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Sample records for acanthamoeba castellanii encystment

  1. Encystment in Acanthamoeba castellanii: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

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    Yu-Ran Lee

    Full Text Available 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.

  5. Silencing of xylose isomerase and cellulose synthase by siRNA inhibits encystation in Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-03-01

    A key challenge in the successful treatment of Acanthamoeba infections is its ability to transform into a dormant cyst form that is resistant to physiological conditions and pharmacological therapies, resulting in recurrent infections. The carbohydrate linkage analysis of cyst walls of Acanthamoeba castellanii showed variously linked sugar residues, including xylofuranose/xylopyranose, glucopyranose, mannopyranose, and galactopyranose. Here, it is shown that exogenous xylose significantly reduced A. castellanii differentiation in encystation assays (P < 0.05 using paired t test, one-tailed distribution). Using small interfering RNA (siRNA) probes against xylose isomerase and cellulose synthase, as well as specific inhibitors, the findings revealed that xylose isomerase and cellulose synthase activities are crucial in the differentiation of A. castellanii. Inhibition of both enzymes using siRNA against xylose isomerase and cellulose synthase but not scrambled siRNA attenuated A. castellanii metamorphosis, as demonstrated by the arrest of encystation of A. castellanii. Neither inhibitor nor siRNA probes had any effect on the viability and extracellular proteolytic activities of A. castellanii.

  6. Major role for cysteine proteases during the early phase of Acanthamoeba castellanii encystment.

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    Leitsch, David; Köhsler, Martina; Marchetti-Deschmann, Martina; Deutsch, Andrea; Allmaier, Günter; Duchêne, Michael; Walochnik, Julia

    2010-04-01

    Acanthamoeba castellanii is a facultative pathogen that has a two-stage life cycle comprising the vegetatively growing trophozoite stage and the dormant cyst stage. Cysts are formed when the cell encounters unfavorable conditions, such as environmental stress or food deprivation. Due to their rigid double-layered wall, Acanthamoeba cysts are highly resistant to antiamoebic drugs. This is problematic as cysts can survive initially successful chemotherapeutic treatment and cause relapse of the disease. We studied the Acanthamoeba encystment process by using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2DE) and found that most changes in the protein content occur early in the process. Truncated actin isoforms were found to abound in the encysting cell, and the levels of translation elongation factor 2 (EF2) were sharply decreased, indicating that the rate of protein synthesis must be low at this stage. In the advanced stage of encystment, however, EF2 levels and the trophozoite proteome were partly restored. The protease inhibitors PMSF (phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride) and E64d [(2S,3S)-trans-epoxysuccinyl-L-leucylamido-3-methylbutane ethyl ester] inhibited the onset of encystment, whereas the protein synthesis inhibitor cycloheximide was ineffective. Changes in the protein profile, similar to those of encysting cells, could be observed with trophozoite homogenates incubated at room temperature for several hours. Interestingly, these changes could be inhibited significantly by cysteine protease inhibitors but not by inhibitors against other proteases. Taken together, we conclude that the encystment process in A. castellanii is of a bipartite nature consisting of an initial phase of autolysis and protein degradation and an advanced stage of restoration accompanied by the expression of encystment-specific genes.

  7. The effect of different environmental conditions on the encystation of Acanthamoeba castellanii belonging to the T4 genotype.

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

    2013-09-01

    In this study, Acanthamoeba castellanii was cultivated under different stress conditions to induce possible encystation. The morphological and histological properties were analysed by light and electron microscopy as well as cyst-specific staining. The findings revealed that cysts prepared through liquid medium using higher osmolarity as a trigger (10% glucose with 50mM magnesium chloride for 72 h) are similar to cysts prepared using non-nutrient agar (nutrient deprivation as a trigger in plating assays for 14 days), as determined by SDS-resistance, cyst-specific Calcofluor white staining and transmission electron microscopy. Using liquid medium assay, A. castellanii encystation was studied by exposing trophozoites to media lacking growth ingredients (phosphate buffered saline or distilled water), inappropriate temperatures (4-45°C), pH (3-9), artificial light-dark cycles, 5% CO2, and microaerophilic conditions. Optimal encystation was observed when cells were incubated in PBS with 50mM MgCl2 and 10% glucose at 24-30°C at pH 7. Increasing temperature over 37°C or pH 9 adversely affected encystation, while light-dark cycles, 5% CO2 and microaerophilic conditions had no effect on encystation of A. castellanii. None of the aforementioned conditions had any effect on the viability of A. castellanii, as determined by Trypan blue exclusion assay. A complete knowledge of encystation in A. castellanii is crucial to our understanding of the biology of these ecologically and medically important organisms.

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

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

    2011-04-01

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

  9. Francisella tularensis type A Strains Cause the Rapid Encystment of Acanthamoeba castellanii and Survive in Amoebal Cysts for Three Weeks post Infection

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    El-Etr, S H; Margolis, J; Monack, D; Robison, R; Cohen, M; Moore, E; Rasley, A

    2009-07-28

    Francisella tularensis, the causative agent of the zoonotic disease tularemia, has recently gained increased attention due to the emergence of tularemia in geographical areas where the disease has been previously unknown, and the organism's potential as a bioterrorism agent. Although F. tularensis has an extremely broad host range, the bacterial reservoir in nature has not been conclusively identified. In this study, the ability of virulent F. tularensis strains to survive and replicate in the amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii was explored. We observe that A. castellanii trophozoites rapidly encyst in response to F. tularensis infection and that this rapid encystment phenotype (REP) is caused by factor(s) secreted by amoebae and/or F. tularensis into the co-culture media. Further, our results indicate that in contrast to LVS, virulent strains of F. tularensis can survive in A. castellanii cysts for at least 3 weeks post infection and that induction of rapid amoeba encystment is essential for survival. In addition, our data indicate that pathogenic F. tularensis strains block lysosomal fusion in A. castellanii. Taken together, these data suggest that the interactions between F. tularensis strains and amoeba may play a role in the environmental persistence of F. tularensis.

  10. Acanthamoeba castellanii STAT Protein

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    Anna Kicinska; Jacek Leluk; Wieslawa Jarmuszkiewicz

    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 Dictyos...

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

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    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 amoeba. At low temperatures, A. castellanii seems to eliminate L. pneumophila by encystation and digestion.

  12. The Pseudomonas aeruginosa toxin L-2-amino-4-methoxy-trans-3-butenoic acid inhibits growth and induces encystment in Acanthamoeba castellanii.

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    Lee, Xiaoyun; Reimmann, Cornelia; Greub, Gilbert; Sufrin, Janice; Croxatto, Antony

    2012-03-01

    L-2-Amino-4-methoxy-trans-3-butenoic acid (AMB) is a toxic antimetabolite produced by the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. To evaluate its importance as a potential virulence factor, we tested the host response towards AMB using an Acanthamoeba castellanii cell model. We found that AMB (at concentrations ≥ 0.5 mM) caused amoebal encystment in salt buffer, while inhibiting amoebal growth in rich medium in a dose-dependent manner. However, no difference in amoebal plaque formation was observed on bacterial lawns of wild type and AMB-negative P. aeruginosa strains. We thereby conclude that AMB may eventually act as a virulence factor, but only at relatively high concentrations.

  13. Carbohydrate analysis of Acanthamoeba castellanii.

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    Dudley, Ricky; Jarroll, Edward L; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2009-08-01

    We analyzed biochemically Acanthamoeba castellanii trophozoites, intact cysts and cyst walls belonging to the T4 genotype using gas chromatography combined with mass spectrometry. Cyst walls were prepared by removing intracellular material from cysts by pre-treating them with sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS) containing dithiothreitol, and then subjecting these to a series of sequential enzymatic digestions using amyloglucosidase, papain, DNase, RNase and proteinase K. The resulting "cyst wall" material was subsequently lyophilized and subjected to glycosyl composition analysis. Transmission electron microscopy confirmed the removal of intracystic material following enzymatic treatment. Our results showed that treated A. castellanii trophozoites, intact cysts and cyst walls contained various sugar moieties, of which a high percentage was galactose and glucose, in addition to small amounts of mannose, and xylose. Linkage analysis revealed several types of glycosidic linkages including the 1,4-linked glucosyl conformation, indicative of cellulose. Inhibitor studies suggested that, beside sugar synthesis, cytoskeletal re-arrangement and mitogen-activated protein kinase-mediated pathways are involved in A. castellanii encystment.

  14. Acanthamoeba castellanii STAT protein.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Kicinska

    Full Text Available 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.

  15. Acanthamoeba castellanii STAT protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. The role of proteases in the differentiation of Acanthamoeba castellanii.

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    Dudley, Ricky; Alsam, Selwa; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2008-09-01

    Proteases are significant determinants of protozoan pathogenicity and cytolysis of host cells. However, there is now growing evidence of their involvement in cellular differentiation. Acanthamoeba castellanii of the T4 genotype elaborates a number of proteases, which are inhibited by the serine protease inhibitor phenylmethylsulphonyl fluoride. Using this and other selective protease inhibitors, in tandem with siRNA primers, specific to the catalytic site of Acanthamoeba serine proteases, we demonstrate that serine protease activity is crucial for the differentiation of A. castellanii. Furthermore, both encystment and excystment of A. castellanii was found to be dependent on serine protease function.

  17. Gene discovery in the Acanthamoeba castellanii genome

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    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.

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

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    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.

  19. Tigecycline inhibits proliferation of Acanthamoeba castellanii.

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    Jha, Bijay Kumar; Seo, Incheol; Kong, Hyun-Hee; Suh, Seong-Il; Suh, Min-Ho; Baek, Won-Ki

    2015-03-01

    Acanthamoeba is an opportunistic protozoan parasite responsible for different diseases in humans, such as granulomatous amoebic encephalitis and amoebic keratitis. Tigecycline, a third-generation tetracycline antibiotic, has potential activity to treat most of the antibiotic resistant bacterial infections. The effects of tigecycline in eukaryotic cells as well as parasites are less well studied. In the present study, we tested the effects of tigecycline on trophozoites of Acanthamoeba castellanii. The inhibitory effect of tigecycline on Acanthamoeba was determined by resazurin reduction and trypan blue exclusion assays. We found that tigecycline significantly inhibited the growth of Acanthamoeba (46.4 % inhibition at the concentration of 100 μM) without affecting cell viability and induction of encystation, whereas other tetracycline groups of antibiotics such as tetracycline and doxycycline showed no inhibitory effects. Furthermore, tigecycline decreased cellular adenosine triphosphate (ATP) level by 26 % than the control and increased mitochondrial mass, suggesting mitochondrial dysfunction in tigecycline-treated cells. These findings suggest that mitochondrial dysfunction with decreased ATP production might play an important mechanism of tigecycline in suppression of Acanthamoeba proliferation.

  20. Acanthamoeba castellanii cysts: new ultrastructural findings.

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    Chávez-Munguía, Bibiana; Salazar-Villatoro, Lizbeth; Lagunes-Guillén, Anel; Omaña-Molina, Maritza; Espinosa-Cantellano, Martha; Martínez-Palomo, Adolfo

    2013-03-01

    During Acanthamoeba castellanii trophozoite-cysts differentiation, four morphological stages were identified by scanning electron microscopy: trophozoite, precyst, immature cysts, and mature cysts. Fluorescence microscopy reveals the presence of small cumulus of actin in the cytoplasm of precysts after treatment with rhodamine phalloidin. By the contrary, in mature cysts, fluorescence was not observed. However, when excystation was induced, large fluorescent patches were present. By transmission electron microscopy, encysting amebas showed small cytoplasmic vesicles containing fibrillar material, surrounded by a narrow area of thin fibrils. Similar appearance was observed in pseudopods and phagocytic invaginations. In addition, large aggregates of rod-shape elements, similar to the chromatoid bodies, described in other amebas, were present in the cytoplasm. These cysts presented large areas with orange fluorescence after treatment with acridine orange.

  1. Interaction of Escherichia coli K1 and K5 with Acanthamoeba castellanii trophozoites and cysts.

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    Matin, Abdul; Jung, Suk-Yul

    2011-12-01

    The existence of symbiotic relationships between Acanthamoeba and a variety of bacteria is well-documented. However, the ability of Acanthamoeba interacting with host bacterial pathogens has gained particular attention. Here, to understand the interactions of Escherichia coli K1 and E. coli K5 strains with Acanthamoeba castellanii trophozoites and cysts, association assay, invasion assay, survival assay, and the measurement of bacterial numbers from cysts were performed, and nonpathogenic E. coli K12 was also applied. The association ratio of E. coli K1 with A. castellanii was 4.3 cfu per amoeba for 1 hr but E. coli K5 with A. castellanii was 1 cfu per amoeba for 1 hr. By invasion and survival assays, E. coli K5 was recovered less than E. coli K1 but still alive inside A. castellanii. E. coli K1 and K5 survived and multiplied intracellularly in A. castellanii. The survival assay was performed under a favourable condition for 22 hr and 43 hr with the encystment of A. castellanii. Under the favourable condition for the transformation of trophozoites into cysts, E. coli K5 multiplied significantly. Moreover, the pathogenic potential of E. coli K1 from A. castellanii cysts exhibited no changes as compared with E. coli K1 from A. castellanii trophozoites. E. coli K5 was multiplied in A. castellanii trophozoites and survived in A. castellanii cysts. Therefore, this study suggests that E. coli K5 can use A. castellanii as a reservoir host or a vector for the bacterial transmission.

  2. Acanthamoeba encystment: multifactorial effects of buffers, biocides, and demulcents present in contact lens care solutions

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    Kovacs CJ

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Christopher J Kovacs, Shawn C Lynch, Marjorie J Rah, Kimberly A Millard, Timothy W Morris Bausch & Lomb Incorporated, Rochester, NY, USA 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. Keywords: propylene glycol, contact lens care system, hydrogen peroxide disinfecting solution

  3. Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus prevents amoebal encystment-mediating serine proteinase expression and circumvents cell encystment.

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    Boratto, Paulo; Albarnaz, Jonas Dutra; Almeida, Gabriel Magno de Freitas; Botelho, Lucas; Fontes, Alide Caroline Lima; Costa, Adriana Oliveira; Santos, Daniel de Assis; Bonjardim, Cláudio Antônio; La Scola, Bernard; Kroon, Erna Geessien; Abrahão, Jônatas Santos

    2015-03-01

    Acanthamoeba is a genus of free-living amoebas distributed worldwide. Few studies have explored the interactions between these protozoa and their infecting giant virus, Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus (APMV). Here we show that, once the amoebal encystment is triggered, trophozoites become significantly resistant to APMV. Otherwise, upon infection, APMV is able to interfere with the expression of a serine proteinase related to amoebal encystment and the encystment can no longer be triggered.

  4. Interaction between Vibrio mimicus and Acanthamoeba castellanii.

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

    2010-02-01

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

  5. Temperature limitation may explain the containment of the trophozoites in the cornea during Acanthamoeba castellanii keratitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  6. Protease activities of Acanthamoeba polyphaga and Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serrano-Luna, José de Jesús; Cervantes-Sandoval, Isaac; Calderón, Jesús; Navarro-García, Fernando; Tsutsumi, Victor; Shibayama, Mineko

    2006-01-01

    Acanthamoeba spp. are free-living amoebae that cause amoebic granulomatous encephalitis, skin lesions, and ocular amoebic keratitis in humans. Several authors have suggested that proteases could play a role in the pathogenesis of these diseases. In the present work, we performed a partial biochemical characterization of proteases in crude extracts of Acanthamoeba spp. and in conditioned medium using 7.5% SDS-PAGE copolymerized with 0.1% m/v gelatin as substrate. We distinguished a total of 17 bands with proteolytic activity distributed in two species of Acanthamoeba. The bands ranged from 30 to 188 kDa in A. castellanii and from 34 to 144 kDa in A. polyphaga. Additionally, we showed that the pattern of protease activity differed in the two species of Acanthamoeba when pH was altered. By using protease inhibitors, we found that the proteolytic activities belonged mostly to the serine protease family and secondly to cysteine proteases and that the proteolytic activities from A. castellanii were higher than those in A. polyphaga. Furthermore, aprotinin was found to inhibit crude extract protease activity on Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) monolayers. These data suggest that protease patterns could be more complex than previously reported.

  7. An intracellular replication niche for Vibrio cholerae in the amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van der Henst, Charles; Scrignari, Tiziana; Maclachlan, Catherine; Blokesch, Melanie

    2016-04-01

    Vibrio cholerae is a human pathogen and the causative agent of cholera. The persistence of this bacterium in aquatic environments is a key epidemiological concern, as cholera is transmitted through contaminated water. Predatory protists, such as amoebae, are major regulators of bacterial populations in such environments. Therefore, we investigated the interaction between V. cholerae and the amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii at the single-cell level. We observed that V. cholerae can resist intracellular killing. The non-digested bacteria were either released or, alternatively, established a replication niche within the contractile vacuole of A. castellanii. V. cholerae was maintained within this compartment even upon encystment. The pathogen ultimately returned to its aquatic habitat through lysis of A. castellanii, a process that was dependent on the production of extracellular polysaccharide by the pathogen. This study reinforces the concept that V. cholerae is a facultative intracellular bacterium and describes a new host-pathogen interaction.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  10. In vitro efficacy of corifungin against Acanthamoeba castellanii trophozoites and cysts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debnath, Anjan; Tunac, Josefino B; Silva-Olivares, Angélica; Galindo-Gómez, Silvia; Shibayama, Mineko; McKerrow, James H

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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...

  12. Acanthamoeba castellanii an environmental host for Shigella dysenteriae and Shigella sonnei.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saeed, Amir; Abd, Hadi; Edvinsson, Benjamin; Sandström, Gunnar

    2009-01-01

    The interaction between Shigella dysenteriae or Shigella sonnei and Acanthamoeba castellanii was studied by viable counts, gentamicin assay and electron microscopy. The result showed that Shigella dysenteriae or Shigella sonnei grew and survived in the presence of amoebae for more than 3 weeks. Gentamicin assay showed that the Shigella were viable inside the Acanthamoeba castellanii which was confirmed by electron microscopy that showed the Shigella localized in the cytoplasm of the Acanthamoeba castellanii. In conclusion, the relationship between Shigella dysenteriae and Shigella sonnei with Acanthamoeba castellanii is symbiotic, and accordingly free-living amoebae may serve as a transmission reservoir for Shigella in water.

  13. Cytotoxic effect of organic solvents and surfactant agents on Acanthamoeba castellanii cysts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ezz Eldin, Hayam Mohamed; Sarhan, Rania Mohamed

    2014-05-01

    Acanthamoeba castellanii is a protozoan parasite that may cause sight-threatening keratitis in some individuals. Its eradication is difficult because the trophozoites encyst making organisms highly resistant to anti-amoebic drugs. To test new anti-Acanthamoeba agents, usually having low water solubility, organic solvents and surfactant agents should be used. Therefore, the lethal effect of different concentrations of the solvents acetone, methanol, ethanol, and DMSO and surfactant agents Tween 20, Tween 80, and Triton X-100 was tested. The minimal inhibitory concentrations (MIC) were determined against Acanthamoeba cysts. Results of the present study showed that the MIC for ethanol, methanol, acetone and DMSO was 25, 12.5, 12.5, and 10%, respectively and for Tween 20, Tween 80, and Triton X-100 was 0.25, 0.06, and 0.03%, respectively. There was no significant inhibitory effect on the multiplication of Acanthamoeba cysts as compared to parasite control when using the concentrations 3.12% for ethanol, 1.6% for methanol and acetone, 1.25% for DMSO, and 0.016% for Tween 20. On the other hand, both Tween 80 and Triton X-100 showed highly significant difference in comparison to parasite control almost among all the range of concentrations used in this study, and both showed lethal effect of 19 and 27.2%, respectively at their least concentration.

  14. Interactions of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Corynebacterium spp. with non-phagocytic brain microvascular endothelial cells and phagocytic Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah; Lakhundi, Sahreena; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2015-06-01

    Several lines of evidence suggest that Acanthamoeba interact with bacteria, which may aid in pathogenic bacterial transmission to susceptible hosts, and these interactions may have influenced evolution of bacterial pathogenicity. In this study, we tested if Gram-negative Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Gram-positive Corynebacterium spp. can associate/invade and survive inside Acanthamoeba castellanii trophozoites and cysts, as well as non-phagocytic human brain microvascular endothelial cells. The results revealed that both Corynebacterium spp. and P. aeruginosa were able to associate as well as invade and/or taken up by the phagocytic A. castellanii trophozoite. In contrast, P. aeruginosa exhibited higher association as well as invasion of non-phagocytic HBMEC compared with Corynebacterium spp. Notably, P. aeruginosa remained viable during the encystment process and exhibited higher levels of recovery from mature cysts (74.54 bacteria per amoebae) compared with Corynebacterium spp. (2.69 bacteria per amoeba) (P < 0.05). As Acanthamoeba cysts can be airborne, these findings suggest that Acanthamoeba is a potential vector in the transmission of P. aeruginosa to susceptible hosts. When bacterial-ridden amoebae were exposed to favourable (nutrient-rich) conditions, A. castellanii emerged as vegetative trophozoites and remained viable, and likewise viable P. aeruginosa were also observed but rarely any Corynebacterium spp. were observed. Correspondingly, P. aeruginosa but not Corynebacterium spp. exhibited higher cytotoxicity to non-phagocytic HBMEC, producing more than 75% cell death in 24 h, compared to 20% cell death observed with Corynebacterium spp. Additionally, it was observed that the bacterial conditioned medium had no negative effect on A. castellanii growth. Further characterization of amoebal and bacterial interactions will assist in identifying the role of Acanthamoeba in the transmission and evolution of pathogenic bacteria.

  15. Evidence for a previously unrecognized mycobacterial endosymbiont in Acanthamoeba castellanii strain Ma (ATCC ® 50370 ™).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glaser, Kathleen C; Hetrick, Neil D; Molestina, Robert E

    2011-01-01

    We describe the isolation of a mycobacterium from Acanthamoeba castellanii strain Ma (ATCC(®) 50370(™)). The mycobacterium resides within vacuoles of A. castellanii, can be cultured by routine methodologies, and is a member of the Mycobacterium avium complex. Previously unrecognized mycobacterial endosymbionts are likely common among strains of Acanthamoeba housed at culture collections.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. An Acanthamoeba castellanii metacaspase associates with the contractile vacuole and functions in osmoregulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saheb, Entsar; Trzyna, Wendy; Bush, John

    2013-03-01

    Acanthamoeba castellanii is a free-living protozoan. Some strains are opportunistic pathogens. A type-I metacaspase was identified in A. castellanii (Acmcp) and was shown to be expressed through the encystation process. The model organism, Dictyostelium discoideum, has been used here as a model for studying these caspase-like proteins. Separate cell lines expressing a GFP-tagged version of the full length Acmcp protein, as well as a deletion proline region mutant of Acmcp protein (GFP-Acmcp-dpr), have been introduced into D. discoideum. Both mutants affect the cellular metabolism, characterized by an increase in the growth rate. Microscopic imaging revealed an association between Acmcp and the contractile vacuole system in D. discoideum. The treatment of cells with selected inhibitors in different environments added additional support to these findings. This evidence shows that Acmcp plays an important role in contractile vacuole regulation and mediated membrane trafficking in D. discoideum. Additionally, the severe defect in contractile vacuole function in GFP-Acmcp-dpr mutant cells suggests that the proline-rich region in Acmcp has an essential role in binding this protein with other partners to maintain this process. Furthermore, Yeast two-hybrid system identified there are weak interactions of the Dictyostelium contractile vacuolar proteins, including Calmodulin, RabD, Rab11 and vacuolar proton ATPase, with Acmcp protein. Taken together, our findings suggest that A. castellanii metacaspase associate with the contractile vacuole and have an essential role in cell osmoregulation, which contributes to its attractiveness as a possible target for treatment therapies against A. castellanii infection.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  20. Identification of unusual phospholipid fatty acyl compositions of Acanthamoeba castellanii.

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    Marta Palusinska-Szysz

    Full Text Available 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

  1. Identification of unusual phospholipid fatty acyl compositions of Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  2. The effect of peptidic and non-peptidic proteasome inhibitors on the biological properties of Acanthamoeba castellanii belonging to the T4 genotype.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah; Saleem, Sahreena; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2016-09-01

    The treatment of Acanthamoeba infections remains problematic, suggesting that new targets and/or chemotherapeutic agents are needed. Bioassay-guided screening of drugs that are clinically-approved for non-communicable diseases against opportunistic eukaryotic pathogens is a viable strategy. With known targets and mode of action, such drugs can advance to clinical trials at a faster pace. Recently Bortezomib (proteasome inhibitor) has been approved by FDA in the treatment of multiple myeloma. As proteasomal pathways are well known regulators of a variety of eukaryotic cellular functions, the overall aim of the present study was to study the effects of peptidic and non-peptidic proteasome inhibitors on the biology and pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba castellanii of the T4 genotype, in vitro. Zymographic assays revealed that inhibition of proteasome had detrimental effects on the extracellular proteolytic activities of A. castellanii. Proteasome inhibition affected A. castellanii growth (using amoebistatic assays), but not viability of A. castellanii. Importantly, proteasome inhibitors affected encystation as determined by trophozoite transformation into the cyst form, as well as excystation, as determined by cyst transformation into the trophozoite form. The ability of proteasome inhibitor to block Acanthamoeba differentiation is significant, as it presents a major challenge in the successful treatment of Acanthamoeba infection. As these drugs are used clinically against non-communicable diseases, the findings reported here have the potential to be tested in a clinical setting against amoebic infections.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karaś, Magdalena A; Russa, Ryszard

    2013-06-01

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

  5. Effects of mannose on pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoo, Kyung-Tae; Jung, Suk-Yul

    2012-12-01

    Acanthamoeba spp. are single-celled protozoan organisms that are widely distributed in the environment. In this study, to understand functional roles of a mannose-binding protein (MBP), Acanthamoeba castellanii was treated with methyl-alpha-D-mannopyranoside (mannose), and adhesion and cytotoxicity of the amoeba were analyzed. In addition, to understand the association of MBP for amoeba phagocytosis, phagocytosis assay was analyzed using non-pathogenic bacterium, Escherichia coli K12. Amoebae treated with mannose for 20 cycles exhibited larger vacuoles occupying the most area of the amoebic cytoplasm in comparison with the control group amoebae and glucose-treated amoebae. Mannose-selected amoebae exhibited lower levels of binding to Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. Exogenous mannose inhibited >50% inhibition of amoebae (control group) binding to CHO cells. Moreover, exogenous mannose inhibited amoebae (i.e., man-treated) binding to CHO cells by <15%. Mannose-selected amoebae exhibited significantly decreased cytotoxicity to CHO cells compared with the control group amoebae, 25.1% vs 92.1%. In phagocytic assay, mannose-selected amoebae exhibited significant decreases in bacterial uptake in comparison with the control group, 0.019% vs 0.03% (P<0.05). Taken together, it is suggested that mannose-selected A. castellanii trophozoites should be severely damaged and do not well interact with a target cell via a lectin of MBP.

  6. External NAD(P)H dehydrogenases in Acanthamoeba castellanii mitochondria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antos-Krzeminska, Nina; Jarmuszkiewicz, Wieslawa

    2014-09-01

    The mitochondrial respiratory chain of plants and some fungi contains multiple rotenone-insensitive NAD(P)H dehydrogenases, of which at least two are located on the outer surface of the inner membrane (i.e., external NADH and external NADPH dehydrogenases). Annotated sequences of the putative alternative NAD(P)H dehydrogenases of the protozoan Acanthamoeba castellanii demonstrated similarity to plant and fungal sequences. We also studied activity of these dehydrogenases in isolated A. castellanii mitochondria. External NADPH oxidation was observed for the first time in protist mitochondria. The coupling parameters were similar for external NADH oxidation and external NADPH oxidation, indicating similar efficiencies of ATP synthesis. Both external NADH oxidation and external NADPH oxidation had an optimal pH of 6.8 independent of relevant ubiquinol-oxidizing pathways, the cytochrome pathway or a GMP-stimulated alternative oxidase. The maximal oxidizing activity with external NADH was almost double that with external NADPH. However, a lower Michaelis constant (K(M)) value for external NADPH oxidation was observed compared to that for external NADH oxidation. Stimulation by Ca(2+) was approximately 10 times higher for external NADPH oxidation, while NADH dehydrogenase(s) appeared to be slightly dependent on Ca(2+). Our results indicate that external NAD(P)H dehydrogenases similar to those in plant and fungal mitochondria function in mitochondria of A. castellanii.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  8. Effect of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs on biological properties of Acanthamoeba castellanii belonging to the T4 genotype.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah; Lakhundi, Sahreena; Iqbal, Junaid; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2016-09-01

    Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, Diclofenac, targeting COX have shown promise in the treatment of Acanthamoeba keratitis, but the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. Using various NSAIDs, Diclofenac sodium, Indomethacin, and Acetaminophen, here we determined the effects of NSAIDs on the biological properties of Acanthamoeba castellanii belonging to the T4 genotype. Using amoebicidal assays, the results revealed that Diclofenac sodium, and Indomethacin affected growth of A. castellanii. In contrast, none of the compounds tested had any effect on the viability of A. castellanii. Importantly, all NSAIDs tested abolished A. castellanii encystation. This is a significant finding as the ability of amoebae to transform into the dormant cyst form presents a significant challenge in the successful treatment of infection. The NSAIDs inhibit production of cyclo-oxegenase, which regulates the synthesis of prostaglandins suggesting that cyclooxygenases (COX-1 and COX-2) and prostaglandins play significant role(s) in Acanthamoeba biology. As NSAIDs are routinely used in the clinical practice, these findings may help design improved preventative strategies and/or of therapeutic value to improve prognosis, when used in combination with other anti-amoebic drugs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  10. The role of G protein coupled receptor-mediated signaling in the biological properties of Acanthamoeba castellanii of the T4 genotype.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

    Despite advances in antimicrobial chemotherapy and supportive care, the prognosis of Acanthamoeba infections remains poor, suggesting that new targets are needed that can affect parasite survival and host-pathogen interactions. G proteins and their coupled receptors are well known regulators of a variety of cellular functions. The overall aim of the present study was to study the role of G-protein coupled receptor, β adrenergic receptor on the biology and pathogenesis of keratitis isolate of Acanthamoeba castellanii of the T4 genotype. Inhibition of β adrenergic receptor using antagonist, propranolol had detrimental effects on the extracellular proteolytic activities A. castellanii as determined using zymographic assays. Conversely, β adrenergic receptor agonist, isoprenaline showed increased proteases. Interestingly, β adrenergic receptor inhibition affected A. castellanii growth (using amoebistatic assays), viability (using amoebicidal assays by measuring uptake of Trypan blue) and encystation as determined by trophozoite transformation into the cyst form. Pre-treatment of parasites with propranolol hampered A. castellanii-mediated human brain microvascular endothelial cell cytotoxicity, as measured by the lacatate dehydrogenase release. The aforementioned findings suggest that G-protein coupled receptor, β adrenergic receptor-mediated signaling in A. castellanii biology and pathogenesis may offer new pharmacological targets.

  11. Interaction of Escherichia coli K1 and K5 with Acanthamoeba castellanii Trophozoites and Cysts

    OpenAIRE

    Matin, Abdul; Jung, Suk-Yul

    2011-01-01

    The existence of symbiotic relationships between Acanthamoeba and a variety of bacteria is well-documented. However, the ability of Acanthamoeba interacting with host bacterial pathogens has gained particular attention. Here, to understand the interactions of Escherichia coli K1 and E. coli K5 strains with Acanthamoeba castellanii trophozoites and cysts, association assay, invasion assay, survival assay, and the measurement of bacterial numbers from cysts were performed, and nonpathogenic E. ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  13. Effects of Grazing by the Free-Living Soil Amoebae Acanthamoeba castellanii, Acanthamoeba polyphaga, and Hartmannella vermiformis on Various Bacteria

    OpenAIRE

    Weekers, Peter H. H.; Paul l.E. Bodelier; Wijen, John P. H.; Vogels, Godfried D.

    1993-01-01

    Cultures of 10 different bacteria were used to serve as food sources for axenically grown Acanthamoeba castellanii, Acanthamoeba polyphaga, and Hartmannella vermiformis. The nonpigmented enterobacteriaceae Escherichia coli K-12 and Klebsiella aerogenes appeared to be excellent feed to all three amoebae. Hardly any growth or ammonium production was observed in tests with Chromatium vinosum and Serratia marcescens, which share the presence of pigmented compounds. Distinct differences in net amm...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Entsar Saheb

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available 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 protein.The full length of Acmcp and a mutated version of the same gene, which lacks the proline rich N-terminal region (Acmcp-dpr, were cloned into the pDneo2a-GFP vector separately. The pDneo2a-GFP-Acmcp and pDneo2a-GFPAcmcp-dpr were electro-transfected into wild type D. discoideum cells to create cell lines that over-expressed Acmcp or Acmcp-dpr.Both cell lines that over-expressed Acmcp and Acmcp-dpr showed a significant increase in the fluid phase internalization and phagocytosis rate compared to the control cells. Additionally, the cells expressing the Acmcp-dpr mutant were unable to initiate early development and failed to aggregate or form fruiting bodies under starvation conditions, whereas Acmcp over-expressing cells showed the opposite phenomena. Quantitative cell death analysis provided additional support for these findings.Acmcp is involved in the processes of endocytosis and phagocytosis. In addition, the proline rich region in Acmcp is important for cellular development in Dictyostelium. Given its important role in the development process, metacaspase protein is proposed as a candidate drug target against infections caused by A. castellanii.

  15. Acanthamoeba castellanii induces host cell death via a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-dependent mechanism

    OpenAIRE

    Sissons, J.; Kim, K.S.; Stins, M; Jayasekera, S.; Alsam, S.; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2005-01-01

    Granulomatous amoebic encephalitis due to Acanthamoeba castellanii is a serious human infection with fatal consequences, but it is not clear how the circulating amoebae interact with the blood-brain barrier and transmigrate into the central nervous system. We studied the effects of an Acanthamoeba encephalitis isolate belonging to the T1 genotype on human brain microvascular endothelial cells, which constitute the blood-brain barrier. Using an apoptosis-specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent as...

  16. Effect of environmental stress factors on the uptake and survival of Campylobacter jejuni in Acanthamoeba castellanii

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bui, Thanh Xuan; Qvortrup, Klaus; Wolff, Anders

    2012-01-01

    . jejuni and on its uptake by and intracellular survival within Acanthamoeba castellanii. Results: Heat, starvation and osmotic stress reduced the survival of C. jejuni significantly, whereas oxidative stress had no effect. Quantitative RT-PCR experiments showed that the transcription of virulence genes...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  18. Superdiffusion dominates intracellular particle motion in the supercrowded space of pathogenic Acanthamoeba castellanii

    CERN Document Server

    Reverey, J F; Bao, H; Leippe, M; Metzler, R; Selhuber-Unkel, C

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. Lethal effects of Helianthemum lippii (L.) on Acanthamoeba castellanii cysts in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  2. Bowman’s layer encystment in cases of persistent Acanthamoeba keratitis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yokogawa H

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Hideaki Yokogawa,1 Akira Kobayashi,1 Natsuko Yamazaki,1 Yasuhisa Ishibashi,2 Yosaburo Oikawa,3 Masaharu Tokoro,4 Kazuhisa Sugiyama11Department of Ophthalmology, Kanazawa University Graduate School of Medical Science, Kanazawa, 2Department of Ophthalmology, East Washinomiya Hospital, Kuki, 3Department of Medical Zoology, Kanazawa Medical University, Kahoku, 4Department of Parasitology, Kanazawa University Graduate School of Medical Science, Kanazawa, JapanBackground: The purpose of this study was to report Acanthamoeba encystment in Bowman’s layer in Japanese cases of persistent Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK.Methods: Laser confocal microscopic images of the cornea were obtained in vivo from 18 consecutive eyes from 17 confirmed AK patients. Retrospectively, 14 cases treated over 4 months were categorized as a nonpersistent group and three cases that required prolonged therapy for more than 6 months were categorized as a persistent group. Clinical outcomes based on final best-corrected visual acuity were retrospectively analyzed, and selected confocal images were evaluated qualitatively for abnormal findings.Results: The final best-corrected visual acuity was significantly lower (P < 0.01 for patients in the persistent group compared with that in the nonpersistent group. At the initial visit, in vivo confocal microscopy demonstrated Acanthamoeba cysts exclusively in the epithelial layer in both the nonpersistent group (80% and the persistent group (100%. At a subsequent follow-up visit, numerous Acanthamoeba cysts were observed in the epithelial cell layer and in Bowman’s layer in all patients with persistent AK, but Acanthamoeba cysts were undetectable in all cases with nonpersistent AK tested.Conclusion: Invasion of cysts into Bowman’s layer was characteristically observed in patients with persistence of AK. This finding suggests that invasion of Acanthamoeba cysts into Bowman’s layer may be a useful predictor for a persistent clinical

  3. Influence of the PDMS substrate stiffness on the adhesion of Acanthamoeba castellanii

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sören B. Gutekunst

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Background: Mechanosensing of cells, particularly the cellular response to substrates with different elastic properties, has been discovered in recent years, but almost exclusively in mammalian cells. Much less attention has been paid to mechanosensing in other cell systems, such as in eukaryotic human pathogens.Results: We report here on the influence of substrate stiffness on the adhesion of the human pathogen Acanthamoebae castellanii (A. castellanii. By comparing the cell adhesion area of A. castellanii trophozoites on polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS substrates with different Young’s moduli (4 kPa, 29 kPa, and 128 kPa, we find significant differences in cell adhesion area as a function of substrate stiffness. In particular, the cell adhesion area of A. castellanii increases with a decreasing Young’s modulus of the substrate.Conclusion: The dependence of A. castellanii adhesion on the elastic properties of the substrate is the first study suggesting a mechanosensory effect for a eukaryotic human pathogen. Interestingly, the main targets of A. castellanii infections in the human body are the eye and the brain, i.e., very soft environments. Thus, our study provides first hints towards the relevance of mechanical aspects for the pathogenicity of eukaryotic parasites.

  4. Temperature Depended Role of Shigella flexneri Invasion Plasmid on the Interaction with Acanthamoeba castellanii

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amir Saeed

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Shigella flexneri is a Gram-negative bacterium causing the diarrhoeal disease shigellosis in humans. The virulence genes required for invasion are clustered on a large 220 kb plasmid encoding type three secretion system (TTSS apparatus and virulence factors such as adhesions and invasion plasmid antigens (Ipa. The bacterium is transmitted by contaminated food, water, or from person to person. Acanthamoebae are free-living amoebae (FLA which are found in diverse environments and isolated from various water sources. Different bacteria interact differently with FLA since Francisella tularensis, Vibrio cholerae, Shigella sonnei, and S. dysenteriae are able to grow inside A. castellanii. In contrast, Pseudomonas aeruginosa induces both necrosis and apoptosis to kill A. castellanii. The aim of this study is to examine the role of invasion plasmid of S. flexneri on the interaction with A. castellanii at two different temperatures. A. castellanii in the absence or presence of wild type, IpaB mutant, or plasmid-cured strain S. flexneri was cultured at 30∘C and 37∘C and the interaction was analysed by viable count of both bacteria and amoebae, electron microscopy, flow cytometry, and statistical analysis. The outcome of the interaction was depended on the temperature since the growth of A. castellanii was inhibited at 30∘C, and A. castellanii was killed by invasion plasmid mediated necrosis at 37∘C.

  5. Effects of pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls and metals on the growth and reproduction of Acanthamoeba castellanii

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Prescott, L.M.; Kubovec, M.K.; Tryggestad, D.

    1977-07-01

    The effects of pollutants (pesticides, PCB and metals) were studied in the free-living amoeba, Acanthamoeba castellanii. Eight pesticides were used--the insecticides dieldrin, aldrin and sevin, and the herbicides linuron, stam F-34, IPC, atrazine and simazine. It was shown that the sensitivity of A. castellanii to pesticides varied greatly. The population growth was inhibited by linuron, stam F-34, IPC, sevin and atrazine at a level of 10 mg/l. The polychlorinated biphenyl, Arochor 1254, had no significant effect at a concentration of 0.01 mg/l (10 ppb). The studies with metal ions showed that A. castellanii was unaffected by moderately high levels of Cu and Zn, but was sensitive to the presence of Pb and mercuric ions.

  6. The role of Src kinase in the biology and pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba castellanii

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Siddiqui Ruqaiyyah

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Acanthamoeba species are the causative agents of fatal granulomatous encephalitis in humans. Haematogenous spread is thought to be a primary step, followed by blood–brain barrier penetration, in the transmission of Acanthmaoeba into the central nervous system, but the associated molecular mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we evaluated the role of Src, a non-receptor protein tyrosine kinase in the biology and pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba. Methods Amoebistatic and amoebicidal assays were performed by incubating amoeba in the presence of Src kinase-selective inhibitor, PP2 (4-amino-5-(4-chlorophenyl-7-(t-butylpyrazolo[3,4-d]pyrimidine and its inactive analog, PP3 (4-amino-7-phenylpyrazolo[3,4-d]pyrimidine. Using this inhibitor, the role of Src kinase in A. castellanii interactions with Escherichia coli was determined. Zymographic assays were performed to study effects of Src kinase on extracellular proteolytic activities of A. castellanii. The human brain microvascular endothelial cells were used to determine the effects of Src kinase on A. castellanii adhesion to and cytotoxicity of host cells. Results Inhibition of Src kinase using a specific inhibitor, PP2 (4-amino-5-(4 chlorophenyl-7-(t-butylpyrazolo [3,4-d] pyrimidine but not its inactive analog, PP3 (4-amino-7-phenylpyrazolo[3,4-d] pyrimidine, had detrimental effects on the growth of A. castellanii (keratitis isolate, belonging to the T4 genotype. Interestingly, inhibition of Src kinase hampered the phagocytic ability of A. castellanii, as measured by the uptake of non-invasive bacteria, but, on the contrary, invasion by pathogenic bacteria was enhanced. Zymographic assays revealed that inhibition of Src kinases reduced extracellular protease activities of A. castellanii. Src kinase inhibition had no significant effect on A. castellanii binding to and cytotoxicity of primary human brain microvascular endothelial cells, which constitute the blood–brain barrier

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 o...

  8. Behavior of Yersinia enterocolitica in the presence of the bacterivorous Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

    Free-living protozoa play an important role in the ecology and epidemiology of human-pathogenic bacteria. In the present study, the interaction between Yersinia enterocolitica, an important food-borne pathogen, and the free-living amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii was studied. Several cocultivation assays were set up to assess the resistance of Y. enterocolitica to A. castellanii predation and the impact of environmental factors and bacterial strain-specific characteristics. Results showed that all Y. enterocolitica strains persist in association with A. castellanii for at least 14 days, and associations with A. castellanii enhanced survival of Yersinia under nutrient-rich conditions at 25°C and under nutrient-poor conditions at 37°C. Amoebae cultivated in the supernatant of one Yersinia strain showed temperature- and time-dependent permeabilization. Intraprotozoan survival of Y. enterocolitica depended on nutrient availability and temperature, with up to 2.8 log CFU/ml bacteria displaying intracellular survival at 7°C for at least 4 days in nutrient-rich medium. Transmission electron microscopy was performed to locate the Yersinia cells inside the amoebae. As Yersinia and Acanthamoeba share similar ecological niches, this interaction identifies a role of free-living protozoa in the ecology and epidemiology of Y. enterocolitica.

  9. Biochemical and cellular mechanisms regulating Acanthamoeba castellanii adherence to host cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soto-Arredondo, K J; Flores-Villavicencio, L L; Serrano-Luna, J J; Shibayama, M; Sabanero-López, M

    2014-04-01

    Free-living amoebae belonging to the genus Acanthamoeba are the causative agents of infections such as amoebic keratitis (AK), granulomatous amoebic encephalitis (GAE) and cutaneous lesions. The mechanisms involved in the establishment of infection are unknown. However, it is accepted that the initial phase of pathogenesis involves adherence to the host tissue. In this work, we analysed surface molecules with an affinity for epithelial and neuronal cells from the trophozoites of Acanthamoeba castellanii. We also investigated the cellular mechanisms that govern the process of trophozoite adhesion to the host cells. We first used confocal and epifluorescence microscopy to examine the distribution of the A. castellanii actin cytoskeleton during interaction with the host cells. The use of drugs, as cytochalasin B (CB) and latrunculin B (LB), revealed the participation of cytoskeletal filaments in the adhesion process. In addition, to identify the proteins and glycoproteins on the surface of A. castellanii, the trophozoites were labelled with biotin and biotinylated lectins. The results revealed bands of surface proteins, some of which were glycoproteins with mannose and N-acetylglucosamine residues. Interaction assays of biotinylated amoebae proteins with epithelial and neuronal cells showed that some surface proteins had affinity for both cell types. The results of this study provide insight into the biochemical and cellular mechanisms of the Acanthamoeba infection process.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  12. Effects of harmful cyanobacteria on the freshwater pathogenic free-living amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urrutia-Cordero, Pablo; Agha, Ramsy; Cirés, Samuel; Lezcano, María Ángeles; Sánchez-Contreras, María; Waara, Karl-Otto; Utkilen, Hans; Quesada, Antonio

    2013-04-15

    Grazing is a major regulating factor in cyanobacterial population dynamics and, subsequently, considerable effort has been spent on investigating the effects of cyanotoxins on major metazoan grazers. However, protozoan grazers such as free-living amoebae can also feed efficiently on cyanobacteria, while simultaneously posing a major threat for public health as parasites of humans and potential reservoirs of opportunistic pathogens. In this study, we conducted several experiments in which the freshwater amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii was exposed to pure microcystin-LR (MC-LR) and six cyanobacterial strains, three MC-producing strains (MC-LR, MC-RR, MC-YR, MC-WR, [Dha7] MC-RR) and three strains containing other oligopeptides such as anabaenopeptins and cyanopeptolins. Although the exposure to high concentrations of pure MC-LR yielded no effects on amoeba, all MC-producing strains inflicted high mortality rates on amoeba populations, suggesting that toxic effects must be mediated through the ingestion of toxic cells. Interestingly, an anabaenopeptin-producing strain caused the greatest inhibition of amoeba growth, indicating that toxic bioactive compounds other than MCs are of great importance for amoebae grazers. Confocal scanning microscopy revealed different alterations in amoeba cytoskeleton integrity and as such, the observed declines in amoeba densities could have indeed been caused via a cascade of cellular events primarily triggered by oligopeptides with protein-phosphatase inhibition capabilities such as MCs or anabaenopeptins. Moreover, inducible-defense mechanisms such as the egestion of toxic, MC-producing cyanobacterial cells and the increase of resting stages (encystation) in amoebae co-cultivated with all cyanobacterial strains were observed in our experiments. Consequently, cyanobacterial strains showed different susceptibilities to amoeba grazing which were possibly influenced by the potentiality of their toxic secondary metabolites. Hence, this

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-03-01

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

  15. Interaction of Acinetobacter baumannii 19606 and 1656-2 with Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamang, Migma Dorji; Kim, Shukho; Kim, Sung-Min; Kong, Hyun-Hee; Kim, Jungmin

    2011-10-01

    Acinetobacter baumannii is virtually avirulent for healthy people but maintains a high virulence among critically ill patients or immuno-compromised individuals. The ability of A. baumannii to adhere to cells and persist on surfaces as biofilms could be central to its pathogenicity. In the present study, we compared the virulence of the A. baumannii 1656-2 clinical strain, which is able to form a thick biofilm, with the virulence of the A. baumannii type strain (ATCC 19606(T)). Acanthamoeba castellanii, a single-celled organism, was used as the host model system to study the virulence of A. baumannii. Compared to A. baumannii ATCC 19606(T), A. baumannii 1656-2 exhibited a higher ability to adhere and invade A. castellanii cells and had a higher killing rate of A. castellanii cells. Furthermore, co-incubation of the amoeba cells and the cell-free supernatant of A. baumannii resulted in the cell death of the amoebae. Heat inactivation or proteinase K treatment of the supernatant did not eliminate its cytotoxicity, suggesting heat stable non-protein factors are responsible for its cytotoxicity to A. castellanii cells. In conclusion, this study for the first time has revealed the capacity of the A. baumannii strain and/or its metabolic products to induce cytotoxicity in A. castellanii cells.

  16. Statins and voriconazole induce programmed cell death in Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-01

    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.

  17. In vitro efficacies of clinically available drugs against growth and viability of an Acanthamoeba castellanii keratitis isolate belonging to the T4 genotype.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baig, Abdul Mannan; Iqbal, Junaid; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2013-08-01

    The effects of clinically available drugs targeting muscarinic cholinergic, adrenergic, dopaminergic, and serotonergic receptors; intracellular calcium levels and/or the function of calcium-dependent biochemical pathways; ion channels; and cellular pumps were tested against a keratitis isolate of Acanthamoeba castellanii belonging to the T4 genotype. In vitro growth inhibition (amoebistatic) assays were performed by incubating A. castellanii with various concentrations of drugs in the growth medium for 48 h at 30°C. To determine amoebicidal effects, amoebae were incubated with drugs in phosphate-buffered saline for 24 h, and viability was determined using trypan blue exclusion staining. For controls, amoebae were incubated with the solvent alone. Of the eight drugs tested, amlodipine, prochlorperazine, and loperamide showed potent amoebicidal effects, as no viable trophozoites were observed (>95% kill rate), while amiodarone, procyclidine, digoxin, and apomorphine exhibited up to 50% amoebicidal effects. In contrast, haloperidol did not affect viability, but all the drugs tested inhibited A. castellanii growth. Importantly, amlodipine, prochlorperazine, and loperamide showed compelling cysticidal effects. The cysticidal effects were irreversible, as cysts treated with the aforementioned drugs did not reemerge as viable amoebae upon inoculation in the growth medium. Except for apomorphine and haloperidol, all the tested drugs blocked trophozoite differentiation into cysts in encystation assays. Given the limited availability of effective drugs to treat amoebal infections, the clinically available drugs tested in this study represent potential agents for managing keratitis and granulomatous amoebic encephalitis caused by Acanthamoeba spp. and possibly against other meningoencephalitis-causing amoebae, such as Balamuthia mandrillaris and Naegleria fowleri.

  18. Characterization of cyst and trophozoite proteins of environmental isolates of Acanthamoeba castellanii by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dao, Yap Ray Ming; Chooi, Lim Patricia Kim; Li, Chan Li; Fung, Wong Shew; Wah, Mak Joon

    2014-03-01

    Acanthamoeba castellanii has been known to possess pathogenic properties, such as acanthamoebic keratitis and granulomatous amoebic encephalitis. The role of proteases and proteins in the pathogenesis of these infections is still poorly understood. As Acanthamoeba sp is a ubiquitous protozoon found in the natural environment they can potentially cause human infections. This study characterized cyst and trophozoite proteins of 3 environmental A. castellanii isolates in comparison with a clinical isolate, ATCC 50492. The latter and environmental IMU1 isolate had 100% genotype identity with A. castellanii and demonstrated protein spots with higher molecular weights (> 95 kDa) at relatively higher isoelectric values (> pI 7.00) compared to the two other environmental isolates (IMU4 and IMU5) that had 99% genotype identity to A. castellanii based on 16 S rDNA sequence. Thus such trophozoite proteins may be involved with the parasite's ability to cause acanthamoebic keratitis.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan M.R. Gawryluk

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  20. Amino Acid Uptake and Metabolism of Legionella pneumophila Hosted by Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schunder, Eva; Gillmaier, Nadine; Kutzner, Erika; Eisenreich, Wolfgang; Herrmann, Vroni; Lautner, Monika; Heuner, Klaus

    2014-07-25

    Legionella pneumophila survives and replicates within a Legionella-containing vacuole (LCV) of amoebae and macrophages. Less is known about the carbon metabolism of the bacteria within the LCV. We have now analyzed the transfer and usage of amino acids from the natural host organism Acanthamoeba castellanii to Legionella pneumophila under in vivo (LCV) conditions. For this purpose, A. castellanii was 13C-labeled by incubation in buffer containing [U-(13)C(6)]glucose. Subsequently, these 13C-prelabeled amoebae were infected with L. pneumophila wild type or some mutants defective in putative key enzymes or regulators of carbon metabolism. 13C-Isotopologue compositions of amino acids from bacterial and amoebal proteins were then determined by mass spectrometry. In a comparative approach, the profiles documented the efficient uptake of Acanthamoeba amino acids into the LCV and further into L. pneumophila where they served as precursors for bacterial protein biosynthesis. More specifically, A. castellanii synthesized from exogenous [U-13C6]glucose unique isotopologue mixtures of several amino acids including Phe and Tyr, which were also observed in the same amino acids from LCV-grown L. pneumophila. Minor but significant differences were only detected in the isotopologue profiles of Ala, Asp, and Glu from the amoebal or bacterial protein fractions, respectively, indicating partial de novo synthesis of these amino acids by L. pneumophila. The similar isotopologue patterns in amino acids from L. pneumophila wild type and the mutants under study reflected the robustness of amino acid usage in the LCV of A. castellannii.

  1. Functional roles of mannose-binding protein in the adhesion, cytotoxicity and phagocytosis of Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jong-Hyun; Matin, Abdul; Shin, Ho-Joon; Park, Hyun; Yoo, Kyung-Tae; Yuan, Xi-Zhe; Kim, Kwang Sik; Jung, Suk-Yul

    2012-10-01

    Acanthamoeba castellanii is a single-celled protozoan that is widely distributed in the environment and is a well-known of causing human keratitis, a vision-threatening infection. In this study, an ethyl methane sulfonate (EMS) and a selection of saccharide were applied to A. castellanii by chemical mutagenesis. To understand the functional roles of a mannose-binding protein (MBP). A. castellanii were treated with methyl-alpha-D-mannopyranoside abbreviated Man, with and without the EMS pre-treatment, and their adhesion and cytotoxicity were analyzed, using a human brain microvascular endothelial cell (HBMEC) as the target cell. Both EMS and Man mutants exhibited significantly decreased levels of MBP expression and cytotoxicity to HBMEC, but showed similar levels of binding to HBMEC, as compared with the wild type. Of interest was that the exogenous mannose inhibited amoebae (i.e., Man mutant) binding to the HBMEC by <20%. Only the mutant Man exhibited a significant decrease in bacterial uptake, as compared to the wild type, 0.020 vs 0.032 (p<0.05) and proteolytic activity. The results showed that MBP should be clearly provided as the pathogenic target candidate, to further target-based therapy, but EMS mutation should not be associated with initial adhesion and phagocytosis of A. castellanii.

  2. Interaction of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia with Acanthamoeba castellanii parallels macrophage-fungus interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  3. Differential effects of alpha-helical and beta-hairpin antimicrobial peptides against Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sacramento, R S; Martins, R M; Miranda, A; Dobroff, A S S; Daffre, S; Foronda, A S; De Freitas, D; Schenkman, S

    2009-07-01

    In this work we evaluated the ability of different types of antimicrobial peptides to promote permeabilization and growth inhibition of Acanthamoeba castellanii trophozoites, which cause eye keratitis. We used cationic alpha-helical peptides P5 and P6, corresponding to the N-terminus of the pore-forming protein from Triatoma infestans, a blood-sucking insect, and a beta-hairpin amphipathic molecule (gomesin), of the spider Acanthoscurria gomesiana haemocytes. A. castellanii permeabilization was obtained after 1 h incubation with micromolar concentrations of both types of peptides. While permeabilization induced by gomesin increased with longer incubations, P5 permeabilization did not increase with time and occurred at doses that are more toxic for SIRC cells. P5, however, at doses below the critical dose used to kill rabbit corneal cells was quite effective in promoting growth inhibition. Similarly, P5 was more effective when serine protease inhibitor was added simultaneously to the permeabilization assay. High performance chromatography followed by mass spectrometry analysis confirmed that, in contrast to gomesin, P5 is hydrolysed by A. castellanii culture supernatants. We conclude that the use of antimicrobial peptides to treat A. castellanii infections requires the search of more specific peptides that are resistant to proteolysis.

  4. Absence of a universal element for tRNAHis identity in Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rao, Bhalchandra S; Mohammad, Fuad; Gray, Michael W; Jackman, Jane E

    2013-02-01

    The additional G(-1) nucleotide on tRNA(His) is a nearly universal feature that specifies tRNA(His) identity in all three domains of life. In eukaryotes, the G(-1) identity element is obtained by a post-transcriptional pathway, through the unusual 3'-5' polymerase activity of the highly conserved tRNA(His) guanylyltransferase (Thg1) enzyme, and no examples of eukaryotic histidyl-tRNAs that lack this essential element have been identified. Here we report that the eukaryote Acanthamoeba castellanii lacks the G(-1) identity element on its tRNA(His), consistent with the lack of a gene encoding a bona fide Thg1 ortholog in the A. castellanii genome. Moreover, the cytosolic histidyl-tRNA synthetase in A. castellanii exhibits an unusual tRNA substrate specificity, efficiently aminoacylating tRNA(His) regardless of the presence of G(-1). A. castellanii does contain two Thg1-related genes (encoding Thg1-like proteins, TLPs), but the biochemical properties we associate here with these proteins are consistent with a function for these TLPs in separate pathways unrelated to tRNA(His) metabolism, such as mitochondrial tRNA repair during 5'-editing.

  5. Swedish isolates of Vibrio cholerae enhance their survival when interacted intracellularly with Acanthamoeba castellanii

    OpenAIRE

    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,...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  7. Survival of Campylobacter jejuni in co-culture with Acanthamoeba castellanii: role of amoeba-mediated depletion of dissolved oxygen

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bui, Thanh Xuan; Winding, Anne; Qvortrup, Klaus

    2012-01-01

    Campylobacter jejuni is a major cause of infectious diarrhoea worldwide but relatively little is known about its ecology. In this study, we examined its interactions with Acanthamoeba castellanii, a protozoan suspected to serve as a reservoir for bacterial pathogens. We observed rapid degradation...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. Impact of oxidative stress on Acanthamoeba castellanii mitochondrial bioenergetics depends on cell growth stage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woyda-Ploszczyca, Andrzej; Koziel, Agnieszka; Antos-Krzeminska, Nina; Jarmuszkiewicz, Wieslawa

    2011-06-01

    Addition of a moderate (1.4 mM) concentration of H(2)O(2) to protozoon Acanthamoeba castellanii cell cultures at different growth phases caused a different response to oxidative stress. H(2)O(2) treatment of exponentially growing cells significantly delayed their growth; however, in mitochondria isolated from these cells, no damage to their bioenergetic function was observed. In contrast, addition of H(2)O(2) to A. castellanii cells approaching the stationary phase did not influence their growth and viability while seriously affecting mitochondrial bioenergetic function. Although mitochondrial integrity was maintained, oxidative damage was revealed in the reduction of cytochrome pathway activity, uncoupling protein activity, and the efficiency of oxidative phosphorylation as well as the membrane potential and the endogenous ubiquinone reduction level of the resting state. An increase in the alternative oxidase protein level and activity as well as an increase in the membranous ubiquinone content were observed in mitochondria isolated from late H(2)O(2)-treated cells. For the first time, the regulation of ubiquinone content in the inner mitochondrial membrane is shown to play a role in the response to oxidative stress. A physiological role for the higher activity of the alternative oxidase in response to oxidative stress in unicellular organisms, such as amoeba A. castellanii, is discussed.

  10. Swedish isolates of Vibrio cholerae enhance their survival when interacted intracellularly with Acanthamoeba castellanii

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salah Shanan

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  11. Swedish isolates of Vibrio cholerae enhance their survival when interacted intracellularly with Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  13. Co-incubation of Acanthamoeba castellanii with strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa alters the survival of amoeba.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  14. The effect of environmental and physiological conditions on excystation of Acanthamoeba castellanii belonging to the T4 genotype.

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    Lakhundi, Sahreena; Khan, Naveed Ahmed; Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah

    2014-08-01

    Excystation in Acanthamoeba is an important property for the onset of infection as well as infection recurrence, post-treatment. The overall aim of this study was to determine the effects of several environmental and physiological parameters on excystation in Acanthamoeba castellanii belonging to the T4 genotype. Cysts were prepared by inoculating A. castellanii trophozoites on non-nutrient agar plates for up to 2 weeks. To determine the effects of various conditions on excystation, A. castellanii cysts were inoculated in growth medium i.e. PYG and incubated at varying temperatures (4-40 °C), various pHs (4-9), artificial light/dark cycles and 5% of CO2. Optimum excystation was observed when cysts were incubated at 30 °C in growth medium at neutral pH. Extremes of temperature and pH reduced excystation, while light/dark cycles had no effect on excystation of A. castellanii. On the other hand, 5% of CO2 enhanced excystation and growth of excysting amoebae. To determine the effect of serum on A. castellanii excystation, assays were performed in the presence of varying concentrations of heat-inactivated foetal bovine serum (FBS) (5-100%). The results revealed that FBS promoted excystation. The involvement of G proteins in excystation was also determined. Using propranolol hydrochloride, a G protein inhibitor, the results revealed that G proteins play a role in A. castellanii differentiation. Furthermore, organic solvents (methanol/ethanol) completely blocked excystation. None of the aforementioned conditions had any effect on the viability of A. castellanii. A complete understanding of excystation in A. castellanii will be of value to counter infection recurrence.

  15. In vitro amoebicidal activity of ethanol extracts of Arachis hypogaea L., Curcuma longa L. and Pancratium maritimum L. on Acanthamoeba castellanii cysts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Sayed, Nagwa Mostafa; Ismail, Khadiga Ahmed; Ahmed, Sabah Abd-El-Ghany; Hetta, Mona Hafez

    2012-05-01

    Acanthamoeba castellanii causes amoebic keratitis which is a painful sight-threatening disease of the eyes. Its eradication is difficult because the amoebas encyst making it highly resistant to anti-amoebic drugs, but several medicinal plants have proven to be more effective than the usual therapy. This study aimed to evaluate the in vitro amoebicidal activity of ethanol extracts of Arachis hypogaea L. (peanut), Curcuma longa L. (turmeric), and Pancratium maritimum L. (sea daffodil) on A. castellanii cysts. Acanthamoeba were isolated from keratitic patients, cultivated on 1.5% non-nutrient agar, and then incubated with different concentrations of plant extracts which were further evaluated for their cysticidal activity. The results showed that all extracts had significant inhibitory effect on the multiplication of Acanthamoeba cysts as compared to the drug control (chlorhexidine) and non-treated control, and the inhibition was time and dose dependent. The ethanol extract of A. hypogaea had a remarkable cysticidal effect with minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 100 mg/ml in all incubation periods, while the concentrations of 10 and 1 mg/ml were able to completely inhibit growth after 48 and 72 h, respectively. The concentrations 0.1 and 0.01 mg/ml failed to completely inhibit the cyst growth, but showed growth reduction by 64.4-82.6% in all incubation periods. C. longa had a MIC of 1 g and 100 mg/ml after 48 and 72 h, respectively, while the concentrations 10, 1, and 0.1 mg/ml caused growth reduction by 60-90.3% in all incubation periods. P. maritimum had a MIC of 200 mg/ml after 72 h, while the 20-, 2-, 0.2-, and 0.02-mg/ml concentrations showed growth reduction by 34-94.3% in all incubation periods. All extracts seemed to be more effective than chlorhexidine which caused only growth reduction by 55.3-80.2% in all incubation periods and failed to completely inhibit the cyst growth. In conclusion, ethanol extracts of A. hypogaea, C. longa, and P. maritimum

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Entsar Saheb; Wendy Trzyna; John Bush

    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.

  17. ToxR of Vibrio cholerae affects biofilm, rugosity and survival with Acanthamoeba castellanii

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    Valeru Soni P

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Vibrio cholerae causes the diarrheal disease cholera and utilizes different survival strategies in aquatic environments. V. cholerae can survive as free-living or in association with zooplankton and can build biofilm and rugose colonies. The bacterium expresses cholera toxin (CT and toxin-coregulated pilus (TCP as the main virulence factors. These factors are co-regulated by a transcriptional regulator ToxR, which modulates expression of outer membrane proteins (OmpU and (OmpT. The aims of this study were to disclose the role of ToxR in expression of OmpU and OmpT, biofilm and rugose colony formation as well as in association with the free-living amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii at different temperatures. Results The toxR mutant V. cholerae produced OmpT, significant biofilm and rugose colonies compared to the wild type that produced OmpU, decreased biofilm and did not form rugoes colonies at 30°C. Interestingly, neither the wild type nor toxR mutant strain could form rugose colonies in association with the amoebae. However, during the association with the amoebae it was observed that A. castellanii enhanced survival of V. cholerae wild type compared to toxR mutant strain at 37°C. Conclusions ToxR does seem to play some regulatory role in the OmpT/OmpU expression shift, the changes in biofilm, rugosity and survival with A. castellanii, suggesting a new role for this regulatory protein in the environments.

  18. Hydroxynonenal-stimulated activity of the uncoupling protein in Acanthamoeba castellanii mitochondria under phosphorylating conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woyda-Ploszczyca, Andrzej; Jarmuszkiewicz, Wieslawa

    2013-05-01

    The influence of 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (HNE), a lipid peroxidation end product, on the activity of the amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii uncoupling protein (AcUCP) in isolated phosphorylating mitochondria was studied. Under phosphorylating conditions, exogenously added HNE induced GTP-sensitive AcUCP-mediated mitochondrial uncoupling. The HNE-induced proton leak decreased the yield of oxidative phosphorylation in an HNE concentration-dependent manner. The present study describes how the contributions of ATP synthase and HNE-induced AcUCP in phosphorylating respiration vary when the rate of succinate oxidation is decreased by limiting succinate uptake or inhibiting complex III activity within the range of a constant membrane potential. In phosphorylating mitochondria, at a given HNE concentration (100 μM), the efficiency of AcUCP in mitochondrial uncoupling increased as the respiratory rate decreased because the AcUCP contribution remained constant while the ATP synthase contribution decreased with the respiratory rate. HNE-induced uncoupling can be inhibited by GTP only when ubiquinone is sufficiently oxidized, indicating that in phosphorylating A. castellanii mitochondria, the sensitivity of AcUCP activity to GTP depends on the redox state of the membranous ubiquinone.

  19. Atomic force microscopic imaging of Acanthamoeba castellanii and Balamuthia mandrillaris trophozoites and cysts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aqeel, Yousuf; Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah; Ateeq, Muhammad; Raza Shah, Muhammad; Kulsoom, Huma; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2015-01-01

    Light microscopy and electron microscopy have been successfully used in the study of microbes, as well as free-living protists. Unlike light microscopy, which enables us to observe living organisms or the electron microscope which provides a two-dimensional image, atomic force microscopy provides a three-dimensional surface profile. Here, we observed two free-living amoebae, Acanthamoeba castellanii and Balamuthia mandrillaris under the phase contrast inverted microscope, transmission electron microscope and atomic force microscope. Although light microscopy was of lower magnification, it revealed functional biology of live amoebae such as motility and osmoregulation using contractile vacuoles of the trophozoite stage, but it is of limited value in defining the cyst stage. In contrast, transmission electron microscopy showed significantly greater magnification and resolution to reveal the ultra-structural features of trophozoites and cysts including intracellular organelles and cyst wall characteristics but it only produced a snapshot in time of a dead amoeba cell. Atomic force microscopy produced three-dimensional images providing detailed topographic description of shape and surface, phase imaging measuring boundary stiffness, and amplitude measurements including width, height and length of A. castellanii and B. mandrillaris trophozoites and cysts. These results demonstrate the importance of the application of various microscopic methods in the biological and structural characterization of the whole cell, ultra-structural features, as well as surface components and cytoskeleton of protist pathogens.

  20. Transcription and processing of mitochondrial RNA in the human pathogen Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Accari, Jessica; Barth, Christian

    2015-07-01

    The size, structure, gene content and organisation of mitochondrial genomes can be highly diverse especially amongst the protists. We investigated the transcription and processing of the mitochondrial genome of the opportunistic pathogen Acanthamoeba castellanii and here we present a detailed transcription map of the 41.6 kb genome that encodes 33 proteins, 16 tRNAs and 2 rRNAs. Northern hybridisation studies identified six major polycistronic transcripts, most of which are co-transcriptionally processed into smaller mono-, di- and tricistronic RNAs. The maturation of the polycistronic transcripts is likely to involve endonucleolytic cleavage where tRNAs serve as processing signals. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reactions across the intervening regions between the six major polycistronic transcripts suggest that these transcripts were once part of an even larger transcript. Our findings indicate that the mitochondrial genome of A. castellanii is transcribed from only one or two promoters, very similar to the mode of transcription in the mitochondria of its close relative Dictyostelium discoideum, where transcription is known to occur from only a single transcription initiation site. Transcription initiation from a minimal number of promoters despite a large genome size may be an emerging trend in the mitochondria of protists.

  1. Molecular Characterization and Sequencing of a Gene Encoding Mannose Binding Protein in an Iranian Isolate of Acanthamoeba castellanii as a Major Agent of Acanthamoeba Keratitis

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    SH Farnia

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Background: Acanthamoeba castellanii is the important cause of amoebic keratitis in Iran. The key molecule in pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba keratitis is Mannose Binding Protein (MBP led to adhesion of amoeba to corneal epithelium. Subsequent to adhesion other cytopathic effects occur. The goal of this study was to identify the molecular characterization of a gene encoding MBP in an Iranian isolate of A.castellanii in order to pave the way for further investigations such as new therapeutic advances or immunization. Methods: A.castellanii was cultured on non nutrient agar. Extraction of DNA was performed by phenol-chloroform method. After designing a pair of primer for the gene encoding MBP, PCR analysis was performed. Finally, the PCR product has been sequenced and the result submitted to the gene data banks. Results: An MBP gene of 1081 nucleotides was sequenced. This fragment contained three introns and encodes a protein with 194 amino acids. Homology search by Blast program showed a significant homology with the MBP gene in gene data banks (96%. Besides, the identity of amino acids with the other MBPs in gene data banks was about 86%. Conclusion: We isolated and sequenced a gene fragment encoding MBP in an Iranian isolate of A.castellanii. Molecular characterization of this important gene is the first step in pursuing researches such as developing better therapeutic agents, immunization of population at risk or even developing a diagnostic tool by PCR techniques.

  2. Functional expression and characterization of an iron-containing superoxide dismutase of Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jung-Yeon; Na, Byoung-Kuk; Song, Kyoung-Ju; Park, Mi-Hyun; Park, Yun-Kyu; Kim, Tong-Soo

    2012-10-01

    Acanthamoeba spp. are free-living amoebae, but opportunistic infections of some strains of the organisms cause severe diseases such as acanthamoebic keratitis, pneumonitis, and granulomatous amoebic encephalitis in human. In this study, we identified a gene encoding iron superoxide dismutase of Acanthamoeba castellanii (AcFe-SOD) and characterized biochemical and functional properties of the recombinant enzyme. Multiple sequence alignment of the deduced amino acid sequence of AcFe-SOD with those of previously reported iron-containing SODs (Fe-SODs) from other protozoan parasites showed that AcFe-SOD shared common metal-binding residues and motifs that are conserved in Fe-SODs. The genomic length of the AcFe-SOD gene was 926 bp consisting of five exons interrupted by four introns. The recombinant AcFe-SOD showed similar biochemical characteristics with its native enzyme and shared typical biochemical properties with other characterized Fe-SODs, including molecular structure, broad pH optimum, and sensitivity to hydrogen peroxide. Immunolocalization analysis revealed that the enzyme localized in the cytosol of the trophozoites. Activity and expression level of the enzyme were significantly increased under oxidative stressed conditions. These results collectively suggest that AcFe-SOD may play essential roles in the survival of the parasite not only by protecting itself from endogenous oxidative stress but also by detoxifying oxidative killing of the parasite by host immune effector cells.

  3. Potent antimicrobial peptides against Legionella pneumophila and its environmental host, Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlusselhuber, Margot; Humblot, Vincent; Casale, Sandra; Méthivier, Christophe; Verdon, Julien; Leippe, Matthias; Berjeaud, Jean-Marc

    2015-06-01

    Legionella pneumophila, the major causative agent of Legionnaires' disease, is most often found in the environment in close association with free-living amoebae, leading to persistence, spread, biocide resistance, and elevated virulence of the bacterium. In the present study, we evaluated the anti-Legionella and anti-Acanthamoeba activities of three alpha-helical antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), namely, NK-2, Ci-MAM-A24, and Ci-PAP-A22, already known for the extraordinary efficacy against other microbes. Our data represent the first demonstration of the activity of a particular AMP against both the human facultative intracellular pathogen L. pneumophila and its pathogenic host, Acanthamoeba castellanii. Interestingly, the most effective peptide, Ci-MAM-A24, was also found to reduce the Legionella cell number within amoebae. Accordingly, this peptide was immobilized on gold surfaces to assess its antimicrobial activity. Surfaces were characterized, and activity studies revealed that the potent bactericidal activity of the peptide was conserved after its immobilization. In the frame of elaborating anti-Legionella surfaces, Ci-MAM-A24 represents, by its direct and indirect activity against Legionella, a potent peptide template for biological control of the bacterium in plumbings.

  4. Purification from Acanthamoeba castellanii of proteins that induce gelation and syneresis of F-actin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maruta, H; Korn, E D

    1977-01-10

    From Acanthamoeba castellanii, we have purified four proteins each of which alone causes a solution of F-actin to gel. The four active proteins have subunit molecular weights of about 23,000, 28,000, 32,000 and 38,000, respectively; the last three may be dimers in their native proteins. Together, these four proteins account for about 97% of the gelation activity of the whole extract; not more than about 3% of the total activity of the unfractionated extract can be due to a 250,000-dalton polypeptide. Another protein fraction, purified by agarose chromatography, induces shrinking (syneresis) of gels formed from F-actin and any of the gelation factors. That fraction contains a high Ca2+-, low (K+,EDTA)-ATPase and a major polypeptide of 170,000 daltons both of which bind to actin in the shrunken gel pellet. The active fraction does not contain the previously described Acanthamoeba myosin (Pollard, T. D., and Korn, E. D. (1973) J. Biol. Chem. 248, 4682-4690).

  5. Effect of environmental stress factors on the uptake and survival of Campylobacter jejuni in Acanthamoeba castellanii

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    Bui Xuan

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Campylobacter jejuni is a major cause of bacterial food-borne illness in Europe and North America. The mechanisms allowing survival in the environment and transmission to new hosts are not well understood. Environmental free-living protozoa may facilitate both processes. Pre-exposure to heat, starvation, oxidative or osmotic stresses encountered in the environment may affect the subsequent interaction of C. jejuni with free-living protozoa. To test this hypothesis, we examined the impact of environmental stress on expression of virulence-associated genes (ciaB, dnaJ, and htrA of C. jejuni and on its uptake by and intracellular survival within Acanthamoeba castellanii. Results Heat, starvation and osmotic stress reduced the survival of C. jejuni significantly, whereas oxidative stress had no effect. Quantitative RT-PCR experiments showed that the transcription of virulence genes was slightly up-regulated under heat and oxidative stresses but down-regulated under starvation and osmotic stresses, the htrA gene showing the largest down-regulation in response to osmotic stress. Pre-exposure of bacteria to low nutrient or osmotic stress reduced bacterial uptake by amoeba, but no effect of heat or oxidative stress was observed. Finally, C. jejuni rapidly lost viability within amoeba cells and pre-exposure to oxidative stress had no significant effect on intracellular survival. However, the numbers of intracellular bacteria recovered 5 h post-gentamicin treatment were lower with starved, heat treated or osmotically stressed bacteria than with control bacteria. Also, while ~1.5 × 103 colony forming unit/ml internalized bacteria could typically be recovered 24 h post-gentamicin treatment with control bacteria, no starved, heat treated or osmotically stressed bacteria could be recovered at this time point. Overall, pre-exposure of C. jejuni to environmental stresses did not promote intracellular survival in A. castellanii

  6. Effects of oakmoss and its components on Acanthamoeba castellanii ATCC 30234 and the uptake of Legionella pneumophila JCM 7571 (ATCC 33152) into A. castellanii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nomura, Harue; Isshiki, Yasunori; Sakuda, Keisuke; Sakuma, Katsuya; Kondo, Seiichi

    2015-01-01

    Acanthamoeba castellanii, a ubiquitous organism in water environments, is pathogenic toward humans and also is a host for bacteria of the genus Legionella, a causative agent of legionellosis. Oakmoss, a natural fragrance ingredient, and its components are antibacterial agents specifically against the genus Legionella. In the present study, oakmoss and its components were investigated for their amoebicidal activity against A. castellanii ATCC 30234 and the inhibitory effect on the uptake of L. pneumophila JCM 7571 (ATCC 33152) into A. castellanii. The oakmoss and its components 3-hydroxy-5-methylphenyl 2,4-dihydroxy-6-methylbenzoate(5), and 6,8-dihydroxy-3-pentyl-1H-isochromen-1-one (12) exhibited high amoebicidal activity (IC50 values; 10.5 ± 2.3, 16.3 ± 4.0 and 17.5 ± 2.8 μg/mL, respectively) after 48 h of treatment, which were equivalent to that of the reference compound, chlorhexidine gluconate. Pretreatment of L. pneumophila with sub-minimal inhibitory concentration of oakmoss, compound 5, 3-hydroxy-5-methylphenyl 2-hydroxy-4-methoxy-6-methylbenzoate (10) and 8-(2,4-dihydroxy-6-pentylphenoxy)-6-hydroxy-3-pentyl-1H-isochromen-1-one (14) obviously reduced the uptake of L. pneumophila into A.castellanii (p < 0.05).The inhibitory effect of compound 5 on the uptake of L. pneumophila was almost equivalent to that of ampicillin used as a reference. Thus, the oakmoss and its components were considered to be good candidates for disinfectants against not only genus Legionella but also A. castellanii.

  7. Tracking amino acid's uptake into the protozoan Acanthamoeba castellanii by stable-isotope labelling and Raman spectral imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naemat, Abida; Elsheikha, Hany M.; Notingher, Ioan

    2016-04-01

    The capacity of pathogens to acquire nutrients from their host cells is one of the most fundamental aspects of infection biology. Hence, measuring the patterns of nutrients' uptake by pathogens is essential for understanding the interactions of pathogens with eukaryotic host cells. In this study, we optimized a technique that allows fast and non-destructive measurement of the amino acid Phenylalanine (Phe) acquired by the trophozoite stage of the protozoan Acanthamoeba castellanii (A. castellanii) as they engage with individual human retinal pigment epithelial cells (ARPE-19). ARPE-19 host cells were pre-saturated with Deuterated Phe (L-Phe(D8)) to replace the native substrate Phe (L-Phe). The uptake of L-Phe(D8) by A. castellanii trophozoites was measured by Raman microspectroscopy. This approach allowed us to characterize the uptake patterns of this essential amino acid into A. castellanii trophozoites at a single cell level. At 24 hours post infection (PI) A. castellanii trophozoites are capable of salvaging L-Phe(D8) from host cells. The uptake pattern was time-dependent during the first 24 hours of infection and complete substitution with L-Phe(D8) in all parasites was detected at 48 hours PI. On the other hand, isolated A. castellanii trachyzoites (grown without host cells) did not show significant uptake for L-Phe(D8) from the media; only achieved an uptake ratio of 16-18% of L-Phe(D8) from the culture medium after 24 hours. These findings demonstrate the potential of combining Raman microspectroscopy and stable isotope labelling approaches to elucidate the role of metabolism in mediating A. castellanii interaction with host cells.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  9. Effect of free versus liposomal-complexed pentamidine isethionate on biological characteristics of Acanthamoeba castellanii in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah; Syed, Abdul; Tomas, Salvador; Prieto-Garcia, Jose; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2009-03-01

    Acanthamoeba is an opportunistic protozoan pathogen that can cause blinding keratitis and a rare but fatal encephalitis involving the central nervous system with a very poor prognosis. This is due to limited availability of effective anti-acanthamoebic drugs. Here, we tested whether the use of liposomes can improve the potency of pentamidine isethionate, an anti-amoebic compound. The liposomes consisted of l-alpha-phosphatidylcholine and cholesterol or ergosterol in a molar ratio of 1 : 5. Pentamidine isethionate was incorporated to achieve a final drug to lipid ratio of 1 : 5. At a drug concentration of 10 microg ml(-1), the liposomal drug was >12 times more effective than the free drug at preventing Acanthamoeba binding to human cells and significantly more effective in reducing parasite-mediated human cell cytopathogenicity, compared with the drug alone. Both the free and liposomal drug blocked Acanthamoeba encystation.

  10. Composition of the mitochondrial electron transport chain in acanthamoeba castellanii: structural and evolutionary insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-11-01

    The mitochondrion, derived in evolution from an α-proteobacterial progenitor, plays a key metabolic role in eukaryotes. Mitochondria house the electron transport chain (ETC) that couples oxidation of organic substrates and electron transfer to proton pumping and synthesis of ATP. The ETC comprises several multiprotein enzyme complexes, all of which have counterparts in bacteria. However, mitochondrial ETC assemblies from animals, plants and fungi are generally more complex than their bacterial counterparts, with a number of 'supernumerary' subunits appearing early in eukaryotic evolution. Little is known, however, about the ETC of unicellular eukaryotes (protists), which are key to understanding the evolution of mitochondria and the ETC. We present an analysis of the ETC proteome from Acanthamoeba castellanii, an ecologically, medically and evolutionarily important member of Amoebozoa (sister to Opisthokonta). Data obtained from tandem mass spectrometric (MS/MS) analyses of purified mitochondria as well as ETC complexes isolated via blue native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis are combined with the results of bioinformatic queries of sequence databases. Our bioinformatic analyses have identified most of the ETC subunits found in other eukaryotes, confirming and extending previous observations. The assignment of proteins as ETC subunits by MS/MS provides important insights into the primary structures of ETC proteins and makes possible, through the use of sensitive profile-based similarity searches, the identification of novel constituents of the ETC along with the annotation of highly divergent but phylogenetically conserved ETC subunits.

  11. Evidence for a hydrogenosomal-type anaerobic ATP generation pathway in Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leger, Michelle M; Gawryluk, Ryan M R; Gray, Michael W; Roger, Andrew J

    2013-01-01

    Diverse, distantly-related eukaryotic lineages have adapted to low-oxygen environments, and possess mitochondrion-related organelles that have lost the capacity to generate adenosine triphosphate (ATP) through oxidative phosphorylation. A subset of these organelles, hydrogenosomes, has acquired a set of characteristic ATP generation enzymes commonly found in anaerobic bacteria. The recipient of these enzymes could not have survived prior to their acquisition had it not still possessed the electron transport chain present in the ancestral mitochondrion. In the divergence of modern hydrogenosomes from mitochondria, a transitional organelle must therefore have existed that possessed both an electron transport chain and an anaerobic ATP generation pathway. Here, we report a modern analog of this organelle in the habitually aerobic opportunistic pathogen, Acanthamoeba castellanii. This organism possesses a complete set of enzymes comprising a hydrogenosome-like ATP generation pathway, each of which is predicted to be targeted to mitochondria. We have experimentally confirmed the mitochondrial localizations of key components of this pathway using tandem mass spectrometry. This evidence is the first supported by localization and proteome data of a mitochondrion possessing both an electron transport chain and hydrogenosome-like energy metabolism enzymes. Our work provides insight into the first steps that might have occurred in the course of the emergence of modern hydrogenosomes.

  12. Evidence for a hydrogenosomal-type anaerobic ATP generation pathway in Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle M Leger

    Full Text Available Diverse, distantly-related eukaryotic lineages have adapted to low-oxygen environments, and possess mitochondrion-related organelles that have lost the capacity to generate adenosine triphosphate (ATP through oxidative phosphorylation. A subset of these organelles, hydrogenosomes, has acquired a set of characteristic ATP generation enzymes commonly found in anaerobic bacteria. The recipient of these enzymes could not have survived prior to their acquisition had it not still possessed the electron transport chain present in the ancestral mitochondrion. In the divergence of modern hydrogenosomes from mitochondria, a transitional organelle must therefore have existed that possessed both an electron transport chain and an anaerobic ATP generation pathway. Here, we report a modern analog of this organelle in the habitually aerobic opportunistic pathogen, Acanthamoeba castellanii. This organism possesses a complete set of enzymes comprising a hydrogenosome-like ATP generation pathway, each of which is predicted to be targeted to mitochondria. We have experimentally confirmed the mitochondrial localizations of key components of this pathway using tandem mass spectrometry. This evidence is the first supported by localization and proteome data of a mitochondrion possessing both an electron transport chain and hydrogenosome-like energy metabolism enzymes. Our work provides insight into the first steps that might have occurred in the course of the emergence of modern hydrogenosomes.

  13. Yersinia pseudotuberculosis IP32953 survives and replicates in trophozoites and persists in cysts of Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  14. In vitro amoebicidal activity of Origanum syriacum and Origanum laevigatum on Acanthamoeba castellanii cysts and trophozoites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Degerli, Serpil; Tepe, Bektas; Celiksoz, Ali; Berk, Seyda; Malatyali, Erdogan

    2012-05-01

    In some patients, complete treatment of amoebic keratitis is difficult because of the resistance of cysts to therapeutic agents. The aim of this study was to evaluate the in vitro amoebicidal activity of methanolic extracts of Origanum syriacum and Origanum laevigatum. In the presence of methanolic extracts (ranging from 1.0 to 32.0mg/ml), numbers of the viable Acanthamoeba castellanii trophozoites and cysts were decreased. Both extracts showed a time and dose dependent amoebicidal action on the trophozoites and cysts. Of the extracts tested, O. syriacum showed the stronger amoebicidal effect on the trophozoites and cysts. In the presence of 32 mg/ml extract, no viable trophozoites were observed within third hour. The extract was also found effective against the cysts within 24th hour. In the case of O. laevigatum, no viable trophozoites were observed within 72nd hour at the concentrations of 16 and 32 mg/ml. As expected, cysts were found more resistant to the extracts than the trophozoites.

  15. Kinetic characterization of the ATPase and actin-activated ATPase activities of Acanthamoeba castellanii myosin-2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heissler, Sarah M; Liu, Xiong; Korn, Edward D; Sellers, James R

    2013-09-13

    Phosphorylation of Ser-639 in loop-2 of the catalytic motor domain of the heavy chain of Acanthamoeba castellanii myosin-2 and the phosphomimetic mutation S639D have been shown previously to down-regulate the actin-activated ATPase activity of both the full-length myosin and single-headed subfragment-1 (Liu, X., Lee, D. Y., Cai, S., Yu, S., Shu, S., Levine, R. L., and Korn, E. D. (2013) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 110, E23-E32). In the present study we determined the kinetic constants for each step in the myosin and actomyosin ATPase cycles of recombinant wild-type S1 and S1-S639D. The kinetic parameter predominantly affected by the S639D mutation is the actin-activated release of inorganic phosphate from the acto myosin·ADP·Pi complex, which is the rate-limiting step in the steady-state actomyosin ATPase cycle. As consequence of this change, the duty ratio of this conventional myosin decreases. We speculate on the effect of Ser-639 phosphorylation on the processive behavior of myosin-2 filaments.

  16. DVC-FISH and PMA-qPCR techniques to assess the survival of Helicobacter pylori inside Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno-Mesonero, Laura; Moreno, Yolanda; Alonso, José Luis; Ferrús, M Antonia

    2016-01-01

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) are ubiquitous microorganisms commonly found in water. They can act as Trojan Horses for some amoeba-resistant bacteria (ARB). Helicobacter pylori is a pathogenic bacteria, suggested to be transmitted through water, which could belong to the ARB group. In this work, a co-culture assay of H. pylori and Acanthamoeba castellanii, one of the most common FLA, was carried out to identify the presence and survival of viable and potentially infective forms of the bacteria internalized by the amoeba. Molecular techniques including FISH, DVC-FISH, qPCR and PMA-qPCR were used to detect the presence of internalized and viable H. pylori. After 24 h in co-culture and disinfection treatment to kill extra-amoebic bacteria, viable H. pylori cells were observed inside A. castellanii. When PMA-qPCR was applied to the co-culture samples, only DNA from internalized H. pylori cells was detected, whereas qPCR amplified total DNA from the sample. By the combined DVC-FISH method, the viability of H. pylori cells in A. castellanii was observed. Both specific techniques provided evidence, for the first time, that the pathogen is able to survive chlorination treatment in occurrence with A. castellanii and could be very useful methods for performing further studies in environmental samples.

  17. Survival of Campylobacter jejuni in co-culture with Acanthamoeba castellanii: role of amoeba-mediated depletion of dissolved oxygen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bui, Xuan Thanh; Winding, Anne; Qvortrup, Klaus; Wolff, Anders; Bang, Dang Duong; Creuzenet, Carole

    2012-08-01

    Campylobacter jejuni is a major cause of infectious diarrhoea worldwide but relatively little is known about its ecology. In this study, we examined its interactions with Acanthamoeba castellanii, a protozoan suspected to serve as a reservoir for bacterial pathogens. We observed rapid degradation of intracellular C.jejuni in A.castellanii 5 h post gentamicin treatment at 25°C. Conversely, we found that A.castellanii promoted the extracellular growth of C.jejuni in co-cultures at 37°C in aerobic conditions. This growth-promoting effect did not require amoebae - bacteria contact. The growth rates observed with or without contact with amoeba were similar to those observed when C.jejuni was grown in microaerophilic conditions. Preconditioned media prepared with live or dead amoebae cultivated with or without C.jejuni did not promote the growth of C.jejuni in aerobic conditions. Interestingly, the dissolved oxygen levels of co-cultures with or without amoebae - bacteria contact were much lower than those observed with culture media or with C.jejuni alone incubated in aerobic conditions, and were comparable with levels obtained after 24 h of growth of C.jejuni under microaerophilic conditions. Our studies identified the depletion of dissolved oxygen by A.castellanii as the major contributor for the observed amoeba-mediated growth enhancement.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. Molecular cloning and expression of phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase and phosphoserine aminotransferase in the serine biosynthetic pathway from Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Yihong; Wu, Duo; Tachibana, Hiroshi; Cheng, Xunjia

    2015-04-01

    Free-living amoebae of the genus Acanthamoeba are widespread protozoans that can cause serious infectious diseases. This study characterised phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PGDH) and phosphoserine aminotransferase (PSAT) in the phosphorylated serine biosynthetic pathway of Acanthamoeba castellanii. The PGDH gene encodes a protein of 442 amino acids with a calculated molecular weight of 47.7 kDa and an isoelectric point (pI) of 7.64. Meanwhile, the PSAT gene encodes a protein of 394 amino acids with a calculated molecular weight of 43.8 kDa and a pI of 5.80. Confocal microscopy suggests that PGDH is mainly diffused in the cytoplasm, whereas PSAT is located in the inner part of the cell membrane. The messenger RNA (mRNA) expression levels of PGDH and PSAT vary depending on growth state under consecutive culture conditions. No significant changes in the mRNA expression levels of both PGDH and PSAT occur after the incubation of L-serine with Acanthamoeba. This result indicates that exogenous serine exerts no influence on the expression of these genes and that the so-called feedback inhibition of both PGDH and PSAT in Acanthamoeba differs from that in bacteria or other organisms. We propose that the enzymes in the phosphorylated serine biosynthetic pathway function in amoeba growth and proliferation.

  20. Acanthamoeba castellanii Proteases are Capable of Degrading Iron-Binding Proteins as a Possible Mechanism of Pathogenicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramírez-Rico, Gerardo; Martínez-Castillo, Moisés; de la Garza, Mireya; Shibayama, Mineko; Serrano-Luna, Jesús

    2015-01-01

    Acanthamoeba castellanii, a free-living amoeba, is an amphizoic organism that can behave as an opportunistic pathogen, causing granulomatous amoebic encephalitis in immunocompromised patients or infecting immunocompetent individuals via cutaneous lesions, sinusoidal infections, or amoebic keratitis. Therefore, this amoeba could be in contact with different iron-binding proteins, such as lactoferrin in tears and mucosa and transferrin and hemoglobin in blood. Iron is a vital and necessary element for host metabolism but also for parasite survival. Accordingly, parasites have developed iron uptake mechanisms, one of which is the utilization of proteases to degrade host iron-binding proteins. In this work, we performed a partial biochemical characterization of A. castellanii proteases at different pHs and utilizing protease inhibitors with 10% sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and copolymerized with different iron-binding proteins. We describe for the first time the presence of several cysteine proteases in a total A. castellanii crude extract and in conditioned culture medium precipitated with ethanol. These amoebic peptidases degraded human holo-lactoferrin, holo-transferrin, hemoglobin, and horse spleen ferritin; some of these proteases were substrate specific, and others degraded multiple substrates. These proteases could be considered virulence factors that promote iron acquisition from the host.

  1. Ubiquinol (QH(2)) functions as a negative regulator of purine nucleotide inhibition of Acanthamoeba castellanii mitochondrial uncoupling protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woyda-Ploszczyca, Andrzej; Jarmuszkiewicz, Wieslawa

    2011-01-01

    We compared the influence of different adenine and guanine nucleotides on the free fatty acid-induced uncoupling protein (UCP) activity in non-phosphorylating Acanthamoeba castellanii mitochondria when the membranous ubiquinone (Q) redox state was varied. The purine nucleotides exhibit an inhibitory effect in the following descending order: GTP>ATP>GDP>ADP≫GMP>AMP. The efficiency of guanine and adenine nucleotides to inhibit UCP-sustained uncoupling in A. castellanii mitochondria depends on the Q redox state. Inhibition by purine nucleotides can be increased with decreasing Q reduction level (thereby ubiquinol, QH₂ concentration) even with nucleoside monophosphates that are very weak inhibitors at the initial respiration. On the other hand, the inhibition can be alleviated with increasing Q reduction level (thereby QH₂ concentration). The most important finding was that ubiquinol (QH₂) but not oxidised Q functions as a negative regulator of UCP inhibition by purine nucleotides. For a given concentration of QH₂, the linoleic acid-induced GTP-inhibited H(+) leak was the same for two types of A. castellanii mitochondria that differ in the endogenous Q content. When availability of the inhibitor (GTP) or the negative inhibition modulator (QH₂) was changed, a competitive influence on the UCP activity was observed. QH₂ decreases the affinity of UCP for GTP and, vice versa, GTP decreases the affinity of UCP for QH₂. These results describe the kinetic mechanism of regulation of UCP affinity for purine nucleotides by endogenous QH₂ in the mitochondria of a unicellular eukaryote.

  2. Contact lens care solution killing efficacy against Acanthamoeba castellanii by in vitro testing and live-imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolar, Satya Sree N; Manarang, Joseph C; Burns, Alan R; Miller, William L; McDermott, Alison M; Bergmanson, Jan P G

    2015-12-01

    In the past decade there has been an increased incidence of Acanthamoeba keratitis, particularly in contact lens wearers. The aim of this study was to utilize in vitro killing assays and to establish a novel, time-lapse, live-cell imaging methodology to demonstrate the efficacy of contact lens care solutions in eradicating Acanthamoeba castellanii (A. castellanii) trophozoites and cysts. Standard qualitative and quantitative in vitro assays were performed along with novel time-lapse imaging coupled with fluorescent dye staining that signals cell death. Quantitative data obtained demonstrated that 3% non-ophthalmic hydrogen peroxide demonstrated the highest percent killing at 87.4% corresponding to a 4.4 log kill. The other contact lens care solutions which showed a 72.9 to 29.2% killing which was consistent with 4.3-2.8 log reduction in trophozoite viability. Both analytical approaches revealed that polyquaternium/PHMB-based was the least efficacious in terms of trophicidal activity. The cysticidal activity of the solutions was much less than activity against trophozoites and frequently was not detected. Live-imaging provided a novel visual endpoint for characterizing the trophocidal activity of the care solutions. All solutions caused rapid rounding or pseudocyst formation of the trophozoites, reduced motility and the appearance of different morphotypes. Polyquaternium/alexidine-based and peroxide-based lens care system induced the most visible damage indicated by significant accumulation of debris from ruptured cells. Polyquaternium/PHMB-based was the least effective showing rounding of the cells but minimal death. These observations are in keeping with care solution biocides having prominent activity at the plasma membrane of Acanthamoeba.

  3. Increased phospholipase a activity and formation of communicative contacts between Acanthamoeba castellanii cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hax, W.M.A.; Demel, R.A.; Spies, F.; Vossenberg, J.B.J.; Linnemans, W.A.M.

    1974-01-01

    1. 1. Exogenous 1-palmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphorylcholine becomes incorporated into the membrane of A. castellanii within 2 min of incubation. 2. 2. Homogenates of A. castellanii are shown to contain phospholipase A activity. 3. 3. The phospholipase A activity is dependent on the population density

  4. Development of a modified gentamicin protection assay to investigate the interaction between Campylobacter jejuni and Acanthamoeba castellanii ATCC 30010.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dirks, Brian P; Quinlan, Jennifer J

    2014-05-01

    Campylobacter jejuni is one of the leading causes of diarrheal illness worldwide. It is persistent in the environment and on poultry despite its microaerophilic nature and sensitivity to dessication and pH. Studies have demonstrated that C. jejuni co-incubated with Acanthamoeba spp. may be protected from harmful environmental factors. Research in this area, however has included a range of different methodologies for co-incubation, recovery of bacteria and amoebae, and verification of internalization. In this study a modified gentamicin protection assay (mGPA) was developed with a standardized co-incubation procedure. The mGPA addresses limitations of the traditional GPA by providing quantification of the rate of internalization, or lack of internalization, of C. jejuni by Acanthamoeba castellanii. The mGPA described here utilizes tubes instead of cell culture plates allowing for determination of exact numbers of A. castellanii and C. jejuni to be co-incubated prior to addition to tubes. Additionally, the mGPA allows for the incorporation of C. jejuni-only controls to determine the fate of C. jejuni throughout the assay in the absence of A. castellanii. Using the mGPA it was determined that on average 1.6×10(5) C. jejuni (or 0.006% of initial 1×10(9) inoculum) survive the assay in the absence of A. castellanii. Additionally, results obtained with the mGPA demonstrated that while co-incubation with amoebae sometimes (56% of co-incubations) provided a protective effect for C. jejuni, in other cases it did not provide any protective effect (39% of co-incubations), and in at least one case there was a statistically significant higher recovery of C. jejuni in controls when compared to C. jejuni co-incubated with amoebae. The modified gentamicin protection assay described here allows better quantification of the rate and incidence of internalization of bacteria by amoebae. Use of the standardized mGPA developed here with varying environmental parameters and/or strains

  5. Vibrio cholerae O1 strains are facultative intracellular bacteria, able to survive and multiply symbiotically inside the aquatic free-living amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abd, Hadi; Saeed, Amir; Weintraub, Andrej; Nair, G Balakrish; Sandström, Gunnar

    2007-04-01

    Vibrio cholerae species are extracellular, waterborne, gram-negative bacteria that are overwhelmed by predators in aquatic environments. The unencapsulated serogroup V. cholerae O1 and encapsulated V. cholerae O139 cause epidemic and pandemic outbreaks of cholera. It has recently been shown that the aquatic and free-living amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii is not a predator to V. cholerae O139; rather, V. cholerae O139 has shown an intracellular compatibility with this host. The aim of this study was to examine the ability of V. cholerae O1 classical and El Tor strains to grow and survive in A. castellanii. The interaction between A. castellanii and V. cholerae O1 strains was studied by means of amoeba cell counts and viable counts of the bacteria in the absence or presence of amoebae. The viable count of intracellularly growing bacteria was estimated by utilizing gentamicin assay. Confocal microscopy and electron microscopy were used to determine the intracellular localization of V. cholerae in A. castellanii. The results showed that V. cholerae O1 classical and El Tor strains grew and survived intracellularly in the cytoplasm of trophozoites, and that the bacteria were also found in the cysts of A. castellanii. The interaction showed a facultative intracellular behaviour of V. cholerae O1 classical and El Tor strains and a possible role of A. castellanii as an environmental host of V. cholerae species.

  6. Cyanide-insensitive respiration in Acanthamoeba castellanii. Changes in sensitivity of whole cell respiration during exponential growth

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Edwards, S.W.; Lloyd, D.

    1977-01-01

    Respiration of Acanthamoeba castellanii shows varying sensitivity to cyanide during exponential growth in a medium containing proteose peptone, glucose and yeast extract. After 20 h growth, respiration was stimulated up to 40% by I mM-cyanide; sensitivity to cyanide then gradually increased until 90% inhibition of respiration was attained in late exponential phase cultures. Salicyl hydroxamic acid alone never stimulated or inhibited respiration by more than 20% but, when added together with cyanide, inhibition was always 70 to 100% from 3 h onward. Sensitivity to antimycin A was similar, but not identical to that shown to cyanide; when antimycin A was added together with salicyl hydroxamic acid, the inhibition was greater. Increased sensitivities to arsenite and malonate were also observed in late-exponential phase cultures. These changes in sensitivities were not associated with alterations in the growth medium since similar changes in sensitivity to inhibitors were observed during growth in conditioned medium. A rotenone-sensitive site is associated with cyanide-stimulated respiration and the results suggest that A. castellanii possesses a branched electron transport system.

  7. The TOM Complex of Amoebozoans: the Cases of the Amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii and the Slime Mold Dictyostelium discoideum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wojtkowska, Małgorzata; Buczek, Dorota; Stobienia, Olgierd; Karachitos, Andonis; Antoniewicz, Monika; Slocinska, Małgorzata; Makałowski, Wojciech; Kmita, Hanna

    2015-07-01

    Protein import into mitochondria requires a wide variety of proteins, forming complexes in both mitochondrial membranes. The TOM complex (translocase of the outer membrane) is responsible for decoding of targeting signals, translocation of imported proteins across or into the outer membrane, and their subsequent sorting. Thus the TOM complex is regarded as the main gate into mitochondria for imported proteins. Available data indicate that mitochondria of representative organisms from across the major phylogenetic lineages of eukaryotes differ in subunit organization of the TOM complex. The subunit organization of the TOM complex in the Amoebozoa is still elusive, so we decided to investigate its organization in the soil amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii and the slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum. They represent two major subclades of the Amoebozoa: the Lobosa and Conosa, respectively. Our results confirm the presence of Tom70, Tom40 and Tom7 in the A. castellanii and D. discoideum TOM complex, while the presence of Tom22 and Tom20 is less supported. Interestingly, the Tom proteins display the highest similarity to Opisthokonta cognate proteins, with the exception of Tom40. Thus representatives of two major subclades of the Amoebozoa appear to be similar in organization of the TOM complex, despite differences in their lifestyle.

  8. Survival of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli in the presence of Acanthamoeba castellanii and its dependence on Pho regulon.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

    Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) are involved in outbreaks of food-borne illness and transmitted to humans through bovine products or water contaminated by cattle feces. Microbial interaction is one of the strategies used by pathogenic bacteria to survive in the environment. Among protozoa, the free-living amoebae are known to host and protect several water-borne pathogens. In this study, the interaction between EHEC and the predacious protozoa Acanthamoeba castellanii was investigated. Using monoculture and cocultures, growth of both organisms was estimated for 3 weeks by total and viable cell counts. The numbers of EHEC were significantly higher when cultured with amoebae than without, and less EHEC shifted into a viable but nonculturable state in the presence of amoebae. Using several mutants, we observed that the Pho regulon is required for EHEC growth when cocultured with amoebae. In contrast, the Shiga toxins (Stx) were not involved in this association phenotype. Cocultures monitored by electron microscopy revealed a loss of the regular rod shape of EHEC and the secretion of multilamellar vesicles by the amoebae, which did not contain bacteria. As the interaction between A. castellanii and EHEC appears beneficial for bacterial growth, this supports a potential role for protozoa in promoting the persistence of EHEC in the environment.

  9. Early expression of the type III secretion system of Parachlamydia acanthamoebae during a replicative cycle within its natural host cell Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Croxatto, Antony; Murset, Valérie; Chassot, Bérénice; Greub, Gilbert

    2013-12-01

    The type three secretion system (T3SS) operons of Chlamydiales bacteria are distributed in different clusters along their chromosomes and are conserved at both the level of sequence and genetic organization. A complete characterization of the temporal expression of multiple T3SS components at the transcriptional and protein levels has been performed in Parachlamydia acanthamoebae, replicating in its natural host cell Acanthamoeba castellanii. The T3SS components were classified in four different temporal clusters depending on their pattern of expression during the early, mid- and late phases of the infectious cycle. The putative T3SS transcription units predicted in Parachlamydia are similar to those described in Chlamydia trachomatis, suggesting that T3SS units of transcriptional expression are highly conserved among Chlamydiales bacteria. The maximal expression and activation of the T3SS of Parachlamydia occurred during the early to mid-phase of the infectious cycle corresponding to a critical phase during which the intracellular bacterium has (1) to evade and/or block the lytic pathway of the amoeba, (2) to differentiate from elementary bodies (EBs) to reticulate bodies (RBs), and (3) to modulate the maturation of its vacuole to create a replicative niche able to sustain efficient bacterial growth.

  10. SJL mice infected with Acanthamoeba castellanii develop central nervous system autoimmunity through the generation of cross-reactive T cells for myelin antigens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Massilamany, Chandirasegaran; Marciano-Cabral, Francine; Rocha-Azevedo, Bruno da

    2014-01-01

    We recently reported that Acanthamoeba castellanii (ACA), an opportunistic pathogen of the central nervous system (CNS) possesses mimicry epitopes for proteolipid protein (PLP) 139-151 and myelin basic protein 89-101, and that the epitopes induce experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE......, suggesting that ACA infection can trigger CNS autoimmunity in the presence of preexisting repertoire of autoreactive T cells. Taken together, the data provide novel insights into the pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba infections, and the potential role of infectious agents with mimicry epitopes to self...

  11. PCR and RFLP variation of conserved region of small subunit ribosomal DNA among Acanthamoeba isolates assigned to either A. castellanii or A. polyphaga.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kong, H H; Chung, D I

    1996-06-01

    Twelve isolates of Acanthamoeba spp. assigned to either A. castellanii or A. polyphaga, and type strains of A. culbertsoni, A. healyi, A. palestinensis, and A. astronyxis were examined by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) of a conserved region of small subunit ribosomal RNA gene (ssu rDNA) amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The PCR products of the isolates measured approximately 910-930 bp, except for that of A. astronyxis which was extraordinarily long, approximately 1,170 bp. Average of estimated sequence divergence of the amplified DNA among the isolates assigned to A. castellaii was 9.8% whereas that among the isolates assigned to A. polyphaga 9.6%. The maximum intraspecific sequence divergence among the isolates assigned to A. castellanii was observed between the Chang and Ma strains (17.3%) while that among the isolates assigned to A. polyphaga was observed between KA/S3 and KA/S7 strains (16.1%). The both maximum sequence divergences were much greater than the minimum interspecific sequence divergence between A. castellanii and A. polyphaga (2.6%) which appeared between the Castellani (or CCAP 1501/2 g) and KA/S3 strains. The PCR-RFLP patterns of A. culbertsoni, A. healyi, A. palestinensis, and A. astronyxis were quite diverse from one another and from those of isolates assigned to either A. castellanii or A. polyphaga. It is suggested that taxonomic validity of the isolates assigned to either A. castellanii or A. polyphaga should be reevaluated.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  13. The role of Src kinase in the biology and pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba castellanii

    OpenAIRE

    Siddiqui Ruqaiyyah; Iqbal Junaid; Maugueret Marie-josée; Khan Naveed

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Background Acanthamoeba species are the causative agents of fatal granulomatous encephalitis in humans. Haematogenous spread is thought to be a primary step, followed by blood–brain barrier penetration, in the transmission of Acanthmaoeba into the central nervous system, but the associated molecular mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we evaluated the role of Src, a non-receptor protein tyrosine kinase in the biology and pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba. Methods Amoebistatic and amoebicidal...

  14. In vitro evaluation of the effectiveness of new water-stable cationic carbosilane dendrimers against Acanthamoeba castellanii UAH-T17c3 trophozoites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heredero-Bermejo, I; Copa-Patiño, J L; Soliveri, J; García-Gallego, S; Rasines, B; Gómez, R; de la Mata, F J; Pérez-Serrano, J

    2013-03-01

    Acanthamoeba is one of the most common free-living amoebas which is widespread in the environment and can infect humans, causing diseases such as keratitis and encephalitis. In this paper we examine for the first time the amebicidal activity of the family of cationic dendrimers nG-[Si{(CH(2))(3)N(+)(Me)(Et)(CH(2))(2)NMe(3) (+)}2I(-)]( x ) (where n denotes the generations: zero (n = 0, x = 1), first (n = 1, x = 4), and second (n = 2, x = 8); for simplicity, they were named as 0G-CNN2, 1G-CNN8, and 2G-CNN16, respectively) against Acanthamoeba castellanii UAH-T17c3 trophozoites. In order to test the amebicidal activity, we cultured the strain A. castellanii UAH-T17c3 in PYG-Bactocasitone medium and later, we treated it with different concentrations of these dendrimers and monitored the effects and damage by optical count, flow cytometry, and scanning electron microscopy. The results showed that all the nanosystems assayed had a strong amebicidal activity. The dendrimer 1G-CNN8 was the most effective against the amoeba. In the morphology of treated throphozoites of A. castellanii UAH-T17c3 analyzed by light and scanning electron microscopy techniques, morphological changes were evident in amoeba cells, such as loss of pseudopodia, ectoplasm increase, roundness, and cellular lysis. Furthermore, flow cytometry results showed alterations in cell granularity, which was dose-time dependent. In conclusion, this family of cationic carbosilane dendrimers has a strong amebicidal activity against the trophozoites of A. castellanii UAH-T17c3 in vitro. They could potentially become new agents significant to the development of new amebicidal compounds for prevention and therapy of Acanthamoeba infections.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. Possible roles of phospholipase A(2) in the biological activities of Acanthamoeba castellanii (T4 Genotype).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mortazavi, Parisa Nakhostin; Keisary, Ehud; Loh, Lip Nam; Jung, Suk-Yul; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2011-01-01

    Using phospholipases A(2)-specific spectrophotometric assays, it was shown thatA. castellaniilysates and their conditioned medium exhibit phospholipase activities. The extracellular levels of PLA(2)detected were significantly reduced compared with the cell-associated enzyme (P<0.05). Sphinganine, a PLA(2)inhibitor showed robust amoebistatic properties but had no effect on the viability ofA. castellanii. The potency of sphinganine was demonstrated effectively towards purified PLA(2)derived from porcine pancreas. Using sphinganine, it was observed that PLA(2)is involved in neither binding nor cytotoxicity of the human brain microvascular endothelial cells due toA. castellanii. Unlike as was the case forDictyosteliumamoebae, PLA(2)appeared to be involved inA. castellaniiphagocytosis of the fluorescently-labelled polystyrene beads. Horseradish peroxidase was used as a tracer molecule to develop assays to study pinocytosis inA. castellanii. The findings revealed that sphinganine impedes phagocytosis but augments pinocytosis inA. castellaniisuggesting distinct nature of processes. A complete understanding of the role of phospholipases in the biology and pathogenesis ofA. castellaniiinfections will determine their potential as therapeutic targets.

  17. Lack of Outer Membrane Protein A Enhances the Release of Outer Membrane Vesicles and Survival of Vibrio cholerae and Suppresses Viability of Acanthamoeba castellanii

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soni Priya Valeru

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Vibrio cholerae, the causative agent of the diarrhoeal disease cholera, survives in aquatic environments. The bacterium has developed a survival strategy to grow and survive inside Acanthamoeba castellanii. It has been shown that V. cholerae expresses outer membrane proteins as virulence factors playing a role in the adherence to interacted host cells. This study examined the role of outer membrane protein A (OmpA and outer membrane vesicles (OMVs in survival of V. cholerae alone and during its interaction with A. castellanii. The results showed that an OmpA mutant of V. cholerae survived longer than wild-type V. cholerae when cultivated alone. Cocultivation with A. castellanii enhanced the survival of both bacterial strains and OmpA protein exhibited no effect on attachment, engulfment, and survival inside the amoebae. However, cocultivation of the OmpA mutant of V. cholerae decreased the viability of A. castellanii and this bacterial strain released more OMVs than wild-type V. cholerae. Surprisingly, treatment of amoeba cells with OMVs isolated from the OmpA mutant significantly decreased viable counts of the amoeba cells. In conclusion, the results might highlight a regulating rule for OmpA in survival of V. cholerae and OMVs as a potent virulence factor for this bacterium towards eukaryotes in the environment.

  18. Functional expression of the Acanthamoeba castellanii alternative oxidase in Escherichia coli; regulation of the activity and evidence for Acaox gene function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antos-Krzeminska, Nina; Jarmuszkiewicz, Wieslawa

    2014-06-01

    To evidence Acanthamoeba castellanii alternative oxidase (AcAOX) gene product function, we studied alterations in the levels of mRNA and protein and AcAOX activity during growth in amoeba batch culture. Moreover, heterologous expression of AcAOX in AOX-deficient Escherichia coli confirmed by the protein immunodetection and functional studies was performed. Despite the presence of native bo and bd quinol oxidases in E. coli membrane, from which the latter is known to be cyanide-resistant, functional expression of AcAOX in E. coli conferred cyanide-resistant benzohydroxamate-sensitive respiration on the bacteria. Moreover, AcAOX activity in transformed bacteria was stimulated by GMP and inhibited by ATP, indicating that AcAOX is regulated by mutual exclusion of purine nucleotides, which was previously demonstrated in the mitochondria of A. castellanii.

  19. Inefficacy of marketed contact lens disinfection solutions against keratitis-causing Acanthamoeba castellanii belonging to the T4 genotype.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lakhundi, Sahreena; Khan, Naveed Ahmed; Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah

    2014-06-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the anti-amoebic effects of marketed contact lens disinfecting solutions. Using amoebistatic, amoebicidal, and cysticidal assays, nine different contact lens solutions were tested including: ReNu MultiPlus, DuraPlus, Ultimate Plus, OptiFree Replenish, OptiFree Express, Kontex Clean, Kontex Normal, Kontex Multisol extra+, Kontex Soak. In vitro growth inhibition (amoebistatic) assays were performed by incubating Acanthamoeba castellanii with aforementioned contact lens disinfection solutions as per manufacturer's instructions in the growth medium for up to 48h at 30°C. To determine amoebicidal and cysticidal effects, amoebae were incubated with contact lens solutions in phosphate buffered saline for 24h and viability was determined by haemocytometer counting as well as re-inoculating them in the growth medium. For controls, solutions were tested against bacterial corneal pathogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, as well as amoebae were incubated with the solvent alone. Of the nine contact lens solutions tested, none of them showed potent amoebicidal effects. Only DuraPlus and OptiFree Replenish exhibited trophozoite lysis of 85.3% and 73.7% respectively. In contrast, all contact lens disinfection solutions except Kontex Clean, Kontex Normal, Kontex Multisol extra+, tested showed amoebistatic effects. Importantly, none of the contact lens disinfection solutions exhibited cysticidal effects using qualitative assays, i.e., cysts treated with aforementioned solutions re-emerged as viable amoebae upon inoculation in the growth medium. However, more than 3-log reduction was observed when ReNu MultiPlus, DuraPlus and OptiFree Express were tested against P. aeruginosa which is in accordance with the ISO Stand-Alone Primary acceptance criteria. These findings are of great concern for contact lens users.

  20. Effects of single-base substitutions within the acanthamoeba castellanii rRNA promoter on transcription and on binding of transcription initiation factor and RNA polymerase I

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kownin, P.; Bateman, E.; Paule, M.R.

    1988-02-01

    Single-point mutations were introduced into the promoter region of the Acanthamoeba castellanii rRNA gene by chemical mutagen treatment of a single-stranded clone in vitro, followed by reverse transcription and cloning of the altered fragment. The promoter mutants were tested for transcription initiation factor (TIF) binding by a template commitment assay plus DNase I footprinting and for transcription by an in vitro runoff assay. Point mutations within the previously identified TIF interaction region (between -20 and -47, motifs A and B) indicated that TIF interacts most strongly with a sequence centered at -29 and less tightly with sequences upstream and downstream. Some alterations of the base sequence closer to the transcription start site (and outside the TIF-protected site) also significantly decrease specific RNA synthesis in vitro. These were within the region which is protected from DNAse I digestion by polymerase I, but these mutations did not detectably affect the binding of polymerase to the promoter.

  1. Multiple Legionella pneumophila Type II secretion substrates, including a novel protein, contribute to differential infection of the amoebae Acanthamoeba castellanii, Hartmannella vermiformis, and Naegleria lovaniensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyson, Jessica Y; Pearce, Meghan M; Vargas, Paloma; Bagchi, Sreya; Mulhern, Brendan J; Cianciotto, Nicholas P

    2013-05-01

    Type II protein secretion (T2S) by Legionella pneumophila is required for intracellular infection of host cells, including macrophages and the amoebae Acanthamoeba castellanii and Hartmannella vermiformis. Previous proteomic analysis revealed that T2S by L. pneumophila 130b mediates the export of >25 proteins, including several that appeared to be novel. Following confirmation that they are unlike known proteins, T2S substrates NttA, NttB, and LegP were targeted for mutation. nttA mutants were impaired for intracellular multiplication in A. castellanii but not H. vermiformis or macrophages, suggesting that novel exoproteins which are specific to Legionella are especially important for infection. Because the importance of NttA was host cell dependent, we examined a panel of T2S substrate mutants that had not been tested before in more than one amoeba. As a result, RNase SrnA, acyltransferase PlaC, and metalloprotease ProA all proved to be required for optimal intracellular multiplication in H. vermiformis but not A. castellanii. Further examination of an lspF mutant lacking the T2S apparatus documented that T2S is also critical for infection of the amoeba Naegleria lovaniensis. Mutants lacking SrnA, PlaC, or ProA, but not those deficient for NttA, were defective in N. lovaniensis. Based upon analysis of a double mutant lacking PlaC and ProA, the role of ProA in H. vermiformis was connected to its ability to activate PlaC, whereas in N. lovaniensis, ProA appeared to have multiple functions. Together, these data document that the T2S system exports multiple effectors, including a novel one, which contribute in different ways to the broad host range of L. pneumophila.

  2. Modulation of the expression of mimivirus-encoded translation-related genes in response to nutrient availability during Acanthamoeba castellanii infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorena eSilva

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The complexity of giant virus genomes is intriguing, especially the presence of genes encoding components of the protein translation machinery such as transfer RNAs and aminoacyl-tRNA-synthetases; these features are uncommon among other viruses. Although orthologs of these genes are codified by their hosts, one can hypothesize that having these translation-related genes might represent a gain of fitness during infection. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the expression of translation-related genes by mimivirus during infection of Acanthamoeba castellanii under different nutritional conditions. In silico analysis of amino acid usage revealed remarkable differences between the mimivirus isolates and the A. castellanii host. Relative expression analysis by quantitative PCR revealed that mimivirus was able to modulate the expression of eight viral translation-related genes according to the amoebal growth condition, with a higher induction of gene expression under starvation. Some mimivirus isolates presented differences in translation-related gene expression; notably, polymorphisms in the promoter regions correlated with these differences. Two mimivirus isolates did not encode the tryptophanyl-tRNA synthetase in their genomes, which may be linked with low conservation pressure based on amino acid usage analysis. Taken together, our data suggest that mimivirus can modulate the expression of translation-related genes in response to nutrient availability in the host cell, allowing the mimivirus to adapt to different hosts growing under different nutritional conditions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. SJL mice infected with Acanthamoeba castellanii develop central nervous system autoimmunity through the generation of cross-reactive T cells for myelin antigens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massilamany, Chandirasegaran; Marciano-Cabral, Francine; Rocha-Azevedo, Bruno da; Jamerson, Melissa; Gangaplara, Arunakumar; Steffen, David; Zabad, Rana; Illes, Zsolt; Sobel, Raymond A; Reddy, Jay

    2014-01-01

    We recently reported that Acanthamoeba castellanii (ACA), an opportunistic pathogen of the central nervous system (CNS) possesses mimicry epitopes for proteolipid protein (PLP) 139-151 and myelin basic protein 89-101, and that the epitopes induce experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in SJL mice reminiscent of the diseases induced with their corresponding cognate peptides. We now demonstrate that mice infected with ACA also show the generation of cross-reactive T cells, predominantly for PLP 139-151, as evaluated by T cell proliferation and IAs/dextramer staining. We verified that PLP 139-151-sensitized lymphocytes generated in infected mice contained a high proportion of T helper 1 cytokine-producing cells, and they can transfer disease to naïve animals. Likewise, the animals first primed with suboptimal dose of PLP 139-151 and later infected with ACA, developed EAE, suggesting that ACA infection can trigger CNS autoimmunity in the presence of preexisting repertoire of autoreactive T cells. Taken together, the data provide novel insights into the pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba infections, and the potential role of infectious agents with mimicry epitopes to self-antigens in the pathogenesis of CNS diseases such as multiple sclerosis.

  5. SJL mice infected with Acanthamoeba castellanii develop central nervous system autoimmunity through the generation of cross-reactive T cells for myelin antigens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chandirasegaran Massilamany

    Full Text Available We recently reported that Acanthamoeba castellanii (ACA, an opportunistic pathogen of the central nervous system (CNS possesses mimicry epitopes for proteolipid protein (PLP 139-151 and myelin basic protein 89-101, and that the epitopes induce experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE in SJL mice reminiscent of the diseases induced with their corresponding cognate peptides. We now demonstrate that mice infected with ACA also show the generation of cross-reactive T cells, predominantly for PLP 139-151, as evaluated by T cell proliferation and IAs/dextramer staining. We verified that PLP 139-151-sensitized lymphocytes generated in infected mice contained a high proportion of T helper 1 cytokine-producing cells, and they can transfer disease to naïve animals. Likewise, the animals first primed with suboptimal dose of PLP 139-151 and later infected with ACA, developed EAE, suggesting that ACA infection can trigger CNS autoimmunity in the presence of preexisting repertoire of autoreactive T cells. Taken together, the data provide novel insights into the pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba infections, and the potential role of infectious agents with mimicry epitopes to self-antigens in the pathogenesis of CNS diseases such as multiple sclerosis.

  6. Establishment and validation of whole-cell based fluorescence assays to identify anti-mycobacterial compounds using the Acanthamoeba castellanii-Mycobacterium marinum host-pathogen system.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sébastien Kicka

    Full Text Available Tuberculosis is considered to be one of the world's deadliest disease with 2 million deaths each year. The need for new antitubercular drugs is further exacerbated by the emergence of drug-resistance strains. Despite multiple recent efforts, the majority of the hits discovered by traditional target-based screening showed low efficiency in vivo. Therefore, there is heightened demand for whole-cell based approaches directly using host-pathogen systems. The phenotypic host-pathogen assay described here is based on the monitoring of GFP-expressing Mycobacterium marinum during infection of the amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii. The assay showed straight-forward medium-throughput scalability, robustness and ease of manipulation, demonstrating its qualities as an efficient compound screening system. Validation with a series of known antitubercular compounds highlighted the advantages of the assay in comparison to previously published macrophage-Mycobacterium tuberculosis-based screening systems. Combination with secondary growth assays based on either GFP-expressing D. discoideum or M. marinum allowed us to further fine-tune compound characterization by distinguishing and quantifying growth inhibition, cytotoxic properties and antibiotic activities of the compounds. The simple and relatively low cost system described here is most suitable to detect anti-infective compounds, whether they present antibiotic activities or not, in which case they might exert anti-virulence or host defense boosting activities, both of which are largely overlooked by classical screening approaches.

  7. The transcriptional response of Cryptococcus neoformans to ingestion by Acanthamoeba castellanii and macrophages provides insights into the evolutionary adaptation to the mammalian host.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derengowski, Lorena da S; Paes, Hugo Costa; Albuquerque, Patrícia; Tavares, Aldo Henrique F P; Fernandes, Larissa; Silva-Pereira, Ildinete; Casadevall, Arturo

    2013-05-01

    Virulence of Cryptococcus neoformans for mammals, and in particular its intracellular style, was proposed to emerge from evolutionary pressures on its natural environment by protozoan predation, which promoted the selection of strategies that allow intracellular survival in macrophages. In fact, Acanthamoeba castellanii ingests yeast cells, which then can replicate intracellularly. In addition, most fungal factors needed to establish infection in the mammalian host are also important for survival within the amoeba. To better understand the origin of C. neoformans virulence, we compared the transcriptional profile of yeast cells internalized by amoebae and murine macrophages after 6 h of infection. Our results showed 656 and 293 genes whose expression changed at least 2-fold in response to the intracellular environments of amoebae and macrophages, respectively. Among the genes that were found in both groups, we focused on open reading frame (ORF) CNAG_05662, which was potentially related to sugar transport but had no determined biological function. To characterize its function, we constructed a mutant strain and evaluated its ability to grow on various carbon sources. The results showed that this gene, named PTP1 (polyol transporter protein 1), is involved in the transport of 5- and 6-carbon polyols such as mannitol and sorbitol, but its presence or absence had no effect on cryptococcal virulence for mice or moth larvae. Overall, these results are consistent with the hypothesis that the capacity for mammalian virulence originated from fungus-protozoan interactions in the environment and provide a better understanding of how C. neoformans adapts to the mammalian host.

  8. Establishment and validation of whole-cell based fluorescence assays to identify anti-mycobacterial compounds using the Acanthamoeba castellanii-Mycobacterium marinum host-pathogen system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kicka, Sébastien; Trofimov, Valentin; Harrison, Christopher; Ouertatani-Sakouhi, Hajer; McKinney, John; Scapozza, Leonardo; Hilbi, Hubert; Cosson, Pierre; Soldati, Thierry

    2014-01-01

    Tuberculosis is considered to be one of the world's deadliest disease with 2 million deaths each year. The need for new antitubercular drugs is further exacerbated by the emergence of drug-resistance strains. Despite multiple recent efforts, the majority of the hits discovered by traditional target-based screening showed low efficiency in vivo. Therefore, there is heightened demand for whole-cell based approaches directly using host-pathogen systems. The phenotypic host-pathogen assay described here is based on the monitoring of GFP-expressing Mycobacterium marinum during infection of the amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii. The assay showed straight-forward medium-throughput scalability, robustness and ease of manipulation, demonstrating its qualities as an efficient compound screening system. Validation with a series of known antitubercular compounds highlighted the advantages of the assay in comparison to previously published macrophage-Mycobacterium tuberculosis-based screening systems. Combination with secondary growth assays based on either GFP-expressing D. discoideum or M. marinum allowed us to further fine-tune compound characterization by distinguishing and quantifying growth inhibition, cytotoxic properties and antibiotic activities of the compounds. The simple and relatively low cost system described here is most suitable to detect anti-infective compounds, whether they present antibiotic activities or not, in which case they might exert anti-virulence or host defense boosting activities, both of which are largely overlooked by classical screening approaches.

  9. In vitro inhibition of protease-activated receptors 1, 2 and 4 demonstrates that these receptors are not involved in an Acanthamoeba castellanii keratitis isolate-mediated disruption of the human brain microvascular endothelial cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iqbal, Junaid; Naeem, Komal; Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2014-11-01

    Granulomatous amoebic encephalitis is a rare but serious human disease leading almost always to death. The pathophysiology of amoebic encephalitis is better understood, while events leading to the constitution of brain infection are largely unknown. Traversal of the blood-brain barrier is a key step in amoebae invasion of the central nervous system and facilitated by amoebic extracellular proteases. By using specific inhibitors of protease-activated receptors 1, 2 and 4, here we studied the role of these host receptors in Acanthamoeba castellanii-mediated damage to human brain microvasculature endothelial cells (HBMEC), which constitute the blood-brain barrier. The primary HBMEC were incubated with A. castellanii-conditioned medium in the presence or absence of FR-171113 (selective inhibitor of protease-activated receptor 1), FSLLRY-NH2 (inhibitor of protease-activated receptor 2), and tcY-NH2 (inhibitor of protease-activated receptor 4). The HBMEC monolayer disruptions were assessed by microscopy using Eosin staining, while host cell cytotoxicity was determined by measuring the release of cytoplasmic lactate dehydrogenase. Zymographic assays were performed to determine the effects of inhibitors of protease-activated receptors on the extracellular proteolytic activities of A. castellanii. A. castellanii-conditioned medium produced severe HBMEC monolayer disruptions within 60 min. The selective inhibitors of protease-activated receptors tested did not affect HBMEC monolayer disruptions. On the contrary, pre-treatment of A. castellanii-conditioned medium with phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride, a serine protease inhibitor, or heating for 10 min at 95°C abolished HBMEC monolayer disruptions. Additionally, inhibitors of protease-activated receptors tested, failed to block A. castellanii-mediated HBMEC cytotoxicity and did not affect extracellular proteolytic activities of A. castellanii. Protease-activated receptors 1, 2 and 4 do not appear to play a role in A. castellanii

  10. In vitro Effect of Allitridium on the Ultrastructure of Acanthamoeba castellanii%大蒜素体外对卡氏棘阿米巴超微结构的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王月华; 郑善子; 李顺玉; 崔春权

    2008-01-01

    用不同浓度大蒜素处理处于对数生长期的卡氏棘阿米巴(Acanthamoeba castellanii,T4型),24h后在透射电镜下观察其超微结构损伤情况.结果 表明,大蒜素浓度为50 μg/ml时,卡氏棘阿米巴的超微结构轻度破坏,浓度为500 μg/ml时,其结构严重破坏,虫体坏死.大蒜素对体外培养的卡氏棘阿米巴(T4型)超微结构有破坏作用.

  11. [Acanthamoeba keratitis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  13. Exposure to synthetic gray water inhibits amoeba encystation and alters expression of Legionella pneumophila virulence genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buse, Helen Y; Lu, Jingrang; Ashbolt, Nicholas J

    2015-01-01

    Water conservation efforts have focused on gray water (GW) usage, especially for applications that do not require potable water quality. However, there is a need to better understand environmental pathogens and their free-living amoeba (FLA) hosts within GW, given their growth potential in stored gray water. Using synthetic gray water (sGW) we examined three strains of the water-based pathogen Legionella pneumophila and its FLA hosts Acanthamoeba polyphaga, A. castellanii, and Vermamoeba vermiformis. Exposure to sGW for 72 h resulted in significant inhibition (P < 0.0001) of amoebal encystation versus control-treated cells, with the following percentages of cysts in sGW versus controls: A. polyphaga (0.6 versus 6%), A. castellanii (2 versus 62%), and V. vermiformis (1 versus 92%), suggesting sGW induced maintenance of the actively feeding trophozoite form. During sGW exposure, L. pneumophila culturability decreased as early as 5 h (1.3 to 2.9 log10 CFU, P < 0.001) compared to controls (Δ0 to 0.1 log10 CFU) with flow cytometric analysis revealing immediate changes in membrane permeability. Furthermore, reverse transcription-quantitative PCR was performed on total RNA isolated from L. pneumophila cells at 0 to 48 h after sGW incubation, and genes associated with virulence (gacA, lirR, csrA, pla, and sidF), the type IV secretion system (lvrB and lvrE), and metabolism (ccmF and lolA) were all shown to be differentially expressed. These results suggest that conditions within GW may promote interactions between water-based pathogens and FLA hosts, through amoebal encystment inhibition and alteration of bacterial gene expression, thus warranting further exploration into FLA and L. pneumophila behavior in GW systems.

  14. Hydroxynonenal, a lipid peroxidation end product, stimulates uncoupling protein activity in Acanthamoeba castellanii mitochondria; the sensitivity of the inducible activity to purine nucleotides depends on the membranous ubiquinone redox state.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woyda-Ploszczyca, Andrzej M; Jarmuszkiewicz, Wieslawa

    2012-10-01

    We studied the influence of exogenously generated superoxide and exogenous 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (HNE), a lipid peroxidation end product, on the activity of the Acanthamoeba castellanii uncoupling protein (AcUCP). The superoxide-generating xanthine/xanthine oxidase system was insufficient to induce mitochondrial uncoupling. In contrast, exogenously added HNE induced GTP-sensitive AcUCP-mediated mitochondrial uncoupling. In non-phosphorylating mitochondria, AcUCP activation by HNE was demonstrated by increased oxygen consumption accompanied by a decreased membrane potential and ubiquinone (Q) reduction level. The HNE-induced GTP-sensitive proton conductance was similar to that observed with linoleic acid. In phosphorylating mitochondria, the HNE-induced AcUCP-mediated uncoupling decreased the yield of oxidative phosphorylation. We demonstrated that the efficiency of GTP to inhibit HNE-induced AcUCP-mediated uncoupling was regulated by the endogenous Q redox state. A high Q reduction level activated AcUCP by relieving the inhibition caused by GTP while a low Q reduction level favoured the inhibition. We propose that the regulation of UCP activity involves a rapid response through the endogenous Q redox state that modulates the inhibition of UCP by purine nucleotides, followed by a late response through lipid peroxidation products resulting from an increase in the formation of reactive oxygen species that modulate the UCP activation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. Interactions of Neuropathogenic Escherichia coli K1 (RS218 and Its Derivatives Lacking Genomic Islands with Phagocytic Acanthamoeba castellanii and Nonphagocytic Brain Endothelial Cells

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    Farzana Abubakar Yousuf

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Here we determined the role of various genomic islands in E. coli K1 interactions with phagocytic A. castellanii and nonphagocytic brain microvascular endothelial cells. The findings revealed that the genomic islands deletion mutants of RS218 related to toxins (peptide toxin, α-hemolysin, adhesins (P fimbriae, F17-like fimbriae, nonfimbrial adhesins, Hek, and hemagglutinin, protein secretion system (T1SS for hemolysin, invasins (IbeA, CNF1, metabolism (D-serine catabolism, dihydroxyacetone, glycerol, and glyoxylate metabolism showed reduced interactions with both A. castellanii and brain microvascular endothelial cells. Interestingly, the deletion of RS218-derived genomic island 21 containing adhesins (P fimbriae, F17-like fimbriae, nonfimbrial adhesins, Hek, and hemagglutinin, protein secretion system (T1SS for hemolysin, invasins (CNF1, metabolism (D-serine catabolism abolished E. coli K1-mediated HBMEC cytotoxicity in a CNF1-independent manner. Therefore, the characterization of these genomic islands should reveal mechanisms of evolutionary gain for E. coli K1 pathogenicity.

  17. Interactions between Human Norovirus Surrogates and Acanthamoeba spp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsueh, Tun-Yun; Gibson, Kristen E

    2015-06-15

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

  18. Quantitation by flow microfluorometry of total cellular DNA in Acanthamoeba

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Coulson, P.B.; Tyndall, R.

    1978-01-01

    The DNA content of five speciea of Acanthamoeba was determined by flow microfluorometry. Acanthamoeba castellanii (AC-30), acanthamoeba polyphaga (APG and P-23), acanthamoeba rhysodes, acanthamoeba culbertsoni (A-1), and acanthamoeba royreba were grown in a casitone based medium 24 to 48 hr. The trophozoites were harvested, fixed in 70% ethanol (acidified), pretreated with RNase, stained with propidium diiodide, and evaluated for DNA-bound fluorescence. All species tested had DNA values between 2.0 to 5.0 pg/cell. These results placed DNA/cell values of Acanthamoeba slightly lower than DNA/cell values of other eucaryotic cells and much lower than Amoeba proteus values. These results indicate that FMF may be a useful adjunct in distinguishing Acanthamoeba cells from either eucaryotic cells or some other amoeba. However, differences in DNA/cell between species of Acanthamoeba are small and would not be useful in identification of species.

  19. Development of Colorimetric Microtiter Plate Assay for Assessment of Antimicrobials against Acanthamoeba

    OpenAIRE

    McBride, James; Ingram, Paul R.; Henriquez, Fiona L.; Roberts, Craig W.

    2005-01-01

    We have developed and optimized a 96-well microtiter plate assay, based on the reduction of alamarBlue, to assess the efficacies of much needed new antimicrobials against Acanthamoeba species. This assay has been optimized for determination of drug efficacy against two potentially pathogenic species, Acanthamoeba castellanii and Acanthamoeba polyphaga, and has been validated by comparison of their relative susceptibilities to chlorhexidine, a drug widely used to treat Acanthamoeba keratitis. ...

  20. The cyclic AMP phosphodiesterase RegA critically regulates encystation in social and pathogenic amoebas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Qingyou; Schilde, Christina; Birgersson, Elin; Chen, Zhi-hui; McElroy, Stuart; Schaap, Pauline

    2014-02-01

    Amoebas survive environmental stress by differentiating into encapsulated cysts. As cysts, pathogenic amoebas resist antibiotics, which particularly counteracts treatment of vision-destroying Acanthamoeba keratitis. Limited genetic tractability of amoeba pathogens has left their encystation mechanisms unexplored. The social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum forms spores in multicellular fruiting bodies to survive starvation, while other dictyostelids, such as Polysphondylium pallidum can additionally encyst as single cells. Sporulation is induced by cAMP acting on PKA, with the cAMP phosphodiesterase RegA critically regulating cAMP levels. We show here that RegA is deeply conserved in social and pathogenic amoebas and that deletion of the RegA gene in P. pallidum causes precocious encystation and prevents cyst germination. We heterologously expressed and characterized Acanthamoeba RegA and performed a compound screen to identify RegA inhibitors. Two effective inhibitors increased cAMP levels and triggered Acanthamoeba encystation. Our results show that RegA critically regulates Amoebozoan encystation and that components of the cAMP signalling pathway could be effective targets for therapeutic intervention with encystation.

  1. Acanthamoeba castellanii Genotype T4 Stimulates the Production of Interleukin-10 as Well as Proinflammatory Cytokines in THP-1 Cells, Human Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells, and Human Monocyte-Derived Macrophages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattana, Antonella; Sanna, Manuela; Cano, Antonella; Delogu, Giuseppe; Erre, Giuseppe; Roberts, Craig W; Henriquez, Fiona L; Fiori, Pier Luigi; Cappuccinelli, Piero

    2016-10-01

    Free-living amoebae of the genus Acanthamoeba can cause severe and chronic infections in humans, mainly localized in immune privileged sites, such as the brain and the eye. Monocytes/macrophages are thought to be involved in Acanthamoeba infections, but little is known about how these facultative parasites influence their functions. The aim of this work was to investigate the effects of Acanthamoeba on human monocytes/macrophages during the early phase of infection. Here, THP-1 cells, primary human monocytes isolated from peripheral blood, and human monocyte-derived macrophages were either coincubated with trophozoites of a clinical isolate of Acanthamoeba (genotype T4) or stimulated with amoeba-derived cell-free conditioned medium. Production of proinflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor alpha [TNF-α], interleukin-6 [IL-6], and IL-12), anti-inflammatory cytokine (IL-10), and chemokine (IL-8) was evaluated at specific hours poststimulation (ranging from 1.5 h to 23 h). We showed that both Acanthamoeba trophozoites and soluble amoebic products induce an early anti-inflammatory monocyte-macrophage phenotype, characterized by significant production of IL-10; furthermore, challenge with either trophozoites or their soluble metabolites stimulate both proinflammatory cytokines and chemokine production, suggesting that this protozoan infection results from the early induction of coexisting, opposed immune responses. Results reported in this paper confirm that the production of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines by monocytes and macrophages can play a role in the development of the inflammatory response during Acanthamoeba infections. Furthermore, we demonstrate for the first time that Acanthamoeba stimulates IL-10 production in human innate immune cells, which might both promote the immune evasion of Acanthamoeba and limit the induced inflammatory response.

  2. Acanthamoeba castellanii Genotype T4 Stimulates the Production of Interleukin-10 as Well as Proinflammatory Cytokines in THP-1 Cells, Human Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells, and Human Monocyte-Derived Macrophages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanna, Manuela; Cano, Antonella; Delogu, Giuseppe; Erre, Giuseppe; Roberts, Craig W.; Henriquez, Fiona L.; Fiori, Pier Luigi; Cappuccinelli, Piero

    2016-01-01

    Free-living amoebae of the genus Acanthamoeba can cause severe and chronic infections in humans, mainly localized in immune privileged sites, such as the brain and the eye. Monocytes/macrophages are thought to be involved in Acanthamoeba infections, but little is known about how these facultative parasites influence their functions. The aim of this work was to investigate the effects of Acanthamoeba on human monocytes/macrophages during the early phase of infection. Here, THP-1 cells, primary human monocytes isolated from peripheral blood, and human monocyte-derived macrophages were either coincubated with trophozoites of a clinical isolate of Acanthamoeba (genotype T4) or stimulated with amoeba-derived cell-free conditioned medium. Production of proinflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor alpha [TNF-α], interleukin-6 [IL-6], and IL-12), anti-inflammatory cytokine (IL-10), and chemokine (IL-8) was evaluated at specific hours poststimulation (ranging from 1.5 h to 23 h). We showed that both Acanthamoeba trophozoites and soluble amoebic products induce an early anti-inflammatory monocyte-macrophage phenotype, characterized by significant production of IL-10; furthermore, challenge with either trophozoites or their soluble metabolites stimulate both proinflammatory cytokines and chemokine production, suggesting that this protozoan infection results from the early induction of coexisting, opposed immune responses. Results reported in this paper confirm that the production of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines by monocytes and macrophages can play a role in the development of the inflammatory response during Acanthamoeba infections. Furthermore, we demonstrate for the first time that Acanthamoeba stimulates IL-10 production in human innate immune cells, which might both promote the immune evasion of Acanthamoeba and limit the induced inflammatory response. PMID:27481240

  3. Acanthamoeba Keratitis FAQs

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Amebic Encephalitis (GAE); Keratitis Parasites Home Share Compartir Acanthamoeba Keratitis FAQs On this Page What is Acanthamoeba ... developing Acanthamoeba keratitis? Infection of the Eye with Acanthamoeba What is Acanthamoeba keratitis? Acanthamoeba keratitis is a ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hassan Alizadeh

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 (PAcanthamoeba 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.

  6. Metabolic profiling of the protozoan parasite Entamoeba invadens revealed activation of unpredicted pathway during encystation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ghulam Jeelani

    Full Text Available Encystation, which is cellular differentiation from the motile, proliferative, labile trophozoite form to the dormant, resistant cyst form, is a crucial process found in parasitic and free-living protozoa such as Entamoeba, Giardia, Acanthamoeba, and Balamuthia. Since encystation is an essential process to deal with the adverse external environmental changes during the life cycle, and often integral to the transmission of the diseases, biochemical understanding of the process potentially provides useful measures against the infections caused by this group of protozoa. In this study, we investigated metabolic and transcriptomic changes that occur during encystation in Entamoeba invadens, the reptilian sibling of mammal-infecting E. histolytica, using capillary electrophoresis-tandem mass spectrometry-based metabolite profiling and DNA microarray-based expression profiling. As the encystation progressed, the levels of majority of metabolites involved in glycolysis and nucleotides drastically decreased, indicating energy generation is ceased. Furthermore, the flux of glycolysis was redirected toward chitin wall biosynthesis. We found remarkable temporal increases in biogenic amines such as isoamylamine, isobutylamine, and cadaverine, during the early period of encystation, when the trophozoites form large multicellular aggregates (precyst. We also found remarkable induction of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA during encystation. This study has unveiled for the first time the dynamics of the transcriptional and metabolic regulatory networks during encystation, and should help in better understanding of the process in pathogenic eukaryotes, and further development of measures controlling infections they cause.

  7. Metabolic profiling of the protozoan parasite Entamoeba invadens revealed activation of unpredicted pathway during encystation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeelani, Ghulam; Sato, Dan; Husain, Afzal; Escueta-de Cadiz, Aleyla; Sugimoto, Masahiro; Soga, Tomoyoshi; Suematsu, Makoto; Nozaki, Tomoyoshi

    2012-01-01

    Encystation, which is cellular differentiation from the motile, proliferative, labile trophozoite form to the dormant, resistant cyst form, is a crucial process found in parasitic and free-living protozoa such as Entamoeba, Giardia, Acanthamoeba, and Balamuthia. Since encystation is an essential process to deal with the adverse external environmental changes during the life cycle, and often integral to the transmission of the diseases, biochemical understanding of the process potentially provides useful measures against the infections caused by this group of protozoa. In this study, we investigated metabolic and transcriptomic changes that occur during encystation in Entamoeba invadens, the reptilian sibling of mammal-infecting E. histolytica, using capillary electrophoresis-tandem mass spectrometry-based metabolite profiling and DNA microarray-based expression profiling. As the encystation progressed, the levels of majority of metabolites involved in glycolysis and nucleotides drastically decreased, indicating energy generation is ceased. Furthermore, the flux of glycolysis was redirected toward chitin wall biosynthesis. We found remarkable temporal increases in biogenic amines such as isoamylamine, isobutylamine, and cadaverine, during the early period of encystation, when the trophozoites form large multicellular aggregates (precyst). We also found remarkable induction of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) during encystation. This study has unveiled for the first time the dynamics of the transcriptional and metabolic regulatory networks during encystation, and should help in better understanding of the process in pathogenic eukaryotes, and further development of measures controlling infections they cause.

  8. Acanthamoeba keratitis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholson A

    1995-07-01

    Full Text Available Acanthamoeba keratitis, common in soft lens wearers, is not commonly isolated. The reports of Acanthamoeba keratitis in Indian literature are few. We report here a case of Acanthamoeba Keratitis in a medical student using soft contact lenses, initially diagnosed and treated as a bacterial and later as a viral corneal ulcer, who responded extremely well to medical line of therapy.

  9. Phagocytosis Affects Biguanide Sensitivity of Acanthamoeba spp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  10. Phagocytosis affects biguanide sensitivity of Acanthamoeba spp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  11. Photochemotherapeutic strategy against Acanthamoeba infections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  12. Acanthamoeba species in Swimming Pools of Cairo, Egypt.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmad Al-Herrawy

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The free-living amoebae Acanthamoeba spp. have been recognized as etiologic agents of amoebic encephalitis, keratitis, otitis, lung lesions and other skin infections mainly in immuno-compromised individuals. The purpose of this study is to detect the presence of Acanthamoeba in swimming pools in Egypt using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR method.Water samples were collected from 10 different swimming pools in Cairo, Egypt. Samples were cultured on non-nutrient agar for the detection of Acanthamoeba isolates that were confirmed by PCR amplification using genus specific primers. The molecularly confirmed Acanthamoeba isolates were morphologically identified to the species level.Members of genus Acanthamoeba were detected in 49.2% of the examined swimming-pool water samples. Morphologically, six Acanthamoeba species were isolated from the examined swimming pool water namely A. polyphaga, A.castellanii, A. rhysodes, A. mauritaniensis, A. royreba and A. triangularis. All the identified species of Acanthamoeba were molecularly confirmed to be related to the genus Acanthamoeba.The isolated species of Acanthamoeba could provoke variable degrees of infections to the swimmers. The culture method is cheaper and easier than PCR techniques that are faster for the detection of free-living amoebae.

  13. F. novicida-Infected A. castellanii Does Not Enhance Bacterial Virulence in Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozanic, Mateja; Gobin, Ivana; Brezovec, Martin; Marecic, Valentina; Trobonjaca, Zlatko; Abu Kwaik, Yousef; Santic, Marina

    2016-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a facultative intracellular bacterium that causes tularemia in humans and animals. Epidemiology of tularemia worldwide is often associated with water-borne transmission, which includes mosquitoes and amoebae as the potential host reservoirs of the bacteria in water environment. In vitro studies showed intracellular replication of F. tularensis within Acanthamoeba castellanii and Hartmanella vermiformis cells. While infection of amoeba by Legionella pneumophila has been shown to enhance infectivity of L. pneumophila the role of F. tularensis-infected protozoa in the pathogenesis of tularemia is not known. We used 6 h coculture of A. castellanii and F. novicida for investigation of the effect of inhaled amoeba on the pathogenesis of tularemia on in vivo model. Balb/c mice were infected intratracheally with F. novicida or with F. novicida-infected A. castellanii. Surprisingly, infection with F. novicida-infected A. castellanii did not lead to bronchopneumonia in Balb/c mice, and Francisella did not disseminate into the liver and spleen. Upon inhalation, F. novicida infects a variety of host cells, though neutrophils are the predominant cells early during infection in the lung infiltrates of pulmonary tularemia. The numbers of neutrophils in the lungs of Balb/c mice were significantly lower in the infection of mice with F. novicida-infected A. castellanii in comparison to group of mice infected only with F. novicida. These results demonstrate that following inoculation of mice with F. novicida-infected A. castellanii, mice did not develop tularemia. PMID:27242974

  14. F. NOVICIDA-INFECTED A. CASTELLANII DOES NOT ENHANCE BACTERIAL VIRULENCE IN MICE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mateja eOzanic

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis is a facultative intracellular bacterium that causes tularemia in humans and animals. Epidemiology of tularemia worldwide is often associated with water-borne transmission, which includes mosquitoes and amoebae as the potential host reservoirs of the bacteria in water environment. In vitro studies showed intracellular replication of F. tularensis within Acanthamoeba castellanii and Hartmanella vermiformis cells. While infection of amoeba by Legionella pneumophila has been shown to enhance infectivity of L. pneumophila the role of F. tularensis-infected protozoa in the pathogenesis of tularemia is not known. We used 6 h coculture of A. castellanii and F. novicida for investigation of the effect of inhaled amoeba on the pathogenesis of tularemia on in vivo model. Balb/c mice were infected intratracheally with F. novicida or with F. novicida-infected A. castellanii. Surprisingly, infection with F. novicida-infected A. castellanii did not lead to bronchopneumonia in Balb/c mice, and Francisella did not disseminate into the liver and spleen. Upon inhalation, F. novicida infects a variety of host cells, though neutrophils are the predominant cells early during infection in the lung infiltrates of pulmonary tularemia. The numbers of neutrophils in the lungs of Balb/c mice were significantly lower in the infection of mice with F. novicida-infected A. castellanii in comparison to group of mice infected only with F. novicida. These results demonstrate that following inoculation of mice with F. novicida-infected A. castellanii, mice did not develop tularemia.

  15. F. novicida-Infected A. castellanii Does Not Enhance Bacterial Virulence in Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozanic, Mateja; Gobin, Ivana; Brezovec, Martin; Marecic, Valentina; Trobonjaca, Zlatko; Abu Kwaik, Yousef; Santic, Marina

    2016-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a facultative intracellular bacterium that causes tularemia in humans and animals. Epidemiology of tularemia worldwide is often associated with water-borne transmission, which includes mosquitoes and amoebae as the potential host reservoirs of the bacteria in water environment. In vitro studies showed intracellular replication of F. tularensis within Acanthamoeba castellanii and Hartmanella vermiformis cells. While infection of amoeba by Legionella pneumophila has been shown to enhance infectivity of L. pneumophila the role of F. tularensis-infected protozoa in the pathogenesis of tularemia is not known. We used 6 h coculture of A. castellanii and F. novicida for investigation of the effect of inhaled amoeba on the pathogenesis of tularemia on in vivo model. Balb/c mice were infected intratracheally with F. novicida or with F. novicida-infected A. castellanii. Surprisingly, infection with F. novicida-infected A. castellanii did not lead to bronchopneumonia in Balb/c mice, and Francisella did not disseminate into the liver and spleen. Upon inhalation, F. novicida infects a variety of host cells, though neutrophils are the predominant cells early during infection in the lung infiltrates of pulmonary tularemia. The numbers of neutrophils in the lungs of Balb/c mice were significantly lower in the infection of mice with F. novicida-infected A. castellanii in comparison to group of mice infected only with F. novicida. These results demonstrate that following inoculation of mice with F. novicida-infected A. castellanii, mice did not develop tularemia.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  18. Detection of glycoproteins in the Acanthamoeba plasma membrane

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Paatero, G.I.L. (Abo Akademi (Finland)); Gahmberg, C.G. (Univ. of Helsinki (Finland))

    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.

  19. Acanthamoeba encephalitis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaushal V

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Central nervous system infection with free-living amoebae is rare. We present a fatal case of Acanthamoeba encephalitis in a 63-year-old female from India where acanthamoebae were demonstrated and cultured from CSF. In spite of treatment with amphotericin B, fluconazole and rifampicin the patient did not survive. Amoebic infection should be suspected in a patient of encephalitis of unexplained aetiology as timely diagnosis can lead to a favourable outcome.

  20. Acanthamoeba meningoencephalitis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S R Chandra

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  1. Regulation of carbohydrate metabolism during Giardia encystment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vliegenthart, J.F.G.; Jarroll, E.L.; Macechko, P.T.; Steimle, P.A.; Bulik, D.; Karr, C.D.; Keulen, Harry van; Paget, P.A.

    2001-01-01

    Giardia intestinalis trophozoites encyst when they are exposed to bile. During encystment, events related to the inducible synthesis of a novel N-acetyl-d-galactosamine (GalNAc) homopolymer, occur. Within the first 6 h of encystment, mRNA for glucosamine 6-P isomerase (GPI), the first inducible enzy

  2. The effect of the disulfideisomerase domain containing protein in the defense against polyhexamethylene biguanide of highly tolerant Acanthamoeba at the trophozoite stage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fu-Chin Huang

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Acanthamoeba castellanii is a free-living protozoan pathogen capable of causing a blinding keratitis and fatal granulomatous encephalitis. Current treatment generally involves an hourly application of polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB over a period of several days but this is not entirely effective against all strains/isolates. The tolerance mechanisms of PHMB in Acanthamoeba cells remain unclear. In this study, we found that the mRNA expression level of disulfideisomerase domain containing protein (PDI increased rapidly in surviving cells of the highly PHMB-tolerant Acanthamoeba castellanii strain, NCKH_D, during PHMB treatment, but not in the ATCC standard strain. After PDI-specific silencing, NCKH_D was found to be more vulnerable to PHMB treatment. The results described above show that PDI is an important gene for PHMB tolerance ability in a highly PHMB-tolerant strain of Acanthamoeba and provide a new insight for more efficient medicine development for Acanthamoeba keratitis.

  3. Legionella pneumophila: Virulent and Avirulent Interaction with Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1993-08-01

    Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis (SDS- PA G E) ........................................... 54 Staining of SDS-PAGE Gels ................................ 57...enhance recovery of L pneumophila from tissue specimens. Yeast extract replaced peptone constituents, while activated charcoal was substituted for starch ...The use of yeast extract, not only enhanced growth but lowered levels of inhibitory NaCl. Addition of starch or charcoal is thought to interfere with

  4. Acanthamoeba feature a unique backpacking strategy to trap and feed on Listeria monocytogenes and other motile bacteria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Doyscher, Dominik; Fieseler, Lars; Dons, Lone Elisabet

    2013-01-01

    Despite its prominent role as an intracellular human pathogen, Listeria monocytogenes normally features a saprophytic lifestyle, and shares many environmental habitats with predatory protozoa. Earlier studies claimed that Acanthamoeba may act as environmental reservoirs for L.?monocytogenes, wher......Despite its prominent role as an intracellular human pathogen, Listeria monocytogenes normally features a saprophytic lifestyle, and shares many environmental habitats with predatory protozoa. Earlier studies claimed that Acanthamoeba may act as environmental reservoirs for L.......?monocytogenes, whereas others failed to confirm this hypothesis. Our findings support the latter and provide clear evidence that L.?monocytogenes is unable to persist in Acanthamoeba castellanii and A.?polyphaga. Instead, external Listeria cells are rapidly immobilized on the surface of Acanthamoeba trophozoites...... that formation of backpacks is not specific for L.?monocytogenes, and independent of bacterial pathogenicity or virulence. Hence, backpacking appears to represent a unique and highly effective strategy of Acanthamoeba to trap and feed on motile bacteria....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  6. The proteome landscape of Giardia lamblia encystation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen Faso

    Full Text Available Giardia lamblia is an intestinal protozoan parasite required to survive in the environment in order to be transmitted to a new host. To ensure parasite survival, flagellated trophozoites colonizing the small intestine differentiate into non-motile environmentally-resistant cysts which are then shed in the environment. This cell differentiation process called encystation is characterized by significant morphological remodeling which includes secretion of large amounts of cyst wall material. Although much is known about the transcriptional regulation of encystation and the synthesis and trafficking of cyst wall material, the investigation of global changes in protein content and abundance during G. lamblia encystation is still unaddressed. In this study, we report on the quantitative analysis of the G. lamblia proteome during encystation using tandem mass spectrometry. Quantification of more than 1000 proteins revealed major changes in protein abundance in early, mid and late encystation, notably in constitutive secretory protein trafficking. Early stages of encystation were marked by a striking decrease of endoplasmic reticulum-targeted variant-specific surface proteins and significant increases in cytoskeleton regulatory components, NEK protein kinases and proteins involved in protein folding and glycolysis. This was in stark contrast to cells in the later stages of encystation which presented a surprisingly similar proteome composition to non-encysting trophozoites. Altogether these data constitute the first quantitative atlas of the Giardia proteome covering the whole process of encystation and point towards an important role for post-transcriptional control of gene expression in Giardia differentiation. Furthermore, our data provide a valuable resource for the community-based annotation effort of the G. lamblia genome, where almost 70% of all predicted gene models remains "hypothetical".

  7. The proteome landscape of Giardia lamblia encystation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faso, Carmen; Bischof, Sylvain; Hehl, Adrian B

    2013-01-01

    Giardia lamblia is an intestinal protozoan parasite required to survive in the environment in order to be transmitted to a new host. To ensure parasite survival, flagellated trophozoites colonizing the small intestine differentiate into non-motile environmentally-resistant cysts which are then shed in the environment. This cell differentiation process called encystation is characterized by significant morphological remodeling which includes secretion of large amounts of cyst wall material. Although much is known about the transcriptional regulation of encystation and the synthesis and trafficking of cyst wall material, the investigation of global changes in protein content and abundance during G. lamblia encystation is still unaddressed. In this study, we report on the quantitative analysis of the G. lamblia proteome during encystation using tandem mass spectrometry. Quantification of more than 1000 proteins revealed major changes in protein abundance in early, mid and late encystation, notably in constitutive secretory protein trafficking. Early stages of encystation were marked by a striking decrease of endoplasmic reticulum-targeted variant-specific surface proteins and significant increases in cytoskeleton regulatory components, NEK protein kinases and proteins involved in protein folding and glycolysis. This was in stark contrast to cells in the later stages of encystation which presented a surprisingly similar proteome composition to non-encysting trophozoites. Altogether these data constitute the first quantitative atlas of the Giardia proteome covering the whole process of encystation and point towards an important role for post-transcriptional control of gene expression in Giardia differentiation. Furthermore, our data provide a valuable resource for the community-based annotation effort of the G. lamblia genome, where almost 70% of all predicted gene models remains "hypothetical".

  8. Recent advances in the treatment of Acanthamoeba keratitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. Elastase secretion in Acanthamoeba polyphaga.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreira, Gabriela A; Magliano, Ana C M; Pral, Elizabeth M F; Alfieri, Silvia C

    2009-11-01

    Acanthamoeba species are frequently isolated from soil and water collections. In the environment, the organisms multiply as phagotrophic trophozoites and encyst under adverse conditions. Several species are known to infect man, causing keratitis and opportunistic diseases. The mechanisms underlying tissue damage and invasion by the amoebae are being elucidated and the involvement of secreted peptidases, particularly serine peptidases, has been demonstrated. Here, elastase activity was examined in Acanthamoeba-conditioned medium (ACM), making use of elastin-Congo red (ECR) and synthetic peptide p-nitroanilide substrates. ACM hydrolysed ECR over a broad pH range and optimally at a pH of 7.5 and above. Indicating the activity of serine and metallopeptidases, Congo red release was potently inhibited by PMSF, antipain, chymostatin and 1,10-phenanthroline, partially reduced by elastatinal and EDTA, and unaffected by 1,7-phenanthroline and E-64. Screening with synthetic substrates mainly showed the activity of serine peptidases. ACM efficiently hydrolysed Suc-Ala(2)-Pro-Leu-pNA and Suc-Ala(2)-Pro-Phe-pNA over a broad pH range (7.0-9.5) and was weakly active against Suc-Ala(3)-pNA, a substrate found to be optimally hydrolysed at a pH around 7.0. Following ammonium sulfate precipitation of ACM proteins and FPLC analysis, the majority of the ECR-splitting activity, characterised as serine peptidases, bound to CM-sepharose and co-eluted with part of the Suc-Ala(2)-Pro-Phe-pNA-hydrolysing activity in a gradient of 0-0.6M NaCl. In the corresponding FPLC fractions, serine peptidases resolving in the region of 70-130kDa were detected in gelatin gels. Overall, the results demonstrate that trophozoites secrete elastases, and additionally suggest the high molecular weight serine peptidases as possible elastase candidates.

  10. Entamoeba invadens, encystation process and enolase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segovia-Gamboa, Norma Cristina; Chávez-Munguía, Bibiana; Medina-Flores, Yolanda; Cázares-Raga, Febe Elena; Hernández-Ramírez, Verónica Ivonne; Martínez-Palomo, Adolfo; Talamás-Rohana, Patricia

    2010-06-01

    The reptilian parasite Entamoeba invadens is accepted as a model for the study of the Entamoeba encystation process. Here we describe the production and characterization of a mAb (B4F2), generated against a component of the E. invadens cyst wall. This mAb specifically recognizes a 48-kDa protein present in cytoplasmic vesicles of cells encysting for 24 h. In mature cysts (96 h), the antigen was detected on the cyst surface. By two-dimensional electrophoresis and mass spectrometry analysis, the B4F2 specific antigen was identified as enolase. Levels of enolase mRNA were increased in encysting cells and the B4F2 mAb was found to inhibit cyst formation. Therefore, these results strongly suggest a new role for enolase in E. invadens encystation, and the B4F2 mAb will be useful tool to study its role in the differentiation process.

  11. A rapid and reliable method for the clonal isolation of Acanthamoeba from environmental samples

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janice Zanella

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Acanthamoeba are abundant in a wide range of environments, and some species are responsible for cutaneous infections, keratitis, and granulomatous amoebic encephalitis (GAE. The conventional detection and isolation of amoeba from clinical and environmental samples involves sampling and culture on non-nutrient Ágar medium. Although efficient, this system requires several transfers in order to eliminate contaminants, and is not appropriate for the isolation of individual amoeba from samples with a biodiverse community. In this study we propose an alternative method for the isolation of monocystic clones of Acanthamoeba. The propose method involves sampling, enrichment, encystment induction, and direct cysts micromanipulation and culture on Ágar plates.

  12. Analysis of Giardin expression during encystation of Giardia lamblia

    Science.gov (United States)

    The present study analyzed giardin transcription in trophozoites and cysts during encystation of Giardia lamblia. Encystment was induced using standard methods, and the number of trophozoites and cysts were counted at various time-points during encystation. At all time points, RNA from both stages...

  13. Persistence of acanthamoeba antigen following acanthamoeba keratitis

    OpenAIRE

    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 c...

  14. Transcriptome analysis of encystation in Entamoeba invadens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Cádiz, Aleyla Escueta; Jeelani, Ghulam; Nakada-Tsukui, Kumiko; Caler, Elisabet; Nozaki, Tomoyoshi

    2013-01-01

    Encystation is an essential differentiation process for the completion of the life cycle of a group of intestinal protozoa including Entamoeba histolytica, the causative agent of intestinal and extraintestinal amebiasis. However, regulation of gene expression during encystation is poorly understood. To comprehensively understand the process at the molecular level, the transcriptomic profiles of E. invadens, which is a related reptilian species that causes an invasive disease similar to that of E. histolytica, was investigated during encystation. Using a custom-generated Affymetrix platform microarray, we performed time course (0.5, 2, 8, 24, 48, and 120 h) gene expression analysis of encysting E. invadens. ANOVA analysis revealed that a total of 1,528 genes showed ≥3 fold up-regulation at one or more time points, relative to the trophozoite stage. Of these modulated genes, 8% (116 genes) were up-regulated at the early time points (0.5, 2 and 8h), while 63% (962 genes) were up-regulated at the later time points (24, 48, and 120 h). Twenty nine percent (450 genes) are either up-regulated at 2 to 5 time points or constitutively up-regulated in both early and late stages. Among the up-regulated genes are the genes encoding transporters, cytoskeletal proteins, proteins involved in vesicular trafficking (small GTPases), Myb transcription factors, cysteine proteases, components of the proteasome, and enzymes for chitin biosynthesis. This study represents the first kinetic analysis of gene expression during differentiation from the invasive trophozoite to the dormant, infective cyst stage in Entamoeba. Functional analysis on individual genes and their encoded products that are modulated during encystation may lead to the discovery of targets for the development of new chemotherapeutics that interfere with stage conversion of the parasite.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  18. The role of domestic tap water on Acanthamoeba keratitis in non-contact lens wearers and validation of laboratory methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. Biology and pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba

    OpenAIRE

    Siddiqui Ruqaiyyah; Khan Naveed

    2012-01-01

    Abstract 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 ev...

  20. Immunity to Acanthamoeba.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrante, A

    1991-01-01

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

  1. Acanthamoeba keratitis in Pondicherry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. Biology and pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Siddiqui Ruqaiyyah

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract 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.

  5. Chitin synthetase in encysting Giardia lamblia and Entamoeba invadens

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Das, S.; Gillin, F.D.

    1987-05-01

    Giardia lamblia (Gl) and Entamoeba invadens (Ei) are protozoan parasites with two morphologic stages in their life cycles. Motile trophozoites colonize the intestine of humans and reptiles respectively. Water resistant cysts, which can survive outside the host, transmit infection. In vitro cyst formation of Ei from trophozoites has been reported, and the authors have recently induced in vitro encystation of Gl. Although the cyst walls of both parasites contain chitin, it synthesis by encysting trophozoites has not been reported. The authors now show that encystation conditions greatly increase chitin synthetase (CS) specific activity (incorporation of /sup 3/H GlcNAc from UDP-GlcNAc into TCA-or alcohol-precipitable material). Extracts of encysting Gl incorporated 3.6 nmol/mg protein in 5 hr compared to < 0.005 in controls. Extracts of encysting Fi incorporated 4.8 n mol/mg protein, compared to 1.7 in the control. CS activity of both parasites requires preformed chitin. The Gl enzyme requires a reducing agent, is inhibited by digitonin and the CS inhibitors, polyoxin D and Nikkomycin, but not by tunicamycin. The product is digested by chitinase. Ei enzyme does not require a reducing agent and is stimulated by 1 mg/ml digitonin, but inhibited by higher concentrations. These studies demonstrate CS enzymes which may play important roles in encystation of Gl and Ei.

  6. Analysis of giardin expression during encystation of Giardia lamblia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, M C; O'Brien, C N; Macarisin, D; Miska, K; Fetterer, R; Fayer, R

    2012-12-01

    The present study analyzed giardin transcription in trophozoites and cysts during encystation of Giardia lamblia . Encystment was induced using standard methods, and the numbers of trophozoites and cysts were counted at various time points during the process. At all time points, RNA from both stages were assayed for levels of alpha2-, beta-, and delta-giardin mRNA as well as for cyst wall protein 3 (CWP3) mRNA using quantitative RT-PCR. In encystation medium, the number of G. lamblia trophozoites decreased, while the number of cysts increased between 0 and 72 hr. In trophozoites, alpha2- and beta-giardin transcription decreased over time, while delta-giardin transcription remained unchanged during the same time period. CWP3 transcription exhibited a slight increase in trophozoites at 8 hr, followed by a decrease at subsequent time points. Expression of alpha2-giardin increased at 48 hr in cysts followed by decreased expression at 72 hr, while beta- and delta-giardin expression was unchanged during encystation. CWP3 transcription gradually decreased from 24-72 hr in cysts. Consistent with previous studies, giardin proteins appeared to be disassembled into amorphous structures inside cysts during encystation. These findings represent the first analysis of giardin transcription in separate populations of trophozoites and cysts during encystation and indicate differential regulation of giardin mRNA expression by these developmental stages.

  7. Campylobacter-Acanthamoeba interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Evaluation of Ozone Application in Dental Unit Water Lines Con¬taminated with Pathogenic Acanthamoeba

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wafaa HIKAL

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  10. Acanthamoeba feature a unique backpacking strategy to trap and feed on Listeria monocytogenes and other motile bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doyscher, Dominik; Fieseler, Lars; Dons, Lone; Loessner, Martin J; Schuppler, Markus

    2013-02-01

    Despite its prominent role as an intracellular human pathogen, Listeria monocytogenes normally features a saprophytic lifestyle, and shares many environmental habitats with predatory protozoa. Earlier studies claimed that Acanthamoeba may act as environmental reservoirs for L. monocytogenes, whereas others failed to confirm this hypothesis. Our findings support the latter and provide clear evidence that L. monocytogenes is unable to persist in Acanthamoeba castellanii and A. polyphaga. Instead, external Listeria cells are rapidly immobilized on the surface of Acanthamoeba trophozoites, forming large aggregates of densely packed bacteria that we termed backpacks. While the assembly of backpacks is dependent on bacterial motility, flagellation alone is not sufficient. Electron micrographs showed that the aggregates are held together by filaments of likely amoebal origin. Time-lapse microscopy revealed that shortly after the bacteria are collected, the amoeba can change direction of movement, phagocytose the backpack and continue to repeat the process. The phenomenon was also observed with avirulent L. monocytogenes mutants, non-pathogenic Listeria, and other motile bacteria, indicating that formation of backpacks is not specific for L. monocytogenes, and independent of bacterial pathogenicity or virulence. Hence, backpacking appears to represent a unique and highly effective strategy of Acanthamoeba to trap and feed on motile bacteria.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  12. Treatment of Acanthamoeba keratitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  13. Conserved mechanisms of Mycobacterium marinum pathogenesis within the environmental amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, George M; Morisaki, J Hiroshi; Champion, Patricia A DiGiuseppe

    2012-03-01

    Mycobacterium marinum is a waterborne mycobacterial pathogen. Due to their common niche, protozoa likely represent natural hosts for M. marinum. We demonstrate that the ESX-1 secretion system is required for M. marinum pathogenesis and that M. marinum utilizes actin-based motility in amoebae. Therefore, at least two virulence pathways used by M. marinum in macrophages are conserved during M. marinum infection of amoebae.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-01

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

  15. Entamoeba Encystation: New Targets to Prevent the Transmission of Amebiasis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mi-ichi, Fumika; Yoshida, Hiroki; Hamano, Shinjiro

    2016-01-01

    Amebiasis is caused by Entamoeba histolytica infection and can produce a broad range of clinical signs, from asymptomatic cases to patients with obvious symptoms. The current epidemiological and clinical statuses of amebiasis make it a serious public health problem worldwide. The Entamoeba life cycle consists of the trophozoite, the causative agent for amebiasis, and the cyst, the form responsible for transmission. These two stages are connected by “encystation” and “excystation.” Hence, developing novel strategies to control encystation and excystation will potentially lead to new measures to block the transmission of amebiasis by interrupting the life cycle of the causative agent. Here, we highlight studies investigating encystation using inhibitory chemicals and categorize them based on the molecules inhibited. We also present a perspective on new strategies to prevent the transmission of amebiasis. PMID:27764256

  16. Encystation commitment in Giardia duodenalis: a long and winding road

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Argüello-Garciá R.

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Cholesterol and bile salts are relevant modulators of Giardia encystation. Although several molecules within signaling cascades have been identified, and changes in their expression observed during giardial encystation, their underlying interactions leading to expression of cyst wall markers (CWPs and precursors of the GalNAc homopolymer are not well defined. Recent experimental data and the completion of the Giardia Genome Project Database (GiardiaDB allow us now to consider the role of bile salts as “natural stimuli” and the potential involvement of a Raf/MEK/ERK pathway mediating cholesterol-regulated expression of cyst-specific genes. These new findings may provide promising targets for diagnostics, drug design and prophylactic intervention against giardiasis.

  17. Heat Shock Protein 90 regulates encystation in Entamoeba

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meetali eSingh

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Enteric protozoan Entamoeba histolytica is a major cause of debilitating diarrheal infection worldwide with high morbidity and mortality. Even though the clinical burden of this parasite is very high, this infection is categorized as a neglected disease. Parasite is transmitted through feco-oral route and exhibit two distinct stages namely – trophozoites and cysts. Mechanism and regulation of encystation is not clearly understood. Previous studies have established the role of Heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90 in regulating stage transition in various protozoan parasites like Giardia, Plasmodium, Leishmania and Toxoplasma. Our study for the first time reports that Hsp90 plays a crucial role in life cycle of Entamoeba as well. We identify Hsp90 to be a negative regulator of encystation in Entamoeba. We also show that Hsp90 inhibition interferes with the process of phagocytosis in Entamoeba. Overall, we show that Hsp90 plays an important role in virulence and transmission of Entamoeba.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. In vivo CNS infection model of Acanthamoeba genotype T4: the early stages of infection lack presence of host inflammatory response and are a slow and contact-dependent process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Omaña-Molina, Maritza; Hernandez-Martinez, Dolores; Sanchez-Rocha, Raquel; Cardenas-Lemus, Ulises; Salinas-Lara, Citlaltepetl; Mendez-Cruz, Adolfo Rene; Colin-Barenque, Laura; Aley-Medina, Patricia; Espinosa-Villanueva, Jesus; Moreno-Fierros, Leticia; Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob

    2017-02-01

    This study was developed in order to describe the early morphological events observed during the invasion of two pathogenic strains of Acanthamoeba (genotype T4); A. castellanii and A. culbertsoni, at the olfactory meatus and cerebral, pulmonary, renal, hepatic and splenic tissues levels, an in vivo invasion study. Histological and immunohistochemical description of the events at 24, 48, 72, and 96 h postintranasal inoculations of BALB/c mice was performed. A. castellanii showed a higher invasion rate than A. culbertsoni, which was only able to reach lung and brain tissue in the in vivo model. The current study supports previous evidence of lack of inflammatory response during the early stages of infection. Acanthamoeba invasion of the CNS and other organs is a slow and contact-dependent process. The early morphological events during the invasion of amoebae include the penetration of trophozoites into different epithelia: olfactory, respiratory, alveolar space, and renal tubule, which resemble the process of amoebae invasion described in corneal tissue. The data suggest that after reaching the nasal epithelium, trophozoites continued invasion, separating and lifting the most superficial cells, then migrating and penetrating between the cell junctions without causing a cytolytic effect on adjacent cells. These results reaffirm the idea that contact-dependent mechanisms are relevant for amoebae of Acanthamoeba genus regardless of the invasion site.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1988-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  2. Pathogenicity, morphology, and differentiation of Acanthamoeba.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  3. Mitochondrial DNA restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and 18S small-subunit ribosomal DNA PCR-RFLP analyses of Acanthamoeba isolated from contact lens storage cases of residents in southwestern Korea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kong, Hyun-Hee; Shin, Ji-Yeol; Yu, Hak-Sun; Kim, Jin; Hahn, Tae-Won; Hahn, Young-Ho; Chung, Dong-Il

    2002-04-01

    We applied ribosomal DNA PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) RFLP analyses to 43 Acanthamoeba environmental isolates (KA/LH1 to KA/LH43) from contact lens storage cases in southwestern Korea. These isolates were compared to American Type Culture Collection strains and clinical isolates (KA/E1 to KA/E12) from patients with keratitis. Seven riboprint patterns were seen. To identify the species of the isolates, a phylogenetic tree was constructed based on the comparison of riboprint patterns with reference strains. Four types accounted for 39 of the isolates belonging to the A. castellanii complex. The most predominant (48.8%) type was A. castellanii KA/LH2 type, which had identical riboprint and mtDNA RFLP patterns to those of A. castellanii Castellani, KA/E3 and KA/E8. The riboprint and mtDNA RFLP patterns of the KA/LH7 (20.9%) type were identical to those of A. castellanii Ma, a corneal isolate from the United States. The riboprint and mtDNA RFLP patterns of the KA/LH1 (18.6%) type were the same as those of A. lugdunensis L3a, KA/E2, and KA/E12. The prevalent pattern for each type of Acanthamoeba in southwestern Korea was very different from that from southeastern Korea and Seoul, Korea. It is noteworthy that 38 (88.4%) out of 43 isolates from contact lens storage cases of the residents in southwestern Korea revealed mtDNA RFLP and riboprint patterns identical to those found for clinical isolates in our area. This indicates that most isolates from contact lens storage cases in the surveyed area are potential keratopathogens. More attention should be paid to the disinfection of contact lens storage cases to prevent possible amoebic keratitis.

  4. Granulomatous inflammation in Acanthamoeba sclerokeratitis

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    Samrat Chatterjee

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This report describes the histopathological findings in a patient with Acanthamoeba sclerokeratitis (ASK. A 58-year-old patient with ASK underwent enucleation and sections of the cornea and sclera were subjected to histopathology and immunohistochemistry with monoclonal mouse antihuman antibodies against T cell CD3 and B cell CD20 antigens. Hematoxylin and Eosin stained sections of the cornea revealed epithelial ulceration, Bowman′s membrane destruction, stromal vascularization, infiltration with lymphocytes, plasma cells, and granulomatous inflammation with multinucleated giant cells (MNGC. The areas of scleritis showed complete disruption of sclera collagen, necrosis and infiltration with neutrophils, macrophages, lymphocytes, and granulomatous inflammation with MNGC. No cyst or trophozoites of Acanthamoeba were seen in the cornea or sclera. Immunophenotyping revealed that the population of lymphocytes was predominantly of T cells. Granulomatous inflammation in ASK is probably responsible for the continuance and progression of the scleritis and management protocols should include immunosuppressive agents alongside amoebicidal drugs.

  5. Histopathological examination of Acanthamoeba sclerokeratitis

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    Kato K

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Kumiko Kato,1 Koji Hirano,2 Tetsuro Nagasaka,3 Koichi Matsunaga,1 Yuko Takashima,1 Mineo Kondo1 1Department of Ophthalmology, Mie University School of Medicine, Tsu, Japan; 2Department of Ophthalmology, Fujita Health University, Nagoya, Japan; 3Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya, Japan Purpose: To report the histopathological findings in a case of severe Acanthamoeba sclerokeratitis (ASK. Patient and methods: A 46-year-old patient was referred to the Department of Ophthalmology of Mie University Hospital because of a severe corneal ulcer of the right eye of 6 months' duration. Our initial examination showed a ring-shaped corneal opacity with extensive epithelial defects and nodular scleritis. Cysts of Acanthamoeba were identified in cultures from corneal scrapings, and he was diagnosed with ASK. He was started on antiamoebic treatment, including topical micafungin and chlorhexidine. The corneal ulcer was debrided several times. One month later, he developed necrotizing scleritis, and the cornea suddenly perforated. The eye was enucleated because of severe pain and prepared for histopathological examination. Results: The histopathological examination showed an infiltration of polymorphonuclear leukocytes throughout the corneal stroma and also in the limbal area of the sclera, forming an abscess. Granulation tissue was observed in the anterior sclera close to the ciliary body, but the posterior regions of the eye were not affected by inflammation or tissue destruction. The cysts of Acanthamoeba were observed only in the cornea. Conclusion: Histopathological examination of an eye with severe ASK showed that the inflammation and tissue granulation were present only in the anterior part of eye, and the posterior segment was not affected. Because the inflammation and tissue destruction were confined to the anterior segment, enucleation might not have been necessary if the severe pain was

  6. 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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. Toxicity of anti-fouling biocides to Parorchis acanthus (Digenea: Philophthalmidae) cercarial encystment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morley, N J; Leung, K M Y; Morritt, D; Crane, M

    2003-03-17

    The toxicity of the anti-fouling biocides tributyltin (TBTO), copper, and Irgarol 1051 (irgarol) at nominal concentrations ranging from 10 to 10,000 microg l(-1) was investigated against the speed of encystment and successful formation of a protective cyst of the cercariae of Parorchis acanthus. For all biocide exposures, cercariae had a much slower rate of encystment and reduced cyst formation than controls. Exposure of the snail host Nucella lapillus for 7 d caused complete cessation of cercarial shedding in irgarol-exposed snails but had no effect on cercarial encystment from TBTO and copper-exposed snails. The mechanisms of toxicity of the biocides are briefly discussed.

  8. Cellular, biochemical, and molecular changes during encystment of free-living amoebae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fouque, Emilie; Trouilhé, Marie-Cécile; Thomas, Vincent; Hartemann, Philippe; Rodier, Marie-Hélène; Héchard, Yann

    2012-04-01

    Free-living amoebae are protozoa found in soil and water. Among them, some are pathogenic and many have been described as potential reservoirs of pathogenic bacteria. Their cell cycle is divided into at least two forms, the trophozoite and the cyst, and the differentiation process is named encystment. As cysts are more resistant to disinfection treatments than trophozoites, many studies focused on encystment, but until recently, little was known about cellular, biochemical, and molecular modifications operating during this process. Important signals and signaling pathways at play during encystment, as well as cell responses at the molecular level, have been described. This review summarizes our knowledge and focuses on new findings.

  9. Ceratite bilateral por Acanthamoeba: relato de caso Bilateral Acanthamoeba keratitis: case report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wilson Nahmatallah Obeid

    2003-12-01

    Full Text Available A ceratite por Acanthamoeba é uma infecção ocular grave que, apesar dos recentes progressos no diagnóstico e tratamento, ainda provoca prolongada morbidade e perda da acuidade visual. Relatamos um caso de ceratite bilateral por Acanthamoeba em usuário de lentes de contato, que é o primeiro caso descrito na literatura brasileira.Acanthamoeba keratitis is a severe ocular infection which even with recent progress in diagnosis and treatment still causes long morbidity and loss of visual acuity. We describe a case of bilateral Acanthamoeba keratitis in a user of contact lenses, which is the first case discussed in Brazilian literature.

  10. Acanthamoeba keratitis after photorefractive keratectomy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  11. The immunological aspects of Acanthamoeba infections

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    Naveed A.  Khan

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Acanthamoeba is a protozoan pathogen that is responsible for two recognized diseases; i a blinding keratitis, most commonly associated with contact lens wear, and ii a rare but fatal granulomatous encephalitis that usually is limited to immunocompromised patients. The fact that Acanthamoeba infections are generally limited to avascular cornea or immunocompromised patients suggests that the normal immune responses may be sufficient to control and/or eradicate these pathogens. Here we describe our current understanding of the immune responses to Acanthamoeba infections.

  12. Acanthamoeba keratitis with Curvularia co-infection

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    Gupta N

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available We report a case of Acanthamoeba keratitis with Curvularia co-infection. Acanthamoeba and fungal co-infection have been uncommonly reported in literature, worldwide. A classical history with a strong clinical suspicion and experienced laboratory personnel with systematic examination of corneal scrapings for bacterial, viral, parasitic and fungal causes are imperative for accurate diagnosis. Early diagnosis of Acanthamoeba keratitis or fungal infection followed by aggressive and appropriate treatment with effective agents is critical for the retention of good vision. Acanthamoeba keratitis is difficult to diagnose and, despite improvement in treatment options, may culminate in prolonged morbidity and significant loss of visual acuity. This case emphasizes the important role played by clinical microbiologists in making prompt diagnosis which can ultimately reduce visual morbidity.

  13. Actin, RhoA, and Rab11 participation during encystment in Entamoeba invadens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrera-Martínez, M; Hernández-Ramírez, V I; Lagunes-Guillén, A E; Chávez-Munguía, B; Talamás-Rohana, P

    2013-01-01

    In the genus Entamoeba, actin reorganization is necessary for cyst differentiation; however, its role is still unknown. The aim of this work was to investigate the role of actin and encystation-related proteins during Entamoeba invadens encystation. Studied proteins were actin, RhoA, a small GTPase involved through its effectors in the rearrangement of the actin cytoskeleton; Rab11, a protein involved in the transport of encystation vesicles; and enolase, as an encystment vesicles marker. Results showed a high level of polymerized actin accompanied by increased levels of RhoA-GTP during cell rounding and loss of vacuoles. Cytochalasin D, an actin polymerization inhibitor, and Y27632, an inhibitor of RhoA activity, reduced encystment in 80%. These inhibitors also blocked cell rounding, disposal of vacuoles, and the proper formation of the cysts wall. At later times, F-actin and Rab11 colocalized with enolase, suggesting that Rab11 could participate in the transport of the cyst wall components through the F-actin cytoskeleton. These results suggest that actin cytoskeleton rearrangement is playing a decisive role in determining cell morphology changes and helping with the transport of cell wall components to the cell surface during encystment of E. invadens.

  14. Contact Lens-Associated Acanthamoeba Keratitis in Iran

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    AH Maghsood

    2005-07-01

    Full Text Available Acanthamoeba keratitis is a vision-threatening infection caused by pathogenic species of the genus Acanthamoeba. In this study, 13 Acanthamoeba keratitis cases were diagnosed among 52 keratitis patients. To confirm the identity of Acanthamoeba at the genus level, a PCR-based method was used, and their pathogenic potential was determined using in vitro cytotoxicity assays on human corneal epithelial cells. Twelve (92.3% of Acanthamoeba keratitis patients were contact lens wearers; among them eleven (91.7% wore soft contact lenses. 11/13 (84.6% isolates were axenised in liquid culture medium, of which 10 (90.9% isolates disrupted corneal cells. Nine (69.2% isolates showed Acanthamoeba sp. group II, and four (30.8% showed group III morphology. To our knowledge this is the first report of determination of Acanthamoeba pathogenicity in Iran. This study confirms the importance of determination of pathogenic potential of Acanthamoeba isolates for clinical purposes.

  15. Laboratory diagnosis of Acanthamoeba keratitis in Hungary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. A case of trauma related Acanthamoeba keratitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. First cases of Acanthamoeba keratitis in Slovakia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  18. Ceratite bilateral por Acanthamoeba: relato de caso Bilateral Acanthamoeba keratitis: case report

    OpenAIRE

    Wilson Nahmatallah Obeid; Rogério de Araújo; Luiz Antonio Vieira; Marco Antonio Campos Machado

    2003-01-01

    A ceratite por Acanthamoeba é uma infecção ocular grave que, apesar dos recentes progressos no diagnóstico e tratamento, ainda provoca prolongada morbidade e perda da acuidade visual. Relatamos um caso de ceratite bilateral por Acanthamoeba em usuário de lentes de contato, que é o primeiro caso descrito na literatura brasileira.Acanthamoeba keratitis is a severe ocular infection which even with recent progress in diagnosis and treatment still causes long morbidity and loss of visual acuity. W...

  19. Infection of Acanthamoeba polyphaga with Simkania negevensis and S. negevensis survival within amoebal cysts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahane, S; Dvoskin, B; Mathias, M; Friedman, M G

    2001-10-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  1. The transcriptional response to encystation stimuli in Giardia lamblia is restricted to a small set of genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morf, Laura; Spycher, Cornelia; Rehrauer, Hubert; Fournier, Catharine Aquino; Morrison, Hilary G; Hehl, Adrian B

    2010-10-01

    The protozoan parasite Giardia lamblia undergoes stage differentiation in the small intestine of the host to an environmentally resistant and infectious cyst. Encystation involves the secretion of an extracellular matrix comprised of cyst wall proteins (CWPs) and a β(1-3)-GalNAc homopolymer. Upon the induction of encystation, genes coding for CWPs are switched on, and mRNAs coding for a Myb transcription factor and enzymes involved in cyst wall glycan synthesis are upregulated. Encystation in vitro is triggered by several protocols, which call for changes in bile concentrations or availability of lipids, and elevated pH. However, the conditions for induction are not standardized and we predicted significant protocol-specific side effects. This makes reliable identification of encystation factors difficult. Here, we exploited the possibility of inducing encystation with two different protocols, which we show to be equally effective, for a comparative mRNA profile analysis. The standard encystation protocol induced a bipartite transcriptional response with surprisingly minor involvement of stress genes. A comparative analysis revealed a core set of only 18 encystation genes and showed that a majority of genes was indeed upregulated as a side effect of inducing conditions. We also established a Myb binding sequence as a signature motif in encystation promoters, suggesting coordinated regulation of these factors.

  2. An Entamoeba cysteine peptidase specifically expressed during encystation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebert, Frank; Bachmann, Anna; Nakada-Tsukui, Kumiko; Hennings, Ina; Drescher, Babette; Nozaki, Tomoyoshi; Tannich, Egbert; Bruchhaus, Iris

    2008-12-01

    Protozoan parasites of the genus Entamoeba possess a considerable number of cysteine peptidases (CPs), the function of most of these molecules for amoeba biology needs to be established. In order to determine whether CPs may play a role during Entamoeba stage conversion from trophozoites into cysts and vice versa, expression of cp genes was analysed in the reptilian parasite Entamoeba invadens, a model organism for studying Entamoeba cyst development. By homology search, 28 papain-like cp genes were identified in public E. invadens genome databases. For eight of these genes the expression profiles during stage conversion was determined. By Northern blot analysis, transcripts for eicp-a9, -b7, -b8 and -c2, respectively, were detected neither in trophozoites or cysts nor at any of the point of times analysed during stage conversion. On the other hand, eicp-a5 is constitutively expressed during all developmental stages, whereas eicp-a3 and eicp-a11, respectively, are trophozoite-specific. Only eicp-b9 was found to be cyst-specific as it is expressed exclusively 18 to 28 h after cyst induction. Cyst-specific expression was confirmed by immunofluorescence microscopy of the corresponding protein EiCP-B9. In immature cysts, the molecule is located in structures that accumulate near the cyst wall, but which are uniformly distributed in mature cysts. The precise function of EiCP-B9 during Entamoeba encystation remains to be determined. However, colocalisation studies with an Entamoeba marker for autophagosomes suggest that EiCP-B9 is not associated with Entamoeba autophagy.

  3. Albendazole and its derivative JVG9 induce encystation on Giardia intestinalis trophozoites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Rangel, Armando; Hernández, José Manuel; Castillo-Romero, Araceli; Yépez-Mulia, Lilián; Castillo, Rafael; Hernández-Luis, Francisco; Nogueda-Torres, Benjamín; Luna-Arias, Juan Pedro; Radilla, Gerardo; León-Avila, Gloria

    2013-09-01

    In the present study, we evaluated the effect of an albendazole (ABZ) derivative JVG9 on cultured Giardia intestinalis. To assess the JVG9 effects, we evaluated the tubulin cytoskeleton by confocal microscopy, and we found that the characteristic staining was modified. The scanning electron microscopy images revealed extremely damaged trophozoites and cyst-like cells. The confocal images revealed that this drug triggered the expression of cyst wall protein 1 and encystation. We also found that at low doses, AL triggered the encystation process too.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  5. Twenty years of acanthamoeba diagnostics in Austria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  6. Taken to the limit--Is desiccation stress causing precocious encystment of trematode parasites in snails?

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Dwyer, Katie; Poulin, Robert

    2015-12-01

    When hosts experience environmental stress, the quantity and quality of resources they provide for parasites may be diminished, and host longevity may be decreased. Under stress, parasites may adopt alternative strategies to avoid fitness reductions. Trematode parasites typically have complex life cycles, involving asexual reproduction in a gastropod first intermediate host. A rare phenomenon, briefly mentioned in the literature, and termed 'precocious encystment' involves the next stage in the parasites' life cycle (metacercarial cyst) forming within the preceding stage (redia), while still inside the snail. In the trematode Parorchis sp. NZ using rocky shore snails exposed to long periods outside water, we hypothesised that this might be an adaptive strategy against desiccation, preventing parasite emergence from the snail. To test this, we first investigated the effect of prolonged desiccation on the survival of two species of high intertidal snails. Secondly, we measured the reproductive output (cercarial production) of the parasite under wet and dry conditions. Finally, we quantified the influence of desiccation stress on the occurrence of precocious encystment. Snail mortality was higher under dry conditions, indicating stress, and it was somewhat exacerbated for infected snails. Parasite reproductive output differed between wet and dry conditions, with parasites of snails kept in dry conditions producing more cercariae when placed in water. Little variation was observed in the occurrence of precocious encystment, although some subtle patterns emerged. Given the stresses associated with living in high intertidal environments, we discuss precocious encystment as a possible stress response in this trematode parasite.

  7. The Value of Cytology Smears for Acanthamoeba Keratitis

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    Sangita P. Patel

    2016-01-01

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

  8. The Value of Cytology Smears for Acanthamoeba Keratitis

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. [Investigation of the in vitro effects of Melissa officinalis L., Mentha x piperita L. and Ocimum basilicum L. (Lamiaceae) essential oils on the cysts and trophozoites of Acanthamoeba castellani].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ergüden, Ceren; Özkoç, Soykan; Öztürk, Bintuğ; Bayram Delibaş, Songül

    2016-10-01

    Acanthamoeba species are free living amoeba found widely all over the world. They are responsible for Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK), an infection which is especially seen in contact lens users and after minor corneal traumas, that may lead blindness. At present, antifungals and antiseptics are used for the treatment of AK cases, however, some problems such as long treatment periods and the occurrence of side effects, resistance of cyst forms against drugs, emphasize the need for new drugs. There are some published studies that pointed out the effectiveness of plant extracts and essential oils on Acanthamoeba spp. The aim of this study was to investigate the in vitro effects of essential oils of Mentha x piperita L. (peppermint), Melissa officinalis L. (lemon balm) and Ocimum basilicum L. (basil) belonging to Lamiaceae family, on the cysts and trophozoites of Acanthamoeba castellanii. The strain used in our study, namely A. castellanii T4 genotype, is the most frequently isolated amoeba from environment and also the causative agent of AK and granulomatous amebic encephalitis. For the determination of amebicidal activity, essential oils obtained from Mentha x priperita L., Melissa officinalis L. and Ocimum basilicum L. by Neo-Clevenger type of distillation apparatus have been used. In vitro experiments were performed by using 96-well microplates. Cyst and trophozoite solutions were added on the essential oil dilutions to obtain the last concentrations of 40, 20, 10, 5, 2.5 and 1.25 µg/ml for the cysts, and 10, 5, 2.5, 1.25, 0.625 and 0.313 µg/ml for the trophozoites. After the incubation of microplates at 30oC for 1, 6, 24, 48 and 72 hours, the viability of parasitic forms were evaluated under the light microscope followed by staining trypan blue. It was found that, each essential oil showed amebicidal effect on A.castellani cysts and trophozoites dependent on dosage and time, when compared with the control group, The maximum lethal effect occured with Melissa

  10. A clinical Acanthamoeba isolate harboring two distinct bacterial endosymbionts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  14. Identification of Paenibacillus as a Symbiont in Acanthamoeba.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  15. Conjuntivite presumível por Acanthamoeba Conjunctivitis presumably due to Acanthamoeba

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    Ana Cristina de Carvalho Ruthes

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available OBJETIVO: Abordar quatro casos de conjuntivite presumível por Acanthamoeba, descrevendo o diagnóstico, considerando sinais e sintomas e o tratamento instituído. MÉTODOS: Foram estudados casos de conjuntivite presumível por Acanthamoeba diagnosticados no Hospital de Olhos do Paraná (HOP, no período de setembro/1998 a janeiro/2002. Todos os olhos estudados foram submetidos a um protocolo de investigação que incluía exame oftalmológico completo, microbiologia e cultura de secreções conjuntivais. RESULTADOS: Os exames laboratoriais de microscopia e cultura do material colhido estes pacientes revelaram o diagnóstico de Acanthamoeba. A maioria dos pacientes referia olhos vermelhos e irritação ocular de longa data. Os autores encontraram correlação entre a cultura e o exame direto, em que se evidenciou a presença de cistos e trofozoítas do protozoário. CONCLUSÃO: Este é o primeiro relato de conjuntivite provavelmente por Acanthamoeba de acordo com a literatura revisada. Pacientes selecionados e refratários ao tratamento habitual de infecção ocular externa devem ser considerados para estudo laboratorial adequado à procura etiológica da doença.PURPOSE: To describe four cases of conjunctivitis presumably due to Acanthamoeba considering diagnosis, signs, symptoms and treatment. METHODS: We reviewed the medical records of all patients who presented a clinical diagnosis of Acanthamoeba conjunctivitis between September/1998 to January/2001 at the "Hospital de Olhos do Paraná (HOP". All eyes were submitted to a protocol of investigation that included ophthalmologic examination, microscopic examination and culture exams of conjunctival smears for adequate treatment. RESULTS: The laboratorial results of conjunctival smears revealed contamination with Acanthamoeba by direct examination and thereafter, confirmed by culture. The authors observed cysts and trophozoites of Acanthamoeba. CONCLUSION: This is the first report of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Growth and Survival of Mesorhizobium loti Inside Acanthamoeba Enhanced Its Ability to Develop More Nodules on Lotus corniculatus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karaś, Magdalena A; Turska-Szewczuk, Anna; Trapska, Dominika; Urbanik-Sypniewska, Teresa

    2015-08-01

    The importance of protozoa as environmental reservoirs of pathogens is well recognized, while their impact on survival and symbiotic properties of rhizobia has not been explored. The possible survival of free-living rhizobia inside amoebae could influence bacterial abundance in the rhizosphere of legume plants and the nodulation competitiveness of microsymbionts. Two well-characterized strains of Mesorhizobium: Mesorhizobium loti NZP2213 and Mesorhizobium huakuii symbiovar loti MAFF303099 were assayed for their growth ability within the Neff strain of Acanthamoeba castellanii. Although the association ability and the initial uptake rate of both strains were similar, recovery of viable M. huakuii MAFF303099 after 4 h postinfection decreased markedly and that of M. loti NZP2213 increased. The latter strain was also able to survive prolonged co-incubation within amoebae and to self-release from the amoeba cell. The temperature 28 °C and PBS were established as optimal for the uptake of Mesorhizobium by amoebae. The internalization of mesorhizobia was mediated by the mannose-dependent receptor. M. loti NZP2213 bacteria released from amoebae developed 1.5 times more nodules on Lotus corniculatus than bacteria cultivated in an amoebae-free medium.

  18. Rab11 and Actin Cytoskeleton Participate in Giardia lamblia Encystation, Guiding the Specific Vesicles to the Cyst Wall

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillo-Romero, Araceli; Leon-Avila, Gloria; Wang, Ching C.; Perez Rangel, Armando; Camacho Nuez, Minerva; Garcia Tovar, Carlos; Ayala-Sumuano, Jorge Tonatiuh; Luna-Arias, Juan Pedro; Hernandez, Jose Manuel

    2010-01-01

    Background Giardia passes through two stages during its life cycle, the trophozoite and the cyst. Cyst formation involves the synthesis of cyst wall proteins (CWPs) and the transport of CWPs into encystation-specific vesicles (ESVs). Active vesicular trafficking is essential for encystation, but the molecular machinery driving vesicular trafficking remains unknown. The Rab proteins are involved in the targeting of vesicles to several intracellular compartments through their association with cytoskeletal motor proteins. Methodology and Principal Findings In this study, we found a relationship between Rab11 and the actin cytoskeleton in CWP1 transport. Confocal microscopy showed Rab11 was distributed throughout the entire trophozoite, while in cysts it was translocated to the periphery of the cell, where it colocalized with ESVs and microfilaments. Encystation was also accompanied by changes in rab11 mRNA expression. To evaluate the role of microfilaments in encystation, the cells were treated with latrunculin A. Scanning electron microscopy showed this treatment resulted in morphological damages to encysted parasites. The intensity of fluorescence-labeled Rab11 and CWP1 in ESVs and cyst walls was reduced, and rab11 and cwp1 mRNA levels were down-regulated. Furthermore, knocking down Rab11 with a hammerhead ribozyme resulted in an up to 80% down-regulation of rab11 mRNA. Although this knockdown did not appear lethal for trophozoites and did not affect cwp1 expression during the encystation, confocal images showed CWP1 was redistributed throughout the cytosol. Conclusions and Significance Our results indicate that Rab11 participates in the early and late encystation stages by regulating CWP1 localization and the actin-mediated transport of ESVs towards the periphery. In addition, alterations in the dynamics of actin affected rab11 and cwp1 expression. Our results provide new information about the molecules involved in Giardia encystation and suggest that Rab11 and

  19. Rab11 and actin cytoskeleton participate in Giardia lamblia encystation, guiding the specific vesicles to the cyst wall.

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    Araceli Castillo-Romero

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Giardia passes through two stages during its life cycle, the trophozoite and the cyst. Cyst formation involves the synthesis of cyst wall proteins (CWPs and the transport of CWPs into encystation-specific vesicles (ESVs. Active vesicular trafficking is essential for encystation, but the molecular machinery driving vesicular trafficking remains unknown. The Rab proteins are involved in the targeting of vesicles to several intracellular compartments through their association with cytoskeletal motor proteins. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study, we found a relationship between Rab11 and the actin cytoskeleton in CWP1 transport. Confocal microscopy showed Rab11 was distributed throughout the entire trophozoite, while in cysts it was translocated to the periphery of the cell, where it colocalized with ESVs and microfilaments. Encystation was also accompanied by changes in rab11 mRNA expression. To evaluate the role of microfilaments in encystation, the cells were treated with latrunculin A. Scanning electron microscopy showed this treatment resulted in morphological damages to encysted parasites. The intensity of fluorescence-labeled Rab11 and CWP1 in ESVs and cyst walls was reduced, and rab11 and cwp1 mRNA levels were down-regulated. Furthermore, knocking down Rab11 with a hammerhead ribozyme resulted in an up to 80% down-regulation of rab11 mRNA. Although this knockdown did not appear lethal for trophozoites and did not affect cwp1 expression during the encystation, confocal images showed CWP1 was redistributed throughout the cytosol. CONCLUSIONS AND SIGNIFICANCE: Our results indicate that Rab11 participates in the early and late encystation stages by regulating CWP1 localization and the actin-mediated transport of ESVs towards the periphery. In addition, alterations in the dynamics of actin affected rab11 and cwp1 expression. Our results provide new information about the molecules involved in Giardia encystation and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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    Maryam Niyyati

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available 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.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.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.Overall, the present review will focus on present status of genotypes of Acanthamoeba in Iran during recent years.

  2. Cyst and encystment in protozoan parasites: optimal targets for new life-cycle interrupting strategies?

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    Aguilar-Díaz, Hugo; Carrero, Julio César; Argüello-García, Raúl; Laclette, Juan Pedro; Morales-Montor, Jorge

    2011-10-01

    Certain protozoan parasites use survival strategies to reside outside the host such as the formation of cysts. This dormant and resistant stage results from the complex process of encystment that involves diverse molecular and cellular modifications. The stimuli and changes associated with cyst biogenesis are a matter of ongoing studies in human and animal protozoan parasites such as amoeba and Giardia species because blocking every step in the encystment pathway should, in theory, interrupt their life cycles. The present review thoroughly examines this essential process in those protozoan parasites and discusses the possibility of using that information to develop new kinds of anti-parasite specific and life cycle-interrupting drugs, aimed at holding back the dissemination of these infections.

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

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    Maryam Niyyati

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available 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.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.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.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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  5. Rac Regulates Giardia lamblia Encystation by Coordinating Cyst Wall Protein Trafficking and Secretion

    OpenAIRE

    Jana Krtková; Elizabeth B Thomas; Germain C. M. Alas; Schraner, Elisabeth M.; Behjatnia, Habib R; Hehl, Adrian B.; Paredez, Alexander R.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Encystation of the common intestinal parasite Giardia lamblia involves the production, trafficking, and secretion of cyst wall material (CWM). However, the molecular mechanism responsible for the regulation of these sequential processes remains elusive. Here, we examined the role of GlRac, Giardia’s sole Rho family GTPase, in the regulation of endomembrane organization and cyst wall protein (CWP) trafficking. Localization studies indicated that GlRac is associated with the endoplasmi...

  6. Rac Regulates Giardia lamblia Encystation by Coordinating Cyst Wall Protein Trafficking and Secretion

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    Jana Krtková

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Encystation of the common intestinal parasite Giardia lamblia involves the production, trafficking, and secretion of cyst wall material (CWM. However, the molecular mechanism responsible for the regulation of these sequential processes remains elusive. Here, we examined the role of GlRac, Giardia’s sole Rho family GTPase, in the regulation of endomembrane organization and cyst wall protein (CWP trafficking. Localization studies indicated that GlRac is associated with the endoplasmic reticulum (ER and the Golgi apparatus-like encystation-specific vesicles (ESVs. Constitutive GlRac signaling increased levels of the ER marker PDI2, induced ER swelling, reduced overall CWP1 production, and promoted the early maturation of ESVs. Quantitative analysis of cells expressing constitutively active hemagglutinin (HA-tagged GlRac (HA-RacCA revealed fewer but larger ESVs than control cells. Consistent with the phenotype of premature maturation of ESVs in HA-RacCA-expressing cells, constitutive GlRac signaling resulted in increased CWP1 secretion and, conversely, morpholino depletion of GlRac blocked CWP1 secretion. Wild-type cells unexpectedly secreted large quantities of CWP1 into the medium, and free CWP1 was used cooperatively during cyst formation. These results, in part, could account for the previously reported observation that G. lamblia encysts more efficiently at high cell densities. These studies of GlRac show that it regulates encystation at several levels, and our findings support its coordinating role as a regulator of CWP trafficking and secretion. The central role of GlRac in regulating membrane trafficking and the cytoskeleton, both of which are essential to Giardia parasitism, further suggests its potential as a novel target for drug development to treat giardiasis.

  7. Rac regulates giardia lamblia encystation by coordinating cyst wall protein trafficking and secretion

    OpenAIRE

    Krtková, Jana; Elizabeth B Thomas; Germain C. M. Alas; Schraner, Elisabeth M.; Behjatnia, Habib R; Hehl, Adrian B.; Paredez, Alexander R.

    2016-01-01

    UNLABELLED Encystation of the common intestinal parasite Giardia lamblia involves the production, trafficking, and secretion of cyst wall material (CWM). However, the molecular mechanism responsible for the regulation of these sequential processes remains elusive. Here, we examined the role of GlRac, Giardia's sole Rho family GTPase, in the regulation of endomembrane organization and cyst wall protein (CWP) trafficking. Localization studies indicated that GlRac is associated with the endoplas...

  8. Acanthamoeba polyphaga resuscitates viable non-culturable Legionella pneumophila after disinfection.

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    García, María Teresa; Jones, Snake; Pelaz, Carmen; Millar, Richard D; Abu Kwaik, Yousef

    2007-05-01

    Amoebae are the natural hosts for Legionella pneumophila and play essential roles in bacterial ecology and infectivity to humans. When L. pneumophila colonizes an aquatic installation, it can persist for years despite repeated treatments with disinfectants. We hypothesized that freshwater amoebae play an important role in bacterial resistance to disinfectants, and in subsequent resuscitation of viable non-culturable (VNC) L. pneumophila that results in re-emergence of the disease-causing strain in the disinfected water source. Our work showed that in the absence of Acanthamoeba polyphaga, seven L. pneumophila strains became non-culturable after treatment by 256 p.p.m. of sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl). In contrast, intracellular L. pneumophila within A. polyphaga was resistant to 1024 p.p.m. of NaOCl. In addition, L. pneumophila-infected A. polyphaga exhibited increased resistance to NaOCl. When chlorine-sterilized water samples were co-cultured with A. polyphaga, the non-culturable L. pneumophila were resuscitated and proliferated robustly within A. polyphaga. Upon treatment by NaOCl, uninfected amoebae differentiated into cysts within 48 h. In contrast, L. pneumophila-infected A. polyphaga failed to differentiate into cysts, and L. pneumophila was never detected in cysts of A. polyphaga. We conclude that amoebic trophozoites protect intracellular L. pneumophila from eradication by NaOCl, and play an essential role in resuscitation of VNC L. pneumophila in NaOCl-disinfected water sources. Intracellular L. pneumophila within trophozoites of A. polyphaga block encystation of the amoebae, and the resistance of both organisms to NaOCl is enhanced. To ensure long-term eradication and complete loss of the VNC state of L. pneumophila, we recommend that Legionella-protozoa co-culture should be an important tool to ensure complete loss of the VNC state of L. pneumophila.

  9. Drug targets from human pathogenic amoebas: Entamoeba histolytica, Acanthamoeba polyphaga and Naegleria fowleri.

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    Ondarza, R N

    2007-09-01

    In this review we present our search for the presence of drug targets in several species of human pathogenic parasites, mainly the amoebas Entamoeba histolytica, Acanthamoeba polyphaga and Naegleria fowleri. We started with an analysis of the concepts of essentiality and validity of the targets and continue with a description of the main characteristics of pathogenicity of these amoebas. We then proceed to evaluate these targets arranged mainly in seven groups corresponding to: a) enzymes which are secreted by these parasites to invade the human host, for example proteinases, phospholipases and pore forming peptides, b) glycolytic enzymes from Entamoeba and Naegleria, like the PPi-dependent phospho-fructokinase that differ from the host enzyme, c) thiols and enzymes of redox metabolism, present only in trypanosomatids, Entamoeba and Naegleria, such as the trypanothione/trypanothione reductase that maintains the reducing environment within the cell, d) antioxidant enzymes to regulate the oxidative stress produced by the phagocytic cells of the host or by the parasite metabolism, like the trypanothione peroxidase in connection with the NADPH-dependent trypanothione/trypanothione reductase which maybe is present in Naegleria fowleri, and peroxiredoxin in E. histolytica, e) enzymes for the synthesis of trypanothione like the ornithine decarboxylase, spermidine synthase and trypanothione synthetase, f) some of the proteins that assemble the secretory vesicles with the cell membrane, like the synaptobrevins and finally, g) encystment pathways and cyst-wall assembly proteins. Some of the above new targets will need to be studied in a more detail, including crystallographic studies of the enzymes for rational drug design. As far as we know there are no advanced crystallographic studies being conducted on targets from these three amoebas, as has been the case for various targets from the trypanosomatids.

  10. Parachlamydia acanthamoeba is endosymbiotic or lytic for Acanthamoeba polyphaga depending on the incubation temperature.

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    Greub, Gilbert; La Scola, Bernard; Raoult, Didier

    2003-06-01

    Parachlamydiaceae are potential emerging pathogens that naturally infect free-living amoebae. We investigated the affects of incubation temperature on the growth and cytopathic effect of P. acanthamoeba in Acanthamoeba polyphaga. A. polyphaga were infected with P. acanthamoeba and incubated at different temperatures for ten days. Bacterial growth was quantified by real-time PCR. Cytopathic effects were determined by counting the number of cysts and viable amoebae (unstained with trypan blue) in Nageotte counting chambers. Uninfected amoebae cultures were used as negative control. At 32, 35, and 37 degrees C, we observed a significant decrease in the number of viable A. polyphaga that contrasted with the delayed and smaller decrease in the number of living A. polyphaga observed at 25, 28, and 30 degrees C. Higher incubation temperature, which is associated with amoebal lysis, surprisingly was not associated with increased growth rate. P. acanthamoeba is lytic for A. polyphaga at 32-37 degrees C but endosymbiotic at 25-30 degrees C. This suggests that A. polyphaga may be a reservoir of endosymbionts at the lower temperature of the nasal mucosa, which may be liberated by lysis at higher temperature, for instance, when the amoeba is inhaled and reaches the lower respiratory tract.

  11. Different structure and mRNA expression of Entamoeba invadens chitinases in the encystation and excystation.

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    Makioka, Asao; Kumagai, Masahiro; Hiranuka, Kazushi; Kobayashi, Seiki; Takeuchi, Tsutomu

    2011-08-01

    Entamoeba histolytica forms chitin-walled cysts during encystation process, where formation of the cyst wall needs not only chitin synthase but also chitinase. During excystation, quadruplet amoebae emerge from the chitin-walled cysts by dissolving the wall, so that chitinase may be necessary for excystation process as well. There is, however, no report on chitinase expression during excystation. In this study, we used Entamoeba invadens, a reptilian amoeba, as a model for encystation and excystation of E. histolytica, and studied chitinase mRNA expression in those processes. Although expression of three E. invadens chitinases designated EiChit1, EiChit2, and EiChit3 during encystation has been reported, we identified another enzyme named as EiChit4 in the E. invadens genome database. Therefore, we investigated the primary structure and mRNA expression of these four chitinases of Ei in the excystation as well as the encystation by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Like EiChit1, EiChit4 had an 8 × Cys chitin-binding domain (CBD) and a hydrophilic spacer between the CBD and catalytic domain, and was also closer to EiChit1 than EiChit2 and EiChit3 in the phylogenetic tree. During encystation, the expression of all four chitinases increased in the early phase; the increase in EiChit1 and EiChit4 was much higher than in EiChit2 and EiChit3. Then, the expression of all four chitinases sharply decreased in the later phase. In cysts, EiChit1 was most abundantly expressed and EiChit4 was at a lower level, while the expressions of EiChit2 and EiChit3 were virtually absent. Following the induction of excystation, mRNA levels of EiChit1 and EiChit4 in cysts 5 h after induction were significantly lower than those in cysts before induction, while those of EiChit2 and EiChit3 were remarkably higher than before induction. The mRNAs of only EiChit2 and EiChit3 remarkably increased when the excystation was induced in the presence of cytochalasin D

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

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    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.

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

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    Lorenzo-Morales Jacob

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available 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.

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

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    Po-Min Kao

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. Identification of Giardia lamblia DHHC proteins and the role of protein S-palmitoylation in the encystation process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merino, María C; Zamponi, Nahuel; Vranych, Cecilia V; Touz, María C; Rópolo, Andrea S

    2014-07-01

    Protein S-palmitoylation, a hydrophobic post-translational modification, is performed by protein acyltransferases that have a common DHHC Cys-rich domain (DHHC proteins), and provides a regulatory switch for protein membrane association. In this work, we analyzed the presence of DHHC proteins in the protozoa parasite Giardia lamblia and the function of the reversible S-palmitoylation of proteins during parasite differentiation into cyst. Two specific events were observed: encysting cells displayed a larger amount of palmitoylated proteins, and parasites treated with palmitoylation inhibitors produced a reduced number of mature cysts. With bioinformatics tools, we found nine DHHC proteins, potential protein acyltransferases, in the Giardia proteome. These proteins displayed a conserved structure when compared to different organisms and are distributed in different monophyletic clades. Although all Giardia DHHC proteins were found to be present in trophozoites and encysting cells, these proteins showed a different intracellular localization in trophozoites and seemed to be differently involved in the encystation process when they were overexpressed. dhhc transgenic parasites showed a different pattern of cyst wall protein expression and yielded different amounts of mature cysts when they were induced to encyst. Our findings disclosed some important issues regarding the role of DHHC proteins and palmitoylation during Giardia encystation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

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    A Zamora

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Current advances in diagnostic methods of Acanthamoeba keratitis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wang Yuehua; Feng Xianmin; Jiang Linzhe

    2014-01-01

    Objective The objective of this article was to review the current advances in diagnostic methods for Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK).Data sources Data used in this review were retrieved from PubMed (1970-2013).The terms "Acanthamoeba keratitis" and "diagnosis" were used for the literature search.Study selection Data from published articles regarding AK and diagnosis in clinical trials were identified and reviewed.Results The diagnostic methods for the eight species implicated in AK were reviewed.Among all diagnostic procedures,corneal scraping and smear examination was an essential diagnostic method.Polymerase chain reaction was the most sensitive and accurate detection method.Culturing of Acanthamoeba was a reliable method for final diagnosis of AK.Confocal microscopy to detect Acanthamoeba was also effective,without any invasive procedure,and was helpful in the early diagnosis of AK.Conclusion Clinically,conjunction of various diagnostic methods to diagnose AK was necessary.

  20. Raman microspectroscopy analysis in the treatment of acanthamoeba keratitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  1. Raman microspectroscopy analysis in the treatment of acanthamoeba keratitis.

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    Giulia Rusciano

    Full Text Available 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.

  2. Chlorhexidine monotherapy with adjunctive topical corticosteroids for acanthamoeba keratitis

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    Firoozeh Rahimi

    2015-01-01

    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.

  3. Advances in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Acanthamoeba Keratitis

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    Benjamin Clarke

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  4. Acanthamoeba keratitis-A report of two cases

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    Girija T

    1992-01-01

    Full Text Available Two cases of unilateral corneal ulcers caused by Acanthamoeba are reported. Neither of the patients had contact lenses at any time. The diagnosis was confirmed by Giemsa stain and cultures of the corneal scrapings.

  5. Radial keratoneuritis as a presenting sign in Acanthamoeba keratitis

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    Abdullah Alfawaz

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The visual outcomes of Acanthamoeba keratitis, a rare cause of corneal infection, can be devastating. This paper reports two contact lens wearers with severe pain and photophobia who presented to the emergency room. Biomicroscopy revealed radial keratoneuritis in both individuals. Tissue culture on a nonnutrient agar plate with Escherichia coli overlay resulted in a heavy growth of Acanthamoeba. The inpatient treatment included 0.02% polyhexamethylene biguanide, chlorhexidine, neomycin/polymyxin B/bacitracin (Neosporin, and oral fluconazole, which successfully controlled the corneal infection and improvement in the best corrected visual acuity in both patients. Infection did not recur during the 12-month follow-up period. Acanthamoeba keratitis can present as radial keratoneuritis, mimicking other common corneal infections resulting in diagnostic and treatment delays. Early diagnosis and prudent treatment of Acanthamoeba keratitis are the keys to restoring vision and avoiding the subsequent need for penetrating keratoplasty.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  7. Proteomic approach to reveal the proteins associated with encystment of the ciliate Euplotes encysticus.

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    Jiwu Chen

    Full Text Available In order to identify and reveal the proteins related to encystment of the ciliate Euplotes encysticus, we analyzed variation in the abundance of the proteins isolated from the resting cyst comparing with proteins in the vegetative cell. 2-D electrophoresis, MALDI-TOF MS techniques and Bioinformatics were used for proteome separation, quantification and identification. The comparative proteomics studies revealed 26 proteins with changes on the expression in the resting cysts, including 12 specific proteins and 14 differential proteins. 12 specific proteins and 10 out of the 14 differential proteins were selected and identified by MALDI-TOF MS. The identified specific proteins with known functions included type II cytoskeletal 1, keratin, Nop16 domain containing protein, protein arginine n-methyltransferase, epsilon-trimethyllysine hydroxylase and calpain-like protein. The identified differential proteins with known functions included Lysozyme C, keratinocyte growth factor, lysozyme homolog AT-2, formate acetyltransferase, alpha S1 casein and cold-shock protein. We discussed the functions of these proteins as well as their contribution in the process of encystment. These identified proteins covered a wide range of molecular functions, including gene regulation, RNA regulation, proteins degradation and oxidation resistance, stress response, material transport and cytoskeleton organization. Therefore, differential expression of these proteins was essential for cell morphological and physiological changes during encystment. This suggested that the peculiar proteins and differential proteins might play important roles in the process of the vegetative cells transforming into the resting cysts. These observations may be novel findings that bring new insights into the detailed mechanisms of dormancy.

  8. Ex vivo laser confocal microscopy findings of cultured Acanthamoeba trophozoites

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    Yamazaki N

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Natsuko Yamazaki,1 Akira Kobayashi,1 Hideaki Yokogawa,1 Yasuhisa Ishibashi,2 Yosaburo Oikawa,3 Masaharu Tokoro,4 Kazuhisa Sugiyama11Department of Ophthalmology, Kanazawa University Graduate School of Medical Science, Kanazawa, Japan; 2Department of Ophthalmology, East Washinomiya Hospital, Kuki, Japan; 3Department of Medical Zoology, Kanazawa Medical University, Kahoku, Japan; 4Department of Parasitology, Kanazawa University Graduate School of Medical Science, Kanazawa, JapanPurpose: The purpose of the current study was to investigate ex vivo laser confocal microscopic findings of cultured Acanthamoeba trophozoites obtained from Acanthamoeba keratitis patients.Methods: Eight cultured samples of Acanthamoeba trophozoites from eight eyes of seven patients (mean age, 26.9 years; age range, 18–52 years were used. Seven samples were from corneal scrapings of Acanthamoeba keratitis patients and one sample was from the solution in a soft contact lens case. Ex vivo laser confocal microscopy was performed to qualitatively evaluate the shape and degree of light reflection of the living Acanthamoeba trophozoites.Results: Ex vivo laser confocal microscopy demonstrated highly reflective, high-contrast Acanthamoeba trophozoites with no walls (mean size, 25.4 µm; range, 17.1–58.5 µm. The shapes of the trophozoites were highly pleomorphic, and some showed characteristic acanthopodia by laser confocal microscopy.Conclusion: Ex vivo laser confocal microscopy was effective in demonstrating cultured Acanthamoeba trophozoites of various shapes and sizes. The observations of the current study may be helpful when similar structures are identified under in vivo conditions.Keywords: Acanthamoeba, trophozoite, laser confocal microscopy

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  10. Genotyping of clinical isolates of Acanthamoeba genus in Venezuela.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  11. Isolation of Acanthamoeba spp. from Different Environmental Sources

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    A Motevalli Haghi

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Background: Acanthamoeba spp. are free-living amebas found in a wide variety of natural habitats. The high percentage of Acanthamoeba in different environmental sources represents a sanitary risk for public health especially contact lens users and immunocompromised patients. The aim of this study was to determine the presence of Acanthamoeba spp. in different environments such as water, soil, dust and ophthalmology wards. Methods: From March to November 2007, 80 samples were collected from numerous localities in Tehran city including university campus, Laleh park and ophthalmology center. Sample types were water, soil, dust, cow faeces and medical in­strument. Each sample was filtered through nitrate membrane and cultured on 1% non-nutrient agar. These plates were fol­lowed up daily for 2 weeks. Monitoring continued for two months on a weekly basis.  Results: Overall, 46.25% of samples contained Acanthamoeba spp. All of the soil samples had shown positive culture in contrast to tap water. Of 61 dust samples, 28 were positive. Interestingly, we were able to isolate Acanthamoeba in treat­ment unit of an ophthalmology center in Tehran. It should be mentioned that two cow faeces showed positive culture as well.Conclusion: The widespread distribution of Acanthamoeba spp. across the environmental sources and increasing numbers of HIV+ patients and contact lens wearers, as well as its ability as a pathogen carrier for humans, demands  more awareness and knowledge for public as a risk for human health.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  13. Morphological characteristics in corneal smear of acanthamoeba keratitis%阿米巴角膜炎刮片细胞学特征

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王智群; 李然; 张琛; 罗时运; 孙旭光; 金秀英

    2010-01-01

    Objective To study the morphological characteristics in corneal smear of acanthamoeba keratitis. Methods Experimental study. From May 1991 to December 2007, in Department of Microbiology, Beijing Institute of Ophthalmology, Beijing Tongren Hospital, 159 cases with acanthamoeba keratitis were analyzed for the laboratory results and clinical data. Giemsa's stained smear and wet-mount preparation of 159 cases were observed, all the results of cytology be photographed as the records. Results Among the 159 cases with acanthamoeba keratitis, 131 patients (82.4%) were positive on smear, and 110 cases (69.2%) were positive in culture of amoeba. The detection positive rate of smear was apparently higher than culture. Typical trophozoites, pre-encystment trophozoites, mature cysts and empty cysts could be observed by smear. So it is an important method for the clinical diagnosis. The edema and dissolved corneal epithelial cells, exudate cells, arthrospore or chlamydoconidium of mycelial fungus, vacuolus, lipid droplet and medicine crystallization should be differentiated with the pathogen. The movement of trophozoites could mainly be observed through wet-mount preparation. Conclusion The detection of typical features of trophozoites, pre-encystment trophozoites, mature cysts and empty cysts by corneal smear is important for the etiological diagnosis of acanthamoeba keratitis.%目的 探讨刮片细胞学检查诊断阿米巴角膜炎病原体形态特征.方法 实验研究.收集1991年5月至2007年12月期间,首都医科大学附属北京同仁医院、北京市眼科研究所眼微生物室诊断为阿米巴角膜炎的病例159例,对其实验室检查与临床资料进行分析.采用姬姆萨染色法和湿片检查法,对角膜刮片细胞进行观察并照相记录.结果 159例阿米巴角膜炎通过姬姆萨染色刮片细胞学检出阿米巴病原131例(82.4%),阿米巴培养阳性110例(69.2%).刮片细胞学检出率明显高于培养检出率.刮片细胞

  14. The pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba infections: current status\\ud and future implications

    OpenAIRE

    Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2004-01-01

    Acanthamoeba are opportunistic protozoan parasites that can cause painful, visionthreatening\\ud keratitis. However the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of\\ud Acanthamoeba keratitis remain incompletely understood. Most cases of\\ud Acanthamoeba keratitis develop as a result of poor hygiene in contact lens care but it\\ud is unclear how amoebae transmigrate from the environment into the cornea leading to\\ud inflammation, photophobia and blindness. Acanthamoeba keratitis has become\\ud increasingly...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. A case of radial keratoneuritis in non-Acanthamoeba keratitis

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    Mutoh T

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Tetsuya Mutoh, Yukihiro Matsumoto, Makoto ChikudaDepartment of Ophthalmology, Dokkyo Medical University Koshigaya Hospital, Saitama, JapanAbstract: A case of non-Acanthamoeba keratitis with radial keratoneuritis, which is thought to be pathognomonic for Acanthamoeba keratitis, is reported. A healthy 32-year-old woman with a history of frequent replacement of her contact lenses due to wear was examined at Dokkyo Medical University Koshigaya Hospital (Saitama, Japan and found to have a slight corneal opacity that was accompanied by radial keratoneuritis. Based on both the patient’s clinical findings and past history, the presence of Acanthamoeba keratitis was highly suspected. However, direct light microscopy of corneal scrapings stained by the Parker ink–potassium hydroxide method only found Acanthamoeba-type material in the specimen collected at her initial visit. In all other specimens collected from the patient, no Acanthamoeba was found either when using the same method or when performing cultures of the surgical debridement of the corneal lesion. In addition, topical antifungal eye drops, systemic antifungal drugs, and surgical debridement were also not effective in this case. Since a precise diagnosis could not be made, the patient was treated with topical 0.1% betamethasone sodium, which ultimately resulted in a dramatic improvement of her corneal inflammation. At 23 days after initiation of topical administration of 0.1% betamethasone sodium, visual acuity was 20/250, with a slight corneal opacity noted at the original site of infection. The outcome of the current case suggests that radial keratoneuritis is not always pathognomonic for Acanthamoeba keratitis.Keywords: radial keratoneuritis, non-Acanthamoeba keratitis, topical corticosteroid

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  18. Heavy chain of Acanthamoeba myosine IB is a fusion of myosin-like and non-myosin-like sequences

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    Jung, G.; Korn, E.D.; Hammer, J.A. III

    1987-10-01

    Acanthamoeba castellanii myosins IA and IB demonstrate the catalytic properties of a myosin and can support analogues of contractile and motile activity in vitro, but their single, low molecular weight heavy chains, roughly globular shapes, and inabilities to self-assemble into filaments make them structurally atypical myosins. The authors present the complete amino acid sequence of the 128-kDa myosin IB heavy chain, which they deduced from the nucleotide sequence of the gene and which reveals that the polypeptide is a fusion of myosin-like and non-myosin-like sequences. Specifically, the amino-terminal approx. 76 kDa of amino acid sequence is highly similar to the globular head sequences of conventional myosins. By contrast, the remaining approx. 51 kDa of sequence shows no similarity to any portion of conventional myosin sequences, contains regions that are rich in glycine, proline, and alanine residues, and lacks the distinctive sequence characteristics of an ..cap alpha..-helical, coiled-coil structure. They conclude, therefore, that the protein is composed of a myosin globular head fused not to the typical coiled-coil rod-like myosin tail structure but rather to an unusual carboxyl-terminal domain. These results support the conclusion that filamentous myosin is not required for force generation and provide a further perspective on the structural requirements for myosin function. Finally, they find a striking conservation of intron/exon structure between this gene and a vertebrate muscle myosin gene. They discuss this observation in relation to the evolutionary origin of the myosin IB gene and the antiquity of myosin gene intron/exon structure.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  20. The social amoeba Polysphondylium pallidum loses encystation and sporulation, but can still erect fruiting bodies in the absence of cellulose.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Qingyou; Schaap, Pauline

    2014-09-01

    Amoebas and other freely moving protists differentiate into walled cysts when exposed to stress. As cysts, amoeba pathogens are resistant to biocides, preventing treatment and eradication. Lack of gene modification procedures has left the mechanisms of encystation largely unexplored. Genetically tractable Dictyostelium discoideum amoebas require cellulose synthase for formation of multicellular fructifications with cellulose-rich stalk and spore cells. Amoebas of its distant relative Polysphondylium pallidum (Ppal), can additionally encyst individually in response to stress. Ppal has two cellulose synthase genes, DcsA and DcsB, which we deleted individually and in combination. Dcsa- mutants formed fruiting bodies with normal stalks, but their spore and cyst walls lacked cellulose, which obliterated stress-resistance of spores and rendered cysts entirely non-viable. A dcsa-/dcsb- mutant made no walled spores, stalk cells or cysts, although simple fruiting structures were formed with a droplet of amoeboid cells resting on an sheathed column of decaying cells. DcsB is expressed in prestalk and stalk cells, while DcsA is additionally expressed in spores and cysts. We conclude that cellulose is essential for encystation and that cellulose synthase may be a suitable target for drugs to prevent encystation and render amoeba pathogens susceptible to conventional antibiotics.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. Enucleation following treatment with intravenous pentamidine for Acanthamoeba sclerokeratitis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca A Kuennen

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Rebecca A Kuennen, Reynell Harder Smith, Thomas F Mauger, Elson CraigDepartment of Ophthalmology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USAPurpose: To describe the course and outcome of treatment of advanced Acanthamoeba sclerokeratitis with intravenous pentamidine.Methods: A case of advanced Acanthamoeba sclerokeratitis was resistant to conventional therapy and was treated with intravenous pentamidine. The eye was later removed due to incapacitating pain.Results: The eye showed Acanthamoeba organisms within the cornea and evidence of acute and chronic inflammation throughout the remainder of the eye. The patient has survived without orbital recurrence for 2 years.Conclusions: This case demonstrates late inflammation with active Acanthameoba keratitis following systemic pentamidine therapy.Keywords: keratitis, scleritis

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  10. Pathogenic assays of acanthamoeba belonging to the t4 genotype.

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    Hamed Mirjalali

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Acanthamoeba genus is introduced as opportunistic and cosmopolitan parasite. Monkey and wistar rat are appropriate models for experimental study on Acanthamoeba infection. In this study Acanthamoeba spp. were isolated from hot spring (HS, windows dust (WD and a corneal sample of keratitis patient (KP and their pathogenicity surveyed by in vitro and in vivo tests.Isolates of Acanthamoeba were cultivated axenically for 12 months in PYG medium. Overall, 30 wistar rats, in 6 equal groups were used for developing experimental Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK and Granulomatous Amoebic Encephalitis (GAE. The Keratitis and Granulomatous Encephalitis experiments were performed by intrastromal and intranasal inoculation of Acanthamoeba cysts, respectively. Pathogenicity of the three isolates was also evaluated by in vitro test using osmotolerance and temperature tolerance assays. Identification of genotypes were performed by PCR technique and sequencing.None of the isolates could perform AK and GAE in wistar rats, although all isolates were described as T4 genotype. Isolates obtained from KP and WD could grow only in 30 °C, but not in 37 °C and 40 °C. On the other hand, HS isolate grew in 30 °C and 37 °C but not in 40 °C. Moreover, all of isolate grew in 0.5 M mannitol but not in 1 M and 1.5 M.T4 isolates with a long-term axenic culture and different factors related to host and parasite may play role in pathogenicity of these free-living amoebae.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  12. Survival of environmental mycobacteria in Acanthamoeba polyphaga.

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

    2006-09-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 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.

  14. In vitro Effect of Monosaccharides on the Virulence of Acanthamoeba Isolated from Patients with Amoebic Keratitis

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    Y. Maroofi

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available Introduction & Objective: Acanthamoeba is free-living amoeba that is found in soil, water, air as well as in human pharynx. Acanthamoeba is causative agent of granulomatose amoebic encephalitis (GAE in immunosuppressed and AIDS individuals and amoebic keratitis in people who use the lens. Pathogenic species of Acanthamoeba have protein receptors named mannose binding protein (MBP. Acanthamoeba via MBP adhere to the glycoproteins included mannose. Acanthamoeba adhesion to the target cells induces a protease secretion is called mannose inducing protein-133 (MIP-133. Exogense mannose can inhibit the adherence of Acanthamoeba; also, it can increase the cytopathatic effect (CPE through increase the secretion of MIP-133. In the present work, the effect of monosaccharides on the virulance of Acanthamoeba isolated from patient with amoebic keratitis, in HeLa cell culture was investigated.Materials & Methods: The isolates were cultured in HeLa cell culture, then 100, 50, 10, 1 and 0.1 mM of galactose, glucose and mannose were added to plates. Plates were observed with invert microscope in 8, 16, 32, 48, and 72 hours after culture.Results: Data implicated that mannose (100 mM showed the highest effect on increasing cytopathy of Acanthamoeba in HeLa cell culture. Meanwhile, galactose (100 mM increased the virulence of Acanthamoeba in the cell culture after 32 hours.Conclusion: Adding mannose and galactose to HeLa cell culture contain Acanthamoeba can increase the virulence of the parasite significantly.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. A retrospective study of nine cases of Acanthamoeba keratitis

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    Tetsuya Mutoh

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Tetsuya Mutoh, Isao Ishikawa, Yukihiro Matsumoto, Makoto ChikudaDokkyo Medical University Koshigaya Hospital, Saitama, JapanPurpose: To evaluate the clinical features of Acanthamoeba keratitis in nine patients diagnosed at Dokkyo Medical University Koshigaya Hospital, Saitama, Japan.Methods: In nine eyes of nine patients, Acanthamoeba keratitis was diagnosed by direct light microscopy of corneal scrapings stained by the Parker ink-potassium hydroxide method between September 2006 and September 2009. Their clinical features and course were studied retrospectively. Antifungal eye drops, systemic antifungal therapy, and surgical debridement of the corneal lesions were performed in all patients.Results: At presentation, the clinical stage was initial in six cases, transient in one case, and complete in two cases. The patients were all contact lens wearers who had washed their lens storage cases with tap water. After treatment, final visual acuity was improved in six cases, unchanged in one case, and worse in two cases. The patient with the worst final vision (hand motion had rheumatoid arthritis and was taking oral prednisolone, which led to corneal perforation and prevented adequate debridement from being done.Conclusion: Acanthamoeba keratitis is closely related to wearing contact lenses and washing the lens storage case with tap water. Although final visual acuity improved after treatment in most patients, insufficient surgical debridement resulted in a poor visual prognosis.Keywords: surgical debridement, Acanthamoeba keratitis, contact lens wearers

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  18. Acanthamoeba polyphaga in rheumatoid arthritis: possibility for a chronic infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeansson, S; Kvien, T K

    2001-06-01

    Acanthamoeba polyphaga (AP) is ubiquitous in nature and frequently infects humans. AP has some features, such as persistence, which makes it an attractive candidate in studies of a possible infectious aetiology in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In this study the occurrence of AP-specific antibodies was compared between RA patients and matched controls.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. three cases of acanthamoeba keratitis (Ak in Yazd

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    MR Shoja

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available Acanthamoeba keratitis is a vision- threatening infection and the most important risk factors are contact lenses Characteristic symptoms include disproportionately severe ocular pain, epithelial ulcer, ring stromal infiltrate and resistance to antimicrobial treatment. The aim is to report the first cases of Acanthamoeba keratitis in Yazd in a retrospective study confirmed on histopathological and confocal microscopy. All of our patients used soft contact lenses and were women. The age range was between 20-29 years. One eye was`misdiagnosed as herpes simplex keratitis and two were misdiagnosed as bacterial keratitis. A delayed visit as well as a late diagnosis led to the advanced stage of eye disease. Improvement in visual acuity following medical therapy was seen in two patients and one patient needed urgent keratoplasty for corneal necrosis A prompt clinical and laboratory diagnosis along with treatment with propamidine- isentionate resulted in significant improvement of eye condition Failure to disinfect contact lenses and introduction of tap water rinsing of storage cases were associated with increased risk of Acanthamoeba infection. Penetrating keratoplasty is an effective treatment for medically unresponsive acanthamoeba keratitis. Confocal microscopy is the most effective and a fast diagnostic tool because it ensures the detection of acanthamebic cysts and trophozoids in corneal stroma .

  1. Three-dimensional ultrastructural study of oil and astaxanthin accumulation during encystment in the green alga Haematococcus pluvialis.

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    Marina Wayama

    Full Text Available Haematococcus pluvialis is a freshwater species of green algae and is well known for its accumulation of the strong antioxidant astaxanthin, which is used in aquaculture, various pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics. High levels of astaxanthin are present in cysts, which rapidly accumulate when the environmental conditions become unfavorable for normal cell growth. It is not understood, however, how accumulation of high levels of astaxanthin, which is soluble in oil, becomes possible during encystment. Here, we performed ultrastructural 3D reconstruction based on over 350 serial sections per cell to visualize the dynamics of astaxanthin accumulation and subcellular changes during the encystment of H. pluvialis. This study showcases the marked changes in subcellular elements, such as chloroplast degeneration, in the transition from green coccoid cells to red cyst cells during encystment. In green coccoid cells, chloroplasts accounted for 41.7% of the total cell volume, whereas the relative volume of astaxanthin was very low (0.2%. In contrast, oil droplets containing astaxanthin predominated in cyst cells (52.2%, in which the total chloroplast volume was markedly decreased (9.7%. Volumetric observations also demonstrated that the relative volumes of the cell wall, starch grains, pyrenoids, mitochondria, the Golgi apparatus, and the nucleus in a cyst cell are smaller than those in green coccid cells. Our data indicated that chloroplasts are degraded, resulting in a net-like morphology, but do not completely disappear, even at the red cyst stage.

  2. Characterization of a group 1 late embryogenesis abundant protein in encysted embryos of the brine shrimp Artemia franciscana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharon, Michelle A; Kozarova, Anna; Clegg, James S; Vacratsis, Panayiotis O; Warner, Alden H

    2009-04-01

    Late embryogenesis abundant (LEA) proteins are hydrophilic molecules that are believed to function in desiccation and low-temperature tolerance in some plants and plant propagules, certain prokaryotes, and several animal species. The brine shrimp Artemia franciscana can produce encysted embryos (cysts) that enter diapause and are resistant to severe desiccation. This ability is based on biochemical adaptations, one of which appears to be the accumulation of the LEA protein that is the focus of this study. The studies described herein characterize a 21 kDa protein in encysted Artemia embryos as a group 1 LEA protein. The amino acid sequence of this protein and its gene have been determined and entered into the NCBI database (no. EF656614). The LEA protein consists of 182 amino acids and it is extremely hydrophilic, with glycine (23%), glutamine (17%), and glutamic acid (12.6%) being the most abundant amino acids. This protein also consists of 8 tandem repeats of a 20 amino acid sequence, which is characteristic of group 1 LEA proteins from non-animal species. The LEA protein and its gene are expressed only in encysted embryos and not in larvae or adults. Evidence is presented to show that the LEA protein functions in the prevention of drying-induced protein aggregation, which supports its functional role in desiccation tolerance. This report describes, for the first time, the purification and characterization of a group 1 LEA protein from an animal species.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 (PAcanthamoeba among stray dogs. Further studies are necessary to reveal the infection status and genotypes among dogs and its possible correlation with leishmaniasis.

  4. A method for microbial decontamination ofAcanthamoeba cultures using the peritoneal cavity of mice

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Rodrigo Gurgel-Gonalves; Patrcia Albuquerque; Csar Augusto Cuba-Cuba

    2015-01-01

    Objective:To evaluate whether the inoculation of contaminated cultures in the peritoneal cavity of mice could implement decontamination ofAcanthamoeba cultures. Methods: Suspensions ofAcanthamoeba,Acanthamoeba polyphagaATCC30461, or Acanthamoeba spp. isolated from soil (UnB13 strain) were inoculated in the peritoneal cavity of Swiss mice (n = 24). After 1, 6, 12, or 24 h of exposure the peritoneal cavity was washed and assessed for the presence of bacteria, fungi, andAcanthamoeba. Results: After 1 h of intraperitoneal inoculation at least 97% of the bacteria and 96% of the fungi (P Conclusions: Our data demonstrated that this technique has great potential for decontamination ofAcanthamoeba cultures in a short period of time.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  6. Acanthamoeba keratitis - A six year epidemiological review from a tertiary care eye hospital in South India

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    Manikandan P

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available PURPOSE: This study analyses the prevalence, demography, predisposing factors and seasonal variation of Acanthamoeba keratitis. METHODS: A retrospective review of all cases presenting with keratitis at the cornea clinic, Aravind Eye Hospital, Coimbatore, from August 1997 to July 2003, was done for screening patients with a provisional diagnosis of Acanthamoeba keratitis. Their records were further analyzed for microbiological details. Cases with culture proven Acanthamoeba keratitis were included for epidemiological analysis. RESULTS: From a total of 4519 patients who attended cornea clinic 32 (33 eyes patients were confirmed to be positive for Acanthamoeba keratitis. Twenty cases (62.5% were males. Majority (18; 54.2% of the Acanthamoeba keratitis eyes reported corneal trauma by solid objects. No peak period was observed in a year, as the number of cases was almost uniform in all months. CONCLUSION: This study indicates the increasing prevalence of Acanthamoeba keratitis among non-contact lens users in this region during the 6-year period.

  7. Phosphorylation of Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-2α during Stress and Encystation in Entamoeba Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendrick, Holland M.; Welter, Brenda H.; Sykes, Steven E.; Sullivan, William J.; Temesvari, Lesly A.

    2016-01-01

    encystation in E. invadens, a model encystation system. Together, these data demonstrate that the eIF2α-dependent stress response system is operational in Entamoeba species. PMID:27930733

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    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 th...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mi Kyung Park

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Im, Kyung-Il; Shin, Ho-Joon

    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 c...

  16. Mechanisms associated with cellular desiccation tolerance of Artemia encysted embryos from locations around the world.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hengherr, Steffen; Schill, Ralph O; Clegg, J S

    2011-10-01

    Using differential scanning calorimetry we demonstrated the presence of biological glasses and measured the glass transition temperatures (Tg) in dry encysted gastrula embryos (cysts) of the brine shrimp, Artemia, from eleven different locations, two of which provided cysts from parthenogenetic animals. Values for Tg were highest, by far, in Artemia franciscana cysts from the Mekong Delta, Vietnam (VN), these cysts having been produced from previous sequential inoculations into growth ponds of cysts from the San Francisco Bay, California, USA. Tg values for three groups of A. franciscana cysts were significantly higher than those of other cysts (except those of Artemia persimilis) studied here, as well as all other desiccation-tolerant animal systems studied to date. We also measured three stress proteins (hsc70, artemin and p26) in all these cysts as well as the total alcohol soluble carbohydrates (ASC), about 90% of which is the disaccharide trehalose, a known component of biological glasses. We interpret the results in terms of mechanisms involved with desiccation tolerance and, to some extent, with thermal conditions at the sites of cyst collection.

  17. Entamoeba invadens: Identification of a SERCA protein and effect of SERCA inhibitors on encystation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Higuera, Aarón; Herrera-Martínez, Mayra; Chávez-Munguía, Bibiana; Valle-Solís, Martha; Muñiz-Lino, Marcos A; Cázares-Apátiga, Javier; Rodríguez, Mario A

    2015-12-01

    Calcium has an important role on signaling of different cellular processes, including growth and differentiation. Signaling by calcium also has an essential function in pathogenesis and differentiation of the protozoan parasites Entamoeba histolytica and Entamoeba invadens. However, the proteins of these parasites that regulate the cytoplasmic concentration of this ion are poorly studied. In eukaryotic cells, the calcium-ATPase of the SERCA type plays an important role in calcium homeostasis by catalyzing the active efflux of calcium from cytoplasm to endoplasmic reticulum. Here, we reported the identification of SERCA of E. invadens (EiSERCA). This protein contains a putative sequence for endoplasmic reticulum retention and all domains involved in calcium transport identified in mammalian SERCA. By immunofluorescence assays, an antibody against SERCA of E. histolytica detected EiSERCA in a vesicular network in the cytoplasm of E. invadens trophozoites, co-localizing with calreticulin. Interestingly, EiSERCA was redistributed close to plasma membrane during encystation, suggesting that this pump could participate in regulate the calcium concentration during this process. In addition, thapsigargin and cyclopiazonic acid, both specific inhibitors of SERCA, affected the number and structure of cysts, supporting the hypothesis that calcium flux mediated by SERCA has an important role in the life cycle of Entamoeba.

  18. Habitat diversity and adaptation to environmental stress in encysted embryos of the crustacean Artemia

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Joshua A Tanguay; Reno C Reyes; James S Clegg

    2004-12-01

    Encysted embryos (cysts) of the brine shrimp, Artemia, provide excellent opportunities for the study of biochemical and biophysical adaptation to extremes of environmental stress in animals. Among other virtues, this organism is found in a wide variety of hypersaline habitats, ranging from deserts, to tropics, to mountains. One adaptation implicated in the ecological success of Artemia is p26, a small heat shock protein that previous evidence indicates plays the role of a molecular chaperone in these embryos. We add to that evidence here. We summarize recently published work on thermal tolerance and stress protein levels in embryos from the San Francisco Bay (SFB) of California inoculated into experimental ponds in southern Vietnam where water temperatures are much higher. New results on the relative contents of three stress proteins (hsp70, artemin and p26) will be presented along with data on cysts of A. tibetiana collected from the high plateau of Tibet about 4.5 km above sea level. Unpublished results on the stress protein artemin are discussed briefly in the context of this paper, and its potential role as an RNA chaperone. Interestingly, we show that the substantial tolerance of A. franciscana embryos to ultraviolet (UV) light does not seem to result from intracellular biochemistry but, rather, from their surrounding thick shell, a biophysical adaptation of considerable importance since these embryos receive heavy doses of UV in nature.

  19. Structure and function of REP34 implicates carboxypeptidase activity in Francisella tularensis host cell invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feld, Geoffrey K; El-Etr, Sahar; Corzett, Michele H; Hunter, Mark S; Belhocine, Kamila; Monack, Denise M; Frank, Matthias; Segelke, Brent W; Rasley, Amy

    2014-10-31

    Francisella tularensis is the etiological agent of tularemia, or rabbit fever. Although F. tularensis is a recognized biothreat agent with broad and expanding geographical range, its mechanism of infection and environmental persistence remain poorly understood. Previously, we identified seven F. tularensis proteins that induce a rapid encystment phenotype (REP) in the free-living amoeba, Acanthamoeba castellanii. Encystment is essential to the pathogen's long term intracellular survival in the amoeba. Here, we characterize the cellular and molecular function of REP34, a REP protein with a mass of 34 kDa. A REP34 knock-out strain of F. tularensis has a reduced ability to both induce encystment in A. castellanii and invade human macrophages. We determined the crystal structure of REP34 to 2.05-Å resolution and demonstrate robust carboxypeptidase B-like activity for the enzyme. REP34 is a zinc-containing monomeric protein with close structural homology to the metallocarboxypeptidase family of peptidases. REP34 possesses a novel topology and substrate binding pocket that deviates from the canonical funnelin structure of carboxypeptidases, putatively resulting in a catalytic role for a conserved tyrosine and distinct S1' recognition site. Taken together, these results identify REP34 as an active carboxypeptidase, implicate the enzyme as a potential key F. tularensis effector protein, and may help elucidate a mechanistic understanding of F. tularensis infection of phagocytic cells.

  20. O-Linked glycosylation in Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hülsmeier, Andreas J; Hennet, Thierry

    2014-08-01

    Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus is a member of the giant nucleocytoplasmic large DNA viruses, infecting various Acanthamoeba spp. The genomes of giant viruses encode components previously thought to be exclusive to cellular life, such as proteins involved in nucleic acid and protein synthesis. Recent work on enzymes involved in carbohydrate biosynthesis and metabolism show that instead of utilizing host cell resources, Mimivirus produces its own glycosylation machinery. To obtain a more detailed view of glycosylation in Mimivirus, we developed a periodate oxidation-based method to selectively enrich Mimivirus surface glycoproteins. O-Glycosylation in Mimivirus glycoproteins was identified by permethylation and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-mass spectrometry analyses of beta-eliminated glycans. We sequenced 26 previously undescribed O-glycans, most of which contain glucose as their reducing end saccharide. These data will facilitate future studies on the functional significance of glycosylation in Mimivirus.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  2. Double-Biguanide Therapy for Resistant Acanthamoeba Keratitis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giulio Ferrari

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Aims: To report the clinical and diagnostic findings of a patient with Acanthamoeba keratitis resistant to both polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB-hexamidine and chlorhexidine-hexamidine treatment. Methods: Slit-lamp biomicroscopy, corneal cell scraping and histopathology were performed on a 39-year-old woman presenting with corneal ulcer in her left eye. Results: The patient was successfully treated with PHMB-chlorhexidine association therapy. Subsequent perforating keratoplasty remained clear at the last follow-up visit after 7 months and increased visual acuity to 20/20 with correction. Conclusions: This case emphasizes the proteiform aspects of Acanthamoeba drug resistance, and suggests that PHMB-chlorhexidine association might represent an additional option for cases resistant to standard therapy.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  5. The fine structure of the Acanthamoeba polyphaga cyst wall.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemgruber, Leandro; Lupetti, Pietro; De Souza, Wanderley; Vommaro, Rossiane C; da Rocha-Azevedo, Bruno

    2010-04-01

    Members of the genus Acanthamoeba are present in diverse environments, from freshwater to soil, and also in humans, causing serious brain and corneal infections. Their life cycle presents two stages: the dividing trophozoite and the quiescent cyst. The structures of these life stages have been studied for many years, and structural data have been used for taxonomy. The ultrastructural work on Acanthamoeba cysts was carried out previously by routine transmission electron microscopy (TEM), a process that requires the use of chemical fixation, a procedure that can cause serious artifacts in the ultrastructure of the studied material. In order to prevent fixation artifacts, we processed Acanthamoeba polyphaga cysts by ultrarapid freezing, followed by freeze-fracturing and deep-etching, in order to obtain a 3D visualization of the arrangements of the cyst wall. The exocyst presented an irregular surface, with vesicles located within or near this layer. The endocyst, instead, showed a biphasic arrangement with a more compact district in its innermost part, and a more loosened outer layer. For this reason, it was difficult to distinguish the filaments present in the intercyst space from those forming the endocyst. Surprisingly, the intercyst space was thinner when compared with samples processed by conventional TEM, evidencing the possible damage consequent to the use of chemical fixation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. The Isolation and Detection of Acanthamoeba Keratitis in Rural Water Sources of Arak, Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mosayebi, M. (PhD

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Background and Objective: Acanthamoeba species are free-living protozoa that can be isolated from all environments. They can bring about different diseases in healthy individuals and immune suppressed patients, for example, Granulomatous Amoebic Encephalitis (GAE, Acanthamoeba Keratitis (AK, Cutaneous and Nasopharyngeal infections. The aim of this study was to evaluate the Acanthamoeba prevalence in rural water sources of Markazi province. Material and Methods: In this cross sectional study, 54 water samples were collected from 36 villages of Markus province. First, the Samples were filtered by filter paper (watchman 42. Next, the filtered paper were placed in page saline solution and centrifuged. Then, the obtained sediment was cultured on non-nutrient agar (NNA plates overlaid with heat-killed Escherichia coli. After that, the provided smear (after 4 - 7 days stained with Geimsa. Results: The samples were positive (33; 61.11% and negative (21; 38.89% for Acanthamoeba cyst. The best result for isolation of Acanthamoeba cysts was obtained after shaking of filter paper. Conclusion: A high percentage of rural water sources have been contaminated with Acanthamoeba, which can be the major factor in causing human infections. Therefore, some effective methods are required to prevent from water sources contamination. Keywords: Acanthamoeba; Acanthamoeba Keratitis; Markazi Province; Rural; Water Sources

  9. Glucosylceramide transferase activity is critical for encystation and viable cyst production by an intestinal protozoan, Giardia lamblia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendez, Tavis L; De Chatterjee, Atasi; Duarte, Trevor T; Gazos-Lopes, Felipe; Robles-Martinez, Leobarda; Roy, Debarshi; Sun, Jianjun; Maldonado, Rosa A; Roychowdhury, Sukla; Almeida, Igor C; Das, Siddhartha

    2013-06-07

    The production of viable cysts by Giardia is essential for its survival in the environment and for spreading the infection via contaminated food and water. The hallmark of cyst production (also known as encystation) is the biogenesis of encystation-specific vesicles (ESVs) that transport cyst wall proteins to the plasma membrane of the trophozoite before laying down the protective cyst wall. However, the molecules that regulate ESV biogenesis and maintain cyst viability have never before been identified. Here, we report that giardial glucosylceramide transferase-1 (gGlcT1), an enzyme of sphingolipid biosynthesis, plays a key role in ESV biogenesis and maintaining cyst viability. We find that overexpression of this enzyme induced the formation of aggregated/enlarged ESVs and generated clustered cysts with reduced viability. The silencing of gGlcT1 synthesis by antisense morpholino oligonucleotide abolished ESV production and generated mostly nonviable cysts. Interestingly, when gGlcT1-overexpressed Giardia was transfected with anti-gGlcT1 morpholino, the enzyme activity, vesicle biogenesis, and cyst viability returned to normal, suggesting that the regulated expression of gGlcT1 is important for encystation and viable cyst production. Furthermore, the overexpression of gGlcT1 increased the influx of membrane lipids and fatty acids without altering the fluidity of plasma membranes, indicating that the expression of gGlcT1 activity is linked to lipid internalization and maintaining the overall lipid balance in this parasite. Taken together, our results suggest that gGlcT1 is a key player of ESV biogenesis and cyst viability and therefore could be targeted for developing new anti-giardial therapies.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  11. Stress Management in Cyst-Forming Free-Living Protists: Programmed Cell Death and/or Encystment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naveed Ahmed Khan

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In the face of harsh conditions and given a choice, a cell may (i undergo programmed cell death, (ii transform into a cancer cell, or (iii enclose itself into a cyst form. In metazoans, the available evidence suggests that cellular machinery exists only to execute or avoid programmed cell death, while the ability to form a cyst was either lost or never developed. For cyst-forming free-living protists, here we pose the question whether the ability to encyst was gained at the expense of the programmed cell death or both functions coexist to counter unfavorable environmental conditions with mutually exclusive phenotypes.

  12. Entamoeba invadens: identification of ADF/cofilin and their expression analysis in relation to encystation and excystation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makioka, Asao; Kumagai, Masahiro; Hiranuka, Kazushi; Kobayashi, Seiki; Takeuchi, Tsutomu

    2011-01-01

    The differentiation processes of excystation and encystation of Entamoeba are essential for infection and completion of their life-cycle, and the processes need cell motility and its control by actin cytoskeletal reorganization. This study investigated actin depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin (Cfl) family proteins, which are important molecules in actin cytoskeletal reorganization, in Entamoeba invadens in relation to the encystation and excystation. Axenic culture systems were used to induce encystation and excystation. A homology search of the E. invadens genome database and molecular cloning identified three ADF/Cfl family proteins of the parasite (named for short as EiCfl-1, EiCfl-2, and EiCfl-3). This is different from other Entamoeba species, i.e. Entamoeba histolytica and Entamoeba dispar, each of which has only one ADF/Cfl family protein. These ADF/Cfl of E. invadens do not have Ser3 (serine locates third from first methionine), similar to E. histolytica, E. dispar, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Schizosaccharomyces pombe, although the activity of ADF/Cfl is negatively regulated by phosphorylation of the Ser3 in metazoans. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that Entamoeba Cfl formed a distinctive clade that is separate from other organisms, and the branches of the tree were separated in two consistent with the presence and absence of Ser3. Rabbit anti-EiCfl-2 serum reacted with all recombinant EiCfls and EiCfl in lysates of cysts, trophozoites and metacystic amoebae. Immunofluorescence staining with this antiserum showed co-localization of EiCfl with actin beneath the cell membrane through the life stages. Both proteins proved to be rich in pseudopodia of trophozoites and metacystic amoebae. Real-time RT-PCR showed that mRNAs of EiCfl-2 and actins were highly expressed, but there were few mRNA of EiCfl-1 and EiCfl-3. Remarkably decreased mRNA levels were observed in EiCfl-2 and actins during encystation. All three EiCfls and actins became transcribed after the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. A new phenol oxidase produced during melanogenesis and encystment stage in the nitrogen-fixing soil bacterium Azotobacter chroococcum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herter, Susanne; Schmidt, Marlen; Thompson, Mark L; Mikolasch, Annett; Schauer, Frieder

    2011-05-01

    Laccases are copper-containing phenol oxidases that are commonly found in many types of plant, insect, fungi and bacteria. Whilst phenol oxidases have been well characterized in fungal species, laccase-type enzymes originating from bacteria have been much less well defined. Bacteria belonging to the family Azotobacteraceae share many morphological characteristics with strains already known to exhibit polyphenol and phenol oxidase activity; and hence the aim of this work was to identify and characterize a novel laccase from the isolated strain Azotobacter chroococcum SBUG 1484 in an attempt to provide further understanding of the roles such enzymes play in physiological development. Laccase activity was clearly observed through oxidation of 2,6-dimethoxyphenol, other typical substrates including: methoxy-monophenols, ortho- and para-diphenols, 4-hydroxyindole, and the non-phenolic compound para-phenylenediamine. A. chroococcum SBUG 1484 showed production of a cell-associated phenol oxidase when grown under nitrogen-fixing conditions, and was also observed when cells enter the melanogenic and encystment stages of growth. Catechol which is structurally related to melanin compounds was also released from Azotobacter cells into the surrounding culture medium during nitrogen-fixing growth. From our results we propose that a membrane-bound laccase plays an important role in the formation of melanin, which was monitored to correlate with progression of A. chroococcum SBUG 1484 cells into the encystment stage of growth.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. Isolation and genotyping of Acanthamoeba spp. from recreational soil of parks in Tehran, Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Niyyati

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Background & aim: Acanthamoeba is a genus of free-living amoebae found in environmental sources. These amphizoic amoebae can lead to severe human disease such as encephalitis and keratitis. Acanthamoeba transmits to humans through contact with soil and dust from scratching the skin. The aim of the present study was to identify the genotypes of Acanthamoeba in parks of the city of Tehran using molecular and morphological - based methods. Methods: In this study, 52 samples of soil were collected from 17 parks in Tehran. Samples were then filtered and cultured on 1.5% non-nutrient agar. DNA extraction and PCR amplification was performed using genus specific primers. Sequencing analysis and BLAST search were done for genotype identification. Results: Out of 52 soil samples, 14 strain (26.9% were positive for Acanthamoeba amoebae by microscopic observation. Out Of 14 positive isolates, 9 (17.3% were positive for Acanthamoeba using genus specific primer pairs. Of 14 strains, 9 were sequenced successfully. Genotype identification was revealed that all strains were belonged to T4 type. T4 genotypes among strains are human pathogens. Conclusions: Identification of pathogenic Acanthamoeba belonging to T4 genotype in recreational parks could be of utmost importance. Results of this study show that soil contamination, particularly in parks where children play and assemble is a sanitary risk for them. Key words: Acanthamoeba, Genotypes, Soil, Park

  20. A method for microbial decontamination of Acanthamoeba cultures using the peritoneal cavity of mice简

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Daniella; de; Sousa; Mendes; Moreira; Alves; Rodrigo; Gurgel-Gon?alves; Patrícia; Albuquerque; César; Augusto; Cuba-Cuba; Maria; Imaculada; Muniz-Junqueira; Selma; Aparecida; Souza; Kückelhaus

    2015-01-01

    Objective: To evaluate whether the inoculation of contaminated cultures in the peritoneal cavity of mice could implement decontamination of Acanthamoeba cultures.Methods: Suspensions of Acanthamoeba, Acanthamoeba polyphaga ATCC 30461, or Acanthamoeba spp. isolated from soil(Un B13 strain) were inoculated in the peritoneal cavity of Swiss mice(n = 24). After 1, 6, 12, or 24 h of exposure the peritoneal cavity was washed and assessed for the presence of bacteria, fungi, and Acanthamoeba.Results: After 1 h of intraperitoneal inoculation at least 97% of the bacteria and 96% of the fungi(P < 0.05) and 99% of the bacteria(P < 0.05) were successfully eliminated from the ATCC 30461 strain and from the soil isolate Un B13 strain, respectively. This method also allowed the recovery of most trophozoites and cysts from both Acanthamoeba cultures at the end of 24 h.Conclusions: Our data demonstrated that this technique has great potential for decontamination of Acanthamoeba cultures in a short period of time.

  1. A Case of Non-Contact Lens related Acanthamoeba keratitis in Malaysia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohamed Kamel, A. G.

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Acanthamoeba is a ubiquitous free-living amoeba and is responsible for an uncommon yet increasingly diagnosed keratitis in humans. Acanthamoeba keratitis is perhaps the most challenging ocular infection to manage successfully and it can result in permanently impaired vision or blindness. Although contact lens use is the principal risk factor, about 10% of cases occur following trauma and exposure to contaminated soil or water. Cases of Acanthamoeba keratitis involving contact lens wearers have previously been reported in Malaysia but this is the first time, a non-contact lens relatedAcanthamoeba keratitis is reported. The case involved a 28 year old Indonesian male construction worker who had a trauma of the right eye. While working his eye was struck by some sand and dust particles and he quickly washed his eye with water from an open tank at the construction site. He then experienced pain, redness, glaring and blurring of vision of the right eye. The diagnosis was missed at the initial presentation but subsequent culture of the corneal scraping demonstrated Acanthamoeba as the aetiological agent. The history, clinical findings, diagnosis and treatment of non-contact lens related Acanthamoeba keratitis are briefly discussed in this communication. We hope to create awareness especially among the medical and paramedical staff about the existence of this infection in the country and fully support the consideration of Acanthamoeba keratitis as part of the differential diagnosis of most cases of presumed microbial keratitis.

  2. Evaluation of immunoperoxidase staining technique in the diagnosis of Acanthamoeba keratitis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharma Savitri

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: We describe a simple procedure of Immunoperoxidase (IP technique, using indigenously raised antibody, to screen corneal scrapings for Acanthamoeba cysts and trophozoites. This study sought to determine the utility of this test in the diagnosis of Acanthamoeba keratitis. Methods: A high titre polyclonal antibody against a local clinical isolate (axenic of Acanthamoeba species (trophozoite lysate antigen was raised in rabbits and used for standardization of IP technique for corneal scrapings. Twenty two smears of corneal scrapings, collected from patients showing Acanthamoeba cysts in corneal scrapings stained with calcofluorwhite (pool-1 and patients showing no cysts in similar scrapings (pool-2, were coded and stained by IP technique by a masked technician. All 22 patients had also been tested for bacteria, fungus, and Acanthamoeba in their corneal scrapings by smears and cultures. IP stained smears were examined for organisms including cysts and trophozoites of Acanthamoeba and background staining by two observers masked to the results of other smears and cultures. The validity of the IP test in detection of Acanthamoeba cysts and trophozoites was measured by sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value in comparison (McNemar test for paired comparison with calcofluor white staining and culture. Results: Based on the readings of observer 1 and compared to calcofluor white staining, the IP test had a sensitivity of 100%, a specificity of 94%, positive predictive value of 80% and negative predictive value of 100%. When compared to culture, the values were 83%, 100%, 100% and 94% respectively. Trophozoites missed in calcofluor white stained smears, were detected in 2 out of 6 cases of culture-positive Acanthamoeba keratitis. The Kappa coefficient of interobserver agreement was determined as fair (30.4%. Conclusion: The immunoperoxidase technique is a simple and useful test in the diagnosis of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  4. Incidence and histopathology of encysted progenetic metacercaria of Clinostomum complanatum (Digenea:Clinostomidae) in Channa punctatus and its development in experimental host

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    PA Ahammed Shareef; SMA Abidi

    2012-01-01

    Objective: To study the incidence of encysted progenetic metacercariae of Clinostomum complanatum (C. complanatum) in Channa punctatus (C. punctatus), associated histopathology and the experimental infection to laboratory chicken to obtain ovigerous adult worms. Methods:Live C. punctatus were brought from local fish market of Aligarh, India, dissected and examined on a monthly basis for the presence of C. complanatum cysts. For histochemistry, infected tissue sections with attached cysts were processed for haematoxylene and eosin staining. Cysts were aseptically fed to 4 day old leghorn chicken to obtain adult worms. Mechanically excysted metacercaria and the ovigerous adult worms were stained in carmine to prepare permanent slides. Results: One year survey for the infection of encysted progenetic metacercaria of C. complanatum in C. punctatus revealed the prevalence, intensity and abundance of 24.7%, 2.27 and 0.608, respectively. Histopathology showed heavy infiltration of immune cells at the site of cyst attachment and some tissue damage was also evident. Following feeding to experimental chicken, about 41.07%of the encysted metacercariae were able to excyst and migrate back to bucco-pharyngeal region where they tenaciously attached and fed on blood, and transformed into ovigerous adult worms from 62 hours onwards of post infection. Conclusions:The parasite is potentially pathogenic to the host, and the availability of a suitable intermediate host can be a contributing factor for the occurrence of C. complanatum metacercaria either in the excysted or encysted form, indicating loose host specificity and zoonotic potential.

  5. Protozoan Acanthamoeba polyphaga as a potential reservoir for Campylobacter jejuni.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Axelsson-Olsson, Diana; Waldenström, Jonas; Broman, Tina; Olsen, Björn; Holmberg, Martin

    2005-02-01

    We showed by a laboratory experiment that four different Campylobacter jejuni strains are able to infect the protozoan Acanthamoeba polyphaga. C. jejuni cells survived for longer periods when cocultured with amoebae than when grown in culture alone. The infecting C. jejuni cells aggregated in amoebic vacuoles, in which they were seen to be actively moving. Furthermore, a resuscitation of bacterial cultures that were previously negative in culturability tests was observed after reinoculation into fresh amoeba cultures. After spontaneous rupture of the amoebae, C. jejuni could be detected by microscopy and culturability tests. Our results indicate that amoebae may serve as a nonvertebrate reservoir for C. jejuni in the environment.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 Acanthamoeba cysts and prevention of acanthamoeba keratitis.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  10. 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

    OpenAIRE

    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 geno...

  11. Evaluation of Acanthamoeba isolates from environmental sources in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob; Monteverde-Miranda, Carlos A; Jiménez, Concepción; Tejedor, María Luisa; Valladares, Basilio; Ortega-Rivas, Antonio

    2005-01-01

    Tests for potentially pathogenic amoebae were carried out in order to determine the presence of free-living amoebae of genus Acanthamoeba in soil and beach sand sources related to human environments in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. Acanthamoeba identification was based on the morphology of cyst and trophozoite forms and PCR amplification with a genus specific primer pair. The pathogenical potential of Acanthamoeba isolates was characterized by temperature and osmotolerance assays and PCR reactions with two primer pairs related to Acanthamoeba pathogenesis. The results demonstrate the presence of potential pathogenic strain in both sources. Thus, some of the amoebae found in these habitats could act as opportunistic pathogens and may present a risk to human health.

  12. Isolation and identification of pathogenic Acanthamoeba strains in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain from water sources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob; Ortega-Rivas, Antonio; Foronda, Pilar; Martínez, Enrique; Valladares, Basilio

    2005-03-01

    A comprehensive survey to document the presence of free-living amoebae of the genus Acanthamoeba was conducted in tap water and sea water sources related to human environments in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. Acanthamoeba identification was based on the morphology of cyst and trophozoite forms and PCR amplification with a genus-specific primer pair. The pathogenic potential of Acanthamoeba isolates was characterized by temperature and osmotolerance assays and PCR reactions with two primer pairs related to Acanthamoeba pathogenesis. The results demonstrate the presence of potentially pathogenic strains in both sources. Thus, some of the amoebae in these aquatic habitats can act as opportunistic pathogens, could play a role in the diseases of aquatic organisms, and may present a risk to human health.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Birgitte Rønde; 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....

  14. Acanthamoeba and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia keratitis with fungal keratitis in the contralateral eye

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas F Mauger

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Thomas F Mauger, Rebecca Ann Kuennen, Reynell Harder Smith, William SawyerDepartment of Ophthalmology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USAPurpose: The purpose of this study is to describe the diagnosis, course, and outcome of a case of Acanthamoeba and Stenotrophomonas keratitis with a fungal keratitis in the contralateral eye.Methods: A case of Acanthamoeba and Stenotrophomonas keratitis was diagnosed with confocal microscopy and cultures with confocal diagnosis of fungal keratitis in the fellow eye.Results: During the initial treatment of the Acanthamoeba and Stenotrophomonas keratitis, the contralateral eye developed a keratitis that demonstrated hyphae in the corneal stroma with confocal microscopy consistent with fungal keratitis.Conclusions: Bilateral chronic keratitis cannot be assumed to be caused by the same organism and independent cultures, and confocal microscopy needs to be performed to direct appropriate therapy.Keywords: Acanthamoeba, Stenotrophomonas, confocal, fungus, keratitis

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. Diagnosis of acanthamoeba keratitis-A report of four cases and review of literature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharma Savitri

    1990-01-01

    Full Text Available Acanthamoeba keratitis is not reported often in India. We reported the first case diagnosed in this country a year back. In this communication, four more cases of Acanthamoeba keratitis diagnosed since then are being reported along with a brief review of literature. Diagnosis in all these patients was based on observation of acanthamoeba cysts in 10% KOH wet mount of corneal ulcer scrapings and subsequent culture. The characteristic ring infiltration of cornea was seen in all of them. All cases were treated medically with the available antiamoebic drugs (Miconazole, Neosporin, Ketoconazole and Metronidazole in different combinations. Only one out of four, responded with complete healing of the ulcer. Acanthamoeba keratitis is probably not as uncommon in India as it is thought to be. With increased awareness and performance of minimal laboratory tests the condition may be diagnosed more often.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 Acanthamoeba and water quality parameters. Results of this survey confirm the existence of Acanthamoeba in Taiwan spring recreation areas. Acanthamoeba, the organism responsible for the majority of Acanthamoeba keratitis and can serve as vehicles for facultative pathogens, should be considered a potential threat for health associated with human activities in spring recreation areas of Taiwan.

  18. Intracellular Localization and Trafficking of Serine Proteinase AhSub and Cysteine Proteinase AhCP of Acanthamoeba healyi

    OpenAIRE

    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 flu...

  19. Acanthamoeba keratitis - A six year epidemiological review from a tertiary care eye hospital in South India

    OpenAIRE

    Manikandan P; Bhaskar M; Revathy R; John R.; Narendran V; Panneerselvam K

    2004-01-01

    PURPOSE: This study analyses the prevalence, demography, predisposing factors and seasonal variation of Acanthamoeba keratitis. METHODS: A retrospective review of all cases presenting with keratitis at the cornea clinic, Aravind Eye Hospital, Coimbatore, from August 1997 to July 2003, was done for screening patients with a provisional diagnosis of Acanthamoeba keratitis. Their records were further analyzed for microbiological details. Cases with culture proven Acanthamoeba keratitis were incl...

  20. Acanthamoeba and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia keratitis with fungal keratitis in the contralateral eye

    OpenAIRE

    2010-01-01

    Thomas F Mauger, Rebecca Ann Kuennen, Reynell Harder Smith, William SawyerDepartment of Ophthalmology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USAPurpose: The purpose of this study is to describe the diagnosis, course, and outcome of a case of Acanthamoeba and Stenotrophomonas keratitis with a fungal keratitis in the contralateral eye.Methods: A case of Acanthamoeba and Stenotrophomonas keratitis was diagnosed with confocal microscopy and cultures with confocal diagnosis of fungal keratitis ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    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. Furt...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. Presence of Acanthamoeba spp.in water purification plants in southern England

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Shanmuganathan V; Khan NA

    2009-01-01

    Objective:To identify the prevalence of Acanthamoeba in drinking water treatment plants during the course of the purification processes.Methods:Samples were taken from two drinking water purification plants and moni-tored for the presence of Acanthamoeba in order to estimate the removal capacity of treatment methods em-ployed.Water samples were collected at each step in the purification,during the one year survey,and ana-lysed for the presence of Acanthamoeba spp.by plating on bacterial-seeded plates.Results:The results showed that amoebae were present in surface raw waters in 100 % of the samples tested.Acanthamoeba spp.were iso-lated from 71 % and 57 % of the water samples collected from post flat-bottom clarifier 1 and post-sedimenta-tion plant respectively.Considering the outflow drinking waters,the removal capacity was 100 % in both puri-fication plants monitored.The occurrence of Acanthamoeba was not associated with seasonality.Conclusion:These findings confirm that water purification plants employing methods of flocculation,sedimentation,and fil-tration in combination with activated charcoal filtration,ozonisation and chlorination exhibited sufficient Acan-thamoeba removal capacity and the presence of amoebae in the tap water may be due to older plumbing,water storage tanks,tap water hygiene,and /or environmental settings.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. Confoscan: An ideal therapeutic Aid and screening tool in acanthamoeba keratitis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nadia Al Kharousi

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Although present worldwide, Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK is a rare condition. It is a protozoal infection of the eye that is generally caused by wearing contaminated contact lenses or lens solutions. Confoscan and confocal scanning laser tomography (CSLT are in vivo noninvasive diagnostic tools which provide high definition images of corneal microstructures. Laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK is a very common refractive surgery. We report a case series in which the first patient had contact lens induced Acanthamoeba keratitis with corneal epitheliopathy that was unresponsive to conservative treatment. Epithelial debridement was performed based on confoscan findings which confirmed the presence of Acanthamoeba cysts. Subsequently, the cornea re-epithelialized over two days. Another patient had CSLT prior to the LASIK which showed stromal cyst-like structures suggestive of Acanthamoeba keratitis. Four months after medical therapy, repeat CSLT was negative for Acanthamoeba cysts. Third patient was diagnosed with Acanthamoeba infection after undergoing lamellar keratoplasty. CSLT should be used as a screening procedure prior to any corneal refractive surgery to detect and treat protozoal and other infections preoperatively.

  8. Granulomatous inflammation in acanthamoeba keratitis: An immunohistochemical study of five cases and review of literature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vemuganti G

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: Acanthamoeba keratitis usually presents as a necrotizing stromal inflammation. We report a rare presentation of granulomatous inflammation in Acanthamoeba keratitis Methods: Retrospective clinico-pathologic case series. Results: Five corneal tissues (3 corneal buttons, 2-eviscerated contents from patients suffering from severe Acanthamoeba keratitis not responding to anti-Acanthamoeba treatment, revealed a florid granulomotous inflammation with multinucleated giant cells in the posterior stroma and around Descemet′s membrane. Phagocytosed parasites were noted within the giant cells. Vascularization of the corneal stroma was noted in two cases. Immunophenotyping revealed a predominance of T lymphocytes and macrophages. Clinically, four of five cases had shown features of limbal and scleral involvement. Conclusion: Granulomatous inflammation in the posterior corneal stroma, is not an uncommon finding in Acanthamoeba keratitis and could possibly be immune-mediated, contributing to persistence and progression of disease. Clinical Relevance: Presence of granulomatous inflammation in Acanthamoeba keratitis, in most cases is associated with limbal and scleral involvement and therefore could be considered as one of the poor prognostic markers. Further studies are required to ascertain the specific clinical features and appropriate management strategies in these cases.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Reza Mahmoudi

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available 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.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.Totally 30 and 2 of 34 samples were positive for Acanthamoeba and Toxoplasma oocysts respectively. Two samples were positive for both investigated parasites.The investigated water supplies, are contaminated by Toxoplasma and Acanthamoeba (oocystes. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  13. Use of 18S rRNA Gene-Based PCR Assay for Diagnosis of Acanthamoeba Keratitis in Non-Contact Lens Wearers in India

    OpenAIRE

    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 scraping...

  14. Isolation of Acanthamoeba isolates belonging to T2, T3, T4 and T7 genotypes from environmental samples in Ankara, Turkey

    OpenAIRE

    Kiliç, A.; Tanyuksel, M.; Sissons, J.; Jayasekera, S.; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2004-01-01

    Acanthamoeba keratitis is a blinding infection that is becoming increasingly important in human health. Early diagnosis is a prerequisite for successful treatment and requires identification of Acanthamoeba at the genotypic level. The genus Acanthamoeba consists of both pathogenic and non-pathogenic species and has been recently classified into 13 different genotypes, T1-T12 and T14. More importantly, 95% of Acanthamoeba isolates that produce keratitis belong to T4 genotypes. In this study, w...

  15. Pneumonia in mice inoculated experimentally with Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Mohammad; La Scola, Bernard; Lepidi, Hubert; Raoult, Didier

    2007-01-01

    In an attempt to elucidate whether Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus (APM) was pathogenic (i.e., induces histological evidence of inflammation or tissue destruction or both) in mammalian host, we inoculated adult BALB/c (n=6) and C57BL/6 (n=6) mice with APM via intracardiac route. C57BL/6 mice developed histopathological features of pneumonia by post-inoculation day (PID) 3 and BALB/c mice, by PID7. The histopathological features of pneumonia, characterized by the presence of thickened alveolar walls with cellular infiltrates comprising mononuclear leukocytes, macrophages and lymphocytes, diffuse alveolar damages with the formation of hyaline membrane and erythrocytes in the alveolar lumen, were most marked by PID 7. We conclude that APM is pathogenic in mice in experimental conditions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. Eukar yotic cell encystation and cancer cell dormancy:is a greater devil veiled in the details of a lesser evil?

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Abdul Mannan Baig; Naveed Ahmed Khan; Farhat Abbas

    2015-01-01

    Cancer cell dormancy is the main cause of cancer recurrence and failure of therapy as dormant cells evade not only the anticancer drugs but also the host immune system. hTese dormant cells veil themselves from detection by imaging and/or using biomarkers, which imposes an additional problem in targeting such cells. A similar form of hibernation process known as encystation is studied in detail for pathogenic unicellular eukaryotic microorganisms. By examination using microarray gene expression proifles, immunocytochemistry tools, and siRNAs during the process of encystation, understanding the covert features of cancer cell dormancy as proposed could be possible. hTis knowledge can be extended to dormant cancer cells to uncover the mechanisms that underlie this ghost, yet dangerous state of human cancers. We propose a strategy to induce dormancy and exit this state by application of knowledge gained from the encystation induction and retrieval processes in pathogenic eukaryotic microorganisms. Given that early detection and characterization of dormant malignant tumor cells is important as a general strategy to monitor and prevent the development of overt metastatic disease, this homology may enable the design of therapies that could either awake the dormant cell from dormancy to make it available for therapies or prolong such a phase to make cancer appear as a chronic disease.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. Morpho-Physiological and Biochemical Criteria of Acantha-moeba spp. Isolated from the Egyptian Aquatic Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A Mohammed

    2013-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    RODRIGO STAGGEMEIER

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  12. Listeria monocytogenes virulence factor Listeriolysin O favors bacterial growth in co-culture with the ciliate Tetrahymena pyriformis, causes protozoan encystment and promotes bacterial survival inside cysts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ermolaeva Svetlana A

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The gram-positive pathogenic bacterium Listeria monocytogenes is widely spread in the nature. L. monocytogenes was reported to be isolated from soil, water, sewage and sludge. Listeriolysin O (LLO is a L. monocytogenes major virulence factor. In the course of infection in mammals, LLO is required for intracellular survival and apoptosis induction in lymphocytes. In this study, we explored the potential of LLO to promote interactions between L. monocytogenes and the ubiquitous inhabitant of natural ecosystems bacteriovorous free-living ciliate Tetrahymena pyriformis. Results Wild type L. monocytogenes reduced T. pyriformis trophozoite counts and stimulated encystment. The effects were observed starting from 48 h of co-incubation. On the day 14, trophozoites were eliminated from the co-culture while about 5 × 104 cells/ml remained in the axenic T. pyriformis culture. The deficient in the LLO-encoding hly gene L. monocytogenes strain failed to cause mortality among protozoa and to trigger protozoan encystment. Replenishment of the hly gene in the mutant strain restored toxicity towards protozoa and induction of protozoan encystment. The saprophytic non-haemolytic species L. innocua transformed with the LLO-expressing plasmid caused extensive mortality and encystment in ciliates. During the first week of co-incubation, LLO-producing L. monocytogenes demonstrated higher growth rates in association with T. pyriformis than the LLO-deficient isogenic strain. At latter stages of co-incubation bacterial counts were similar for both strains. T. pyriformis cysts infected with wild type L. monocytogenes caused listerial infection in guinea pigs upon ocular and oral inoculation. The infection was proved by bacterial plating from the internal organs. Conclusions The L. monocytogenes virulence factor LLO promotes bacterial survival and growth in the presence of bacteriovorous ciliate T. pyriformis. LLO is responsible for L. monocytogenes

  13. Ribosomal S6 kinase is activated as an early event in preemergence development of encysted embryos of Artemia salina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malarkey, K; Coker, K J; Sturgill, T W

    1998-01-15

    Dormant Artemia salina cysts contain desiccated gastrulae that are metabolically inactive, and physiologically arrested. Following rehydration, embryos resume development via alterations in protein expression, in the complete absence of cell division. In mammals, activation of p70 ribosomal S6 kinase (p70S6k) has been implicated in translational control, in particular the selective up-regulation of translation of mRNAs with polypyrimidine tracts at their 5' start sites. We therefore investigated ribosomal S6 kinase activity in preemergence development. We demonstrate that an S6 kinase activity is rapidly stimulated (within Artemia S6 kinase was inactivated by treatment with protein phosphatase 2A. Activation of S6 kinase activity was shown to be due to an enzymatic step(s), and not simply rehydration of stored, active enzyme. The temporal profile of activation of S6 kinase activity is compatible with a regulatory function for p70S6k in early preemergence development of encysted Artemia. These studies identify activated Artemia cysts as a system for biochemical studies of p70S6k regulation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. Axenic Cultivation and Pathogenic Assays of Acanthamoeba Strains Using Physical Parameters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Niyyati

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Background: The main goal of the present study was to set up an axenic cultivation of Acanthamoeba and assess the pathogenic ability of T4 genotypes from different clinical and environmental strains of Acanthamoeba using two physical assays.Methods: Sixteen Acanthamoeba isolates including 10 environmental and 6 clinical strains were cul­tured axenically. Axenic cultivation was performed using Proteosepepton, yeast extract and glucose medium and TY-I-S33culture. Pathogenic survey was done using osmotolerance and thermotoler­ance assay. Briefly, differentosmolarity (0.5 M and 1 M of non-nutrient agar plates were performed. One hundred fiftyµl of axenic culture were collected and were inoculated in 1% agar medium. For thermotolerance assay 150 µl of amoebas from axenic culture were divided into fresh culture me­diums. Cultures were incubated at 37oC and 42 oC. All plates were monitored for 24 h, 48 h and 72 h.Results: Overall, 16 strains of Acanthamoeba isolates previously genotyped as T4 were cultivated axeni­cally after several months. Thermotolerance and osmotolerance assay revealed that all of clinical strains, soil and animal feces strains were highly pathogenic isolates. Two dust and water strains did not grow at high temperature (42 oC and osmolarity (1.5 M and thus they were classified as weak pathogens.Conclusion: Most of T4 genotypes are highly pathogenic organisms. This is an important finding since Acanthamoeba belonging to T4 type is the predominate genotype in environmental and clinical samples. The presence of highly pathogenic Acanthamoeba may pose a risk within susceptible people.

  17. Progress on excretory-secretory antigens of Trichinella spiralis pre-encysted larva%旋毛虫成囊前期幼虫排泄分泌抗原的研究进展

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    董明治; 申丽洁

    2009-01-01

    在旋毛虫感染过程中,成囊前期幼虫(PEL)是旋毛虫侵入宿主肌肉的侵入期.旋毛虫PEL比成囊期幼虫(EL)在宿主体内约早2周出现.成囊前期幼虫抗原(PELA)对旋毛虫病的早期免疫学诊断具有较高的敏感性.而旋毛虫排泄分泌抗原具双重免疫功能,即有良好的抗原性和免疫原性.因此,本文就旋毛虫成囊前期幼虫ES抗原研究进展做一综述.%The pre-encysted larvae is the period of invasive hosts muscle in the development of Trichinella spiralis. T. spiralis pre-encysted larvae than encysted larva appeared about two weeks early in hosts. The pre-encysted larva antigens of T. spiralis have high sensitivity in the eary diagnosis of immunization. And excretory-secretory antigen of T. spiralis has double immune function, that is good antigenicity and immunogenicity. Therefore, this article introduced the progress on excretory-secretory antigens of T. spiralis pre-encysted larva.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. Acanthamoeba polyphaga-enhanced growth of Mycobacterium smegmatis.

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    Otmane Lamrabet

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Mycobacterium smegmatis is a rapidly-growing mycobacterium causing rare opportunistic infections in human patients. It is present in soil and water environments where free-living amoeba also reside, but data regarding M. smegmatis-amoeba relationships have been contradictory from mycobacteria destruction to mycobacteria survival. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using optic and electron microscopy and culture-based microbial enumeration we investigated the ability of M. smegmatis mc(2 155, M. smegmatis ATCC 19420(T and M. smegmatis ATCC 27204 organisms to survive into Acanthamoeba polyphaga trophozoites and cysts. We observed that M. smegmatis mycobacteria penetrated and survived in A. polyphaga trophozoites over five-day co-culture resulting in amoeba lysis and the release of viable M. smegmatis mycobacteria without amoebal cyst formation. We further observed that amoeba-co-culture, and lysed amoeba and supernatant and pellet, significantly increased five-day growth of the three tested M. smegmatis strains, including a four-fold increase in intra-amoebal growth. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Amoebal co-culture increases the growth of M. smegmatis resulting in amoeba killing by replicating M. smegmatis mycobacteria. This amoeba-M. smegmatis co-culture system illustrates an unusual paradigm in the mycobacteria-amoeba interactions as mycobacteria have been mainly regarded as amoeba-resistant organisms. Using these model organisms, this co-culture system could be used as a simple and rapid model to probe mycobacterial factors implicated in the intracellular growth of mycobacteria.

  1. Gene and genome duplication in Acanthamoeba polyphaga Mimivirus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suhre, Karsten

    2005-11-01

    Gene duplication is key to molecular evolution in all three domains of life and may be the first step in the emergence of new gene function. It is a well-recognized feature in large DNA viruses but has not been studied extensively in the largest known virus to date, the recently discovered Acanthamoeba polyphaga Mimivirus. Here, I present a systematic analysis of gene and genome duplication events in the mimivirus genome. I found that one-third of the mimivirus genes are related to at least one other gene in the mimivirus genome, either through a large segmental genome duplication event that occurred in the more remote past or through more recent gene duplication events, which often occur in tandem. This shows that gene and genome duplication played a major role in shaping the mimivirus genome. Using multiple alignments, together with remote-homology detection methods based on Hidden Markov Model comparison, I assign putative functions to some of the paralogous gene families. I suggest that a large part of the duplicated mimivirus gene families are likely to interfere with important host cell processes, such as transcription control, protein degradation, and cell regulatory processes. My findings support the view that large DNA viruses are complex evolving organisms, possibly deeply rooted within the tree of life, and oppose the paradigm that viral evolution is dominated by lateral gene acquisition, at least in regard to large DNA viruses.

  2. Listeria monocytogenes does not survive ingestion by Acanthamoeba polyphaga.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akya, Alisha; Pointon, Andrew; Thomas, Connor

    2010-03-01

    Listeria monocytogenes is a ubiquitous bacterium capable of infecting humans, particularly pregnant women and immunocompromised individuals. Although the intracellular invasion and pathogenesis of listeriosis in mammalian tissues has been well studied, little is known about the ecology of L. monocytogenes , and in particular the environmental reservoir for this bacterium has not been identified. This study used short-term co-culture at 15, 22 and 37 degrees C to examine the interaction of L. monocytogenes strains with Acanthamoeba polyphaga ACO12. Survival of L. monocytogenes cells phagocytosed by monolayers of trophozoites was assessed by culture techniques and microscopy. A. polyphaga trophozoites eliminated bacterial cells within a few hours post-phagocytosis, irrespective of the incubation temperature used. Wild-type L. monocytogenes and a phenotypic listeriolysin O mutant were unable to either multiply or survive within trophozoites. By contrast, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium C5 cells used as controls were able to survive and multiply within A. polyphaga trophozoites. The data presented indicate that A. polyphaga ACO12 is unlikely to harbour L. monocytogenes, or act as an environmental reservoir for this bacterium.

  3. Compositions and methods for pathogen transport

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    El-Etr, Sahar; Farquar, George R.

    2016-01-26

    This disclosure provides a method for transporting a pathogen under ambient conditions, by culturing the pathogen with an amoeba under conditions that favor the incorporation of the pathogen into a trophozoite, starving the amoeba until it encysts, then culturing under conditions that favor conversion of the amoeba back to a trophozoite. In one aspect, the conditions that favor incorporation of the pathogen into the cyst of the amoeba comprises contacting the pathogen with the amoeba in an iron rich environment. Virus and/or bacteria are pathogens that can be transported by the disclosed method. Amoeba that are useful in the disclosed methods include, without limitation Acanthamoeba castellanii, Hartmannella vermiformis and Naegleria gruberi. The disclosed methods have utility in: transporting pathogens from military field hospitals and clinics to the laboratory; transporting pathogens from global satellite laboratories to clinical laboratories; long term storage of pathogens; enriching contaminated patient samples for pathogens of interest; biosurveillance and detection efforts.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-09-01

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

  5. The small heat shock protein p26 aids development of encysting Artemia embryos, prevents spontaneous diapause termination and protects against stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Allison M; MacRae, Thomas H

    2012-01-01

    Artemia franciscana embryos enter diapause as encysted gastrulae, a physiological state of metabolic dormancy and enhanced stress resistance. The objective of this study was to use RNAi to investigate the function of p26, an abundant, diapause-specific small heat shock protein, in the development and behavior of encysted Artemia embryos (cysts). RNAi methodology was developed where injection of Artemia females with dsRNA specifically eliminated p26 from cysts. p26 mRNA and protein knock down were, respectively, confirmed by RT-PCR and immuno-probing of western blots. ArHsp21 and ArHsp22, diapause-related small heat shock proteins in Artemia cysts sharing a conserved α-crystallin domain with p26, were unaffected by injection of females with dsRNA for p26, demonstrating the specificity of protein knock down. Elimination of p26 delayed cyst release from females demonstrating that this molecular chaperone influences the development of diapause-destined embryos. Although development was slowed the metabolic activities of cysts either containing or lacking p26 were similar. p26 inhibited diapause termination after prolonged incubation of cysts in sea water perhaps by a direct effect on termination or indirectly because p26 is necessary for the preservation of diapause maintenance. Cyst diapause was however, terminated by desiccation and freezing, a procedure leading to high mortality within cyst populations lacking p26 and indicating the protein is required for stress tolerance. Cysts lacking p26 were also less resistant to heat shock. This is the first in vivo study to show that knock down of a small heat shock protein slows the development of diapause-destined embryos, suggesting a role for p26 in the developmental process. The same small heat shock protein prevents spontaneous termination of diapause and provides stress protection to encysted embryos.

  6. The small heat shock protein p26 aids development of encysting Artemia embryos, prevents spontaneous diapause termination and protects against stress.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Allison M King

    Full Text Available Artemia franciscana embryos enter diapause as encysted gastrulae, a physiological state of metabolic dormancy and enhanced stress resistance. The objective of this study was to use RNAi to investigate the function of p26, an abundant, diapause-specific small heat shock protein, in the development and behavior of encysted Artemia embryos (cysts. RNAi methodology was developed where injection of Artemia females with dsRNA specifically eliminated p26 from cysts. p26 mRNA and protein knock down were, respectively, confirmed by RT-PCR and immuno-probing of western blots. ArHsp21 and ArHsp22, diapause-related small heat shock proteins in Artemia cysts sharing a conserved α-crystallin domain with p26, were unaffected by injection of females with dsRNA for p26, demonstrating the specificity of protein knock down. Elimination of p26 delayed cyst release from females demonstrating that this molecular chaperone influences the development of diapause-destined embryos. Although development was slowed the metabolic activities of cysts either containing or lacking p26 were similar. p26 inhibited diapause termination after prolonged incubation of cysts in sea water perhaps by a direct effect on termination or indirectly because p26 is necessary for the preservation of diapause maintenance. Cyst diapause was however, terminated by desiccation and freezing, a procedure leading to high mortality within cyst populations lacking p26 and indicating the protein is required for stress tolerance. Cysts lacking p26 were also less resistant to heat shock. This is the first in vivo study to show that knock down of a small heat shock protein slows the development of diapause-destined embryos, suggesting a role for p26 in the developmental process. The same small heat shock protein prevents spontaneous termination of diapause and provides stress protection to encysted embryos.

  7. Collection of pre-encysted larvae of Trichinella spiralis%旋毛虫成囊前期幼虫的收集

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    董明治; 申丽洁

    2010-01-01

    目的 探索旋毛虫成囊前期幼虫的收集时间与方法.方法 20只成年大鼠,每只大鼠经口感染3000条旋毛虫脱囊幼虫,分别于第14、15、16、17、18、19、20天将大鼠处死,用人工胃蛋白酶消化肌肉收集旋毛虫.结果 感染后第14、15、16大膈肌均未见旋毛虫,第17、18、19、20天膈肌有旋毛虫的侵入并逐渐增多;第14、15、16天均未收集到旋毛虫,第17、18、19、20天平均每只大鼠分别收集5000、8000、10000、30000条旋毛虫.结论 旋毛虫在感染后第20天是旋毛虫成囊前期幼虫收集的最佳时期.人工胃蛋白酶消化肌肉可以收集成囊前期幼虫.%Objective To explore the collection time and method of the pre-encysted larvae of Trichinella spiralis. Methods Twenty adult rats were inoculated with 3 000 encysted larva of Trichinella spir-alis per rat by the oral route. At the 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th day after infection, the rats were killed and the muscles were digested with pepsin to collect Trichinella spiralis. Results At the 14th,15th, 16th day after infection, no Trichinella spiralis was found in diaphragm. At the 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th day after infection, Trichinella spiralis could be seen in the diaphragm and the number of Trichinella spiralis in-creased with time passing. At the 14th, 15th, 16th day, no Trichinella spiralis was obtained. At the 17th,18th, 19th, 20th day, the mean number of Trichinella spirulis collected were 5000, 8000, 10000, 30000per rat respectively. Conclusion The 20th day after Trichinella spiralis infection is the best time to collect the pre-encysted larvae of Trichinella spiralis. Pepsin digestion of muscles can be the choice of methods for col-lecting the pre-encysted larvae of Trichinella spirulis.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 (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.

  9. Molecular Identification and Sequencing of Mannose Binding Protein (MBP Gene of Acanthamoeba palestinensis

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    M Rezaeian

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available "nBackground: Acanthamoeba keratitis develops by pathogenic Acanthamoeba such as A. pal­es­tinen­sis. Indeed this species is one of the known causative agents of amoebic keratitis in Iran. Mannose Binding Protein (MBP is the main pathogenicity factors for developing this sight threatening disease. We aimed to characterize MBP gene in pathogenic Acanthamoeba isolates such as A. palestinensis."nMethods: This experimental research was performed in the School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran during 2007-2008.  A. palestinensis was grown on 2% non-nutrient agar overlaid with Escherichia coli. DNA extraction was performed using phenol-chloroform method. PCR reaction and amplification were done using specific primer pairs of MBP. The amplified fragment were purified and sequenced. Finally, the obtained fragment was deposited in the gene data bank."nResults: A 900 bp PCR-product was recovered after PCR reaction. Sequence analysis of the purified PCR product revealed a gene with 943 nucleotides. Homology analysis of the ob­tained sequence showed 81% similarity with the available MBP gene in the gene data bank. The fragment was deposited in the gene data bank under accession number EU678895"nConclusion: MBP is known as the most important factor in Acanthamoeba pathogenesis cas­cade. Therefore, characterization of this gene can aid in developing better therapeutic agents and even immunization of high-risk people.

  10. Impression Cytology in Eyes with Clinical and Confocal Scan Features of Acanthamoeba Keratitis

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    Mozhgan Rezaei Kanavi

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: To report impression cytology findings in specimens obtained from eyes with clinical and confocal microscopic features of Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK. Methods: In this interventional case series, impression cytology was obtained from corneas of patients with clinical and confocal microscopic features indicative of AK. Specimens were stained with Periodic acid-Schiff/Papanicolaou (PAS/PAP and examined for the presence of PAS-reactive Acanthamoeba cysts and/or hyperchromatic pear-shaped trophozoites. All specimens were then decolorized and re-stained with calcofluor white (CFW for the presence of chemofluorescent cysts. Results: Fifty-six eyes of 50 patients with mean age of 25.5±9.3 (range, 17 to 78 years were evaluated. Forty-one (82% cases were female and 51 (91.1% eyes had history of contact lens wear. PAS-reactive Acanthamoeba cysts and/or hyperchromatic pear-shaped trophozoites were identified in 53 eyes (94.6%, 2 of which demonstrated only trophozoitelike structures. CFW staining was able to reveal the presence of chemofluorescent cysts in all 51 specimens (91.1% in which cysts had been demonstrated with PAS/PAP staining. Trophozoites were not detected with CFW due to background staining of the cellulose acetate strip used for impression cytology. Conclusion: Corneal impression cytology, stained with PAS/PAP or with CFW, successfully detects Acanthamoeba and can be employed for early noninvasive diagnosis of AK.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. In vitro effect of Acanthospermum australe (Asteraceae extracts on Acanthamoeba polyphaga trophozoites

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    LC Castro

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Acanthamoeba is a free-living protozoan widely distributed in the environment, occurring in vegetative trophozoite and resistance cyst stages during its life cycle. It constitutes an etiological agent of Acanthamoeba keratitis, a disease that may cause severe ocular inflammation and blindness. New drugs can be developed from molecules found in plants and thus help in its difficult treatment. Acanthospermum australe (Asteraceae, a plant used in folk medicine, had its effect tested on Acanthamoeba polyphaga. Aqueous and ethanolic extracts of A. austral were obtained from aerial parts for infusion and static maceration, respectively. Concentrations of 10, 5, 2.5, 1.25 and 0.625 mg/ml of the extract were tested against Acanthamoeba polyphaga trophozoites. The cytotoxic effect of the extracts was tested in mammalian cells using the 3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT assay. RESULTS: The 10 mg/ml concentration of ethanolic extract was lethal to 100% of the A. polyphaga trophozoites in 24 h and both extracts presented cytotoxic effect against mammalian cells. These findings suggest that the A. austral ethanolic extract may have compounds with relevance to the development of new amoebicidal drugs.

  17. Free-living Amoebae (FLA: morphological and molecular identification of Acanthamoeba in dental unit water

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    Trabelsi H.

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available The aim of our study was to detect free-living Amoebae (FLA by morphological methods and to identify Acanthamoeba spp. by PCR in the dental unit water lines (DUWL. Materials and methods: it was a prospective study dealing with 196 water samples collected from DUWL (94 samples taken in the early morning before materials flush and patient consultations and 102 samples taken after consultations. At the same time, 39 samples from tap water were realized. Results: 135 (69 % samples were positives by the morphological study with morphotypical diversity. The predominant morphotype was the monopodial (39.2 %. 18 strains of Acanthamoeba spp. were detected in DUW (13.3 % and three strains in tap water (10 %. The amplification of 18S rDNA gene of these strains of Acanthamoeba spp. was positive for all samples. Conclusion: the FLA and Acanthamoeba were isolated both in tap water and in dental unit. The amoeba pathogenicity has not been demonstrated after oral or dental contamination; but the presence of intracellular and pathogenic bacteria in the amoeba could be a source of microbiological risks for patients in case of deep dental care or immunodepression. The improvement of this dental unit was necessary by putting a filter of 0.2 microns porosity before the arrival of the water in hand-pieces allowing the limitation of FLA passage.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Birgitte Rønde; 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...

  19. Biology of Alkylphosphonic Acids. A Review of the Distribution, Metabolism, and Structure of Naturally Occuring Alkylphosphonic Acids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1977-12-22

    been found in an echinoderm (Quin, 1965), a salt water crab (de Koning, 1970), the abalone (de Koning, 1966), the amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii (Korn...Dearborn, D.G., and Wright, P.1., 1974. Lipophosphonoglycan ofthe plasma membrane of Acanthamoeba castellanii : Isolation from whole amoebae and identificato

  20. Long-term survival and virulence of Mycobacterium leprae in amoebal cysts.

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    William H Wheat

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Leprosy is a curable neglected disease of humans caused by Mycobacterium leprae that affects the skin and peripheral nerves and manifests clinically in various forms ranging from self-resolving, tuberculoid leprosy to lepromatous leprosy having significant pathology with ensuing disfiguration disability and social stigma. Despite the global success of multi-drug therapy (MDT, incidences of clinical leprosy have been observed in individuals with no apparent exposure to other cases, suggestive of possible non-human sources of the bacteria. In this study we show that common free-living amoebae (FLA can phagocytose M. leprae, and allow the bacillus to remain viable for up to 8 months within amoebic cysts. Viable bacilli were extracted from separate encysted cocultures comprising three common Acanthamoeba spp.: A. lenticulata, A. castellanii, and A. polyphaga and two strains of Hartmannella vermiformis. Trophozoites of these common FLA take up M. leprae by phagocytosis. M. leprae from infected trophozoites induced to encyst for long-term storage of the bacilli emerged viable by assessment of membrane integrity. The majority (80% of mice that were injected with bacilli extracted from 35 day cocultures of encysted/excysted A. castellanii and A. polyphaga showed lesion development that was similar to mice challenged with fresh M. leprae from passage mice albeit at a slower initial rate. Mice challenged with coculture-extracted bacilli showed evidence of acid-fast bacteria and positive PCR signal for M. leprae. These data support the conclusion that M. leprae can remain viable long-term in environmentally ubiquitous FLA and retain virulence as assessed in the nu/nu mouse model. Additionally, this work supports the idea that M. leprae might be sustained in the environment between hosts in FLA and such residence in FLA may provide a macrophage-like niche contributing to the higher-than-expected rate of leprosy transmission despite a significant decrease in

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

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    Carolina De Marco Verissimo

    2013-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pan, Hong [Department of Ophthalmology, Qilu Hospital, Shandong University, 107, Wenhua Xi Road, Jinan 250012 (China); The Key Laboratory of Cardiovascular Remodeling and Function Research, Chinese Ministry of Education and Chinese Ministry of Public Health, Qilu Hospital, Shandong University, 107, Wenhua Xi Road, Jinan 250012 (China); Wu, Xinyi, E-mail: xywu8868@163.com [Department of Ophthalmology, Qilu Hospital, Shandong University, 107, Wenhua Xi Road, Jinan 250012 (China)

    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

  8. Reporting of T4 Genotype of Acanthamoeba Isolates in Recreational Water Sources of Gilan Province, Northern Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maryam Niyyati

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Background: Acanthamoeba spp. is the causative agent of blindness keratitis and fatal encephalaitis. Presence of Acanthamoeba spp. in a wide variety of niches such as different water types can lead to exposure of high risk people such as contact lens wearers. The main aim of the present study was to explore the occurrence of Acanthamoeba genotypes in the recreational water sources using both morphological and molecular approaches in Gilan province, Iran.Materials and Methods: Overall, 50 samples were collected from recreational water sources including man- made and natural waters in Gilan province. Filtration and cultivation of samples was performed using non-nutrient agar. Cloning of Acanthamoeba spp. was done to eliminate bacterial and fungi contamination. PCR amplification and sequencing were performed using genus-specific primer pair. Genotype identification was based on homology analysis of 18S rRNA gene (DF3 of the obtained sequences with the available genes in the gene bank data base.Results: Out of 50 water samples, 15 (30% were positive for Acanthamoeba trophozoites and cysts according to morphological criteria. Cloning of 13 isolates (26% was done successfully. Molecular analysis of 13 Acanthamoeba strain revealed that all isolates were belonged to potentially pathogenic T4 genotype.Conclusion: T4 genotype is the main cause of Acanthamoeba-related infections. Presence of Acanthamoeba belonged to T4 genotype in recreational water sources is of concern for high risk people. Alarming sign and education to high risk people is of utmost importance to prevent such infections.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  10. Similarity in cyst wall protein (CWP) trafficking between encysting Giardia duodenalis trophozoites and CWP-expressing human embryonic kidney-293 cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdul-Wahid, A; Faubert, G M

    2004-11-19

    Cyst wall proteins 1 and 2 (CWP1 and CWP2) are major constituents of the giardial cyst wall and are expressed with similar kinetics by encysting trophozoites. In the present study, we were interested to determine if the expression of giardial CWPs as heterologous proteins in a higher eukaryotic cell would result in their trafficking across the secretory pathway, as is the case in encysting trophozoites. Recombinant (r)CWP1 and rPro-CWP2 were detected in the lysate and culture media of transfected HEK-293 cells. We then conducted intracellular localization experiments using confocal microscopy and found that the proteins were trafficked in membrane enclosed vesicles across the secretory pathway and released to the culture medium by transfected HEK-293 cells. We then dissected the rCWP1 and rPro-CWP2 molecules to identify the portion(s) responsible for their secretion and found that the putative N-terminal signal peptide was sufficient for directing the secretion of rCWP1, while both the putative N-terminal signal peptide and the 13kDa C-terminal regions were necessary for the secretion of rPro-CWP2 by transfected HEK-293 cells. Taken together, these results demonstrate the degree of conservation of signal peptide recognition between lower and higher eukaryotes.

  11. Acanthamoeba produces disseminated infection in locusts and traverses the locust blood-brain barrier to invade the central nervous system

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    Kirk Ruth

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Many aspects of Acanthamoeba granulomatous encephalitis remain poorly understood, including host susceptibility and chronic colonization which represent important features of the spectrum of host-pathogen interactions. Previous studies have suggested locusts as a tractable model in which to study Acanthamoeba pathogenesis. Here we determined the mode of parasite invasion of the central nervous system (CNS. Results Using Acanthamoeba isolates belonging to the T1 and T4 genotypes, the findings revealed that amoebae induced sickness behaviour in locusts, as evidenced by reduced faecal output and weight loss and, eventually, leading to 100% mortality. Significant degenerative changes of various tissues were observed by histological sectioning. Both isolates produced disseminated infection, with viable amoebae being recovered from various tissues. Histological examination of the CNS showed that Acanthamoeba invaded the locust CNS, and this is associated with disruption of the perineurium cell/glial cell complex, which constitutes the locust blood-brain barrier. Conclusions This is the first study to demonstrate that Acanthamoeba invades locust brain by modulating the integrity of the insect's blood-brain barrier, a finding that is consistent with the human infection. These observations support the idea that locusts provide a tractable model to study Acanthamoeba encephalitis in vivo. In this way the locust model may generate potentially useful leads that can be tested subsequently in mammalian systems, thus replacing the use of vertebrates at an early stage, and reducing the numbers of mammals required overall.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

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    Saeed Amir

    2011-04-01

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

  20. Citologia de impressão no diagnóstico de infecção corneana por Acanthamoeba: relato de caso Diagnosis of Acanthamoeba corneal infection by impression cytology: case report

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    Jeison de Nadai Barros

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available Relatamos três casos de infecção corneana por Acanthamoeba sp em que foi possível detectar cistos do microorganismo com a técnica de citologia de impressão. Três pacientes encaminhados ao Laboratório de Doenças Externas Oculares em 2004 com alterações superficiais da córnea foram submetidos ao exame de citologia de impressão para investigação da presença de cistos de Acanthamoeba sp. Duas amostras foram obtidas da córnea de cada paciente e coradas com PAS, hematoxilina e Papanicolaou. Investigação microbiológica de rotina e cultura também foram realizadas após raspado da córnea. O cultivo das amostras e a citologia de impressão foram positivas para Acanthamoeba sp em todos os pacientes, ao passo que os raspados corados com Giemsa foram positivos em dois casos. A citologia de impressão revelou cistos de Acanthamoeba sp entre feixe de células epiteliais corneanas e como células isoladas. Foram observados cistos no epitélio de um dos pacientes com a citologia de impressão após três meses de tratamento, enquanto o raspado foi negativo. No exame anatomopatológico observaram-se cistos no epitélio e estroma de uma córnea receptora de um dos pacientes após transplante. Neste estudo, a citologia de impressão detectou com sucesso cistos de Acanthamoeba sp em pacientes com acometimento epitelial. Por tratar-se de método não invasivo, a técnica pode ser usada para facilitar o diagnóstico mais precoce da infecção por Acanthamoeba, sendo útil também no acompanhamento do tratamento da doença.To describe three cases of corneal infection due to Acanthamoeba sp in which was possible to detect Acanthamoeba sp cysts by the corneal impression cytology technique. Three patients referred to the External Eye Disease Laboratory in 2004 with superficial corneal alterations were submitted to corneal specimen collection by impression cytology filter paper to investigate the presence of Acanthamoeba sp cysts. Two impression

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  7. Permissivity of insect cells to Waddlia chondrophila, Estrella lausannensis and Parachlamydia acanthamoebae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kebbi-Beghdadi, Carole; Fatton, Morgane; Greub, Gilbert

    2015-01-01

    Recent large scale studies questioning the presence of intracellular bacteria of the Chlamydiales order in ticks and fleas revealed that arthropods, similarly to mammals, reptiles, birds or fishes, can be colonized by Chlamydia-related bacteria with a predominant representation of the Rhabdochlamydiaceae and Parachlamydiaceae families. We thus investigated the permissivity of two insect cell lines towards Waddlia chondrophila, Estrella lausannensis and Parachlamydia acanthamoebae, three bacteria representative of three distinct families within the Chlamydiales order, all documented in ticks and/or in other arthropods. We demonstrated that W. chondrophila and E. lausannensis are able to very efficiently multiply in these insect cell lines. E. lausannensis however induced a rapid cytopathic effect, which somehow restricted its replication. P. acanthamoebae was not able to grow in these cell lines even if inclusions containing a few replicating bacteria could occasionally be observed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. Recent advances in Acanthamoeba keratitis%棘阿米巴角膜炎研究进展

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王小强

    2014-01-01

    Acanthamoeba keratitis is a refractory and progressive eye disease caused by Acanthamoeba.Acanthamoeba exists in natural environment,tap water and corneal contact lens care solution,so the incidence of Acanthamoeba keratitis is increasing because of the corneal contact lens.The diagnosis of Acanthamoeba keratitis depends on the history of disease,signs and symptoms as well as rapidly developed laboratory examinations.The management of Acanthamoeba keratitis includes medical therapy and surgery,and photorefractive keratectomy is a new operation for Acanthamoeba keratitis.Some new knowledge in our understanding of the disease is being produced in recent years.The etiology,novel diagnosis and therapy for this disease were reviewed.%棘阿米巴角膜炎系棘阿米巴原虫感染引起的一种顽固性、进行性角膜炎,为严重的眼部感染性疾病.棘阿米巴原虫大量存在于自来水、角膜接触镜护理液等中,随着角膜接触镜佩戴人数的增多,该病的发生有迅速增加的趋势.棘阿米巴角膜炎的诊断主要依靠病史、临床症状和实验室诊断,尤其是后者在近年来的研究中进展较快.棘阿米巴角膜炎的治疗主要是药物治疗和手术治疗,其中准分子激光角膜切削术已成为一种新的治疗方法.就棘阿米巴角膜炎的病原学、诊断和治疗方面的研究进展进行综述.

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

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    Jarroll Edward L

    2006-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  12. A novel antiamoebic agent against Acanthamoeba sp. - A causative agent for eye keratitis infection

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 Acanthamoeba viability when the concentration was increased from 0 to 30 μg/mL. The mode of cell death in Acanthamoeba cells following treatment with the Tb complex was apoptosis. This is in contrast to the Tb(NO3)3.6H2O salt- and 18C6 molecule-treated Acanthamoeba, which exhibited necrotic type cells. The percentage of DNA damage following treatment with all the compounds at the IC25 values showed high percentage of type 1 with the % nuclei damage are 14.15 ± 2.4; 46.00 ± 4.2; 36.36 ± 2.4; 45.16 ± 0.6%, respectively for untreated, treated with Tb complex, Tb salt and 18C6 molecule. The work features promising potential of Tb(NO3)3(OH2)3.(18C6) complex as anti-amoebic agent, representing a therapeutic option for Acanthamoeba keratitis infection.

  13. A novel antiamoebic agent against Acanthamoeba sp.--A causative agent for eye keratitis infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 (pAcanthamoeba 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.

  14. Susceptibility of Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) to Acanthamoeba polyphaga (Sarcomastigophora: Acanthamoebidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rott, Marilise; Caumo, Karin; Sauter, Ismael; Eckert, Janina; da Rosa, Luana; da Silva, Onilda

    2010-06-01

    To date there is no report on mosquitoes infected with free-living amoebae. For this reason, the aim of this study was to verify if Aedes aegypti could be susceptible to Acanthamoeba polyphaga under laboratory conditions, so trophozoites were offered as a unique food resource for larvae of first instar. The results show that those amoebae are able to infect and colonize the mosquito gut and could be re-isolated of all stages of the mosquito (larvae, pupae, and adults).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-08-01

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

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

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    HR Bagheri

    2010-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

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    Dipika V Patel

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. 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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  1. The GacS/A-RsmA Signal Transduction Pathway Controls the Synthesis of Alkylresorcinol Lipids that Replace Membrane Phospholipids during Encystment of Azotobacter vinelandii SW136

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romero, Yanet; Guzmán, Josefina; Moreno, Soledad; Cocotl-Yañez, Miguel; Vences-Guzmán, Miguel Ángel; Castañeda, Miguel; Espín, Guadalupe; Segura, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Azotobacter vinelandii is a soil bacterium that undergoes a differentiation process that forms cysts resistant to desiccation. During encystment, a family of alkylresorcinols lipids (ARs) are synthesized and become part of the membrane and are also components of the outer layer covering the cyst, where they play a structural role. The synthesis of ARs in A. vinelandii has been shown to occur by the activity of enzymes encoded in the arsABCD operon. The expression of this operon is activated by ArpR, a LysR-type transcriptional regulator whose transcription occurs during encystment and is dependent on the alternative sigma factor RpoS. In this study, we show that the two component response regulator GacA, the small RNA RsmZ1 and the translational repressor protein RsmA, implicated in the control of the synthesis of other cysts components (i.e., alginate and poly-ß-hydroxybutyrate), are also controlling alkylresorcinol synthesis. This control affects the expression of arsABCD and is exerted through the regulation of arpR expression. We show that RsmA negatively regulates arpR expression by binding its mRNA, repressing its translation. GacA in turn, positively regulates arpR expression through the activation of transcription of RsmZ1, that binds RsmA, counteracting its repressor activity. This regulatory cascade is independent of RpoS. We also show evidence suggesting that GacA exerts an additional regulation on arsABCD expression through an ArpR independent route. PMID:27055016

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tania Tanveer

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available [i]Acanthamoeba[/i] is an opportunistic protozoan pathogen which is widely distributed in nature and plays a pivotal role in ecosystem. [i]Acanthamoeba[/i] species may cause blinding keratitis and fatal granulomatous encephalitis involving central nervous system. In this study, we investigated the presence of [i]Acanthamoeba[/i] in soil and water resources of Pakistan. Here, [i]Acanthamoeba[/i] were recovered on non-nutrient agar plate lawn with [i]E.[/i] [i]coli[/i] 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 [i]Acanthamoeba[/i] isolation from both soil and water resources of Pakistan which may serve as a potential treat to human health across the country.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. 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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  8. Prevalence of pathogenic Acanthamoeba (Protozoa:Amoebidae) in the atmosphere of the city of San Luis Potosi, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez-Zaragoza, S; Magana-Becerra, A

    1997-01-01

    Several species of pathogenic Acanthamoeba cause infections to humans, but amoebic keratitis is more frequently found than any other due to the increasing number of contact lens wearers in the world. Cysts and trophozoites of these amebas are airborne and may pollute water from the air. We investigated the proportion of pathogenic Acanthamoeba from the atmosphere of the city of San Luis Potosi. Samples were taken by the impinger method, every month during one year. We isolated 23 strains of Acanthamoeba, 61% of them were non-pathogenic, 31% were non-pathogenic with invasive capacity and 8% were pathogenic to mice. Almost 40% of these strains represent danger of infections to humans. The isolations were more abundant during the dry season in the south (urban) and west (suburban) stations, which means that the sanitary conditions around stands may enhance the proportion of pathogenic strains in the surroundings.

  9. Random amplified polymorphic DNA profiles as a tool for the characterization of Brazilian keratitis isolates of the genus Acanthamoeba

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    Alves J.M.P.

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available The genus Acanthamoeba comprises free-living amebae identified as opportunistic pathogens of humans and other animal species. Morphological, biochemical and molecular approaches have shown wide genetic diversity within the genus. In an attempt to determine the genetic relatedness among isolates of Acanthamoeba we analyzed randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD profiles of 11 Brazilian isolates from cases of human keratitis and 8 American type culture collection (ATCC reference strains. We found that ATCC strains belonging to the same species present polymorphic RAPD profiles whereas strains of different species show very similar profiles. Although most Brazilian isolates could not be assigned with certainty to any of the reference species, they could be clustered according to pattern similarities. The results show that RAPD analysis is a useful tool for the rapid characterization of new isolates and the assessment of genetic relatedness of Acanthamoeba spp. A comparison between RAPD analyses and morphological characteristics of cyst stages is also discussed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  11. Anti-Acanthamoeba Activities of Chloroformic Fractions of Trigonella Foenum Graecum (Seed and Their Cytotoxity on Mice Macrophage Cell

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    Samira Dodangeh

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Background: Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK is potentially a sight-threatening infection and its treatment is challenging. This is mainly due to presence of resistant cyst form. Indeed, cysts are highly resistant to current available drugs. Chemical drugs are toxic to human keratocytes. It should also be mentioned that most available anti-Acanthamoeba drugs are poorly cysticidal, In Iran and worldwide, AK cases continue to rise and therefore, novel effective drugs are urgently needed for the treatment of AK.Materials and Methods: In the present study, the in vitro activity of serial dilutions (10, 15, 20 and 25 mg/mL of chloroformic fractions including primary chloroformic fraction (minimum amount of chloroform, middle chloroformic fraction and remaining chloroformic fraction (most amount of chloroform of Trigonella foenum graecum seed were evaluated against Acanthamoeba trophozoites and cysts. Cytotoxic assay of fractions at different concentrations (25, 50, 100, 200, 300, 400, 500 mg/ml of test material was identified on mice Macrophage cells using MTT method.Results: The obtained results revealed that the tested fractions presented anti-amoebic activities in a time and dose dependent cycle. Anti-Acanthamoeba activity of remaining chloroformic fraction was more than other fractions. Trophozoites/cysts were eliminated when incubated with 15 and 20 mg/ml concentrations of remaining chloroformic fraction after 24 hours. Viability of macrophage cells was noted 100 % with 25 and 50 mg/ml concentration of remaining chloroformic fraction. Our results indicate that the plant fractions are safe for mammalian cells.Conclusion: Further studies should be performed in order to detect the active chemical compounds which could be used for the development of novel therapeutic approaches against Acanthamoeba infections. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study on the activity of chloroformic fractions of Trigonella foenum graecum (seed against

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  13. Results of case-control studies support the association between contact lens use and Acanthamoeba keratitis

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    Pacella E

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Elena Pacella,1 Giuseppe La Torre,2 Maria De Giusti,2 Chiara Brillante,1 Anna Maria Lombardi,2 Gianpaolo Smaldone,1 Tommaso Lenzi,1 Fernanda Pacella11Department of Sense Organs, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy; 2Department of Public Health and Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Pharmacy and Medicine, Sapienza University of Rome, ItalyBackground: Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK is ever more frequently reported in industrialized countries. The loss of the corneal surface integrity consequent to secondary microtrauma produced by the use of contact lens (CL favors the penetration of the parasite into the corneal tissue.Objectives: A scientific review was performed to investigate the association of CL wear as an Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK risk factor.Methods: A computerized screening of 7834 Medline articles (4623 from PubMed; 3211 from Scopus used a strict selection criteria of case-control studies involving CL wear and/or trauma.Results: The search yielded five case-control studies published from 1995 to 2012. All studies included showed a statistically significant positive association between AK and CL use, with a combined odds ratio (OR of 10.21 (95%, confidence intervals [CI]; 3.57–27.64.Statistical analysis: All studies included showed a statistically significant positive association between AK and CL use, though with differing OR values.Conclusion: Though rare, AK should be held in higher consideration when ophthalmologists are faced with CL users exhibiting simplex-like lesions associated with circular stromal infiltrates and disproportionate ocular pain in respect to the objective clinical picture.Keywords: keratitis, contact lens, Acanthamoeba

  14. Comparison of hydrogen peroxide contact lens disinfection systems and solutions against Acanthamoeba polyphaga.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, R; Kilvington, S

    2001-07-01

    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 > or = 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 > or = 3-log kill at 4 h. All system peroxide solutions were cysticidal, giving a > or = 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.

  15. Acanthamoeba Species Keratitis in a Soft Contact Lens Wearer Molecularly Linked to Well Water

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    Samira Mubareka

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Acanthamoeba species keratitis has been associated with soft contact lens wear. In the present report, an epidemiological link was established between the patient's