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Free-Living Amoebae as Hosts for and Vectors of Intracellular Microorganisms with Public Health Significance

1
Laboratory of Medical Parasitology, Central Institute of the Bundeswehr Medical Service, Koblenz, Andernacherstrasse 100, 56070 Koblenz, Germany
2
Institute of Integrated Sciences, Department of Biology, Parasitology and Infection Biology Group, University of Koblenz-Landau, Universitätsstrasse 1, 56070 Koblenz, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Bernard La Scola
Viruses 2017, 9(4), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/v9040065
Received: 20 December 2016 / Revised: 22 March 2017 / Accepted: 24 March 2017 / Published: 1 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses of Protozoa)
Free-living amoebae (FLA) are parasites within both humans and animals causing a wide range of symptoms and act as hosts of, and vehicles for phylogenetically diverse microorganisms, called endocytobionts. The interaction of the FLA with sympatric microorganisms leads to an exceptional diversity within FLA. Some of these bacteria, viruses, and even eukaryotes, can live and replicate intracellularly within the FLA. This relationship provides protection to the microorganisms from external interventions and a dispersal mechanism across various habitats. Among those intracellularly-replicating or -residing organisms there are obligate and facultative pathogenic microorganisms affecting the health of humans or animals and are therefore of interest to Public Health Authorities. Mimiviruses, Pandoraviruses, and Pithoviruses are examples for interesting viral endocytobionts within FLA. Future research is expected to reveal further endocytobionts within free-living amoebae and other protozoa through co-cultivation studies, genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic analyses. View Full-Text
Keywords: free-living amoebae; FLA; Acanthamoeba; vectors; hosts; endocytobionts; endosymbionts; Pandoravirus; Mimivirus; Pithovirus; public health free-living amoebae; FLA; Acanthamoeba; vectors; hosts; endocytobionts; endosymbionts; Pandoravirus; Mimivirus; Pithovirus; public health
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Balczun, C.; Scheid, P.L. Free-Living Amoebae as Hosts for and Vectors of Intracellular Microorganisms with Public Health Significance. Viruses 2017, 9, 65.

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