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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter October 18, 2018

Molecular characterization and phylogenetic analysis of Acanthamoeba isolates in tap water of Beni-Suef, Egypt

  • Wegdan M. Abd El Wahab EMAIL logo , Ayman A. El-Badry and Doaa A. Hamdy
From the journal Acta Parasitologica


The genus Acanthamoeba is a free-living amoeba widely distributed in various aquatic environments. It is an etiologic cause of amoebic encephalitis and keratitis particularly for immunocompromised individuals. The purpose of the present study was to investigate Acanthamoeba species prevalence in household and hospital potable water in Beni-Suef governorate, Egypt, and to employ sequencing methods to identify positive Acanthamoeba species isolates and their potential health risks. Sixty tap water samples (30 household and 30 governmental and private hospital settings) collected from Beni-Suef governorate, Egypt were filtered, cultured on non-nutrient agar, identified by morphotyping keys after staining with Giemsa stain and then confirmed by PCR using Acanthamoeba specific primers. Twenty positive samples were successfully genetically characterized and phylogenetically analyzed to identify Acanthamoeba species. The total detection rate for Acanthamoeba was 48/60 (80%); Acanthamoeba contamination in water collected from domestic houses was higher than in hospitals; 27/30 (90%) versus 21/30 (70%) with statistical significant value (P value = 0.05). Sequencing of 20 positive isolates revealed Acanthamoeba T4 in 65% and T2 in 35%. To our knowledge, this is the first research that documents the occurrence and phylogeny of Acanthamoeba species in Beni-Suef, Egypt. The presence of a higher percentage of Acanthamoeba species in tap water, in particular T4, highlights the potential health hazards for immunocompromised individuals and emphasizes the urgent need for the implementation of effective filtration and disinfection measures.

  1. Funding. This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors

  2. Competing Interest. The authors have declared that no competing interest exists.

  3. Ethical approval. this study was approved by ethical committee of Faculty of Medicine, Beni-Suef University.


The authors are kindly grateful to Dr. Eman S. El-wakil, Theodor Bilharz Research Institute for her consultation in the culturing techniques.


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Received: 2018-08-09
Revised: 2018-08-24
Accepted: 2018-08-29
Published Online: 2018-10-18
Published in Print: 2018-12-19

© 2018 W. Stefański Institute of Parasitology, PAS

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