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Acta Parasitologica

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Volume 63, Issue 4


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

Wegdan M. Abd El Wahab
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Medical Parasitology, College of Medicine, Beni-Suef University, Beni-Suef, Egypt
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Ayman A. El-Badry
  • Department of Microbiology-Medical Parasitology Section, College of Medicine, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Doaa A. Hamdy
  • Department of Medical Parasitology, College of Medicine, Beni-Suef University, Beni-Suef, Egypt
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2018-10-18 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ap-2018-0101


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.

Keywords: Acanthamoeba spp.; Egypt; genetic characterization; water resources


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About the article

Received: 2018-08-09

Revised: 2018-08-24

Accepted: 2018-08-29

Published Online: 2018-10-18

Published in Print: 2018-12-19

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

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

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

Citation Information: Acta Parasitologica, Volume 63, Issue 4, Pages 826–834, ISSN (Online) 1896-1851, ISSN (Print) 1230-2821, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ap-2018-0101.

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