Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Acta Parasitologica

4 Issues per year

IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 1.039
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.121

CiteScore 2017: 1.17

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.641
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.738

See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 61, Issue 4


Isolation and molecular characterization of Acanthamoeba genotypes isolated from soil sources of public and recreational areas in Iran

Seyed Ahmad Karamati
  • Department of Medical Parasitology and Mycology, School of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran (Islamic Republic of)
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Maryam Niyyati
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Medical Parasitology and Mycology, School of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran (Islamic Republic of)
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Jacob Lorenzo-Morales
  • University Institute of Tropical Diseases and Public Health of the Canary Islands, University of La Laguna, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Zohreh Lasjerdi
  • Department of Medical Parasitology and Mycology, School of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran (Islamic Republic of)
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2016-10-24 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ap-2016-0108


Pathogenic strains of Acanthamoeba are causative agents of a sight threating infection of the cornea known as Acanthamoeba keratitis. AK cases have been reported in Iran recently due to inappropriate usage of contact lens maintenance and most patients report a contact with contaminated sources such as dust, water or soil. Sixty soil samples were collected from public and recreational areas in the province of East Azerbaijan, Iran and checked for the presence of Acanthamoeba spp. Samples were cultured on non-nutrient agar plates seeded with heat killed Escherichia coli. PCR and sequencing of the DF3 region were carried out in order to genotype the isolated strains of Acanthamoeba. Thermotolerance and osmotolerance assays were performed in order to investigate the pathogenic potential of isolated Acanthamoeba strains. Acanthamoeba spp. was isolated from 41.6% of soil samples and genotyping of the strains resulted in the identification of genotypes T3, T4, T5 and T11. Most of the isolates belonging to genotypes T3 and T4 showed high pathogenic potential, indicating that they might present a potential health hazard for humans and other animals in this region. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on the identification of genotypes T3 and T11 from soil sources in the country.

Keywords: Acanthamoeba spp; Iran; soil


  • Gast R. J. 2001. Development of an Acanthamoeba-specific Reverse Dot-Blot and the Discovery of a New Ribotype. Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology, 48, 609–615. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Diaz J.H. 2010. Increasing intracerebral infections caused by freeliving amebae in the United States and worldwide. Journal of Neuroparasitology, 1, 1–10. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Evyapan G., Koltas I.S., Eroglu F. 2015. Genotyping of Acanthamoeba T15: the environmental strain in Turkey. Transactions of The Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 109, 221–224. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Greub G., Raoult D. 2004. Microorganisms resistant to free-living amoebae. Clinical Microbiology Reviews, 17, 413–433. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Khan N.A. 2006. Acanthamoeba: biology and increasing importance in human health. FEMS Microbiology Reviews, 30, 564–595. DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1574-6976.2006.00023.xCrossref

  • Khan N. (Ed.) 2009. Acanthamoeba: biology and pathogenesis. Caister Academic Press, UKGoogle Scholar

  • Lasjerdi Z., Niyyati M., Haghighi A., Shahabi S., Biderouni F.T., Taghipour N., Eftekhar M., Mojarad E.N. 2011. Potentially pathogenic free-living amoebae isolated from hospital wards with immunodeficient patients in Tehran, Iran. Parasitology Research, 109, 575–580. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Lasjerdi Z., Niyyati M., Lorenzo-Morales J., Haghighi A., Taghipour N. 2015. Ophthalmology hospital wards contamination to pathogenic free living Amoebae in Iran. Acta Parasitologica, 60, 417–422. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Lorenzo-Morales J., Khan N.A., Walochnik J. 2015. An update on Acanthamoeba keratitis: diagnosis, pathogenesis and treatment. Parasite, 22, 10. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Lorenzo-Morales J., Lindo J., Martinez E., Calder D., Figueruelo E., Valladares B., Ortega-Rivas A. 2005. Pathogenic Acanthamoeba strains from water sources in Jamaica, West Indies. Annals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology, 99, 751–758. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Maghsood A.H., Sissons J., Rezaian M., Nolder D., Warhurst D., Khan N.A. 2005. Acanthamoeba genotype T4 from the UK and Iran and isolation of the T2 genotype from clinical isolates. Journal of Medical Microbiology, 54, 755–759. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Marciano-Cabral F., Cabral G. 2003. Acanthamoeba spp. as agents of disease in humans. Clinical Microbiology Reviews, 16, 273–307. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Martinez A.J., Visvesvara G.S. 1997. Free-living, amphizoic and opportunistic amebas. Brain Pathology, 7, 583–598. DOI:76.xGoogle Scholar

  • Movahedi Z., Shokrollahi M. R., Aghaali M., Heydari H. 2012. Primary amoebic meningoencephalitis in an Iranian infant. Case Reports in Medicine, 2012. Crossref

  • Niyyati M., Ebrahimi M., Haghighi A., Haydari S. 2013. Isolation and genotyping of Acanthamoeba spp. from recreational soil of parks in Tehran, Iran. Armaghane Danesh, 18, 530–538Google Scholar

  • Niyyati M., Karamati S.A., Lorenzo-Morales J., Lasjerdi Z. 2015a. Isolation of Balamuthia mandrillaris from soil samples in North-Western Iran. Parasitology Research, 1–5. Crossref

  • Niyyati M., Lasjerdi Z., Nazar M., Haghighi A., Mojarad E. N. 2012. Screening of recreational areas of rivers for potentially pathogenic free-living amoebae in the suburbs of Tehran, Iran. Journal of Water and Health, 10, 140–146. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Niyyati M., Lorenzo-Morales J., Rezaie S., Rahimi F., Mohebali M., Maghsood A.H., Motevalli-Haghi A., Martín-Navarro C.M., Farnia S., Valladares B. 2009. Genotyping of Acanthamoeba isolates from clinical and environmental specimens in Iran. Experimental Parasitology, 121, 242–245. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Niyyati M., Mahyar M., Haghighi A., Vala M.H. 2015b. Occurrence of Potentially Pathogenic Bacterial-Endosymbionts in Acanthamoeba spp. Iranian Journal of Parasitology, 10, 181Google Scholar

  • Niyyati M., Rahimi F., Lasejerdi Z., Rezaeian M. 2014. Potentially pathogenic free-living amoebae in contact lenses of the asymptomatic contact lens wearers. Iranian Journal of Parasitology, 9, 14Google Scholar

  • Niyyati M., Rezaeian M. 2015c. Current status of Acanthamoeba in Iran: a narrative review article. Iranian Journal of Parasitology, 10, 157Google Scholar

  • Nuprasert W., Putaporntip C., Pariyakanok L., Jongwutiwes S. 2010. Identification of a novel T17 genotype of Acanthamoeba from environmental isolates and T10 genotype causing keratitis in Thailand. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 48, 4636–4640. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Qvarnstrom Y., Nerad T.A., Visvesvara G.S. 2013. Characterization of a new pathogenic Acanthamoeba species, A. byersi n. sp., isolated from a human with fatal amoebic encephalitis. Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology, 60, 626–633. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Rahdar M., Niyyati M., Salehi M., Feghhi M., Makvandi M., Pourmehdi M., Farnia S. 2012. Isolation and genotyping of Acanthamoeba strains from environmental sources in Ahvaz City, Khuzestan Province, Southern Iran. Iranian Journal of Parasitology, 7, 22Google Scholar

  • Reyes-Batlle M., Todd C.D., Martín-Navarro C.M., López-Arencibia A., Cabello-Vilchez A.M., González A.C., Córdoba-Lanús E., Lindo J.F., Valladares B., Piñero J.E. 2014. Isolation and characterization of Acanthamoeba strains from soil samples in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain. Parasitology Research, 113, 1383–1388. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Rezaeian M., Niyyati M., Farnia S., Haghi A.M. 2008. Isolation of Acanthamoeba spp. from different environmental sources. Iranian Journal of Parasitology, 3, 44–47Google Scholar

  • Rodríguez-Zaragoza S. 1994. Ecology of free-living amoebae. Critical Reviews in Microbiology, 20, 225-241. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Scheid P. 2014. Relevance of free-living amoebae as hosts for phylogenetically diverse microorganisms. Parasitology Research, 113, 2407–2414. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Schroeder J.M., Booton G.C., Hay J., Niszl I.A., Seal D.V., Markus M.B., Fuerst P.A., Byers T.J. 2001. Use of subgenic 18S ribosomal DNA PCR and sequencing for genus and genotype identification of Acanthamoeba from humans with keratitis and from sewage sludge. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 39, 1903–1911. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Solgi R., Niyyati M., Haghighi A., Taghipour N., Tabaei S.J.S., Eftekhar M., Mojarad E.N. 2012. Thermotolerant Acanthamoeba spp. isolated from therapeutic hot springs in northwestern Iran. Journal of Water and Health, 10, 650–656. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Thomas V., Loret J. F., Jousset M., Greub G. 2008. Biodiversity of amoebae and amoebae-resisting bacteria in a drinking water treatment plant. Environmental Microbiology, 10, 2728–2745. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Todd C.D., Reyes-Batlle M., Martín-Navarro C.M., Dorta-Gorrín A., López-Arencibia A., Martínez-Carretero E., Piñero J.E., Valladares B., Lindo J.F., Lorenzo-Morales J. 2015. Isolation and Genotyping of Acanthamoeba Strains from Soil Sources from Jamaica, West Indies. Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology, 62, 416–421. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Visvesvara G.S., Moura H., Schuster F.L. 2007. Pathogenic and opportunistic free-living amoebae: Acanthamoeba spp., Balamuthia mandrillaris, Naegleria fowleri and Sappinia diploidea. FEMS Immunology & Medical Microbiology, 50, 1–26. DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1574-695X.2007.00232.xCrossref

  • Visvesvara G.S., Stehr-green J.K. 1990. Epidemiology of Free-Living Ameba Infections. The Journal of Protozoology, 37, 25s–33s. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Żbikowska E., Kletkiewicz H., Walczak M., Burkowska A. 2014. Coexistence of Legionella pneumophila Bacteria and Free-Living Amoebae in Lakes Serving as a Cooling System of a Power Plant. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution, 225, 1–10. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

About the article

Received: 2016-01-18

Revised: 2016-05-18

Accepted: 2016-06-27

Published Online: 2016-10-24

Published in Print: 2016-12-01

Citation Information: Acta Parasitologica, Volume 61, Issue 4, Pages 784–789, ISSN (Online) 1896-1851, ISSN (Print) 1230-2821, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ap-2016-0108.

Export Citation

© 2016 W. Stefański Institute of Parasitology, PAS.Get Permission

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Adel Spotin, Hamid Reza Moslemzadeh, Mahmoud Mahami-Oskouei, Ehsan Ahmadpour, Maryam Niyyati, Seyed Hossein Hejazi, Fatemeh Memari, and Jafar Noori
Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine, 2017
Ehsan Saburi, Toktam Rajaii, Asma Behdari, Mohammad Hasan Kohansal, and Hossein Vazini
Journal of Parasitic Diseases, 2017

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in