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