or types of Acanthamoeba in tapwater in the U.S. Published work on amoebal presence in tapwater does not provide information on the type of treatment the water received or the level of residual chlorine. Assessment of the pathogenicity by cell culture and molecular methods of Acanthamoeba in tapwater would also be useful in the risk assessment process for drinking water. The possibility that Acanthamoeba spp. might serve as vectors for bacterial infections from water sources also should be explored. The bacterial endosymbionts include an interesting array of pathogens such as Vibrio cholerae and Legionella pneumophila, both of which are well recognized waterborne/water-based pathogens. Work is needed to determine if control of Acanthamoeba spp. is needed to control water-based pathogens in water supplies.

  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.

  4. Comparison of PCR, microscopic examination and culture for the early diagnosis and characterization of Acanthamoeba isolates from ocular infections.

    PubMed

    Yera, H; Zamfir, O; Bourcier, T; Ancelle, T; Batellier, L; Dupouy-Camet, J; Chaumeil, C

    2007-03-01

    In the study presented here, PCR, microscopic examination and culture of corneal samples were compared as methods of confirming the clinical diagnosis of Acanthamoeba keratitis, a serious ocular infection that is difficult to diagnose and threatens eyesight. The three methods were applied to isolates obtained from 513 patients with clinical signs or risk factors suggesting Acanthamoeba infection. Acanthamoeba keratitis was diagnosed in 12 of these patients. Combined PCR assays were more sensitive (94%) than either microscopic examination (33%) or culture (7%). The Acanthamoeba isolates were characterized using DNA sequence analysis of the nuclear small-subunit rRNA gene, and T4 was the predominant genotype found.

  5. Characterisation and differentiation of pathogenic and non-pathogenic Acanthamoeba strains by their protein and antigen profiles.

    PubMed

    Walochnik, J; Sommer, K; Obwaller, A; Haller-Schober, E-M; Aspöck, H

    2004-03-01

    Free-living amoebae of the genus Acanthamoeba are the causative agents of Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) and granulomatous amoebic encephalitis. Acanthamoebae occur ubiquitously in the environment and are thus a constant cause of antigenic stimulation. In a previous study we have shown that compared to control sera, AK patients exhibit markedly lower immunoreactivities to whole cell antigen of Acanthamoeba spp. As the pathogenicity of acanthamoebae primarily relies on the excretion of proteins, it was the aim of the present study to investigate the immunoreactivity of metabolic antigen from different Acanthamoeba strains of varying pathogenicity. Three Acanthamoeba strains, one highly pathogenic, one non-pathogenic but thermophilic and one non-thermophilic non-pathogenic, were used for antigen extraction. The antigen was harvested before and after contact with human cells and all strains were tested with AK sera and with sera from healthy individuals. It was shown that the somatic protein profiles of the Acanthamoeba strains correlated to the morphological groups, and that within morphological group II-the group associated with AK-the profiles of the metabolic antigens correlated to strain pathogenicity. Moreover, it was shown that the control sera showed markedly higher immunoreactivities than the sera of the AK patients and that this immunoreactivity was generally higher to the non-pathogenic strains than to the pathogenic strain. Altogether our results once again raise the question of whether there is an immunological predisposition in AK. To our knowledge this is the first study on the immunoreactivity of metabolic antigen of acanthamoebae.

  6. [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.

  7. 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.

  8. Genotyping and phylogenetic analysis of Acanthamoeba isolates associated with keratitis.

    PubMed

    Risler, Arnaud; Coupat-Goutaland, Bénédicte; Pélandakis, Michel

    2013-11-01

    We examined a partial SSU-rDNA sequence from 20 Acanthamoeba isolates associated with keratitis infections. The phylogenetic tree inferred from this partial sequence allowed to assign isolates to genotypes. Among the 20 isolates examined, 16 were found to be of the T4 genotype, 2 were T3, 1 was a T5, and 1 was a T2, confirming the predominance of T4 in infections. However, the study highlighted other genotypes more rarely associated with infections, particularly the T2 genotype. Our study is the second one to detect that this genotype is associated with keratitis. Additionally, the phylogenetic analyses showed five main emerging clusters, T4/T3/T11, T2/T6, T10/T12/T14, T13/T16, and T7/T8/T9/T17, regularly obtained whichever method was used. A similar branching pattern was found when the full rDNA sequence was investigated.

  9. Acanthamoeba castellanii: morphological analysis of the interaction with human cornea.

    PubMed

    Omaña-Molina, Maritza; González-Robles, Arturo; Salazar-Villatoro, Lizbeth Iliana; Cristóbal-Ramos, Ana Ruth; González-Lázaro, Mónica; Salinas-Moreno, Edmundo; Méndez-Cruz, Rene; Sánchez-Cornejo, Manuel; De la Torre-González, Enrique; Martínez-Palomo, Adolfo

    2010-09-01

    The present study demonstrates that when Acanthamoeba castellanii trophozoites are co-cultivated with isolated human corneas, the amoeba can be invasive and cause damage to the intact corneal epithelium without the requirement of previous corneal abrasion. After adhesion, A. castellanii trophozoites migrate between cells forming bumps on the corneal cell layers and reaching Bowman s membrane in 3h, although no evidence of cell damage was observed until the phagocytic process was detected. Likewise, conditioned medium produced damage to the corneal cells that was proportional to the time of incubation, but this cytophatic effect involved only the most superficial layer of the human cornea and was not enough to explain amoebic invasion of Bowman s membrane. As a result of our observations, we suggest that the mechanical action of the trophozoites and phagocytosis of corneal cells during the process of corneal invasion are more important than previously suggested.

  10. Acanthamoeba, bacterial, and fungal contamination of contact lens storage cases.

    PubMed Central

    Gray, T B; Cursons, R T; Sherwan, J F; Rose, P R

    1995-01-01

    BACKGROUND--Microbial corneal infection is the most serious complication of contact lens wear. Contact lens cases are a recognised potential source of pathogens associated with corneal ulcers. METHODS--This survey established the incidence of protozoal, bacterial, and fungal contact lens case contamination in 101 asymptomatic daily wear cosmetic contact lens wearers from a domiciliary contact lens practice. RESULTS--Eighty two (81%) contact lens cases were found to be contaminated, with 19 (19%) sterile. Of all contact lens cases, 78 (77%) grew bacteria, 24 (24%) fungi, and 20 (20%) protozoa. Acanthamoeba spp were isolated from eight (8%) contact lens cases. Fifty six (55%) contact lens cases yielded mixed bacterial contamination. This is the first contact lens case survey in which hydrogen peroxide disinfection was the major method of contact lens disinfection (75% of subjects) and no home made saline was used. All the contaminating organisms were shown to possess the enzyme catalase that breaks down hydrogen peroxide to oxygen and water. The polymicrobial nature of the biofilms found in many contact lens cases is illustrated electron micrographically. CONCLUSION--Based on data from this and previous studies, the authors conclude with recommendations for contact lens wearers: (1) regular scrubbing of contact lens case interior to disrupt biofilms; (2) exposure of contact lens case to very hot water (> or = 70 degrees C) will kill Acanthamoeba contaminants; (3) allow contact lens case to air dry between uses; (4) if hydrogen peroxide disinfection is preferred, use a two step system; (5) replace contact lens case regularly. Images PMID:7626578

  11. Molecular characterization of Acanthamoeba isolated in water treatment plants and comparison with clinical isolates.

    PubMed

    Magnet, A; Galván, A L; Fenoy, S; Izquierdo, F; Rueda, C; Fernandez Vadillo, C; Pérez-Irezábal, J; Bandyopadhyay, K; Visvesvara, G S; da Silva, A J; del Aguila, C

    2012-07-01

    A total of 116 samples (44 clinical specimens and 72 environmental samples) have been analyzed for the presence of Acanthamoeba. The environmental samples (ESs) were collected from four drinking water treatment plants (DWTP, n=32), seven wastewater treatment plants (n=28), and six locations of influence (n=12) on four river basins from the central area of Spain (winter-spring 2008). Water samples were concentrated by using the IDEXX Filta-Max(®) system. Acanthamoeba was identified in 65 of the 72 ESs by culture isolation (90.3%) and 63 by real-time PCR (87.5%), resulting in all sampling points (100%) positive for Acanthamoeba when considering both techniques and all the time period analyzed. Nine of the 44 clinical specimens were positive for Acanthamoeba. Seventeen Acanthamoeba strains (eight from four DWTP and nine from clinical samples) were also established in axenic-PYG medium. Twenty-four of the ESs and the 17 Acanthamoeba sp. strains were genotyped as T4/1, T4/8, and T4/9. The eight strains isolated from the DWTP samples were inoculated in nude mouse to ascertain their potential pathogenicity in this model. Animals that were inoculated died or showed central nervous system symptoms 9 days post-inoculation. Examination of immunofluorescence-stained brain and lung tissue sections showed multiple organisms invading both tissues, and re-isolation of throphozoites was successful in these tissues of all infected animals. For the first time, potentially pathogenic Acanthamoeba T4 has been detected in 100% of different types of water samples including tap water and sewage effluents in the central area of Spain suggesting a potential health threat for humans especially for the contact lens wearers.

  12. Pathogenic strains of Acanthamoeba are recognized by TLR4 and initiated inflammatory responses in the cornea.

    PubMed

    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.

  13. Mycobacterium avium infections of Acanthamoeba strains: host strain variability, grazing-acquired infections, and altered dynamics of inactivation with monochloramine.

    PubMed

    Berry, David; Horn, Matthias; Xi, Chuanwu; Raskin, Lutgarde

    2010-10-01

    Stable Mycobacterium avium infections of several Acanthamoeba strains were characterized by increased infection resistance of recent environmental isolates and reduced infectivity in the presence of other bacteria. Exposure of M. avium in coculture with Acanthamoeba castellanii to monochloramine yielded inactivation kinetics markedly similar to those observed for A. castellanii alone.

  14. Anti-Acanthamoeba IgG, IgM, and IgA immunoreactivities in correlation to strain pathogenicity.

    PubMed

    Walochnik, J; Obwaller, A; Haller-Schober, E M; Aspöck, H

    2001-08-01

    Several representatives of the genus Acanthamoeba are known as causative agents of Acanthamoeba keratitis and granulomatous amoebic encephalitis. These occur predominantly in the immunocompromised host, but it is still unclear what primes the amoebae for pathogenicity. The aim of this study was to assess possible immunological differences between a highly pathogenic and a nonpathogenic Acanthamoeba strain. A total of 20 sera, including two sera of Acanthamoeba keratitis patients, were tested for anti-Acanthamoeba IgG, IgM, and IgA immunoreactivities using immunoblotting. All sera were positive for Acanthamoeba, revealing two predominant bands at 29 kDa and at 47 kDa, respectively. Interestingly, IgG and particularly IgA immunoreactivity enabled a clear discrimination between the pathogenic and nonpathogenic strains. Moreover, compared to the control sera, the two sera of Acanthamoeba keratitis patients showed rather weak immunoreactivities and they lacked the 29 kDa and the 47 kDa band in the IgA immunoblot against the pathogenic strain. The results of our study support the assumption that immunological predisposition might also be of importance in Acanthamoeba keratitis.

  15. Unusual case of methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus and acanthamoeba keratitis in a non-contact lens wearer from Kashmir, India.

    PubMed

    Lone, Rubina; Syed, Khurshid; Abdul, Rashid; Sheikh, Sajjad Ahmed; Shah, Faisal

    2009-01-01

    Acanthamoeba species can cause a chronic, progressive, ulcerative keratitis of the eye, which is not responsive to the usual antimicrobial treatment and is frequently mistaken for stromal herpes keratitis. Acanthamoeba keratitis continues to be a burgeoning and unsolved problem. Although soft contact lens wear is reported as the major risk factor in other parts of the world, reports from India suggest that acanthamoeba keratitis is more common among non-contact lens wearers. An unusual case of coinfection with Acanthamoeba and methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) as causes of corneal keratitis in a contact lens wearer from Kashmir, India, is reported. Recent findings have shown that MRSA uses amoebae to spread, sidestepping hospital and other protection measures. Cysts of the isolated Acanthamoeba tolerated an incubation temperature of 40°C, indicating a pathogenic species. This case highlights the importance of culture methods in the diagnosis of corneal infection and the choice of treatment regimen.

  16. 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.

  17. Detection of four adenovirus serotypes within water-isolated strains of Acanthamoeba in the Canary Islands, Spain.

    PubMed

    Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob; Coronado-Alvarez, Nieves; Martínez-Carretero, Enrique; Maciver, Sutherland K; Valladares, Basilio

    2007-10-01

    We surveyed 236 potentially pathogenic Acanthamoeba strains, isolated from water sources in the Canary Islands, for the presence of human adenoviruses (HAdV) using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based typing assay. A total of 34 of these strains were found to be positive for adenovirus belonging to four different HAdV serotypes (HAdV-1, 2, 8, and 37). We found that HAdV-2 was the most frequently encountered serotype amongst the Acanthamoeba strains, and their identification was confirmed by a nested PCR specific for this serotype. We showed that Acanthamoeba genotype T4 was highly associated with serotype HAdV-2, whereas Acanthamoeba genotype T3 was most often associated with adenovirus serotypes related to ocular diseases. Based on these data, we suggest that Acanthamoeba should be considered as a potential reservoir and perhaps even a transmitter of adenoviruses to human and other secondary hosts.

  18. 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

  19. Amoebicidal activity of caffeine and maslinic acid by the induction of Programmed Cell Death in Acanthamoeba.

    PubMed

    Martín-Navarro, Carmen M; López-Arencibia, Atteneri; Sifaoui, Ines; Reyes-Battle, María; Fouque, Emilie; Osuna, Antonio; Valladares, Basilio; Piñero, José E; Héchard, Yann; Maciver, Sutherland K; Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob

    2017-03-20

    Free living amoebae of the genus Acanthamoeba are the causal agents of a sight threatening ulceration of the cornea called Acanthamoeba keratitis, and the rare but usually fatal granulomatous amoebic encephalitis. Although there are many therapeutic options for the treatment of Acanthamoeba infections, they are generally lengthy and/or have limited efficacy. For the best clinical outcome, the treatments should target both the trophozoite and the cyst stages as the later are known to confer resistance to treatment. In this study we document the activity of caffeine and maslinic acid against both the trophozoite and the cyst stages of three clinical strains of Acanthamoeba These drugs were chosen because they are reported to inhibit glycogen phosphorylase which is required for encystation. Maslinic acid is also reported to be an inhibitor of extracellular proteases which may be relevant since the protease activity of Acanthamoeba is correlated with their pathogenicity. We also provide evidence or the first time that both drugs exert their anti-amoebal effects through programmed cell death.

  20. 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.

  1. Identification and typing of free-living Acanthamoeba spp. by MALDI-TOF MS Biotyper.

    PubMed

    Del Chierico, Federica; Di Cave, David; Accardi, Cristel; Santoro, Maristella; Masotti, Andrea; D'Alfonso, Rossella; Berrilli, Federica; Urbani, Andrea; Putignani, Lorenza

    2016-11-01

    Over the years, the potential pathogenicity of Acanthamoeba for humans and animals has gained increasing attention from the scientific community. More than 24 species belong to this genus, however only some of them are causative agents of keratitis and encephalitis in humans. Due to technical difficulties in diagnosis, these infections are likely to be under-detected. The introduction of 18S rDNA amplification for the identification of Acanthamoeba has dramatically enhanced diagnosis performances, but the attestation of genotyping requires supplementary sequencing-based procedures. In this study, 15 Acanthamoeba strains were collected and grown on nutrient agar media. Each strain was genotyped by end-point PCR assay for the amplification of the 18S rDNA gene and the genotype was assigned by sequencing analysis through neighbor joining phylogenetic tree. In order to optimize standardization of the MALDI-TOF MS assay, we established the collection time point at the cystic phase. Two strains of each genotype were randomly chosen to customize the biotyper database. For all strains, 24 spectral measurements were acquired and submitted to identification and cluster analysis of spectra. The obtained results highlighted the correct identification of Acanthamoeba strains and the overlapping of spectra dendrogram clusters to the 18S genotype assignations. In conclusion, the MALDI-TOF MS Biotyper revealed the capability to identify and genotype the Acanthamoeba strains, providing a new frontier in the diagnostic identification of amaebae and in taxonomic and phylogenetic studies.

  2. 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.

  3. Physiological, morphological, and immunochemical parameters used for the characterization of clinical and environmental isolates of Acanthamoeba.

    PubMed

    Becker-Finco, A; Costa, A O; Silva, S K; Ramada, J S; Furst, C; Stinghen, A E; De Figueiredo, B C; De Moura, J; Alvarenga, L M

    2013-03-01

    The factors that characterize Acanthamoeba strains as harmless or potentially pathogenic have not been elucidated. Analysing the in vitro and in vivo parameters of Acanthamoeba samples, including heat tolerance at temperatures close to that of the human body, cytopathic effects, and their ability to cause infections in animals, has been proposed to identify their pathogenic potential. Another promising criterion for differentiating strains is the analysis of their biochemical and immunochemical properties. In this study, a comparative evaluation between clinical and environmental Acanthamoeba isolates was performed on the basis of physiological, morphological, and immunochemical criteria. Crude antigens were used to characterize the protein profiles by electrophoresis and immunize mice to produce polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies. The antibodies were characterized using ELISA, Western blotting, and immunofluorescence techniques. The results obtained with polyclonal antibodies suggest the presence of specific proteins for each studied isolate and co-reactive immunochemical profiles among conserved components. Ten monoclonal antibody clones were obtained; mAb3 recognized 3 out of 4 samples studied. The results of this study may help standardize criteria for identifying and characterizing Acanthamoeba strains. Taken together, our results support the view that a set of features may help differentiate Acanthamoeba species and isolates.

  4. 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.

  5. Acanthamoeba T4 and T15 genotypes associated with keratitis infections in Italy.

    PubMed

    Di Cave, D; Monno, R; Bottalico, P; Guerriero, S; D'Amelio, S; D'Orazi, C; Berrilli, F

    2009-06-01

    Thus far there is little data available concerning Acanthamoeba associated amoebic keratitis (AK) from Italy. In order to understand the incidence of Acanthamoeba in patients with ocular infections and to characterize the isolates at the molecular level, ocular specimens and contact lenses or lens case solutions from 140 patients were analysed by culture and by an 18S rRNA (Rns) gene-based PCR method. Nineteen (13.6%) patients showed Acanthamoeba culture positive samples. Eleven out of the 14 genetically characterized isolates were assigned to the T4 genotype. Three isolates, two of them from patients with keratitis responding to specific anti-Acanthamoeba therapy, were identified as belonging to the T15 genotype. This finding represents the first association between the T15 genotype and human amoebic keratitis. PCR amplification of the 18S ribosomal DNA proved to be a sensitive method, potentially able to detect Acanthamoeba without the need of long culture incubation, and thus considerably useful for clinical applications.

  6. 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.

  7. Cysteine protease inhibitor (AcStefin) is required for complete cyst formation of Acanthamoeba.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jung-Yub; Song, Su-Min; Moon, Eun-Kyung; Lee, Yu-Ran; Jha, Bijay Kumar; Danne, Dinzouna-Boutamba Sylvatrie; Cha, Hee-Jae; Yu, Hak Sun; Kong, Hyun-Hee; Chung, Dong-Il; Hong, Yeonchul

    2013-04-01

    The 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 those associated with starvation, low temperatures, and biocides. Furthermore, cysteine proteases have been implicated in the massive turnover of intracellular components required for encystation. Thus, strict modulation of the activities of cysteine proteases is required to protect Acanthamoeba from intracellular damage. However, mechanisms underlying the control of protease activity during encystation have not been established in Acanthamoeba. In the present study, we identified and characterized Acanthamoeba cysteine protease inhibitor (AcStefin), which was found to be highly expressed during encystation and to be associated with lysosomes by fluorescence microscopy. Recombinant AcStefin inhibited various cysteine proteases, including human cathepsin B, human cathepsin L, and papain. Transfection with small interfering RNA against AcStefin increased cysteine protease activity during encystation and resulted in incomplete cyst formation, reduced excystation efficiency, and a significant reduction in cytoplasmic area. Taken together, these results indicate that AcStefin is involved in the modulation of cysteine proteases and that it plays an essential role during the encystation of Acanthamoeba.

  8. 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.

  9. Cysteine Protease Inhibitor (AcStefin) Is Required for Complete Cyst Formation of Acanthamoeba

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Jung-Yub; Song, Su-Min; Moon, Eun-Kyung; Lee, Yu-Ran; Jha, Bijay Kumar; Danne, Dinzouna-Boutamba Sylvatrie; Cha, Hee-Jae; Yu, Hak Sun; Kong, Hyun-Hee; Chung, Dong-Il

    2013-01-01

    The 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 those associated with starvation, low temperatures, and biocides. Furthermore, cysteine proteases have been implicated in the massive turnover of intracellular components required for encystation. Thus, strict modulation of the activities of cysteine proteases is required to protect Acanthamoeba from intracellular damage. However, mechanisms underlying the control of protease activity during encystation have not been established in Acanthamoeba. In the present study, we identified and characterized Acanthamoeba cysteine protease inhibitor (AcStefin), which was found to be highly expressed during encystation and to be associated with lysosomes by fluorescence microscopy. Recombinant AcStefin inhibited various cysteine proteases, including human cathepsin B, human cathepsin L, and papain. Transfection with small interfering RNA against AcStefin increased cysteine protease activity during encystation and resulted in incomplete cyst formation, reduced excystation efficiency, and a significant reduction in cytoplasmic area. Taken together, these results indicate that AcStefin is involved in the modulation of cysteine proteases and that it plays an essential role during the encystation of Acanthamoeba. PMID:23397569

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Role of carbohydrate-mediated adherence in cytopathogenic mechanisms of Acanthamoeba.

    PubMed

    Cao, Z; Jefferson, D M; Panjwani, N

    1998-06-19

    Acanthamoeba keratitis is a vision-threatening corneal infection. The mannose-binding protein of Acanthamoeba is thought to mediate adhesion of parasites to host cells. We characterized the amoeba lectin with respect to its carbohydrate binding properties and the role in amoeba-induced cytopathic effect (CPE). Sugar inhibition assays revealed that the amoeba lectin has the highest affinity for alpha-Man and Man(alpha1-3)Man units. In vitro cytopathic assays indicated that mannose-based saccharides which inhibit amoeba adhesion to corneal epithelial cells were also potent inhibitors of amoeba-induced CPE. Another major finding was that N-acetyl-D-glucosamine (GlcNAc) which does not inhibit adhesion of amoeba to host cells is also an inhibitor of amoeba-induced CPE. The Acanthamoebae are thought to produce CPE by secreting cytotoxic proteinases. By zymography, one metalloproteinase and three serine proteinases were detected in the conditioned media obtained after incubating amoebae with the host cells. The addition of free alpha-Man and GlcNAc to the co-culture media inhibited the secretion of the metalloproteinase and serine proteinases, respectively. In summary, we have shown that the lectin-mediated adhesion of the Acanthamoeba to host cells is a prerequisite for the amoeba-induced cytolysis of target cells and have implicated a contact-dependent metalloproteinase in the cytopathogenic mechanisms of Acanthamoeba.

  13. Evaluation of the effectiveness of tea tree oil in treatment of Acanthamoeba infection.

    PubMed

    Hadaś, Edward; Derda, Monika; Cholewiński, Marcin

    2017-03-01

    Eye diseases caused by amoebae from the genus Acanthamoeba are usually chronic and severe, and their treatment is prolonged and not very effective. The difficulties associated with therapy have led to attempts at finding alternative treatment methods. Particularly popular is searching for cures among drugs made of plants. However, no substances with total efficacy in treating Acanthamoeba keratitis have been identified.Results of our semi in vivo studies of tea tree oil simulating eyeball infection demonstrated 100% effectiveness in the case of both trophozoites and cysts of amoebae from the genus Acanthamoeba. The action of tea tree oil indicates that this is the first substance with a potential ability to quickly and effectively remove the amoebae from the eye. Tea tree oil has the ability to penetrate tissues, which allows it to destroy amoebae in both the shallow and deep layers of the cornea. The present research into the use of tea tree oil in the therapy of Acanthamoeba infection is the first study of this type in parasitology. It offers tremendous potential for effective treatment of Acanthamoeba keratitis and other diseases caused by these protozoa.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 18S ribosomal DNA genotypes of Acanthamoeba species isolated from contact lens cases in the Philippines.

    PubMed

    Rivera, Windell L; Adao, Davin Edric V

    2009-10-01

    This study was carried out to document the genotypes of Acanthamoeba present in contact lens cases from 50 randomly selected contact lens wearers living in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines. Acanthamoeba species were isolated from eight (16%) in 50 contact lens cases examined. We analyzed partial 18S ribosomal DNA (Rns) sequences of the eight isolates and found that the sequence differences were sufficient to distinguish the genotypes. After the isolates were genotyped, using the Basic Local Alignment Search Tool program, their phylogenetic positions relative to known Acanthamoeba isolates were determined. The model-based (GTR+Gamma+Iota) neighbor-joining, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian inference analyses, as well as the non-model-based maximum parsimony analysis were used. Results showed that of the eight isolates, six were Rns genotype T5 while two were Rns genotype T4. This present study indicates that genotype T5 is also a common contaminant in contact lens storage cases.

  19. Isolation and molecular characterization of Acanthamoeba and Balamuthia mandrillaris from combination shower units in Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Retana-Moreira, Lissette; Abrahams-Sandí, Elizabeth; Cabello-Vílchez, Alfonso Martín; Reyes-Batlle, María; Valladares, Basilio; Martínez-Carretero, Enrique; Piñero, José E; Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob

    2014-11-01

    Free living amoebae (FLA) are ubiquitous protozoa, which may behave as parasites under certain conditions. Four genera are recognized as causal agents of infections in humans and animals: Naegleria, Sappinia, Acanthamoeba and Balamuthia. This work determines the presence of FLA in combination shower units and employs molecular biology for the characterization of isolates. The morphological analysis and partial sequencing of the 18S rDNA gene revealed the presence of Acanthamoeba genotype T4 in 30% of the units sampled. In addition to Acanthamoeba cysts, trophozoites with morphological characteristics similar to Balamuthia were identified. PCR assay using the mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene as a target confirmed the identification of the amoeba as Balamuthia mandrillaris. Up to date, this is the first report of the isolation of B. mandrillaris in Central America and the fifth report worldwide.

  20. Degradation of immunoglobulins, protease inhibitors, and interleukin-1 by a secretory proteinase of Acanthamoeba castellanii

    PubMed Central

    Na, Byoung-Kuk; Cho, Jong-Hwa; Song, Chul-Yong; Kim, Tong-Soo

    2002-01-01

    The effect of a secretory proteinase from the pathogenic amoebae Acanthamoeba castellanii on host's defense-oriented or regulatory proteins such as immunoglobulins, interleukin-1, and protease inhibitors was investigated. The enzyme was found to degrade secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA), IgG, and IgM. It also degraded interleukin-1α (IL-1α) and IL-1β. Its activity was not inhibited by endogenous protease inhibitors, such as α2-macroglobulin, α1-trypsin inhibitor, and α2-antiplasmin. Furthermore, the enzyme rapidly degraded those endogenous protease inhibitors as well. The degradation of host's defense-oriented or regulatory proteins by the Acanthamoeba proteinase suggested that the enzyme might be an important virulence factor in the pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba infection. PMID:12073735

  1. Acanthamoeba keratitis presenting as dendritic keratitis in a soft contact lens wearer.

    PubMed

    Yeung, Edward Yip; Huang, Samuel Chao-Ming; Tsai, Ray Jui-Fang

    2002-03-01

    Acanthamoeba keratitis is a rare cause of corneal infection in Taiwan, which can result in devastating visual outcomes. A 37-year-old woman, who wore soft contact lenses, suffered from severe pain in her left eye. Biomicroscopy revealed dendritic keratitis, radial keratoneuritis, and fine keratic precipitates on her cornea. Culture, using non-nutrient agar plate seeded with Escherichia coli, resulted in heavy growth of Acanthamoeba. The inpatient treatment, including topical neomycin-polymyxin B and metronidazole (0.5%) eyedrops, oral ketoconazole, and then oral prednisolone, successfully controlled the corneal infection. The best-corrected visual acuity was 0.9 without any evidence of recurrence of infection after 21 months of follow up. Acanthamoeba keratitis can present as dendritic keratitis, which mimics herpes simplex infection, thus, delays appropriate treatment. Early diagnosis and judicious treatment are essential for restoring the vision and avoiding the subsequent need of penetrating keratoplasty.

  2. The virion of Cafeteria roenbergensis virus (CroV) contains a complex suite of proteins for transcription and DNA repair.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Matthias G; Kelly, Isabelle; Foster, Leonard J; Suttle, Curtis A

    2014-10-01

    Cafeteria roenbergensis virus (CroV) is a giant virus of the Mimiviridae family that infects the marine phagotrophic flagellate C. roenbergensis. CroV possesses a DNA genome of ~730 kilobase pairs that is predicted to encode 544 proteins. We analyzed the protein composition of purified CroV particles by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) and identified 141 virion-associated CroV proteins and 60 host proteins. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD000993. Predicted functions could be assigned to 36% of the virion proteins, which include structural proteins as well as enzymes for transcription, DNA repair, redox reactions and protein modification. Homologs of 36 CroV virion proteins have previously been found in the virion of Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus. The overlapping virion proteome of CroV and Mimivirus reveals a set of conserved virion protein functions that were presumably present in the last common ancestor of the Mimiviridae.

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    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

  5. 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

  6. Validation of real-time PCR for laboratory diagnosis of Acanthamoeba keratitis.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Paul P; Kowalski, Regis P; Shanks, Robert M Q; Gordon, Y Jerold

    2008-10-01

    Confirmation of Acanthamoeba keratitis by laboratory diagnosis is the first step in the treatment of this vision-threatening disease. Two real-time PCR TaqMan protocols (the Rivière and Qvarnstrom assays) were developed for the detection of genus-specific Acanthamoeba DNA but lacked clinical validation. We have adapted these assays for the Cepheid SmartCycler II system (i) by determining their real-time PCR limits of detection and amplification efficiencies, (ii) by determining their ability to detect trophozoites and cysts, and (iii) by testing a battery of positive and negative samples. We also examined the inhibitory effects of a number of commonly used topical ophthalmic drugs on real-time PCR. The results of the real-time PCR limit of detection and amplification efficiency of the Rivière and Qvarnstrom assays were 11.3 DNA copies/10 microl and 94% and 43.8 DNA copies/10 microl and 92%, respectively. Our extraction protocol enabled us to detect 0.7 Acanthamoeba cysts/10 microl and 2.3 Acanthamoeba trophozoites/10 microl by both real-time PCR assays. The overall agreement between the assays was 97.0%. The clinical sensitivity and specificity of both real-time PCR assays based on culture were 100% (7 of 7) and 100% (37 of 37), respectively. Polyhexamethylene biguanide was the only topical drug that demonstrated PCR inhibition, with a minimal inhibitory dilution of 1/640 and an amplification efficiency of 72.7%. Four clinical samples were Acanthamoeba culture negative and real-time PCR positive. Our results indicate that both real-time PCR assays could be used to diagnose Acanthamoeba keratitis. Polyhexamethylene biguanide can inhibit PCR, and we suggest that specimen collection occur prior to topical treatment to avoid possible false-negative results.

  7. Acanthamoeba strains lose their abilities to encyst synchronously upon prolonged axenic culture.

    PubMed

    Köhsler, Martina; Leitsch, David; Fürnkranz, Ursula; Duchêne, Michael; Aspöck, Horst; Walochnik, Julia

    2008-04-01

    To evaluate the influence of prolonged axenic culture on the encystment capacity of Acanthamoeba spp., the encystment potential of four closely related Acanthamoeba strains, subcultured axenically for different periods of time, was evaluated comparing five encystment media. Media with more alkaline pH values were slightly more effective; however, the composition of the respective encystment medium had only limited influence on the encystment potential, while a strong correlation of losses in encystment potential and times strains had been cultured axenically was demonstrated. Furthermore, our results indicate that losses in encystment potential occur shortly after transfer into axenic culture to remain constant over many years.

  8. Killing of diverse eye pathogens (Acanthamoeba spp., Fusarium solani, and Chlamydia trachomatis) with alcohols

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Background Blindness is caused by eye pathogens that include a free-living protist (Acanthamoeba castellanii, A. byersi, and/or other Acanthamoeba spp.), a fungus (Fusarium solani), and a bacterium (Chlamydia trachomatis). Hand-eye contact is likely a contributor to the spread of these pathogens, and so hand washing with soap and water or alcohol–based hand sanitizers (when water is not available) might reduce their transmission. Recently we showed that ethanol and isopropanol in concentrations present in hand sanitizers kill walled cysts of Giardia and Entamoeba, causes of diarrhea and dysentery, respectively. The goal here was to determine whether these alcohols might kill infectious forms of representative eye pathogens (trophozoites and cysts of Acanthamoeba, conidia of F. solani, or elementary bodies of C. trachomatis). Methodology/Principal findings We found that treatment with 63% ethanol or 63% isopropanol kills >99% of Acanthamoeba trophozoites after 30 sec exposure, as shown by labeling with propidium iodide (PI) and failure to grow in culture. In contrast, Acanthamoeba cysts, which contain cellulose fibers in their wall, are relatively more resistant to these alcohols, particularly isopropanol. Depending upon the strain tested, 80 to 99% of Acanthamoeba cysts were killed by 63% ethanol after 2 min and 95 to 99% were killed by 80% ethanol after 30 sec, as shown by PI labeling and reduced rates of excystation in vitro. Both ethanol and isopropanol (63% for 30 sec) kill >99% of F. solani conidia, which have a wall of chitin and glucan fibrils, as demonstrated by PI labeling and colony counts on nutrient agar plates. Both ethanol and isopropanol (63% for 60 sec) inactivate 96 to 99% of elementary bodies of C. trachomatis, which have a wall of lipopolysaccharide but lack peptidoglycan, as measured by quantitative cultures to calculate inclusion forming units. Conclusions/Significance In summary, alcohols kill infectious forms of Acanthamoeba, F. solani, and

  9. Propylene glycol and contact-lens solutions containing this diol induce pseudocyst formation in acanthamoebae.

    PubMed

    Kliescikova, Jarmila; Kulda, Jaroslav; Nohynkova, Eva

    2011-01-01

    Propylene glycol used as an ophthalmic demulcent in certain contact-lens care systems has been included recently among factors responsible for increasing Acanthamoeba keratitis. In this study, we provide evidence that propylene glycol as well as examined contact-lens solutions containing it induce rapid differentiation of acanthamoebae into pseudocysts. The partial resistance of the pseudocysts and their reversibility to viable trophozoites even after 24-h exposure to the contact-lens solutions indicate a potential risk of infection to contact-lens users.

  10. Random amplified polymorphic DNA profiles as a tool for the identification of Acanthamoeba divionensis.

    PubMed

    Ortega-Rivas, Antonio; Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob; Alonso, Violeta; Abreu, Néstor J; Foronda, Pilar; del Castillo, Antonio; Valladares, Basilio

    2003-08-01

    In the present study, we demonstrated the Random Amplified Polymorphism DNA (RAPD) diagnostic validity. In our study, we have analyzed RAPD profiles searching for characteristic and useful bands for Acanthamoeba diagnosis at the species level. We found a distinctive 370-bp band in A. divionensis RAPD patterns, using the OPC14 primer (TGCGTGCTTG) (Operon Technologies, Inc., Alameda, CA). The band specificity was confirmed by hybridization, using it as a probe, against all OPC14 amplifications from 10 different Acanthamoeba species. Once we sequenced this band, we used it to design a specific primer pair which showed positive amplification only in A. divionensis isolates.

  11. Monomeric Acanthamoeba myosins I support movement in vitro.

    PubMed

    Albanesi, J P; Fujisaki, H; Hammer, J A; Korn, E D; Jones, R; Sheetz, M P

    1985-07-25

    Acanthamoeba myosins IA and IB were found to have molecular weights of 159,000 and 150,000 and Stokes radii of 6.2 and 5.9 nm, respectively. Both enzymes have frictional ratios of 1.7. Myosin IA consists of 22% alpha-helix, 32% beta-structure, and 46% unordered structure, while myosin IB is 16% alpha-helix, 46% beta-structure, and 38% unordered. Both myosins remain monomolecular under conditions in which other myosins form filaments. Beads coated with myosin IA or IB move unidirectionally on actin cables of Nitella. Movement requires ATP and phosphorylation of the myosin I heavy chain which is also required for actin-activated Mg2+-ATPase activity. Movement is inhibited by myosin I antiserum that inhibits actin-activated ATPase activity. These studies establish that these nonfilamentous, monomolecular myosins with single heavy chains of 130,000 and 125,000 daltons (IA and IB, respectively) can support actin-dependent movement analogous to that supported by filamentous myosins.

  12. Legionella pneumophila prevents proliferation of its natural host Acanthamoeba castellanii

    PubMed Central

    Mengue, Luce; Régnacq, Matthieu; Aucher, Willy; Portier, Emilie; Héchard, Yann; Samba-Louaka, Ascel

    2016-01-01

    Legionella pneumophila is a ubiquitous, pathogenic, Gram-negative bacterium responsible for legionellosis. Like many other amoeba-resistant microorganisms, L. pneumophila resists host clearance and multiplies inside the cell. Through its Dot/Icm type IV secretion system, the bacterium injects more than three hundred effectors that modulate host cell physiology in order to promote its own intracellular replication. Here we report that L. pneumophila prevents proliferation of its natural host Acanthamoeba castellanii. Infected amoebae could not undergo DNA replication and no cell division was observed. The Dot/Icm secretion system was necessary for L. pneumophila to prevent the eukaryotic proliferation. The absence of proliferation was associated with altered amoebal morphology and with a decrease of mRNA transcript levels of CDC2b, a putative regulator of the A. castellanii cell cycle. Complementation of CDC28-deficient Saccharomyces cerevisiae by the CDC2b cDNA was sufficient to restore proliferation of CDC28-deficient S. cerevisiae and suggests for the first time that CDC2b from A. castellanii could be functional and a bona fide cyclin-dependent kinase. Hence, our results reveal that L. pneumophila impairs proliferation of A. castellanii and this effect could involve the cell cycle protein CDC2b. PMID:27805070

  13. Acanthamoeba castellanii: structural basis of the cytopathic mechanisms.

    PubMed

    González-Robles, Arturo; Castañón, Guadalupe; Cristóbal-Ramos, Ana Ruth; Lázaro-Haller, Amparo; Omaña-Molina, Maritza; Bonilla, Patricia; Martínez-Palomo, Adolfo

    2006-11-01

    In this study we report observations on the structural mechanisms of the cytopathic effect of Acanthamoeba castellanii trophozoites on cultured MDCK cell monolayers. Co-incubations were carried out for a maximum of 24h. The first evidence of damage to the cell monolayer was detected by measuring the transepithelial resistance of cell monolayers that interacted with the amoebae. At 6h, transepithelial resistance diminished to 51% and amoebae required 5-6h to produce evidence of structural injury at the light microscopy level. Following 12h of incubation, the cell monolayer was severely damaged. After making intimate contact with the surface of target cells, trophozoites detached cells from the substrate, lysed and by means of food-cups ingested the damaged cells. There was no morphological evidence of modifications in MDCK cell membranes, membrane fusion or junction formation between the amoeba and host plasma membrane. The lytic capacity of the amoebas appears to be the result of cytotoxic factors secreted by the amoebae since, when monolayers were incubated with conditioned medium, there was also a decrease in the transepithelial resistance. Besides, mechanical injury produced by the attachment and movement of the trophozoites may contribute to the disruption of the cell monolayer. As in other pathogenic amoebae, the cytopathic action of A. castellanii on the cell monolayers can subjectively be separated into four stages: adhesion, cytolysis, phagocytosis, and intracellular degradation.

  14. 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.

  15. Growth of Legionella pneumophila in Acanthamoeba castellanii enhances invasion.

    PubMed Central

    Cirillo, J D; Falkow, S; Tompkins, L S

    1994-01-01

    Legionella pneumophila is considered to be a facultative intracellular parasite. Therefore, the ability of these bacteria to enter, i.e., invade, eukaryotic cells is expected to be a key pathogenic determinant. We compared the invasive ability of bacteria grown under standard laboratory conditions with that of bacteria grown in Acanthamoeba castellanii, one of the protozoan species that serves as a natural host for L. pneumophila in the environment. Amoeba-grown L. pneumophila cells were found to be at least 100-fold more invasive for epithelial cells and 10-fold more invasive for macrophages and A. castellanii than were L. pneumophila cells grown on agar. Comparison of agar- and amoeba-grown L. pneumophila cells by light and electron microscopy demonstrated dramatic differences in the morphology and structure of the bacteria. Analyses of protein expression in the two strains of bacteria suggest that these phenotypic differences may be due to the expression of new proteins in amoeba-grown L. pneumophila cells. In addition, the amoeba-grown bacteria were found to enter macrophages via coiling phagocytosis at a higher frequency than agar-grown bacteria did. Replication of L. pneumophila in protozoans present in domestic water supplies may be necessary to produce bacteria that are competent to enter mammalian cells and produce human disease. Images PMID:8039895

  16. Survival and Growth of Francisella tularensis in Acanthamoeba castellanii

    PubMed Central

    Abd, Hadi; Johansson, Thorsten; Golovliov, Igor; Sandström, Gunnar; Forsman, Mats

    2003-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a highly infectious, facultative intracellular bacterium which causes epidemics of tularemia in both humans and mammals at regular intervals. The natural reservoir of the bacterium is largely unknown, although it has been speculated that protozoa may harbor it. To test this hypothesis, Acanthamoeba castellanii was cocultured with a strain of F. tularensis engineered to produce green fluorescent protein (GFP) in a nutrient-rich medium. GFP fluorescence within A. castellanii was then monitored by flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy. In addition, extracellular bacteria were distinguished from intracellular bacteria by targeting with monoclonal antibodies. Electron microscopy was used to determine the intracellular location of F. tularensis in A. castellanii, and viable counts were obtained for both extracellular and intracellular bacteria. The results showed that many F. tularensis cells were located intracellularly in A. castellanii cells. The bacteria multiplied within intracellular vacuoles and eventually killed many of the host cells. F. tularensis was found in intact trophozoites, excreted vesicles, and cysts. Furthermore, F. tularensis grew faster in cocultures with A. castellanii than it did when grown alone in the same medium. This increase in growth was accompanied by a decrease in the number of A. castellanii cells. The interaction between F. tularensis and amoebae demonstrated in this study indicates that ubiquitous protozoa might be an important environmental reservoir for F. tularensis. PMID:12514047

  17. The interaction of Acanthamoeba castellanii cysts with macrophages and neutrophils.

    PubMed

    Hurt, Michael; Proy, Vincent; Niederkorn, Jerry Y; Alizadeh, Hassan

    2003-06-01

    Acanthamoeba castellanii, a free-living amoeba, causes a sight-threatening form of keratitis. Even after extensive therapies, corneal damage can be severe, often requiring corneal transplantation to restore vision. However, A. castellanii cysts are not eliminated from the conjunctiva and stroma of humans and can excyst, resulting in infection of the corneal transplant. The aim of this study was to determine whether elements of the innate immune apparatus, neutrophils and macrophages, were capable of detecting and eliminating A. castellanii cysts and to examine the mechanism by which they kill the cysts. Results show that neither innate immune cell is attracted chemotactically to intact cysts, yet both were attracted to lysed cysts. Both macrophages and neutrophils were capable of killing significant numbers of cysts, yet neutrophils were 3-fold more efficient than macrophages. Activation of macrophages with lipopolysaccharide and interferon-gamma did not increase their cytolytic ability. Conditioned medium isolated from macrophages did not lyse the cysts; however, prevention of phagocytosis by cytochalasin D inhibited 100% of macrophage-mediated killing of the cysts. Conditioned medium from neutrophils did kill significant numbers of the cysts, and this killing was blocked by quercetin, a potent inhibitor of myeloperoxidase (MPO). These results indicate that neither macrophages nor neutrophils are chemoattracted to intact cysts, yet both are capable of killing the cysts. Macrophages killed the cysts by phagocytosis, whereas neutrophils killed cysts through the secretion of MPO.

  18. Staphylococcus aureus exhibit similarities in their interactions with Acanthamoeba and ThP1 macrophage-like cells.

    PubMed

    Cardas, Mihaela; Khan, Naveed Ahmed; Alsam, Selwa

    2012-12-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is a leading cause of nosocomial infections. Haematogenous spread is a pre-requisite but it is not clear how S. aureus survive the onslaught of macrophages. Acanthamoeba is a protozoan pathogen that is remarkably similar to macrophages, particularly in their cellular structure (morphological and ultra-structural features), molecular motility, biochemical physiology, ability to capture prey by phagocytosis and interactions with microbial pathogens. Thus, we hypothesize that S. aureus exhibit similarities in their interactions with Acanthamoeba and ThP1 macrophage-like cells. Here, we studied interactions of methicillin-sensitive S. aureus (MSSA), methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and Staphylococcus epidermidis (SE) with Acanthamoeba castellanii belonging to the T4 genotype and macrophage-like cells (ThP1). The findings revealed that both MRSA and MSSA exhibited similarities in their binding/association and invasion of A. castellanii and ThP1 cells. Long-term incubation showed that MRSA and MSSA can survive intracellularly of both Acanthamoeba and ThP1 cells. Overall, these findings suggest that Acanthamoeba exhibit similar characteristics with ThP1 macrophage-like cells in their interaction with MRSA and MSSA. Additionally it was shown that bacteria survive inside Acanthamoeba during the encystment process as evidenced by bacterial recovery from mature cysts. Given that Acanthamoeba cysts are airborne, these findings suggest that cysts may act as "Trojan horse" to help spread MRSA to susceptible hosts.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Genotyping of potentially pathogenic Acanthamoeba strains isolated from nasal swabs of healthy individuals in Peru.

    PubMed

    Cabello-Vílchez, Alfonso Martín; Martín-Navarro, Carmen María; López-Arencibia, Atteneri; Reyes-Batlle, María; González, Ana C; Guerra, Humberto; Gotuzzo, Eduardo; Valladares, Basilio; Piñero, José E; Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob

    2014-02-01

    Free Living Amoebae (FLA) of Acanthamoeba genus are widely distributed in the environment and can be found in the air, soil and water; and have also been isolated from air-conditioning units. In humans, they are causative agents of a sight-threating infection of the cornea, Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) and a fatal infection of the central nervous system known as Granulomatous Amoebic Encephalitis (GAE). In this study, a survey was conducted in order to determine the presence and pathogenic potential of free-living amoebae of Acanthamoeba genus in nasal swabs from individuals in two regions of Peru. Identification of isolates was based on cyst morphology and PCR-sequencing of the Diagnostic Fragment 3 to identify strains at the genotype level. The pathogenic potential of the isolates was also assayed using temperature and osmotolerance assays and extracellular proteases zymograms. The obtained results revealed that all isolated strains exhibited pathogenic potential. After sequencing the highly variable DF3 (Diagnostic Fragment 3) region in the 18S rRNA gene as previously described, genotype T4 was found to be the most common one in the samples included in this study but also genotype T15 was identified. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study on the characterization of Acanthamoeba strains at the genotype level and the first report of genotype T4 and T15 in Peru.

  2. Microarray and KOG analysis of Acanthamoeba healyi genes up-regulated by mouse-brain passage.

    PubMed

    Moon, Eun-Kyung; Xuan, Ying-Hua; Kong, Hyun-Hee

    2014-08-01

    Long-term cultivation in a laboratory could reduce the virulence of Acanthamoeba. To identify virulence factors of Acanthamoeba, the authors compared the transcription profiles of long-term cultivated Acanthamoeba healyi (OLD) and three times mouse-brain passaged A. healyi (MBP) using microarray analysis and eukaryotic orthologous group (KOG) assignments. Microarray analysis revealed that 601 genes were up-regulated by mouse-brain passage. The results of real-time PCR of 8 randomly selected genes up-regulated in the MBP strain confirmed microarray analysis findings. KOG assignments showed relatively higher percentages of the MBP strain up-regulated genes in T article (signal transduction mechanism), O article (posttranslational modification, protein turnover, chaperones), C article (energy production and conversion), and J article (translation, ribosomal structure and biogenesis). In particular, the MBP strain showed higher expressions of cysteine protease and metalloprotease. A comparison of KOG assignments by microarray analysis and previous EST (expressed sequence tags) analysis showed similar populations of up-regulated genes. These results provide important information regarding the identification of virulence factors of pathogenic Acanthamoeba.

  3. Efficacy of Korean Multipurpose Contact Lens Disinfecting Solutions against Acanthamoeba castellanii

    PubMed Central

    Moon, Eun-Kyung; Park, Hye-Ryun; Quan, Fu-Shi; Kong, Hyun-Hee

    2016-01-01

    Acanthamoeba keratitis has been increasing in recent years. Main risk factors are contact lens wear and their cleaning solutions. Most contact lens wearers use multipurpose disinfecting solutions (MPDS) for cleansing and disinfecting microorganisms because of its convenience. We determined amoebicidal effects of MPDS made in Korea and their cytotoxicity on human corneal epithelium cells. Fifteen commercial MPDS (A to O) were tested for their amoebicidal effects on Acanthamoeba castellanii trophozoites and cysts by using a most probable number (MPN) technique. Among them, 7 kinds of MPDS showed little or no amoebicidal effects for 24 hr exposure. Solutions A, B, G, H, L, and O showed positive amoebicidal effects, and solutions M and N killed almost all trophozoites and cysts after 24 hr exposure. However, 50%-N solution showed 56% cytotoxicity on human corneal epithelial cells within 4 hr exposure, and 50%-O solution also showed 62% cytotoxicity on human cells within 4 hr exposure. Solution A did not show any cytotoxicity on human cells. These results revealed that most MPDS made in Korea were ineffective to kill Acanthamoeba. The solutions having amoebicidal activity also showed high levels of cytotoxicity on human corneal epithelial cells. New formulations for improved MPDS that are amoebicidal but safe for host cells are needed to prevent Acanthamoeba keratitis. PMID:28095653

  4. Rapid diagnosis of acanthamoeba keratitis using non-nutrient agar with a lawn of E. coli

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background A patient presented with a corneal foreign body in his only eye. He was treated with prophylactic antibiotics and sent home, but deteriorated. Findings He returned to the hospital 5 days later, and on slit-lamp examination, there was ciliary injection, corneal oedema and a 1 mm × 1 mm corneal abscess with mild anterior uveitis. Corneal scrapings were taken for culture on a non-nutrient agar with a lawn of Escherichia coli, on chocolate agar and on blood agar. He was treated with fortified gentamicin and cefazolin drops. He improved and was discharged 4 days after admission. On day 5, the culture results showed acanthamoeba. He was brought back to the hospital and treated with hourly chlorhexidine drops, ofloxacin six times daily and neomycin/dexamethasone drops once daily. On day 7, he was discharged to continue treatment at home, at which time his visual acuity in that eye was 6/9, and slit-lamp examination showed punctate keratitis and a stromal opacity with mild peripheral infiltration. Conclusions Culture on non-nutrient agar with a lawn of E. coli is a rapid, reliable and less invasive alternative to corneal biopsy for the diagnosis of acanthamoeba infection. We suggest using this method where acanthamoeba is suspected. Owing to the risk of corneal abscess, orthokeratology should be avoided in an amblyopic patient or an only eye. Acanthamoeba infection may be masked by other eye diseases. PMID:23514313

  5. Identification of the 18S-ribosomal-DNA genotypes of Acanthamoeba isolates from the Philippines.

    PubMed

    Rivera, W L; Adao, D E V

    2008-12-01

    Cyst morphology has been commonly used to identify the free-living amoeba Acanthamoeba to subgenus level. A more accurate and consistent method, based on the sequence analysis of the gene coding for the amoeba's small-subunit ribosomal RNA (Rns), has, however, been developed. There have been no attempts to identify the Acanthamoeba genotypes circulating in the Philippines. In this study, therefore, the ASA.S1 region of the Rns gene from 17 Acanthamoeba isolates, collected from soil, water and contact-lens storage cases in different regions of the Philippines, was sequenced. After the isolates were genotyped, using the BLAST program, their phylogenetic positions relative to known Acanthamoeba isolates were determined. For this, the model-based (GTR + Gamma) neighbour-joining, maximum-likelihood and Bayesian-inference analyses and the non-model-based maximum-parsimony analysis were used. All but two of the isolates were identified as the T5 or T4 genotypes, which are probably common in soil, water and contact-lens cases across the Philippines. The only other genotypes identified were T15 (as a single isolate from a contact-lens case) and T3 (as a single soil isolate).

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Fatal Granulomatous Amoebic Encephalitis Caused by Acanthamoeba in a Patient With Kidney Transplant: A Case Report

    PubMed Central

    Salameh, Ahmad; Bello, Nancy; Becker, Jennifer; Zangeneh, Tirdad

    2015-01-01

    Granulomatous amoebic encephalitis (GAE) due to Acanthamoeba is almost a uniformly fatal infection in immune-compromised hosts despite multidrug combination therapy. We report a case of GAE in a female who received a deceased donor kidney graft. She was treated with a combination of miltefosine, pentamidine, sulfadiazine, fluconazole, flucytosine, and azithromycin. PMID:26280011

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

    PubMed

    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.

  10. Temperature-dependent parasitic relationship between Legionella pneumophila and a free-living amoeba (Acanthamoeba castellanii).

    PubMed

    Ohno, Akira; Kato, Naoyuki; Sakamoto, Ryota; Kimura, Soichiro; Yamaguchi, Keizo

    2008-07-01

    We analyzed the effects of temperature on the interaction of Legionella pneumophila with Acanthamoeba castellanii. At <20 degrees C, overexpression of type 1 metacaspase, a stimulator of A. castellanii encystation, was associated with a reduced number of bacteria within amoeba. At low temperatures, A. castellanii seems to eliminate L. pneumophila by encystation and digestion.

  11. Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) Communications System Ecological Monitoring Program: Summary of 1986 Progress.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1987-12-01

    between years or sites in the types of amoebae present. In 1986 as in 1985, the genetic diversity within a single species of soil amoeba, Acanthamoeba ...heterogeneity in a natural popula- tion of Acanthamoeba polyphaga from soil, an isoenzyme analysis. Journal of Protozoology, 34(1):83-86, 1987. 5...ItT RESEARCH INSTITUTE A-3 IITRI E06549-39 .0k; , I? %,-I .5 ’ 6. Jacobson, L. M.; Band, R. N. Genetic heterogeneity of Acanthamoeba polyphaga from

  12. Genetic characterization of clinical acanthamoeba isolates from Japan using nuclear and mitochondrial small subunit ribosomal RNA.

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Fulminant and fatal encephalitis caused by Acanthamoeba in a kidney transplant recipient: case report and literature review.

    PubMed

    Satlin, M J; Graham, J K; Visvesvara, G S; Mena, H; Marks, K M; Saal, S D; Soave, R

    2013-12-01

    Acanthamoeba is the most common cause of granulomatous amebic encephalitis, a typically fatal condition that is classically described as indolent and slowly progressive. We report a case of Acanthamoeba encephalitis in a kidney transplant recipient that progressed to death within 3 days of symptom onset and was diagnosed at autopsy. We also review clinical characteristics, treatments, and outcomes of all published cases of Acanthamoeba encephalitis in solid organ transplant (SOT) recipients. Ten cases were identified, and the infection was fatal in 9 of these cases. In 6 patients, Acanthamoeba presented in a fulminant manner and death occurred within 2 weeks after the onset of neurologic symptoms. These acute presentations are likely related to immunodeficiencies associated with solid organ transplantation that result in an inability to control Acanthamoeba proliferation. Skin lesions may predate neurologic involvement and provide an opportunity for early diagnosis and treatment. Acanthamoeba is an under-recognized cause of encephalitis in SOT recipients and often presents in a fulminant manner in this population. Increased awareness of this disease and its clinical manifestations is essential to attain an early diagnosis and provide the best chance of cure.

  19. Isolation and molecular characterization of Acanthamoeba genotypes isolated from soil sources of public and recreational areas in Iran.

    PubMed

    Karamati, Seyed Ahmad; Niyyati, Maryam; Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob; Lasjerdi, Zohreh

    2016-12-01

    Pathogenic strains of Acanthamoeba are causative agents of a sight threating infection of the cornea known as Acanthamoeba keratitis. AK cases have been reported in Iran recently due to inappropriate usage of contact lens maintenance and most patients report a contact with contaminated sources such as dust, water or soil. Sixty soil samples were collected from public and recreational areas in the province of East Azerbaijan, Iran and checked for the presence of Acanthamoeba spp. Samples were cultured 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 performed in order to investigate the pathogenic potential of isolated Acanthamoeba strains. Acanthamoeba spp. was isolated from 41.6% of soil samples and genotyping of the strains resulted in the identification of genotypes T3, T4, T5 and T11. Most of the isolates belonging to genotypes T3 and T4 showed high pathogenic potential, indicating that they might present a potential health hazard for humans and other animals in this region. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on the identification of genotypes T3 and T11 from soil sources in the country.

  20. The first genotype determination of Acanthamoeba potential threat to human health, isolated from natural water reservoirs in Poland.

    PubMed

    Lass, Anna; Szostakowska, Beata; Idzińska, Alicja; Chomicz, Lidia

    2014-07-01

    Different species of amoebae belonging to the genus Acanthamoeba are widely distributed in many parts of the world and known as free-living organisms. Some strains of the protozoans may exist as parasites and cause risk to human health as causative agents of serious human diseases. Currently, in Poland, there is no sufficient information about the distribution of Acanthamoeba strains and their genotypes in the environment. Therefore, 20 environmental surface water samples were collected from different sites located at five water reservoirs in Gdynia, Sopot, and Gdańsk (northern Poland). The material was cultured to obtain Acanthamoeba isolates that were then specifically analyzed with both PCR and real-time PCR assays. Of the 20 samples examined, Acanthamoeba DNA was found in 13 samples tested with the use of real-time PCR; in 10 of them, DNA of the amoeba was also detected using PCR technique. The comparison with sequences available in the GenBank confirmed that the PCR products are fragments of Acanthamoeba 18S rRNA gene and that isolates represent T4 genotype, known as the most common strains related to AK cases. This is the first investigation in Poland describing Acanthamoeba detection in environmental water samples with molecular techniques and genotyping. The results indicate that surface water in Poland may be a source of acanthamoebic strains potentially pathogenic for humans.

  1. 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.

  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).

  3. 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.

  4. Immunological inter-strain crossreactivity correlated to 18S rDNA sequence types in Acanthamoeba spp.

    PubMed

    Walochnik, J; Obwaller, A; Aspöck, H

    2001-02-01

    Various species of the genus Acanthamoeba have been described as potential pathogens; however, differentiation of acanthamoebae remains problematic. The genus has been divided into 12 18S rDNA sequence types, most keratitis causing strains exhibiting sequence type T4. We recently isolated a keratitis causing Acanthamoeba strain showing sequence type T6, but being morphologically identical to a T4 strain. The aim of our study was to find out, whether the 18S rDNA sequence based identification correlates to immunological differentiation. The protein and antigen profiles of the T6 isolate and three reference Acanthamoeba strains were investigated using two sera from Acanthamoeba keratitis patients and one serum from an asymptomatic individual. It was shown, that the T6 strain produces a distinctly different immunological pattern, while patterns within T4 were identical. Affinity purified antibodies were used to further explore immunological cross-reactivity between sequence types. Altogether, the results of our study support the Acanthamoeba 18S rDNA sequence type classification in the investigated strains.

  5. 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

  6. Cedratvirus, a Double-Cork Structured Giant Virus, is a Distant Relative of Pithoviruses

    PubMed Central

    Andreani, Julien; Aherfi, Sarah; Bou Khalil, Jacques Yaacoub; Di Pinto, Fabrizio; Bitam, Idir; Raoult, Didier; Colson, Philippe; La Scola, Bernard

    2016-01-01

    Most viruses are known for the ability to cause symptomatic diseases in humans and other animals. The discovery of Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus and other giant amoebal viruses revealed a considerable and previously unknown area of uncharacterized viral particles. Giant viruses have been isolated from various environmental samples collected from very distant geographic places, revealing a ubiquitous distribution. Their morphological and genomic features are fundamental elements for classifying them. Herein, we report the isolation and draft genome of Cedratvirus, a new amoebal giant virus isolated in Acanthamoeba castellanii, from an Algerian environmental sample. The viral particles are ovoid-shaped, resembling Pithovirus sibericum, but differing notably in the presence of two corks at each extremity of the virion. The draft genome of Cedratvirus—589,068 base pairs in length—is a close relative of the two previously described pithoviruses, sharing 104 and 113 genes with P. sibericum and Pithovirus massiliensis genomes, respectively. Interestingly, analysis of these viruses’ core genome reveals that only 21% of Cedratvirus genes are involved in best reciprocal hits with the two pithoviruses. Phylogeny reconstructions and comparative genomics indicate that Cedratvirus is most closely related to pithoviruses, and questions their membership in an enlarged putative Pithoviridae family. PMID:27827884

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-10

    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.

  8. Cedratvirus, a Double-Cork Structured Giant Virus, is a Distant Relative of Pithoviruses.

    PubMed

    Andreani, Julien; Aherfi, Sarah; Bou Khalil, Jacques Yaacoub; Di Pinto, Fabrizio; Bitam, Idir; Raoult, Didier; Colson, Philippe; La Scola, Bernard

    2016-11-03

    Most viruses are known for the ability to cause symptomatic diseases in humans and other animals. The discovery of Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus and other giant amoebal viruses revealed a considerable and previously unknown area of uncharacterized viral particles. Giant viruses have been isolated from various environmental samples collected from very distant geographic places, revealing a ubiquitous distribution. Their morphological and genomic features are fundamental elements for classifying them. Herein, we report the isolation and draft genome of Cedratvirus, a new amoebal giant virus isolated in Acanthamoeba castellanii, from an Algerian environmental sample. The viral particles are ovoid-shaped, resembling Pithovirus sibericum, but differing notably in the presence of two corks at each extremity of the virion. The draft genome of Cedratvirus-589,068 base pairs in length-is a close relative of the two previously described pithoviruses, sharing 104 and 113 genes with P. sibericum and Pithovirus massiliensis genomes, respectively. Interestingly, analysis of these viruses' core genome reveals that only 21% of Cedratvirus genes are involved in best reciprocal hits with the two pithoviruses. Phylogeny reconstructions and comparative genomics indicate that Cedratvirus is most closely related to pithoviruses, and questions their membership in an enlarged putative Pithoviridae family.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Sequence organization of the Acanthamoeba rRNA intergenic spacer: identification of transcriptional enhancers.

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Q; Zwick, M G; Paule, M R

    1994-01-01

    The primary sequence of the entire 2330 bp intergenic spacer of the A.castellanii ribosomal RNA gene was determined. Repeated sequence elements averaging 140 bp were identified and found to bind a protein required for optimum initiation at the core promoter. These repeated elements were shown to stimulate rRNA transcription by RNA polymerase I in vitro. The repeats inhibited transcription when placed in trans, and stimulated transcription when in cis, in either orientation, but only when upstream of the core promoter. Thus, these repeated elements have characteristics similar to polymerase I enhancers found in higher eukaryotes. The number of rRNA repeats in Acanthamoeba cells was determined to be 24 per haploid genome, the lowest number so far identified in any eukaryote. However, because Acanthamoeba is polyploid, each cell contains approximately 600 rRNA genes. Images PMID:7984432

  14. Isolation of acanthamoeba genotype t4 from a non-contact lens wearer from the Philippines.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

    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.

  15. 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

  16. Bringing forward the new generation of alkoxy-thiourea as potential treatment for Acanthamoeba keratitis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khairul, Wan M.; Goh, Yit-Peng; Daud, Adibah Izzati; Nakisah, M. A.

    2017-02-01

    Alkoxy substituted thiourea derivatives with general formula of A-ArC(O)NHC(S)NHAr-D which A represents the methoxy group and D denotes -OCnH2n+1 have been successfully synthesised and characterized. In turn, all the synthesised molecules were assayed for anti-amoebic activities towards Acanthamoeba sp to examine the cytotoxicity effect at their IC50 and membrane permeability. As predicted, the findings showed that the synthesised molecules owing promising anti-amoebic activity towards Acanthamoeba sp. To support, the Acridine-orange/Propidium iodide (AOPI) staining result under fluorescence microscopy revealed the treated amoeba cells by these alkoxy thiourea derivatives exhibited loss in their membrane permeability.

  17. 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

  18. An atypical presentation of Acanthamoeba keratitis in a noncontact lens wearer.

    PubMed

    Speer, Christine E; Hofmeister, Elizabeth M; Cohen, Elisabeth J

    2003-01-01

    This article presents the case of a 49-year-old man who did not have a history of wearing contact lenses and who developed a rapidly progressive course of Acanthamoeba keratitis. The patient developed stromal keratitis that did not respond to herpes simplex virus therapies. Within 1 week after presentation, the patient progressed from mild anterior stromal haze and edema to a ring infiltrate, epithelial loss, and significant corneal edema. Corneal scrapings demonstrated cysts consistent with Acanthanmoeba keratitis. The patient was admitted to the hospital and placed on intensive medical therapy. He responded to therapy, and at 5 months showed central scarring in a quiet eye. This article presents a case of Acanthamoeba keratitis in a non-contact lens wearer, who was diagnosed clinically and histopathologically within 1 week of onset of symptoms. His case was atypical given his lack of contact lens wear or antecedent trauma and rapid progression to a ring infiltrate, usually seen as late findings.

  19. [Acanthamoeba keratitis after use of soft contact lenses--case report].

    PubMed

    Ziak, P; Ondriska, F; Mrva, M

    2003-09-01

    The case history of a 39-year patient suffering from a deep inflammation of cornea and not responding to conventional antibiotic treatment is presented. The patient was using soft contact lenses during the period of initial symptoms; moreover, he was bathing in thermal bathing pool. A cultivation examination of smears from the area of corneal defect revealed the presence of Acanthamoeba lugdunensis in combination with bacterial infection by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The available data indicate that it is the first case of acanthamoeba karatitis (AK) after the application of contact lenses in Slovakia. A long-term local treatment with propamidin isethionate (Brolene gtt, ung.) resulted in healing up. The subsequent vision after 16 months since the initial symptoms proved to be 6/12 (0.5). The healing of the centrally localized defect changed the curvature of cornea with consequent hypermetropic shift. The defect completely corrected the patient's myopia (-8.5). The paper describes present possibilities of AK therapy.

  20. In Vitro Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the Macrolide Rokitamycin and Chlorpromazine against Acanthamoeba castellanii

    PubMed Central

    Mattana, A.; Biancu, G.; Alberti, L.; Accardo, A.; Delogu, G.; Fiori, P. L.; Cappuccinelli, P.

    2004-01-01

    The present study demonstrates the in vitro effectiveness of the macrolide rokitamycin and the phenothiazine compound chlorpromazine against Acanthamoeba castellanii. Growth curve evaluations revealed that both drugs inhibit trophozoite growth in dose- and time-dependent ways. The effects of both drugs when they were used at the MICs at which 100% of isolates are inhibited were amoebistatic, but at higher doses they were amoebicidal as well as cysticidal. Experiments showed that when rokitamycin was associated with chlorpromazine or amphotericin B, rokitamycin enhanced their activities. Furthermore, low doses of rokitamycin and chlorpromazine, alone or in combination, blocked the cytopathic effect of A. castellanii against WKD cells derived from the human cornea. These results may have important significance in the development of new anti-Acanthamoeba compounds. PMID:15561820

  1. 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.

  2. Prevalence of Acanthamoeba spp. (Sarcomastigophora: Acanthamoebidae) in wild populations of Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae).

    PubMed

    Otta, Dayane Andriotti; Rott, Marilise Brittes; Carlesso, Ana Maris; da Silva, Onilda Santos

    2012-11-01

    Studies of interrelationship between microorganisms and mosquitoes are of great importance, since it can provide support for better understand related to biology, development and their control. In this way, it is known that mosquito larvae and free-living amoebae (FLA) normally occupy similar aquatic microhabitats. However, few studies have been conducted about such coexistence. For that reason, the objective of the present study was to verify the prevalence of Acanthamoeba spp. in wild populations of Aedes aegypti, as well as to characterize the genotypic lineage, and their possible pathogenicity through thermo- and osmotolerance. Amoebae were investigated in 60 pools, each containing ten larvae of A. aegypti, collected in Porto Alegre (Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil). The Acanthamoeba isolates were morphologically characterized and submitted to the polymerase chain reaction technique to confirm identification of the genus. In addition, genotype analyses as well as tests for presumptive pathogenicity in some samples were performed. Of the 60 pools examined, 54 (90 %) were positive for FLA. Of these isolates, 47 (87 %) belonged to the genus Acanthamoeba. The genotypic groups T4, T3 and T5 were identified, numbering 14 (53.8 %), ten (38.5 %) and two (7.7 %) isolates, respectively. The physiological tests performed with 14 strains showed that 12 (85.7 %) were non-pathogenic, while two (14.3 %) were considered as having low pathogenic potential. These results provide a basis for a better understanding of the interaction between these protozoan and mosquitoes in their natural habitat. This study is the first to report the isolation of Acanthamoeba spp. from wild mosquitoes.

  3. Experimental infection of T4 Acanthamoeba genotype determines the pathogenic potential.

    PubMed

    Alves, Daniella de Sousa Mendes Moreira; Moraes, Aline Silva; Alves, Luciano Moreira; Gurgel-Gonçalves, Rodrigo; Lino Junior, Ruy de Souza; Cuba-Cuba, César Augusto; Vinaud, Marina Clare

    2016-09-01

    T4 is the Acanthamoeba genotype most related to cases of granulomatous amoebic encephalitis (GAE) in immunocompromised patients and of keratitis in contact lens wearers. The determination of the pathogenic potential of Acanthamoeba clinical and environmental isolates using experimental models is extremely important to elucidate the capacity of free-living organisms to establish and cause disease in hosts. The aim of this study was to compare and evaluate the histopathology and culture between two different routes of experimental infection of T4 Acanthamoeba isolated from environmental and clinical source in mice (intracranial and intraperitoneal). Swiss isogenic healthy mice were inoculated with 10(4) trophozoites by intracranial (IC) and intraperitoneal (IP) routes and observed during 21 days. The brains from animals inoculated by the IC route were collected and from the animals of the IP inoculation group, the brains, livers, kidneys, spleens, and lungs were removed. The organs were prepared and appropriately divided to be evaluated with histopathology and culture. There was no significant difference between the inoculation routes in terms of isolates recovery (χ(2) = 0.09; p = 0.76). In the IC group, isolate recovery rate was significantly higher in histopathology than the one achieved by culture (χ(2) = 6.45; p < 0.01). Experimental infection revealed that all isolates inoculated could be considered invasive because it was possible to recover evolutive forms of Acanthamoeba in both routes. This work represents the first in vivo pathogenicity assay of primary isolation source in Central region of Brazil showing in vivo pathogenicity and hematogenous spread capacity of these protozoa, improving the knowledge on free-living amoebae isolates.

  4. 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.

  5. Presumed late recurrence of Acanthamoeba keratitis exacerbated by exposure to topical corticosteroids

    PubMed Central

    Patel, Dipika V; McGhee, Charles NJ

    2013-01-01

    A 28-year-old female with a history of contact lens wear presented with a 1 week history of pain and photophobia in her left eye. In vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM) and corneal scrape confirmed the diagnosis of Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) which was treated with intensive topical propamidine isethionate (0.1%) and chlorhexidine (0.02%) with tapering dosage over 11 months. Five years after complete resolution of AK and cessation of all contact lens wear, the subject presented to her optometrist with a history of ocular discomfort and mild photophobia. Without further investigation she was prescribed topical corticosteroids. Three weeks later she presented with pain and reduced vision in the left eye. Slit-lamp examination revealed focal, inferior corneal stromal edema. IVCM confirmed widespread Acanthamoeba cysts. Treatment with topical polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB) 0.02% and propamidine isethionate 0.1% resulted in resolution of the AK. Despite an initially mild AK, this subject presumably retained viable Acanthamoeba cysts in her cornea 5 years after the initial episode. This report highlights the importance of caution when using corticosteroids in patients with a previous history of AK, even in the relatively distant past. Patients with AK should be warned regarding the risks of recurrence following presumed resolution. PMID:24391372

  6. Acanthamoeba T4, T5 and T11 isolated from mineral water bottles in southern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Maschio, Vinicius José; Chies, Fernanda; Carlesso, Ana Maris; Carvalho, Amanda; Rosa, Sayonara Peixoto; Van Der Sand, Sueli Teresinha; Rott, Marilise Brittes

    2015-01-01

    Acanthamoeba is a protist potential pathogen, capable of causing a blinding keratitis in contact lens wearers and disseminated infection, leading to granulomatous amebic encephalitis in immunocompromised individuals. This amoeba is a ubiquitous organism that has been isolated from various domestic water systems, such as cooling towers and hospital water networks. The objective of this work was to investigate the presence of Acanthamoeba in mineral water bottles marketed in Porto Alegre, southern Brazil. Positive samples were further classified at the genotype level after sequencing the ASA.S1 region of 18S rDNA gene. Six of the eight isolates belonged to T5 genotype, one to T4 genotype, and one was T11. Several genotypes have been reported worldwide as causative of pathologies in humans, including genotypes T4, T5 and T11. Overall, the widespread distribution of potentially pathogenic Acanthamoeba strains in the studied source demands more awareness within the public and health professionals, because this pathogen is emerging as a risk for human health worldwide.

  7. Acanthamoeba spp. and bacterial contamination in contact lens storage cases and the relationship to user profiles.

    PubMed

    Pens, Claiton José; da Costa, Marisa; Fadanelli, Cristina; Caumo, Karin; Rott, MariliseBrittes

    2008-11-01

    Storage cases for contact lenses receive microbiota from the environment, body, and eye, which can form biofilms. These biofilms, in addition to causing discomfort and cloudy vision, can cause local irritation, facilitate the adherence of microorganisms, and lead to infection. The objective of this study was to evaluate the presence of bacteria and Acanthamoeba spp. in the biofilm and solutions in contact lens storage cases, and to assess their relationships to the habits of contact lens wearers. Eighty-one volunteers assembled from the ophthalmology section of a public hospital and from the Central Campus of the federal university, both in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, provided the contact lens storage cases. The samples collected were inoculated into sheep blood agar, to isolate bacteria; and into 1.5% non-nutrient agar with an overlayer of Escherichia coli, to isolate free-living amoebas. Of the 81 samples analyzed, 58 (71%) showed bacterial growth and seven (8.6%) were positive for Acanthamoeba spp. The amoebas were identified according to the morphological criteria of Page (A new key to fresh water and soil gymnamoebae, Freshwater Biology Association, Ambleside, UK, 1988) and confirmed by PCR. The storage cases that were positive for Acanthamoeba spp. had a mean of 10(7) UFC/mL and belonged to individuals who had not taken sufficient care with hand washing.

  8. In vitro effects of selected contact lens care solutions on Acanthamoeba castellanii strains in Poland.

    PubMed

    Padzik, Marcin; Chomicz, Lidia; Szaflik, Jacek P; Chruścikowska, Agnieszka; Perkowski, Konrad; Szaflik, Jerzy

    2014-11-01

    Free-living, cosmopolitan amoebae of the Acanthamoeba genus may be the causative agents of Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) - a progressive, vision-threatening infection of the human cornea described particularly among contact lens wearers. Use of contact lens care solutions, effective against these organisms, is important in preventing AK infections. 3 different strains of Acanthamoeba castellanii of the T4 genotype (Neff strain and two others, isolated from patients with AK) were exposed to 4 selected multipurpose contact lens care solutions available in Poland: Ciba Vision AoSept Plus, Bausch & Lomb ReNu MultiPlus, Alcon Opti-Free, Ciba Vision Solo Care Aqua. No amoebicidal effect was observed. The strongest amoebostatic effect was visible after 24h of exposition to Opti-Free and ReNu solution and associated with percentage increase of rounded, motionless forms. This is significantly longer than minimum disinfection time recommended by manufacturers of all tested multipurpose solutions. Surprisingly, no clear induction of the encystation process was observed.

  9. 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

  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. Caspase-like proteins: Acanthamoeba castellanii metacaspase and Dictyostelium discoideum paracaspase, what are their functions?

    PubMed

    Saheb, Entsar; Trzyna, Wendy; Bush, John

    2014-12-01

    Caspases are cysteine proteases that are important regulators of programmed cell death in animals. Two novel relatives to members of the caspase families metacaspases and paracaspase have been discovered. Metacaspase type-1 was identified in Acanthamoeba castellanii, an opportunistic protozoan parasite that causes severe diseases in humans. Paracaspase was found in the non-pathogenic protozoan Dictyostelium discoideum. Since their discovery in Acanthamoeba and Dictyostelium, metacaspases and paracaspases have remained poorly characterized. At present we do not have sufficient data about the molecular function of these caspase-like proteins or their role, if any, in programmed cell death. How these caspase proteins function at the molecular level is an important area of study that will provide insight into their potential for treatment therapies against Acanthamoeba infection and other similar parasitic protozoan. Additionally, finding the molecular functions of these caspase-like proteins will provide information concerning their role in more complex organisms.The aim of this article was to review recent discoveries about metacaspases and paracaspases as regulators of apoptotic and non-apoptotic processes.

  12. Francisella philomiragia biofilm formation and interaction with the aquatic protist Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    PubMed

    Verhoeven, Anne B; Durham-Colleran, Meghan W; Pierson, Tony; Boswell, William T; Van Hoek, Monique L

    2010-10-01

    The bacterium Francisella philomiragia has been isolated from environmental samples originating from around the globe. F. philomiragia-related strains cause francisellosis of both farmed and wild fish. In addition, occasional human infections caused by F. philomiragia are found in victims of near-drowning and patients with chronic granulomatous disease. We have shown that F. philomiragia forms in vitro biofilms with increased formation at 25 °C over 37 °C conditions. We found that F. philomiragia can form a biofilm in a co-culture with live Acanthamoeba castellanii, an aquatic amoeba. Interestingly, amoeba-conditioned supernatant has an inhibitory effect on production of biofilm by F. philomiragia, whereas Francisella-conditioned supernatant has no effect on growth of amoebae. We have shown that F. philomiragia can infect A. castellanii after only 5 days of co-incubation and that it infects A. castellanii more quickly than the related species F. novicida does. Our studies point to a potentially overlooked interaction between F. philomiragia and Acanthamoeba. This relationship in the marine lifecycle of F. philomiragia may support the persistence of the bacterium in waterways and its ability to infect fish. An understanding of the persistence of this organism in aquatic systems through biofilm formation and its interaction with Acanthamoeba will be important in developing prevention strategies for this pathogen.

  13. 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.

  14. Purification of a protein phosphatase from Acanthamoeba that dephosphorylates and activates myosin II.

    PubMed

    McClure, J A; Korn, E D

    1983-12-10

    The actin-activated ATPase activity of myosin II from Acanthamoeba castellanii is inhibited by phosphorylation of 3 serine residues near the carboxyl end of the heavy chain of the molecule. We have purified a protein phosphatase from Acanthamoeba using myosin II as a substrate. This phosphatase has a molecular weight of 39,000 by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and an isoelectric point in urea of 5.2. The enzyme also is active against other phosphoserine protein substrates such as turkey gizzard smooth muscle myosin light chain, but not against a synthetic phosphotyrosine protein substrate. It does not hydrolyze ATP or p-nitrophenol phosphate. No effector has been found to increase substantially the activity of the enzyme as isolated, but it is inhibited by ATP, pyrophosphate, and NaF. This inhibition is reduced in the presence of MnCl2. The Mg2+-dependent actin-activated ATPase of myosin II is activated by dephosphorylation of phosphorylated myosin II by the phosphatase. Its broad substrate specificity, molecular weight, and response to protein phosphatase inhibitors suggest that the Acanthamoeba protein phosphatase is a type 2A phosphatase (Cohen, P. (1982) Nature (Lond.) 206, 613-620).

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Characterization of a new pathogenic Acanthamoeba Species, A. byersi n. sp., isolated from a human with fatal amoebic encephalitis.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. Inhibition of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase and application of statins as a novel effective therapeutic approach against Acanthamoeba infections.

    PubMed

    Martín-Navarro, Carmen María; 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.

  3. 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

  4. 18S Ribosomal DNA Typing and Tracking of Acanthamoeba Species Isolates from Corneal Scrape Specimens, Contact Lenses, Lens Cases, and Home Water Supplies of Acanthamoeba Keratitis Patients in Hong Kong

    PubMed Central

    Booton, G. C.; Kelly, D. J.; Chu, Y.-W.; Seal, D. V.; Houang, E.; Lam, D. S. C.; Byers, T. J.; Fuerst, P. A.

    2002-01-01

    We examined partial 18S ribosomal DNA (Rns) sequences of Acanthamoeba isolates cultured in a study of microbial keratitis in Hong Kong. Sequence differences were sufficient to distinguish closely related strains and were used to examine links between strains obtained from corneal scrape specimens, contact lenses, lens cases, lens case solutions, and home water-supply faucets of patients with Acanthamoeba. We also looked for evidence of mixed infections. Identification of Acanthamoeba Rns genotypes was based on sequences of ∼113 bp within the genus-specific amplicon ASA.S1. This permitted genotype identification by using nonaxenic cultures. Of 13 specimens obtained from corneal scrapes, contact lenses, lens cases, or lens case solutions, 12 were Rns genotype T4 and the remaining one was Rns genotype T3. The sequences of corneal scrape specimens of two patients also were the same as those obtained from their contact lenses or lens case specimens. A possible triple-strain infection was indicated by three different T4 sequences in cultures from one patient's lenses. Although faucet water used by patients to clean their lenses is a possible source of infections, specimens isolated from the faucets at two Acanthamoeba keratitis patients' homes differed from their corneal scrape or lens specimens. The overall results demonstrate the potential of this Rns region for tracking Acanthamoeba keratitis strains in infections and for distinguishing single-strain and closely related multiple-strain infections even when other microorganisms might be present with the cultured specimens. They also confirm the predominance of Rns genotype T4 strains in Acanthamoeba keratitis infections. PMID:11980931

  5. 18S ribosomal DNA typing and tracking of Acanthamoeba species isolates from corneal scrape specimens, contact lenses, lens cases, and home water supplies of Acanthamoeba keratitis patients in Hong Kong.

    PubMed

    Booton, G C; Kelly, D J; Chu, Y-W; Seal, D V; Houang, E; Lam, D S C; Byers, T J; Fuerst, P A

    2002-05-01

    We examined partial 18S ribosomal DNA (Rns) sequences of Acanthamoeba isolates cultured in a study of microbial keratitis in Hong Kong. Sequence differences were sufficient to distinguish closely related strains and were used to examine links between strains obtained from corneal scrape specimens, contact lenses, lens cases, lens case solutions, and home water-supply faucets of patients with Acanthamoeba. We also looked for evidence of mixed infections. Identification of Acanthamoeba Rns genotypes was based on sequences of approximately 113 bp within the genus-specific amplicon ASA.S1. This permitted genotype identification by using nonaxenic cultures. Of 13 specimens obtained from corneal scrapes, contact lenses, lens cases, or lens case solutions, 12 were Rns genotype T4 and the remaining one was Rns genotype T3. The sequences of corneal scrape specimens of two patients also were the same as those obtained from their contact lenses or lens case specimens. A possible triple-strain infection was indicated by three different T4 sequences in cultures from one patient's lenses. Although faucet water used by patients to clean their lenses is a possible source of infections, specimens isolated from the faucets at two Acanthamoeba keratitis patients' homes differed from their corneal scrape or lens specimens. The overall results demonstrate the potential of this Rns region for tracking Acanthamoeba keratitis strains in infections and for distinguishing single-strain and closely related multiple-strain infections even when other microorganisms might be present with the cultured specimens. They also confirm the predominance of Rns genotype T4 strains in Acanthamoeba keratitis infections.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Pathogenic Acanthamoeba spp. Secrete a Mannose-Induced Cytolytic Protein That Correlates with the Ability To Cause Disease

    PubMed Central

    Hurt, Michael; Neelam, Sudha; Niederkorn, Jerry; Alizadeh, Hassan

    2003-01-01

    The pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba keratitis begins when Acanthamoeba trophozoites bind specifically to mannosylated glycoproteins upregulated on the surfaces of traumatized corneal epithelial cells. When Acanthamoeba castellanii trophozoites are grown in methyl-α-d-mannopyranoside, they are induced to secrete a novel 133-kDa protein that is cytolytic to corneal epithelial cells. Clinical isolates of Acanthamoeba spp., and not the soil isolates, were proficient at producing a mannose-induced protein (MIP-133) and generating disease in Chinese hamsters. The purified protein was efficient at killing corneal epithelial cells, the first mechanistic barrier, by inducing apoptosis in a caspase 3-dependent pathway. Subsequent steps in pathogenesis require the amoebae to penetrate and degrade collagen. Only the clinical isolates tested were efficient at migrating through a collagenous matrix in vitro, presumably by MIP-133 degradation of both human type I and human type IV collagen. A chicken anti-MIP-133 antiserum effectively bound to the protein and blocked collagenolytic activity, migration, and cytopathic effects (CPE) against corneal cells in vitro. Chinese hamsters orally immunized with MIP-133 displayed a >30% reduction in disease. Immunoglobulin A isolated from immunized animals bound MIP-133 and blocked CPE on corneal cells in vitro. Animals induced to generate severe chronic infections displayed significant reductions in disease symptoms upon oral immunization postinfection. These data suggest that MIP-133 production might be necessary to initiate corneal disease and that it may play an important role in the subsequent steps of the pathogenic cascade of Acanthamoeba keratitis. Furthermore, as antibodies produced both prior to and after infection reduced clinical symptoms of disease, the protein may represent an important immunotherapeutic target for Acanthamoeba keratitis. PMID:14573643

  10. Pathogenic Acanthamoeba spp secrete a mannose-induced cytolytic protein that correlates with the ability to cause disease.

    PubMed

    Hurt, Michael; Neelam, Sudha; Niederkorn, Jerry; Alizadeh, Hassan

    2003-11-01

    The pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba keratitis begins when Acanthamoeba trophozoites bind specifically to mannosylated glycoproteins upregulated on the surfaces of traumatized corneal epithelial cells. When Acanthamoeba castellanii trophozoites are grown in methyl-alpha-D-mannopyranoside, they are induced to secrete a novel 133-kDa protein that is cytolytic to corneal epithelial cells. Clinical isolates of Acanthamoeba spp., and not the soil isolates, were proficient at producing a mannose-induced protein (MIP-133) and generating disease in Chinese hamsters. The purified protein was efficient at killing corneal epithelial cells, the first mechanistic barrier, by inducing apoptosis in a caspase 3-dependent pathway. Subsequent steps in pathogenesis require the amoebae to penetrate and degrade collagen. Only the clinical isolates tested were efficient at migrating through a collagenous matrix in vitro, presumably by MIP-133 degradation of both human type I and human type IV collagen. A chicken anti-MIP-133 antiserum effectively bound to the protein and blocked collagenolytic activity, migration, and cytopathic effects (CPE) against corneal cells in vitro. Chinese hamsters orally immunized with MIP-133 displayed a >30% reduction in disease. Immunoglobulin A isolated from immunized animals bound MIP-133 and blocked CPE on corneal cells in vitro. Animals induced to generate severe chronic infections displayed significant reductions in disease symptoms upon oral immunization postinfection. These data suggest that MIP-133 production might be necessary to initiate corneal disease and that it may play an important role in the subsequent steps of the pathogenic cascade of Acanthamoeba keratitis. Furthermore, as antibodies produced both prior to and after infection reduced clinical symptoms of disease, the protein may represent an important immunotherapeutic target for Acanthamoeba keratitis.

  11. Acanthamoeba spp. as a universal host for pathogenic microorganisms: One bridge from environment to host virulence.

    PubMed

    Guimaraes, Allan J; Gomes, Kamilla Xavier; Cortines, Juliana Reis; Peralta, José Mauro; Peralta, Regina H Saramago

    2016-12-01

    Free-living amoebas (FLA) are ubiquitous environmental protists that have enormously contributed to the microbiological contamination of water sources. FLAs have displayed resistance to environmental adversities and germicides and have played important roles in the population control of microbial communities due to its predatory behavior and microbicidal activity. However, some organisms have developed resistance to the intracellular milieu of amoebas, as in the case of Acanthamoebas, which in turn, have been functioning as excellent reservoirs for amoeba-resistant microorganisms (ARMs), such as bacteria, viruses and fungi. Little is known about these relationships and interaction mechanisms, but it is speculated that the FLAs need a very broad repertoire or universal class of receptors to bind and recognize these diverse species of microorganisms. By harboring these organisms as a "Trojan Horse", the Achantamoeba has been working as an excellent vector for pathogens. Moreover, studies have demonstrated that the interaction of pathogens with Acanthamoeba results in environmental selective pressure responsible for induction and maintenance of virulence factors and increase in microbial pathogenicity. This phenomenon is correlated to the observation of higher gene number and DNA content of ARMs, when compared to their relatives which are adapted to other hosts, due to allopatric or sympatric gene transfer and acquisition, contradicting the overall genome reduction theory for intracellularly adapted pathogens. Thus, adaptation to FLAs indirectly provided a "learning" environment for pathogens to resist later to macrophages; besides the evolutionary distance, these phagocytes share similar predatory mechanisms, such as phagocytosis and phagolysossomal degradation. In this mini-review, we cover the most important aspects of Acanthamoeba biology and their interactions with endemically important human pathogens.

  12. Isolation and genotyping of Acanthamoeba strains from corneal infections in Italy.

    PubMed

    Gatti, Simonetta; Rama, Paolo; Matuska, Stanislav; Berrilli, Federica; Cavallero, Annalisa; Carletti, Silvia; Bruno, Antonella; Maserati, Roberta; Di Cave, David

    2010-11-01

    Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) is a corneal disease caused by members of a genus of free-living amoebae and is associated predominantly with contact lens (CL) use. This study reports 16 cases of culture-proven AK diagnosed in northern Italy. Genotype identification was carried out with a PCR assay based on sequence analysis of the 18S rRNA gene, and sensitivity and specificity were evaluated in comparison with traditional parasitological techniques. A 405 bp region of the 18S rRNA gene (ASA.S1) including diagnostic fragment 3 (DF3) was amplified using the genus-specific primers JDP1 and JDP2. Genotype assignment was based on phenetic analysis of the ASA.S1 subset of the nuclear small-subunit rRNA gene sequence excluding the highly variable DF3 region. Phylogenetic analysis was also performed on the sequences obtained. All patients complained of monolateral infection; 11 (68.75%) admitted improper CL disinfection. In 14/16 (87.5 %) subjects, corneal scrapings were stained with calcofluor white and haematoxylin and eosin and, in ten cases (62.5 %), microscopy was positive for Acanthamoeba cysts. In vitro culture on 3 % non-nutrient agar plates was obtained in all cases (100 %), whereas cloning and axenic growth were positive for 14 amoebic stocks (87.5 %). PCR analysis had 100 % sensitivity and specificity compared with in vitro axenic culture, showing positive amplification from 15 isolates. All Acanthamoeba strains belonged to the T4 genotype, the main AK-related genotype worldwide. These results confirmed the importance of a complete diagnostic protocol, including a PCR assay, for the clinical diagnosis of AK on biological samples. Genotyping allowed inclusion of all isolates in the T4 group, thus demonstrating the prevalence of this genotype in northern Italy.

  13. 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

  14. Enhanced killing of Acanthamoeba cysts with a plant peroxidase-hydrogen peroxide-halide antimicrobial system.

    PubMed

    Hughes, Reanne; Andrew, Peter W; Kilvington, Simon

    2003-05-01

    The activity of H(2)O(2) against the resistant cyst stage of the pathogenic free-living amoeba Acanthamoeba was enhanced by the addition of KI and either horseradish peroxidase or soybean peroxidase or, to a lesser degree, lactoperoxidase. This resulted in an increase in the cysticidal activity of 3% (wt/vol) H(2)O(2), and there was >3-log killing in 2 h, compared with the 6 h required for comparable results with the peroxide solution alone (P < 0.05). With 2% H(2)O(2), enhancement was observed at all time points (P < 0.05), and total killing of the cyst inoculum occurred at 4 h, compared with 6 h for the peroxide alone. The activity of sublethal 1% H(2)O(2) was enhanced to give 3-log killing after 8 h of exposure (P < 0.05). No enhancement was obtained when KCl or catalase was used as a substitute in the reaction mixtures. The H(2)O(2) was not neutralized in the enhanced system during the experiments. However, in the presence of a platinum disk used to neutralize H(2)O(2) in contact lens care systems, the enhanced 2% H(2)O(2) system gave 2.8-log killing after 6 h or total cyst killing by 8 h, and total neutralization of the H(2)O(2) occurred by 4 h. In contrast, 2% H(2)O(2) alone resulted in <0.8-log killing of cysts in the presence of the platinum disk due to rapid (<1 h) neutralization of the peroxide. Our observations could result in significant improvement in the efficacy of H(2)O(2) contact lens disinfection systems against Acanthamoeba cysts and prevention of acanthamoeba keratitis.

  15. Enhanced Killing of Acanthamoeba Cysts with a Plant Peroxidase-Hydrogen Peroxide-Halide Antimicrobial System

    PubMed Central

    Hughes, Reanne; Andrew, Peter W.; Kilvington, Simon

    2003-01-01

    The activity of H2O2 against the resistant cyst stage of the pathogenic free-living amoeba Acanthamoeba was enhanced by the addition of KI and either horseradish peroxidase or soybean peroxidase or, to a lesser degree, lactoperoxidase. This resulted in an increase in the cysticidal activity of 3% (wt/vol) H2O2, and there was >3-log killing in 2 h, compared with the 6 h required for comparable results with the peroxide solution alone (P < 0.05). With 2% H2O2, enhancement was observed at all time points (P < 0.05), and total killing of the cyst inoculum occurred at 4 h, compared with 6 h for the peroxide alone. The activity of sublethal 1% H2O2 was enhanced to give 3-log killing after 8 h of exposure (P < 0.05). No enhancement was obtained when KCl or catalase was used as a substitute in the reaction mixtures. The H2O2 was not neutralized in the enhanced system during the experiments. However, in the presence of a platinum disk used to neutralize H2O2 in contact lens care systems, the enhanced 2% H2O2 system gave 2.8-log killing after 6 h or total cyst killing by 8 h, and total neutralization of the H2O2 occurred by 4 h. In contrast, 2% H2O2 alone resulted in <0.8-log killing of cysts in the presence of the platinum disk due to rapid (<1 h) neutralization of the peroxide. Our observations could result in significant improvement in the efficacy of H2O2 contact lens disinfection systems against Acanthamoeba cysts and prevention of acanthamoeba keratitis. PMID:12732522

  16. Evaluation of inhibitory potential of some selective methanolic plants extracts on biological characteristics of Acanthamoeba castellanii using human corneal epithelial cells in vitro.

    PubMed

    Shoaib, Hafiz Muhammad; Muazzam, Ambreen Gul; Mir, Asif; Jung, Suk-Yul; Matin, Abdul

    2013-03-01

    Acanthamoeba is an opportunistic protozoan pathogen and known to be one of the most ubiquitous organisms, play a vital role in ecosystem, and recognized to cause blinding keratitis and rare but fatal granulomatous encephalitis involving the central nervous system with a very poor prognosis. This is due to limited availability of effective anti-Acanthamoeba drugs. The objective of the present study was to determine the efficacy of methanolic plants crude extracts on the viability and biological properties of Acanthamoeba castellanii (T4 genotype) and its cytotoxic effects on human corneal epithelial cells (HCEC). Using HCEC, it was observed that Acanthamoeba exhibited binding (>90 %) and cytotoxicity (>80 %) to host cells. However, plant crude extracts remarkably inhibited more than 70 and 60 % of Acanthamoeba binding and cytotoxicity to HCEC, respectively. It was further established that crude extracts (ranging from 0.1 to 1.5 mg/ml) exhibited amoebicidal effects, i.e., >50 % of trophozoites were killed/reduced at maximum dose (1.5 mg/ml) within 1 h incubation. However, the residual subpopulation remained static over longer incubations. Furthermore, growth assay demonstrated crude extracts inhibited >50 % Acanthamoeba numbers up to 7 days. Our results confirmed that plant crude extracts has inhibitory effects on Acanthamoeba growth and viability. Overall, these findings revealed that tested plant extracts is inhibitory to Acanthamoeba properties associated with pathogenesis. To the best of our knowledge, our findings demonstrated for the first time that selected methanol plant crude extracts exhibits inhibitory effects on biological properties of Acanthamoeba without any toxic effects on HCEC cells in vitro.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. The affinities of human platelet and Acanthamoeba profilin isoforms for polyphosphoinositides account for their relative abilities to inhibit phospholipase C.

    PubMed Central

    Machesky, L M; Goldschmidt-Clermont, P J; Pollard, T D

    1990-01-01

    In light of recent work implicating profilin from human platelets as a possible regulator of both cytoskeletal dynamics and inositol phospholipid-mediated signaling, we have further characterized the interaction of platelet profilin and the two isoforms of Acanthamoeba profilin with inositol phospholipids. Profilin from human platelets binds to phosphatidylinositol-4-monophosphate (PIP) and phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) with relatively high affinity (Kd approximately 1 microM for PIP2 by equilibrium gel filtration), but interacts only weakly (if at all) with phosphatidylinositol (PI) or inositol trisphosphate IP3) in small-zone gel-filtration assays. The two isoforms of Acanthamoeba profilin both have a lower affinity for PIP2 than does human platelet profilin, but the more basic profilin isoform from Acanthamoeba (profilin-II) has a much higher (approximately 10-microM Kd) affinity than the acidic isoform (profilin-I, 100 to 500-microM Kd). None of the profilins bind to phosphatidylserine (PS) or phosphatidylcholine (PC) in small-zone gel-filtration experiments. The differences in affinity for PIP2 parallel the ability of these three profilins to inhibit PIP2 hydrolysis by soluble phospholipase C (PLC). The results show that the interaction of profilins with PIP2 is specific with respect to both the lipid and the proteins. In Acanthamoeba, the two isoforms of profilin may have specialized functions on the basis of their identical (approximately 10 microM) affinities for actin monomers and different affinities for PIP2. PMID:1966040

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Identification of a novel t17 genotype of acanthamoeba from environmental isolates and t10 genotype causing keratitis in Thailand.

    PubMed

    Nuprasert, Warisa; Putaporntip, Chaturong; Pariyakanok, Lalida; Jongwutiwes, Somchai

    2010-12-01

    We analyzed the nuclear small-subunit rRNA genes of Acanthamoeba isolates from freshwater sources (n=16) and from patients (n=6) in Bangkok and surrounding areas. The T10 genotype from a keratitis patient and a novel T17 genotype from water samples were diagnosed for the first time in this study.

  6. Viability of Acanthamoeba after exposure to a multipurpose disinfecting contact lens solution and two hydrogen peroxide systems

    PubMed Central

    Hiti, K; Walochnik, J; Haller-Schober, E M; Faschinger, C; Aspöck, H

    2002-01-01

    Background/aim: Contact lens cases contaminated with Acanthamoeba are a major risk factor for an infection of the eye. In this study the anti-Acanthamoeba activity of three different contact lens storage solutions was tested. Methods: A new multipurpose contact lens storage solution (Meni Care Plus) and a two step (Titmus H2O2) and one step (Oxysept Comfort) hydrogen peroxide system were tested for their effects on trophozoites and cysts of three different Acanthamoeba species: A castellanii, A hatchetti, and A lenticulata. Results: After a soaking time of 8 hours (overnight soaking of contact lenses) the Titmus H2O2 0.6% solution showed very good amoebicidal effects, while Oxysept Comfort 3% H2O2 could not effectively destroy the cysts of any of the three tested species. Viable cysts of the species A lenticulata and A hatchetti were still present after exposure to Meni Care Plus (0.0005% PHMB) for 8 hours. Conclusion: Not all of the three tested contact lens storage solutions have sufficient amoebicidal effects. The two step peroxide system Titmus H2O2 is a very effective disinfectant contact lens solution in order to avoid a possible Acanthamoeba infection of the eye. PMID:11815336

  7. How Could Contact Lens Wearers Be at Risk of Acanthamoeba Infection? A Review

    PubMed Central

    Ibrahim, Youhanna W.; Boase, David L.; Cree, Ian A.

    2010-01-01

    Contact lens wear is highly influential on the incidence of ulcerative keratitis worldwide, particularly in developed countries. The association between Acanthamoeba keratitis and contact lens wear is firmly established; it may account for up to 95% of the reported cases. Before the popularisation of soft contact lens wear, Acanthamoeba keratitis was extremely rare. In 2000 it was estimated that the number of contact lens wearers worldwide was about 80 million, out of whom 33 million were in the United States and 90% of them wore hydrogel soft lenses. Contact lens-related problems depend on many factors, such as lens material, wearing modality, lens hygiene, type of lens-caring solution, the degree of compliance of the lens user with lens wear and care procedures, lens overwear, sleeping in lenses, rate of changing lenses, and lens case hygiene. This paper is a thorough review of the literature aiming to highlight the role of one of the main risk factors of infectious keratitis, contact lens wear, and also to show the responsibility of lens users in aggravating this risk.

  8. Behavior of Yersinia enterocolitica in the Presence of the Bacterivorous Acanthamoeba castellanii

    PubMed Central

    Lambrecht, E.; Baré, J.; Van Damme, I.; Bert, W.; Sabbe, K.

    2013-01-01

    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

  9. 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.

  10. Acanthamoeba castellanii: in vitro effects of selected biological, physical and chemical factors.

    PubMed

    Chomicz, Lidia; Padzik, Marcin; Graczyk, Zofi; Starosciak, Bohdan; Graczyk, Thaddeus K; Naprawska, Agnieszka; Oledzka, Gabriela; Szostakowska, Beata

    2010-09-01

    Trophozoites and cysts of free-living Acanthamoeba castellanii present a serious risk to human health as causative agents of human diseases such as fatal granulomatous amoebic encephalitis and Acanthamoeba keratitis that is reported from various part of the world, also in Poland, with increasing frequency, particularly in the contact lens wearers. The amphizoic amoebae are generally extremely resistant to different chemical agents, however, several strains/isolates within A. castellanii may differ in virulence. Among the features considered as associated with the amoeba pathogenicity, temperature tolerance and resistance to different environmental conditions are reported. In the present study, A. castellanii strain cultured in 26 degrees C after several year passages were tested for sensibility/tolerance to instant temperature changes as well as exposition to deuterium oxide, D2O. Significant decrease of number of viable amoebae during in vitro exposition to D2O occurred, but no changes in trophozoites/cysts ratio. The ability of the strain examined to develop in higher temperature may indicate a wide adaptation reserve and its pathogenic potential.

  11. 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

  12. Recovery of an environmental Chlamydia strain from activated sludge by co-cultivation with Acanthamoeba sp.

    PubMed

    Collingro, Astrid; Poppert, Sven; Heinz, Eva; Schmitz-Esser, Stephan; Essig, Andreas; Schweikert, Michael; Wagner, Michael; Horn, Matthias

    2005-01-01

    Chlamydiae are a unique group of obligate intracellular bacteria comprising important pathogens of vertebrates as well as symbionts of free-living amoebae. Although there is ample molecular evidence for a huge diversity and wide distribution of chlamydiae in nature, environmental chlamydiae are currently represented by only few isolates. This paper reports the recovery of a novel environmental chlamydia strain from activated sludge by co-cultivation with Acanthamoeba sp. The recovered environmental chlamydia strain UV-7 showed the characteristic morphology of chlamydial developmental stages as revealed by electron microscopy and was identified as a new member of the family Parachlamydiaceae (98.7 % 16S rRNA sequence similarity to Parachlamydia acanthamoebae). Infection studies suggested that Parachlamydia sp. UV-7 is not confined to amoeba hosts but is also able to invade mammalian cells. These findings outline a new straightforward approach to retrieving environmental chlamydiae from nature without prior, tedious isolation and cultivation of their natural host cells, and lend further support to suggested implications of environmental chlamydiae for public health.

  13. Influence of Acanthamoeba castellanii on intracellular growth of different Legionella species in human monocytes.

    PubMed

    Neumeister, B; Reiff, G; Faigle, M; Dietz, K; Northoff, H; Lang, F

    2000-03-01

    Previous studies using a murine model of coinhalation of Legionella pneumophila and Hartmannella vermiformis have shown a significantly enhanced intrapulmonary growth of L. pneumophila in comparison to inhalation of legionellae alone (J. Brieland, M. McClain, L. Heath, C. Chrisp, G. Huffnagle, M. LeGendre, M. Hurley, J. Fantone, and C. Engleberg, Infect. Immun. 64:2449-2456, 1996). In this study, we introduce an in vitro coculture model of legionellae, Mono Mac 6 cells (MM6) and Acanthamoeba castellanii, using a cell culture chamber system which separates both cell types by a microporous polycarbonate membrane impervious to bacteria, amoebae, and human cells. Whereas L. pneumophila has shown a maximal 4-log-unit multiplication within MM6, which could not be further increased by coculture with Acanthamoeba castellanii, significantly enhanced replication of L. gormanii, L. micdadei, L. steigerwaltii, L. longbeachae, and L. dumoffii was seen after coculture with amoebae. This effect was seen only with uninfected amoebae, not with Legionella-infected amoebae. The supporting effect for intracellular multiplication in MM6 could be reproduced in part by addition of a cell-free coculture supernatant obtained from a coincubation experiment with uninfected A. castellanii and Legionella-infected MM6, suggesting that amoeba-derived effector molecules are involved in this phenomenon. This coculture model allows investigations of molecular and biochemical mechanisms which are responsible for the enhancement of intracellular multiplication of legionellae in monocytic cells after interaction with amoebae.

  14. 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

  15. Activity assessment of Tunisian olive leaf extracts against the trophozoite stage of Acanthamoeba.

    PubMed

    Sifaoui, Ines; López-Arencibia, Atteneri; Martín-Navarro, Carmen Ma; Chammem, Nadia; Mejri, Mondher; Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob; Abderabba, Manef; Piñero, José E

    2013-08-01

    The olive tree (Olea europaea, Oleaceae) has historically provided huge economic and nutritional benefits to the Mediterranean basin. In fact, olive leaf extracts have also been used by native people of this area in folk medicine to treat fever and other diseases such as malaria. Recently, several studies have focused on the extraction of high-added-value compounds from olive leaves. However, no previous studies have been developed in order to evaluate the activity of these extracts against Acanthamoeba. In the present work, olive leaf extracts from five different Tunisian varieties of olive trees (Chemlali Tataouine, Zarrazi, Toffehi, Dhokkar, and Limouni) were obtained by using three different solvents, and their activity against the trophozoite stage of Acanthamoeba castellanii Neff was screened. The IC50/96 h (50% parasite growth inhibition) was chosen as the appropriate and comparable data to give as previously described. It could be observed that the amoebicidal activity was dose dependent. Trophozoite growth was inhibited by all the tested extracts with IC50 ranging from 8.234 ± 1.703 μg/ml for the alcoholic mixture of the Dhokkar extract to 33.661 ± 1.398 μg/ml for the methanolic extract of the Toffehi variety. The activity in fact was affected especially by the tested variety and not by the solvent extraction, the Dhokkar variety being the most active one as mentioned above.

  16. Mechanism of cyst specific protein 21 mRNA induction during Acanthamoeba differentiation.

    PubMed

    Chen, Li; Orfeo, Tom; Gilmartin, Greg; Bateman, Erik

    2004-04-01

    The Acanthamoeba cyst specific protein 21 (CSP21) gene is tightly repressed in growing cells and highly induced early during differentiation into a dormant cyst. This increase is mediated by the rate of transcription of the CSP21 gene as determined by nuclear run-on assays. The promoter region of the CSP21 gene was analyzed by transcript start site mapping and in vitro transcription of wild-type or mutant templates, using extracts from growing cells. A sequence located 3' to a modified TATA box completely inhibits transcription and removal of this region permits robust transcription utilizing a start site approximately 35 base pairs downstream of the TATA box. Sequences 5' to the TATA box had no effect on transcription, suggesting that anti-repression is the only mechanism required for CSP21 induction. Fractionation of nuclear extracts yielded a fraction capable of transcription from the CSP21 promoter, and a fraction containing a promoter-specific repressing activity. Anti-repression may thus be a major mechanism regulating differentiation or maintenance of the proliferative cycle in Acanthamoeba.

  17. A riboprinting scheme for identification of unknown Acanthamoeba isolates at species level

    PubMed Central

    Kong, Hyun-Hee

    2002-01-01

    We describe a riboprinting scheme for identification of unknown Acanthamoeba isolates at the species level. It involved the use of PCR-RFLP of small subunit ribosomal RNA gene (riboprint) of 24 reference strains by 4 kinds of restriction enzymes. Seven strains in morphological group I and III were identified at species level with their unique sizes of PCR product and riboprint type by Rsa I. Unique RFCP of 17 strains in group II by Dde I, Taq I and Hae III were classified into: (1) four taxa that were identifiable at the species level, (2) a subgroup of 4 taxa and a pair of 2 taxa that were identical with each other, and (3) a species complex of 7 taxa assigned to A. castellanii complex that were closely related. These results were consistent with those obtained by 18s rDNA sequence analysis. This approach provides an alternative to the rDNA sequencing for rapid identification of a new clinical isolate or a large number of environmental isolates of Acanthamoeba. PMID:11949210

  18. Acanthamoeba keratitis update-incidence, molecular epidemiology and new drugs for treatment.

    PubMed

    Seal, D V

    2003-11-01

    A reliable figure for the expected incidence of Acanthamoeba keratitis of one per 30000 contact lens wearers per year has now been obtained from a combination of three cohort and three Questionnaire Reporting Surveys; 88% of cases wore hydrogel lenses and 12% wore rigid lenses. This figure now provides a basis for the expected number of cases against which to judge either epidemic outbreaks or effects of prevention with disinfecting solutions, better hygiene, or the use of disposable lenses. Molecular biology of Acanthamoeba has advanced considerably in the last 10 years with new automated sequencing technology. This has allowed the construction of a genotype identification scheme with 13 different genotypes against which to compare clinical isolates for epidemiological investigations or pathogenicity markers. So far, only four genotypes have been associated with keratitis of which the majority have been T4 but T3, T6, and T11 have each caused individual cases. Each genotype is heterogenous and can be further subdivided by comparison of sequences of diagnostic fragments of 18S rDNA, riboprinting by PCR-RFLP of 18S rDNA, or by mitochondrial DNA RFLP. Drug therapy has been revolutionised with the introduction of the biguanides-chlorhexidine or polyhexamethylene biguanide-with most but not all infections quickly resolving. Failure can still occur occasionally and further research is needed on more effective combination chemotherapy. A number of guanidines have been identified in this paper that could be usefully pursued as part of combination chemotherapy along with the alkylphosphocholines.

  19. Investigations of an extraordinary endocytobiont in Acanthamoeba sp.: development and replication.

    PubMed

    Scheid, Patrick; Hauröder, Bärbel; Michel, Rolf

    2010-05-01

    In this article, the results of investigations concerning a parasitic endocytobiont within the host amoebae (Acanthamoeba sp.) are presented. The endocytobiont was recently isolated from the contact lens and the inflamed eye of a patient with keratitis. Light microscopy and electron microscopy were performed to provide morphological details: Light microscopy revealed the presence of ovoid microorganisms developing and proliferating within the cytoplasm of the amoebic trophozoites. Details of the unusual development of these endocytobionts within the amoebae could be studied and demonstrated by means of electron microscopy. Foldings and morphological reorganization of the microorganisms took place exclusively within the host cytoplasm. The intracellularly aggregating organisms led to the rupture of the Acanthamoeba trophozoites after proliferation. Numerous microorganisms were released, which were infectious and were subsequently ingested by hitherto uninfected acanthamoebic trophozoites. To evaluate the in vitro growth of the isolated endocytobionts (without their hosts), they were transferred to several different culture plates. There was no growth of these unique organisms on five different common cultural plates suitable for the growth of bacteria and fungi.

  20. Glycogen phosphorylase in Acanthamoeba spp.: determining the role of the enzyme during the encystment process using RNA interference.

    PubMed

    Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob; Kliescikova, Jarmila; Martinez-Carretero, Enrique; De Pablos, Luis Miguel; Profotova, Bronislava; Nohynkova, Eva; Osuna, Antonio; Valladares, Basilio

    2008-03-01

    Acanthamoeba infections are difficult to treat due to often late diagnosis and the lack of effective and specific therapeutic agents. The most important reason for unsuccessful therapy seems to be the existence of a double-wall cyst stage that is highly resistant to the available treatments, causing reinfections. The major components of the Acanthamoeba cyst wall are acid-resistant proteins and cellulose. The latter has been reported to be the major component of the inner cyst wall. It has been demonstrated previously that glycogen is the main source of free glucose for the synthesis of cellulose in Acanthamoeba, partly as glycogen levels fall during the encystment process. In other lower eukaryotes (e.g., Dictyostelium discoideum), glycogen phosphorylase has been reported to be the main tool used for glycogen breakdown in order to maintain the free glucose levels during the encystment process. Therefore, it was hypothesized that the regulation of the key processes involved in the Acanthamoeba encystment may be similar to the previously reported regulation mechanisms in other lower eukaryotes. The catalytic domain of the glycogen phosphorylase was silenced using RNA interference methods, and the effect of this phenomenon was assessed by light and electron microscopy analyses, calcofluor staining, expression zymogram assays, and Northern and Western blot analyses of both small interfering RNA-treated and control cells. The present report establishes the role of glycogen phosphorylase during the encystment process of Acanthamoeba. Moreover, the obtained results demonstrate that the enzyme is required for cyst wall assembly, mainly for the formation of the cell wall inner layer.

  1. 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.

  2. Genotyping of Acanthamoeba spp. and characterization of the prevalent T4 type along with T10 and unassigned genotypes from amoebic keratitis (AK) patients in India.

    PubMed

    Behera, Himansu Sekhar; Panda, Anita; Satpathy, Gita; Bandivadekar, Pooja; Vanathi, Murgesan; Agarwal, Tushar; Nayak, Niranjan; Tandon, Radhika

    2016-02-16

    Free living amoeba of genus "Acanthamoeba" are the causative agents of severe sight threatening infection of cornea. This study was designed to characterise the genotype of 20 Acanthamoeba spp. isolates obtained from corneal scrapings of 183 suspected Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) patients reporting to the outpatient department/ causuality services of Dr RP Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, AIIMS, New Delhi, India in the past 5 years. Corneal scrapings were inoculated onto 2% non-nutrient agar plates overlaid with Escherichia coli. and incubated at 30°C for 15 days. Among 183 suspected patients of Acanthamoeba keratitis 29 were found culture positive for Acanthamoeba spp. out of which 20 samples were established in axenic culture for molecular analysis. DNA was isolated and PCR assay was performed for the amplification of Diagnostic fragment 3(DF3) (~280bp) region of 18S rRNA gene from axenic culture of 20 Acanthamoeba spp. isolates. Rns genotyping was performed on the basis of variation in nucleotide sequences of DF3 region of 18S rRNA gene. In phylogenetic analysis, 16 of the 20 isolates were found to be of prevalent genotype T4, 2 were of genotype T10 and rest 2 of the isolates were of unassigned genotypes. Hence it was concluded that, genotype T4 was found as the most predominant genotype involved in Acanthamoeba keratitis infections. Genotype T10 which was not yet reported from India was detected for the first time in 2 patients. Two isolates were found to be unique, which shared <95% homology with all the known genotypes (T1 - T20) of Acanthamoeba spp.

  3. Use of 18S rRNA gene-based PCR assay for diagnosis of acanthamoeba keratitis in non-contact lens wearers in India.

    PubMed

    Pasricha, Gunisha; Sharma, Savitri; Garg, Prashant; Aggarwal, Ramesh K

    2003-07-01

    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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Molecular and Morphometric Characterization of Acanthamoeba spp. from Different Water Sources of Northwest Iran as a Neglected Focus, Co-Bordered With the Country of Iraq

    PubMed Central

    Khezri, Aram; Fallah, Esmaeel; Mostafazadeh, Mostafa; Spotin, Adel; Shahbazi, Abbas; Mahami-Oskouei, Mahmoud; Hazratian, Taimuor

    2016-01-01

    Background Acanthamoeba spp. is a free-living opportunistic protozoan parasites, which can be found in tap, fresh and bottled mineral waters, contact lens solutions, soil etc. Objectives The present study is aimed to determine the Acanthamoeba spp. on the basis of their morpho-molecular aspects in different water sources of the West Azerbaijan province, Northwest of Iran. Methods In this cross-sectional study, 60 water samples were collected from rivers and tap waters during June to September 2015. The water samples were filtered through a cellulose nitrate filter and cultured on non-nutrient agar medium. The extracted DNAs were amplified and some ampliqons were sequenced using partial 18S rRNA for genotyping and phylogenetic analyses. Results Twenty-seven (45%) out of 60 water samples were positive to Acanthamoeba spp. using both culture and morphological examinations. In addition, 24 (40%) out of 27 positive samples in culture method were confirmed by PCR to be Acanthamoeba spp. Conclusions A relatively high prevalence of Acanthamoeba spp. in rivers reflects a risk alert for threatening human health in the region. However, well hygienic status of the tap waters considering Acanthamoeba spp. cannot be ignored in western co-border regions of Iran-Iraq. This study can also serve as a platform for further explorations of water sources in Iran and neighboring countries. PMID:28138374

  7. 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

  8. Genetic analyses of Acanthamoeba isolates from contact lens storage cases of students in Seoul, Korea

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Hak-Sun; Choi, Kyung-Hee; Kim, Hyo-Kyung; Kong, Hyun-Hee

    2001-01-01

    We conducted both the small subunit ribosomal DNA (SSU rDNA) polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) and mitochondrial (mt) DNA RFLP analyses for a genetic characterization of Acanthamoeba isolates from contact lens storage cases of students in Seoul, Korea. Twenty-three strains of Acanthamoeba from the American Type Culture Collection and twelve clinical isolates from Korean patients were used as reference strains. Thirty-nine isolates from contact lens storage cases were classified into seven types (KA/LS1, KA/LS2, KA/LS4, KA/LS5, KA/LS7, KA/LS18, KA/LS31). Four types (KA/LS1, KA/LS2, KA/LS5, KA/LS18) including 33 isolates were regarded as A. castellanii complex by riboprints. KA/LS1 type was the most predominant (51.3%) in the present survey area, followed by KA/LS2 (20.9%), and KA/LS5 (7.7%) types. Amoebae of KA/LS1 type had the same mtDNA RFLP and riboprint patterns as KA/E2 and KA/E12 strains, clinical isolates from Korean keratitis patients. Amoebae of KA/LS2 type had the identical mtDNA RFLP patterns with A. castellanii Ma strain, a corneal isolate from an American patient as amoebae of KA/LS5 type, with KA/E3 and KA/E8 strains from other Korean keratitis patients. Amoebae of KA/LS18 type had identical patterns with JAC/E1, an ocular isolate from a Japanese patient. Three types, which remain unidentified at species level, were not corresponded with any clinical isolate in their mtDNA RFLP and riboprint patterns. Out of 39 isolates analyzed in this study, mtDNA RFLP and riboprint patterns of 33 isolates (84.6%) were identical to already known clinical isolates, and therefore, they may be regarded as potentially keratopathogenic. These results suggest that contact lens wearers in Seoul should pay more attention to hygienic maintenance of contact lens storage cases for the prevention of Acanthamoeba keratitis. PMID:11441503

  9. Genetic analyses of Acanthamoeba isolates from contact lens storage cases of students in Seoul, Korea.

    PubMed

    Yu, H S; Choi, K H; Kim, H K; Kong, H H; Chung, D I

    2001-06-01

    We conducted both the small subunit ribosomal DNA (SSU rDNA) polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) and mitochondrial (mt) DNA RFLP analyses for a genetic characterization of Acanthamoeba isolates from contact lens storage cases of students in Seoul, Korea. Twenty-three strains of Acanthamoeba from the American Type Culture Collection and twelve clinical isolates from Korean patients were used as reference strains. Thirty-nine isolates from contact lens storage cases were classified into seven types (KA/LS1, KA/LS2, KA/LS4, KA/LS5, KA/LS7, KA/LS18, KA/LS31). Four types (KA/LS1, KA/LS2, KA/LS5, KA/LS18) including 33 isolates were regarded as A. castellanii complex by riboprints. KA/LS1 type was the most predominant (51.3%) in the present survey area, followed by KA/LS2 (20.9%), and KA/LS5 (7.7%) types. Amoebae of KA/LS1 type had the same mtDNA RFLP and riboprint patterns as KA/E2 and KA/E12 strains, clinical isolates from Korean keratitis patients. Amoebae of KA/LS2 type had the identical mtDNA RFLP patterns with A. castellanii Ma strain, a corneal isolate from an American patient as amoebae of KA/LS5 type, with KA/E3 and KA/E8 strains from other Korean keratitis patients. Amoebae of KA/LS18 type had identical patterns with JAC/E1, an ocular isolate from a Japanese patient. Three types, which remain unidentified at species level, were not corresponded with any clinical isolate in their mtDNA RFLP and riboprint patterns. Out of 39 isolates analyzed in this study, mtDNA RFLP and riboprint patterns of 33 isolates (84.6%) were identical to already known clinical isolates, and therefore, they may be regarded as potentially keratopathogenic. These results suggest that contact lens wearers in Seoul should pay more attention to hygienic maintenance of contact lens storage cases for the prevention of Acanthamoeba keratitis.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Flow cytometric determination of endocytosis of viable labelled Legionella pneumophila by Acanthamoeba palestinensis.

    PubMed

    Harf, C; Goffinet, S; Meunier, O; Monteil, H; Colin, D A

    1997-03-01

    Endocytosis of fluorescently labelled cells of Legionella pneumophila (L. pneumophila) by free-living Acanthamoeba palestinensis (A. palestinensis) has been studied using flow cytometry. L. pneumophila cells were labelled with CM-DiI, a lipophilic fluorescent probe under conditions that did not modify viability. Coculturing the bacteria with amoebae was accompanied by rapid endocytosis; after 5 min, 90% of the amoebae had internalized bacteria. This percentage remained unchanged during further coculture, but the number of bacteria ingested per amoeba increased. Moreover, the number of ingested bacteria was found to be dependent on the size of the amoeba. The validity of the internalization analyzed by flow cytometry was confirmed by observation using epifluorescence and phase contrast microscopy. CM-DiI labelling associated with flow cytometry provides a very valuable technique for the determination of bacteria endocytosis by free-living amoeba.

  15. Growth in Acanthamoeba sp. and antibiotic susceptibility of Legionella micdadei isolated from hot spring water samples.

    PubMed

    Furuhata, Katsunori; Ogihara, Kikumi; Okuno, Rumi; Oonaka, Kenji; Fukuyama, Masafumi

    2009-12-01

    As part of an epidemiological study on legionellosis, we attempted to isolate Legionella spp. from hot spring water samples, and were able to isolate Legionella micdadei from 3 (5.5%) of 55 samples. All of these isolates were able to grow within Acanthamoeba sp., suggesting that the isolates will be pathogens. We also confirmed that the K-2 strain from hot spring water grew in guinea pig monocytes. Sensitivity tests using 10 drugs showed that the isolates were most sensitive to imipenem, with the MIC90 of 0.032 microg/ml, were least sensitive to minocycline, with the MIC90 of 4 microg/ml, and were not sensitive to low amounts of other drugs.

  16. Acanthamoeba keratitis associated with tap water use during contact lens cleaning: manufacturer guidelines need to change.

    PubMed

    Legarreta, John E; Nau, Amy C; Dhaliwal, Deepinder K

    2013-03-01

    Contact lens-associated Acanthamoeba keratitis continues to be a significant cause of visual morbidity in the United States. Although exposure to water sources while wearing lenses has been a known risk factor for infection for decades, this behavior in several contact lens hygiene protocols continues to prevail. In this review, we surveyed the currently available contact lens cleaning solutions for both soft and rigid gas-permeable contact lenses and reviewed the cleaning instructions of the available solutions. Discrepancies between clinician recommendations and written instructions on a solution packages continues to persist, and we advocate a revision in current manufacturer guidelines to include explicit warnings against use of tap or distilled water sources for cleaning contact lenses or their storage cases.

  17. 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.

  18. Insights into the prominent effect of mahanimbine on Acanthamoeba castellanii: Cell profiling analysis based on microscopy techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hashim, Fatimah; Amin, Nakisah Mat

    2017-02-01

    Mahanimbine (MH), has been shown to have antiamoeba properties. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the growth inhibitory mechanisms of MH on Acanthamoeba castellanii, a causative agents for Acanthamoeba keratitis. The IC50 value obtained for MH against A. castellanii was 1.18 µg/ml. Light and scanning electron microscopy observation showed that most cells were in cystic appearance. While transmission electron microscopy observation revealed changes at the ultrastructural level and fluorescence microscopy observation indicated the induction of apoptosis and autophagic activity in the amoeba cytoplasms. In conclusion, MH has very potent anti-amoebic properties on A. castellanii as is shown by cytotoxicity analyses based on microscopy techniques.

  19. Use of 5-Cyano-2,3-Ditolyl-Tetrazolium Chloride Staining as an Indicator of Biocidal Activity in a Rapid Assay for Anti-Acanthamoeba Agents

    PubMed Central

    Kobayashi, Takeshi; Mito, Tsuyoshi; Watanabe, Narumi; Suzuki, Takashi; Ohashi, Yuichi

    2012-01-01

    The usefulness of 5-cyano-2,3-ditolyl-tetrazolium chloride (CTC) staining to determine the respiratory activity of Acanthamoeba was evaluated in this study. Acanthamoeba trophozoites and cysts have a red fluorescence after staining with CTC. To determine the effectiveness of CTC staining as a CTC biocidal assay for Acanthamoeba, the trophozoites and cysts of Acanthamoeba castellanii (ATCC 5037) were treated with serial concentrations of disinfectant solutions, namely, polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB) and commercial soft contact lens (SCL) disinfectant solutions. The treated Acanthamoeba organisms were stained with CTC, and their respiratory activity was determined by the intensity of fluorescence in a fluorescence microplate reader. The survival rates of the same samples were determined by a culture-dependent biocidal assay using the Spearman-Karber method. Our results showed that the respiratory activities determined by the CTC biocidal assay and the survival rates determined by the culture-dependent biocidal assay for Acanthamoeba trophozoites and cysts decreased in a dose-dependent way after PHMB treatments, and the results were significantly correlated (r = 0.83 and P < 0.01 for trophozoites; r = 0.60 and P < 0.01 for cysts; Spearman rank correlation test). The respiratory activities in the trophozoites and cysts treated with SCL disinfectant solutions were significantly correlated with the survival rate (r = 0.70 and P < 0.01 for trophozoites; r = 0.64 and P < 0.01 for cysts; Spearman rank correlation test). The significant correlation of the results indicated that the CTC biocidal assay can be used as an alternative method to a culture-dependent biocidal assay. The CTC biocidal assay is a rapid and simple method to test the effectiveness of disinfectant solutions against Acanthamoeba trophozoites and cysts. PMID:22337974

  20. Draft genome sequences of Terra1 and Terra2 viruses, new members of the family Mimiviridae isolated from soil.

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

    Since the discovery of Mimivirus, the founding member of the family Mimiviridae, three lineages, A-C, have been delineated among the mimiviruses of amoebae. To date, all giant viruses with annotated genomes have been isolated from water samples. Here, we describe the genome of two mimiviruses, Terra1 virus and Terra2 virus, which were recovered by co-culturing on Acanthamoeba spp. from soil samples. These genomes are predicted to harbor 1055 and 890 genes, respectively. Comparative genomics and phylogenomics show that Terra1 virus and Terra2 virus are classified within lineages C and A of the amoebae-associated mimiviruses, respectively. The genomic architecture of both viruses show conserved collinear central regions flanked by less conserved areas towards the extremities, when compared with other mimivirus genomes. A cluster of genes that are orthologous to bacterial genes and have no counterpart in other viral genomes except in lineage C mimiviruses was identified in Terra1 virus.

  1. Data showing the compositional complexity of the mitochondrial proteome of a unicellular eukaryote (Acanthamoeba castellanii, supergroup Amoebozoa)

    PubMed Central

    Gawryluk, Ryan M.R.; Chisholm, Kenneth A.; Pinto, Devanand M.; Gray, Michael W.

    2014-01-01

    This article describes and directly links to 1033 Acanthamoeba castellanii mitochondrial protein sequences. Of these, 709 are supported by Mass Spectrometry (MS) data (676 nucleus-encoded and 33 mitochondrion-encoded). Two of these entries are previously unannotated mtDNA-encoded proteins, which we identify as highly divergent mitochondrial ribosomal proteins. Our analysis corrects many A. castellanii protein sequences that were incorrectly inferred previously from genomic data deposited in NCBI. PMID:26217678

  2. Molecular Characterization of Acanthamoeba spp. Occurring in Water Bodies and Patients in Poland and Redefinition of Polish T16 Genotype.

    PubMed

    Adamska, Małgorzata

    2016-01-01

    Acanthamoeba genus is divided into 20 genotypes (T1-T20) on the basis of the gene encoding 18S rRNA sequence. Using of at least 2 kbp gene fragments is strongly recommended to identify new genotypes and 5% difference is commonly used as a criterion of new genotypes, however, this value is questionable. In this paper, Polish Acanthamoeba strains described earlier on the basis of ~850 bp Ami fragment of 18S rRNA gene as T4, T11 and a new T16 genotype, have been analyzed using near-complete sequence of the gene. This analysis was needed because the Ami fragment does not reveal full variability within 18S rRNA gene. Phylogenetic analysis based on Ami fragment is biased by artifacts in the construction of the tree, so the fragment should not be used for identification of new putative Acanthamoeba genotypes. The analysis confirmed that the Polish sequences represent T4 and T11 genotypes and that the strains described earlier as T16 genotype are in fact a new subgroup of the T20 genotype and that this genotype should be divided into two subgroups: T20a (two strains described by [J. Eukaryot. Microbiol. 62 (2015) 69]) and T20b (11 Polish strains described in this study). The T20b subgroup was isolated from both clinical samples and water bodies used by people as bathing places and there is a risk of infection for humans during contact with water.

  3. How the interaction of Listeria monocytogenes and Acanthamoeba spp. affects growth and distribution of the food borne pathogen.

    PubMed

    Schuppler, Markus

    2014-04-01

    Listeria monocytogenes is a foodborne opportunistic pathogen capable to switch from an environmental saprophyte to a potentially fatal human pathogen. The fact that the pathogen maintains the genes suitable for an elaborate infectious process indicates that these genes are required to survive in the environment. However, no environmental host reservoir for L. monocytogenes has been identified so far. The similarity of free-living, bacteria-scavenging amoebae to macrophages led to the hypothesis that protozoa may represent the missing link in the ecology and pathology of L. monocytogenes. Consequently, numerous studies have been published reporting on the potential of Acanthamoeba spp. to serve as host for a variety of pathogenic bacteria. However, the data on the interaction of L. monocytogenes with Acanthamoeba spp. are inconsistent and relatively little information on the impact of this interaction on growth and distribution of the foodborne pathogen is currently available. Hence, this review focuses on the interaction of L. monocytogenes and Acanthamoeba spp. affecting survival and growth of the foodborne pathogen in natural and man-made environments, in order to highlight the potential impact of this interplay on food safety and human health.

  4. Role of phospholipase A₂ (PLA₂) inhibitors in attenuating apoptosis of the corneal epithelial cells and mitigation of Acanthamoeba keratitis.

    PubMed

    Tripathi, Trivendra; Abdi, Mahshid; Alizadeh, Hassan

    2013-08-01

    The aim of this study is to determine if the mannose-induced protein (MIP-133) from Acanthamoeba castellanii trophozoites induces apoptosis of corneal epithelial cells through a cytosolic phospholipase A2α (cPLA2α)-mediated pathway. The efficacy of cPLA2α inhibitors to provide protection against Acanthamoeba keratitis was examined in vivo. Chinese hamster corneal epithelial (HCORN) cells were incubated with or without MIP-133. MIP-133 induces significant increase in cPLA2α and macrophage inflammatory protein-2 (MIP-2/CXCL2) levels from corneal cells. Moreover, cPLA2α inhibitors, MAFP (Methyl-arachidonyl fluorophosphonate) and AACOCF3 (Arachidonyl trifluoromethyl ketone), significantly reduce cPLA2α and CXCL2 from these cells (P < 0.05). Additionally, cPLA2α inhibitors significantly inhibit MIP-133-induced apoptosis in HCORN cells (P < 0.05). Subconjunctival injection of purified MIP-133 in Chinese hamster eyes induced cytopathic effects resulting in corneal ulceration. Animals infected with A. castellanii-laden contact lenses and treated with AACOCF3 and CAY10650, showed significantly less severe keratitis as compared with control animals. Collectively, the results indicate that cPLA2α is involved in MIP-133 induced apoptosis of corneal epithelial cells, polymorphonuclear neutrophil infiltration, and production of CXCL2. Moreover, cPLA2α inhibitors can be used as a therapeutic target in Acanthamoeba keratitis.

  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. 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.

  7. Pseudomonas aeruginosa utilises its type III secretion system to kill the free-living amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    PubMed

    Abd, Hadi; Wretlind, Bengt; Saeed, Amir; Idsund, Eva; Hultenby, Kjell; Sandström, Gunnar

    2008-01-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a free-living and common environmental bacterium. It is an opportunistic and nosocomial pathogen causing serious human health problems. To overcome its predators, such as macrophages and environmental phagocytes, it utilises different survival strategies, such as the formation of microcolonies and the production of toxins mediated by a type III secretion system (TTSS). The aim of this study was to examine interaction of TTSS effector proteins of P. aeruginosa PA103 with Acanthamoeba castellanii by co-cultivation, viable count, eosin staining, electron microscopy, apoptosis assay, and statistical analysis. The results showed that P. aeruginosa PA103 induced necrosis and apoptosis to kill A. castellanii by the effects of TTSS effector proteins ExoU, ExoS, ExoT, and ExoY. In comparison, Acanthamoeba cultured alone and co-cultured with P. aeruginosa PA103 lacking the known four TTSS effector proteins were not killed. The results are consistent with P. aeruginosa being a strict extracellular bacterium that needs TTSS to survive in the environment, because the TTSS effector proteins are able to kill its eukaryotic predators, such as Acanthamoeba.

  8. ITS1 sequence variabilities correlate with 18S rDNA sequence types in the genus Acanthamoeba (Protozoa: Amoebozoa).

    PubMed

    Köhsler, Martina; Leitner, Brigitte; Blaschitz, Marion; Michel, Rolf; Aspöck, Horst; Walochnik, Julia

    2006-01-01

    The subgenus classification of the ubiquitously spread and potentially pathogenic acanthamoebae still poses a great challenge. Fifteen 18S rDNA sequence types (T1-T15) have been established, but the vast majority of isolates fall into sequence type T4, and so far, there is no means to reliably differentiate within T4. In this study, the first internal transcribed spacer (ITS1), a more variable region than the 18S rRNA gene, was sequenced, and the sequences of 15 different Acanthamoeba isolates were compared to reveal if ITS1 sequence variability correlates with 18S rDNA sequence typing and if the ITS1 sequencing allows a differentiation within T4. It was shown that the variability in ITS1 is tenfold higher than in the 18S rDNA, and that ITS1 clusters correlate with the 18S rDNA clusters and thus corroborate the Acanthamoeba sequence type system. Moreover, high sequence dissimilarities and distinctive microsatellite patterns could enable a more detailed differentiation within T4.

  9. Exacerbation of Acanthamoeba Keratitis in Animals Treated with Anti-Macrophage Inflammatory Protein 2 or Antineutrophil Antibodies

    PubMed Central

    Hurt, Michael; Apte, Sherine; Leher, Henry; Howard, Kevin; Niederkorn, Jerry; Alizadeh, Hassan

    2001-01-01

    Neutrophils are thought to be involved in many infectious diseases and have been found in high numbers in the corneas of patients with Acanthamoeba keratitis. Using a Chinese hamster model of keratitis, conjunctival neutrophil migration was manipulated to determine the importance of neutrophils in this disease. Inhibition of neutrophil recruitment was achieved by subconjunctival injection with an antibody against macrophage inflammatory protein 2 (MIP-2), a powerful chemotactic factor for neutrophils which is secreted by the cornea. In other experiments, neutrophils were depleted by intraperitoneal injection of anti-Chinese hamster neutrophil antibody. The inhibition of neutrophils to the cornea resulted in an earlier onset and more severe infection compared to controls. Anti-MIP-2 antibody treatment produced an almost 35% reduction of myeloperoxidase activity in the cornea 6 days postinfection, while levels of endogenous MIP-2 secretion increased significantly. Recruitment of neutrophils into the cornea via intrastromal injections of recombinant MIP-2 generated an initially intense inflammation that resulted in the rapid resolution of the corneal infection. The profound exacerbation of Acanthamoeba keratitis seen when neutrophil migration was inhibited, combined with the rapid clearing of the disease in the presence of increased neutrophils, strongly suggests that neutrophils play an important role in combating Acanthamoeba infections in the cornea. PMID:11292716

  10. Exacerbation of Acanthamoeba keratitis in animals treated with anti-macrophage inflammatory protein 2 or antineutrophil antibodies.

    PubMed

    Hurt, M; Apte, S; Leher, H; Howard, K; Niederkorn, J; Alizadeh, H

    2001-05-01

    Neutrophils are thought to be involved in many infectious diseases and have been found in high numbers in the corneas of patients with Acanthamoeba keratitis. Using a Chinese hamster model of keratitis, conjunctival neutrophil migration was manipulated to determine the importance of neutrophils in this disease. Inhibition of neutrophil recruitment was achieved by subconjunctival injection with an antibody against macrophage inflammatory protein 2 (MIP-2), a powerful chemotactic factor for neutrophils which is secreted by the cornea. In other experiments, neutrophils were depleted by intraperitoneal injection of anti-Chinese hamster neutrophil antibody. The inhibition of neutrophils to the cornea resulted in an earlier onset and more severe infection compared to controls. Anti-MIP-2 antibody treatment produced an almost 35% reduction of myeloperoxidase activity in the cornea 6 days postinfection, while levels of endogenous MIP-2 secretion increased significantly. Recruitment of neutrophils into the cornea via intrastromal injections of recombinant MIP-2 generated an initially intense inflammation that resulted in the rapid resolution of the corneal infection. The profound exacerbation of Acanthamoeba keratitis seen when neutrophil migration was inhibited, combined with the rapid clearing of the disease in the presence of increased neutrophils, strongly suggests that neutrophils play an important role in combating Acanthamoeba infections in the cornea.

  11. Detection of Acanthamoeba spp. in water samples collected from natural water reservoirs, sewages, and pharmaceutical factory drains using LAMP and PCR in China.

    PubMed

    Lass, Anna; Guerrero, Milena; Li, Xiuping; Karanis, Gabriele; Ma, Liqing; Karanis, Panagiotis

    2017-04-15

    Various species of amoebas belonging to the genus Acanthamoeba are widely distributed in many parts of the world. Some strains of these protozoans may exist as parasites and pose risks to human health as causative agents of serious human diseases. Currently in China there is a lack of information about the distribution of Acanthamoeba strains in the environment. Accordingly, 261 environmental water samples taken from rivers, sewage, and pharmaceutical factory drains were collected in Qinghai Province, China. The material was filtered and then analysed with both LAMP and PCR assays. Of the samples examined, Acanthamoeba DNA was found in 32 (14.68%) samples with the use of LAMP; in 13 of these samples, DNA from this amoeba was also detected using PCR. Sequencing of selected positive samples confirmed that the PCR products were fragments of the Acanthamoeba 18S rRNA gene and that isolates represent the T4 genotype, known as the most common strain related to AK cases. The results indicate that surface water, as well as water taken from sewage and pharmaceutical drains, may be a source of acanthamoebic strains potentially pathogenic for humans in China. It has been also demonstrated that LAMP assays is more sensitive than PCR and can be regarded as useful tool for screening the environment for Acanthamoeba spp.

  12. [Acanthamoeba sp. keratitis: first case confirmed by isolation and molecular typification in Bahía Blanca, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina].

    PubMed

    Gertiser, M L; Giagante, E; Sgattoni, E; Basabe, N; Rivero, F; Luján, H; Occhionero, M; Paniccia, L; Visciarelli, E; Costamagna, S R

    2010-01-01

    Some species of the Acanthamoeba genus cause keratitis, a very painful, most likely unilateral corneal infection , associated with eye and vision impairment. We here present a case of a 31-year-old female patient, a regular user of soft contact lenses without good practices of lens hygiene and handling. The patient attended medical consultation after two months of inflammation and pain in her right eye. After ophthalmological studies, and due to suspicion of a parasitic infection, a biopsy was performed and the sample submitted for bacteriological and parasitological analyses. Moreover, contact lens holders and lens cleaning solutions were studied. The samples yielded negative results for bacterial infection. However, cultivation of all samples showed the presence of amoeboid parasites. Isolated amoebae were morphologically and molecularly classified as members of the Acanthamoeba genus. This is the first case of keratitis caused by Acanthamoeba in Bahía Blanca, Buenos Aires Province, where the parasite was identified by specific and sensitive molecular techniques.

  13. The correlation of Acanthamoeba from the ventilation system with other environmental parameters in commercial buildings as possible indicator for indoor air quality

    PubMed Central

    OOI, Soo Shen; MAK, Joon Wah; CHEN, Donald K.F.; AMBU, Stephen

    2016-01-01

    The free-living protozoan Acanthamoeba is an opportunistic pathogen that is ubiquitous in our environment. However, its role in affecting indoor air quality and ill-health of indoor occupants is relatively unknown. The present study investigated the presence of Acanthamoeba from the ventilation system and its correlation with other indoor air quality parameters, used in the industry code of practice and its potential as an indicator for indoor air quality. Indoor air quality assessments were carried out in nine commercial buildings with approval from the building management, and the parameters assessed were as recommended by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health. The presence of Acanthamoeba was determined through dust swabs from the ventilation system and indoor furniture. Logistic regression was performed to study the correlation between assessed parameters and occupants’ complaints. A total of 107 sampling points were assessed and 40.2% of the supplying air diffuser and blowing fan and 15% of the furniture were positive for cysts. There was a significant correlation between Acanthamoeba detected from the ventilation system with ambient total fungus count (r=0.327; p=0.01) and respirable particulates (r=0.276; p=0.01). Occupants’ sick building syndrome experience also correlated with the presence of Acanthamoeba in the ventilation system (r=0.361; p=0.01) and those detected on the furniture (r=0.290; p=0.01). Logistic regression showed that there was a five-fold probability of sick building syndrome among occupants when Acanthamoeba was detected in the ventilation system. PMID:27476379

  14. 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

  15. 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

    Schroeder, J M; Booton, G C; Hay, J; Niszl, I A; Seal, D V; Markus, M B; Fuerst, P A; Byers, T J

    2001-05-01

    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.

  16. Real-time PCR systems targeting giant viruses of amoebae and their virophages.

    PubMed

    Ngounga, Tatsiana; Pagnier, Isabelle; Reteno, Dorine-Gaelle Ikanga; Raoult, Didier; La Scola, Bernard; Colson, Philippe

    2013-01-01

    Giant viruses that infect amoebae, including mimiviruses and marseilleviruses, were first described in 2003. Virophages were subsequently described that infect mimiviruses. Culture isolation with Acanthamoeba spp. and metagenomic studies have shown that these giant viruses are common inhabitants of our biosphere and have enabled the recent detection of these viruses in human samples. However, the genomes of these viruses display substantial genetic diversity, making it a challenge to examine their presence in environmental and clinical samples using conventional and real-time PCR. We designed and evaluated the performance of PCR systems capable of detecting all currently isolated mimiviruses, marseilleviruses and virophages to assess their prevalence in various samples. Our real-time PCR assays accurately detected all or most of the members of the currently delineated lineages of giant viruses infecting acanthamoebae as well as the mimivirus virophages, and enabled accurate classification of the mimiviruses of amoebae in lineages A, B or C. We were able to detect four new mimiviruses directly from environmental samples and correctly classified these viruses within mimivirus lineage C. This was subsequently confirmed by culture on amoebae followed by partial Sanger sequencing. PCR systems such as those implemented here may contribute to an improved understanding of the prevalence of mimiviruses, their virophages and marseilleviruses in humans.

  17. [Sequence analysis of 16S rDNA gene of endosymbiont of Acanthamoeba sp. CB/S1 isolated from soil].

    PubMed

    Xuan, Ying-hua; Cui, Chun-quan; Zheng, Shan-zi

    2011-04-30

    The endosymbiont of Acanthamoeba sp. CB/SI was identified by orcein-carmine staining and 16S rDNA sequence analysis. The endosymbiont bacteria were rod-shaped and darkly stained, and irregularly localized within the cytoplasm. The length of the 16S rDNA was 1534 bp and its DNA sequence was closely related to those of Candidatus Amoebophilus asiaticus and Acanthamoeba sp. KA/E21 with 98% homology. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the endosymbiont of CB/SI, the endosymbiont of KA/E21, Candidatus Amoebophilus asiaticus, the endosymbiont of Ixodes scapularis, and the endosymbiont of Encarsia pergandiella constitute a monophyletic lineage in phylogenetic tree.

  18. A specific primer pair for the diagnosis and identification of Acanthamoeba astronyxis by random amplified polymorphic DNA-polymerase chain reaction.

    PubMed

    Ortega-Rivas, A; Lorenzo-Morales, J; Martínez, E; Villa, M; Clavel, A; Valladares, B; del Castillo, A

    2005-02-01

    Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) is a useful tool for species identification. The obtained band patterns can be used for specific primer pair design that is useful for species identification. In this study, a distinctive 485-bp band in Acanthamoeba astronyxis band patterns was found, using the OPC20 primer (ACTTCGCCAC). The band specificity was confirmed by hybridization, using it as a probe, against all OPC20 amplifications from different Acanthamoeba species. Once the fragment was sequenced, we used it to design a specific primer pair that was useful for the identification of different isolates as A. astronyxis species.

  19. Acanthamoeba culbertsoni: Electron-Dense Granules in a Highly Virulent Clinical Isolate.

    PubMed

    Chávez-Munguía, Bibiana; Salazar-Villatoro, Lizbeth; Omaña-Molina, Maritza; Espinosa-Cantellano, Martha; Ramírez-Flores, Elizabeth; Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob; Martínez-Palomo, Adolfo

    2016-11-01

    The virulence of various amoebic parasites has been correlated with the presence of electron-dense granules (EDGs) in the cytoplasm of trophozoites. Here, we report the finding by transmission electron microscopy of a large number of EDGs in a recent culture of Acanthamoeba culbertsoni, isolated from a severe case of human keratitis. When this isolate was maintained in culture for 6 mo, the granules almost disappeared. However, after induction of mice brain lesions with the long-term cultured isolate, recovered amoebas had abundant EDGs. Trophozoites of the original isolate, or those recovered from experimental lesions, secreted EDGs into the medium when incubated with MDCK cells. To analyze a possible cytotoxic effect the conditioned medium was incubated with MDCK monolayers. After 5 h, the media containing EDGs produced opening of the tight junctions; at 24 h, cell viability was compromised, and at 48 h most of the cells were detached from the monolayer. In contrast, trophozoites in long-term cultures did not release EDGs to the medium during incubation with MDCK cells, and the corresponding conditioned medium did not have any effect on MDCK monolayers. Our observations further support the hypothesis that EDGs play a role in the cytopathogenic mechanisms of A. culbertsoni.

  20. Increased persistence of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi in the presence of Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    PubMed

    Douesnard-Malo, Frédéric; Daigle, France

    2011-11-01

    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.

  1. 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

  2. Cellular response of the amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii to chlorine, chlorine dioxide, and monochloramine treatments.

    PubMed

    Mogoa, Emerancienne; Bodet, Charles; Morel, Franck; Rodier, Marie-Hélène; Legube, Bernard; Héchard, Yann

    2011-07-01

    Acanthamoeba castellanii is a free-living amoebae commonly found in water systems. Free-living amoebae might be pathogenic but are also known to bear phagocytosis-resistant bacteria, protecting these bacteria from water treatments. The mode of action of these treatments is poorly understood, particularly on amoebae. It is important to examine the action of these treatments on amoebae in order to improve them. The cellular response to chlorine, chlorine dioxide, and monochloramine was tested on A. castellanii trophozoites. Doses of disinfectants leading to up to a 3-log reduction were compared by flow cytometry and electron microscopy. Chlorine treatment led to size reduction, permeabilization, and retraction of pseudopods. In addition, treatment with chlorine dioxide led to a vacuolization of the cytoplasm. Monochloramine had a dose-dependent effect. At the highest doses monochloramine treatment resulted in almost no changes in cell size and permeability, as shown by flow cytometry, but the cell surface became smooth and dense, as seen by electron microscopy. We show that these disinfectants globally induced size reduction, membrane permeabilization, and morphological modifications but that they have a different mode of action on A. castellanii.

  3. Molecular identification of t4 and t5 genotypes in isolates from acanthamoeba keratitis patients.

    PubMed

    Ledee, D R; Iovieno, A; Miller, D; Mandal, N; Diaz, M; Fell, J; Fini, M E; Alfonso, E C

    2009-05-01

    Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) is a rare but sight-threatening ocular infection. Outbreaks have been associated with contaminated water and contact lens wear. The epidemiology and pathology may be associated with unique genotypes. We determined the Rns genotype for 37 clinical isolates from 23 patients presenting at the University of Miami Bascom Palmer Eye Institute with confirmed AK infections in 2006 to 2008. The genus-specific ASA.S1 amplicon allowed for rapid genotyping of the nonaxenic cultures. Of the 37 isolates, 36 were of the T4 genotype. Within this group, 13 unique diagnostic fragment 3 sequences were identified, 3 of which were not in GenBank. The 37th isolate was a T5, the first in the United States and second worldwide to be found in AK. For five patients with isolates from the cornea and contact lens/case, identical sequences within each patient cluster were observed, confirming the link between contact lens contamination and AK infection. Genotyping is an important tool in the epidemiological study of AK. In this study, it allowed for the detection of new strains and provided an etiological link between source and infection. Additionally, it can allow for accurate categorizing of physiological differences, such as strain virulence, between isolates and clades.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Resuscitation of viable but nonculturable Legionella pneumophila Philadelphia JR32 by Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    PubMed Central

    Steinert, M; Emödy, L; Amann, R; Hacker, J

    1997-01-01

    Legionella pneumophila is an aquatic bacterium and is responsible for Legionnaires' disease in humans. Free-living amoebae are parasitized by legionellae and provide the intracellular environment required for the replication of this bacterium. In low-nutrient environments, however, L. pneumophila is able to enter a non-replicative viable but nonculturable (VBNC) state. In this study, L. pneumophila Philadelphia I JR 32 was suspended in sterilized tap water at 10(4) cells/ml. The decreasing number of bacteria was monitored by CFU measurements, acridine orange direct count (AODC), and hybridization with 16S rRNA-targeted oligonucleotide probes. After 125 days of incubation in water, the cells were no longer culturable on routine plating media; however, they were still detectable by AODC and by in situ hybridization. The addition of Acanthamoeba castellanii to the dormant bacteria resulted in the resuscitation of L. pneumophila JR 32 to a culturable state. A comparison of plate-grown legionellae and reactivated cells showed that the capacity for intracellular survival in human monocytes and intraperitoneally infected guinea pigs, which is considered a parameter for virulence, was not reduced in the reactivated cells. However, reactivation of dormant legionellae was not observed in the animal model. PMID:9143134

  10. Photocatalytic disinfection of Giardia intestinalis and Acanthamoeba castellani cysts in water.

    PubMed

    Sökmen, Münevver; Değerli, Serpil; Aslan, Alper

    2008-05-01

    In this study, disinfection of water containing Giardia intestinalis and Acanthamoeba castellani cysts with TiO2 and modified catalyst silver loaded TiO2 (Ag-TiO2) was investigated. Destruction of the parasites was evaluated after UV illumination of the suspension consisting 5 x 10(8)-13.5 x 10(8)cysts/mL in the presence of 2g/L neat or modified TiO2 at neutral pH. In the initial stage, the solid photocatalyst particles penetrated the cyst wall and then oxidant species produced by TiO2/UV destroyed both cell wall and intracellular structure. In the case of G. intestinalis inactivation (disinfection) performance of TiO2/UV system reached 52.5% only after 25 min illumination and total parasite disinfection was achieved after 30 min illumination. However, silver loaded TiO2 seemed to be more effective as this loading provided better catalytic action as well as additional antimicrobial properties. Cell viability tests showed that parasite cysts, their walls in particular, were irreversibly damaged and cysts did not re-grow. Nevertheless the studied system seemed to be ineffective for the inactivation of A. castellani. Inactivation percentages of TiO2/UV and Ag-TiO2/UV systems were far lower than that of UV alone, being 50.1% and 46.1%, respectively.

  11. Cellular Response of the Amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii to Chlorine, Chlorine Dioxide, and Monochloramine Treatments ▿

    PubMed Central

    Mogoa, Emerancienne; Bodet, Charles; Morel, Franck; Rodier, Marie-Hélène; Legube, Bernard; Héchard, Yann

    2011-01-01

    Acanthamoeba castellanii is a free-living amoebae commonly found in water systems. Free-living amoebae might be pathogenic but are also known to bear phagocytosis-resistant bacteria, protecting these bacteria from water treatments. The mode of action of these treatments is poorly understood, particularly on amoebae. It is important to examine the action of these treatments on amoebae in order to improve them. The cellular response to chlorine, chlorine dioxide, and monochloramine was tested on A. castellanii trophozoites. Doses of disinfectants leading to up to a 3-log reduction were compared by flow cytometry and electron microscopy. Chlorine treatment led to size reduction, permeabilization, and retraction of pseudopods. In addition, treatment with chlorine dioxide led to a vacuolization of the cytoplasm. Monochloramine had a dose-dependent effect. At the highest doses monochloramine treatment resulted in almost no changes in cell size and permeability, as shown by flow cytometry, but the cell surface became smooth and dense, as seen by electron microscopy. We show that these disinfectants globally induced size reduction, membrane permeabilization, and morphological modifications but that they have a different mode of action on A. castellanii. PMID:21602398

  12. Exploring the Unique N-Glycome of the Opportunistic Human Pathogen Acanthamoeba*

    PubMed Central

    Schiller, Birgit; Makrypidi, Georgia; Razzazi-Fazeli, Ebrahim; Paschinger, Katharina; Walochnik, Julia; Wilson, Iain B. H.

    2012-01-01

    Glycans play key roles in host-pathogen interactions; thus, knowing the N-glycomic repertoire of a pathogen can be helpful in deciphering its methods of establishing and sustaining a disease. Therefore, we sought to elucidate the glycomic potential of the facultative amoebal parasite Acanthamoeba. This is the first study of its asparagine-linked glycans, for which we applied biochemical tools and various approaches of mass spectrometry. An initial glycomic screen of eight strains from five genotypes of this human pathogen suggested, in addition to the common eukaryotic oligomannose structures, the presence of pentose and deoxyhexose residues on their N-glycans. A more detailed analysis was performed on the N-glycans of a genotype T11 strain (4RE); fractionation by HPLC and tandem mass spectrometric analyses indicated the presence of a novel mannosylfucosyl modification of the reducing terminal core as well as phosphorylation of mannose residues, methylation of hexose and various forms of pentosylation. The largest N-glycan in the 4RE strain contained two N-acetylhexosamine, thirteen hexose, one fucose, one methyl, and two pentose residues; however, in this and most other strains analyzed, glycans with compositions of Hex8–9HexNAc2Pnt0–1 tended to dominate in terms of abundance. Although no correlation between pathogenicity and N-glycan structure can be proposed, highly unusual structures in this facultative parasite can be found which are potential virulence factors or therapeutic targets. PMID:23139421

  13. Genome of Acanthamoeba castellanii highlights extensive lateral gene transfer and early evolution of tyrosine kinase signaling

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The Amoebozoa constitute one of the primary divisions of eukaryotes, encompassing taxa of both biomedical and evolutionary importance, yet its genomic diversity remains largely unsampled. Here we present an analysis of a whole genome assembly of Acanthamoeba castellanii (Ac) the first representative from a solitary free-living amoebozoan. Results Ac encodes 15,455 compact intron-rich genes, a significant number of which are predicted to have arisen through inter-kingdom lateral gene transfer (LGT). A majority of the LGT candidates have undergone a substantial degree of intronization and Ac appears to have incorporated them into established transcriptional programs. Ac manifests a complex signaling and cell communication repertoire, including a complete tyrosine kinase signaling toolkit and a comparable diversity of predicted extracellular receptors to that found in the facultatively multicellular dictyostelids. An important environmental host of a diverse range of bacteria and viruses, Ac utilizes a diverse repertoire of predicted pattern recognition receptors, many with predicted orthologous functions in the innate immune systems of higher organisms. Conclusions Our analysis highlights the important role of LGT in the biology of Ac and in the diversification of microbial eukaryotes. The early evolution of a key signaling facility implicated in the evolution of metazoan multicellularity strongly argues for its emergence early in the Unikont lineage. Overall, the availability of an Ac genome should aid in deciphering the biology of the Amoebozoa and facilitate functional genomic studies in this important model organism and environmental host. PMID:23375108

  14. Oxygen induction of a novel fatty acid n-6 desaturase in the soil protozoon, Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    PubMed Central

    Rutter, Andrew J; Thomas, Katie L; Herbert, Derek; Henderson, R James; Lloyd, David; Harwood, John L

    2002-01-01

    Induction of fatty acid desaturation is very important for the temperature adaptation of poikilotherms. However, in oxygen-limited late-exponential-phase Acanthamoeba castellanii cultures, oxygen alone was able to induce increased activity of a fatty acid desaturase that converts oleate into linoleate and which has been implicated in the temperature adaptation of this organism. Experiments with Delta(10)-nonadecenoate showed that the enzyme is an n -6 desaturase rather than a Delta(12)-desaturase. It also used preferentially 1-acyl-2-oleoyl-phosphatidylcholine as substrate and NAD(P)H as electron donor. The involvement of cytochrome b (5) as an intermediate electron carrier was shown by difference spectra measurements and anti-(cytochrome b (5)) antibody experiments. Of the three protein components of the desaturase complex, oxygen only increased the activity of the terminal (cyanide-sensitive) protein during n -6 desaturase induction. The induction of this terminal protein paralleled well the increase in overall oleate n -6 desaturation. The ability of oxygen to induce oleate desaturase independently of temperature in this lower eukaryotic animal model is of novel intrinsic interest, as well as being important for the design of future experiments to determine the molecular mechanism of temperature adaptation in poikilotherms. PMID:12153399

  15. Cytopathic Changes in Rat Microglial Cells Induced by Pathogenic Acanthamoeba culbertsoni: Morphology and Cytokine Release

    PubMed Central

    Shin, Ho-Joon; Cho, Myung-Soo; Jung, Suk-Yul; Kim, Hyung-Il; Park, Sun; Seo, Jang-Hoon; Yoo, Jung-Chil; Im, Kyung-Il

    2001-01-01

    To determine whether pathogenic Acanthamoeba culbertsoni trophozoites and lysate can induce cytopathic changes in primary-culture microglial cells, morphological changes were observed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). In addition, the secretion of two kinds of cytokines, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin-1β (IL-1β), from microglial cells was observed. Trophozoites of pathogenic A. culbertsoni made contact with microglial cells and produced digipodia. TEM revealed that microglial cells cocultured with amoebic trophozoites underwent a necrotic process, accompanied by lysis of the cell membrane. TEM of microglial cells cocultured with amoebic lysate showed that the membranes of the small cytoplasmic vacuoles as well as the cell membrane were lysed. The amounts of TNF-α secreted from microglial cells cocultured with A. culbertsoni trophozoites or lysate increased at 6 h of incubation. The amounts of IL-1β secreted from microglial cells cocultured with A. culbertsoni trophozoites at 6 h of incubation was similar to those secreted from the control group, but the amounts decreased during cultivation with A. culbertsoni lysate. These results suggest that pathogenic A. culbertsoni induces the cytopathic effects in primary-culture rat microglial cells, with the effects characterized by necrosis of microglial cells and changes in levels of secretion of TNF-α and IL-1β from microglial cells. PMID:11427438

  16. Intracellular localization and trafficking of serine proteinase AhSub and cysteine proteinase AhCP of Acanthamoeba healyi.

    PubMed

    Moon, E-K; Lee, S-T; Chung, D-I; Kong, H-H

    2006-01-01

    Proteinases have been proposed to play important roles in pathogenesis and various biologic actions in Acanthamoeba. Although genetic characteristics of several proteases of Acanthamoeba have been reported, the intracellular localization and trafficking of these enzymes has yet to be studied. In the present study, we analyzed the intracellular localization and trafficking of two proteinases, AhSub and AhCP, of Acanthamoeba healyi by transient transfection. Full-length AhSub-enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) fusion protein was found in intracellular vesicle-like structures of transfected amoebae. Time-lapse photographs confirmed the secretion of the fluorescent material of the vesicle toward the extracellular space. The mutated AhSub, of which the pre or prepro region was deleted, was found to localize diffusely throughout the cytoplasm of the amoeba rather than concentrated in the secretory vesicle. Transfection of the construct containing the pre region only showed the same localization and trafficking of the full-length AhSub. A cysteine proteinase AhCP-EGFP fusion protein showed similar localization in the vesicle-like structure in the amoeba. However, using Lyso Tracker analysis, these vesicular structures of AhCP were confirmed to be lysosomes rather than secretory vesicles. The AhCP construct with a deletion of the prepro region showed a dispersed distribution of fluorescence in the cytoplasm of the cells. These results indicated that AhSub and AhCP would play different roles in Acanthameoba biology and that the pre region of AhSub and pro region of AhCP are important for proper intracellular localization and trafficking of each proteinase.

  17. Abnormalities of Endocytosis, Phagocytosis, and Development Process in Dictyostelium Cells That Over-Express Acanthamoeba castellanii Metacaspase Protein

    PubMed Central

    SAHEB, Entsar; TRZYNA, Wendy; MARINGER, Katherine; BUSH, John

    2015-01-01

    Background: Acanthamoeba castellanii forms a resistant cyst that protects the parasite against the host’s immune response. Acanthamoeba Type-I metacaspase (Acmcp) is a caspase-like protein that has been found to be expressed during the encystations. Dictyostelium discoideum is an organism closely related to Acanthamoeba useful for studying the molecular function of this protozoan caspase-like