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Volume 59, Issue 3 (Sep 2014)


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

Monika Derda
  • Department of Biology and Medical Parasitology, Poznań University of Medical Sciences, Fredry 10, 61-701, Poznań, Poland
  • Email:
/ Agnieszka Wojtkowiak-Giera
  • Department of Biology and Medical Parasitology, Poznań University of Medical Sciences, Fredry 10, 61-701, Poznań, Poland
  • Email:
/ Edward Hadaś
  • Department of Biology and Medical Parasitology, Poznań University of Medical Sciences, Fredry 10, 61-701, Poznań, Poland
  • Email:
Published Online: 2014-08-15 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s11686-014-0267-6


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.

Keywords: Acanthamoeba spp.; genetic markers; PCR

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About the article

Published Online: 2014-08-15

Published in Print: 2014-09-01

Citation Information: Acta Parasitologica, ISSN (Online) 1896-1851, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s11686-014-0267-6. Export Citation

© 2014 W. Stefański Institute of Parasitology, PAS. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

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