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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(4), 3417-3427; doi:10.3390/ijerph120403417

Isolation and Molecular Characterization of Free-Living Amoebae from Different Water Sources in Italy

1
Department of Experimental Medicine and Surgery, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Via Montpellier 1, 00133 Rome, Italy
2
Interdisciplinary Department of Medicine, University of Bari, Piazza G. Cesare 11, 70124 Bari, Italy
3
Department of Basic Medical Science, Neuroscience and Sense Organ, University of Bari, Piazza G. Cesare 11, 70124 Bari, Italy
4
Department of Systems Medicine, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Via Montpellier 1, 00133 Rome, Italy
5
Laboratory of Parasitology, Foundation Polyclinic Tor Vergata, Viale Oxford 81, 00133 Rome, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Roberto Spurio, Duarte Tito, Letizia Brandi and Laura Mancini
Received: 19 January 2015 / Revised: 13 March 2015 / Accepted: 16 March 2015 / Published: 24 March 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1196 KB, uploaded 24 March 2015]   |  

Abstract

Free-living amoebae (FLA) are protozoa ubiquitous in Nature, isolated from a variety of environments worldwide. In addition to their natural distribution, some species have been found to be pathogenic to humans. In the present study a survey was conducted in order to evaluate the presence and to characterize at molecular level the isolates of amoebic organisms collected from different water sources in Italy. A total of 160 water samples were analyzed by culture and microscopic examination. FLA were found in 46 (28.7%) of the investigated water samples. Groundwater, well waters, and ornamental fountain waters were the sources with higher prevalence rates (85.7%, 50.0%, and 45.9%, respectively). Identification of FLA species/genotypes, based on the 18S rDNA regions, allowed to identify 18 (39.1%) Acanthamoeba isolates (genotypes T4 and T15) and 21 (45.6%) Vermamoeba vermiformis isolates. Other FLA species, including Vahlkampfia sp. and Naegleria spp., previously reported in Italy, were not recovered. The occurrence of potentially pathogenic free-living amoebae in habitats related to human population, as reported in the present study, supports the relevance of FLA as a potential health threat to humans. View Full-Text
Keywords: free-living amoebae; molecular characterization; water sources; Italy free-living amoebae; molecular characterization; water sources; Italy
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MDPI and ACS Style

Montalbano Di Filippo, M.; Santoro, M.; Lovreglio, P.; Monno, R.; Capolongo, C.; Calia, C.; Fumarola, L.; D'Alfonso, R.; Berrilli, F.; Di Cave, D. Isolation and Molecular Characterization of Free-Living Amoebae from Different Water Sources in Italy. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 3417-3427.

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