Abstract

Free-living amoeba (FLA), including Acanthamoeba and Naegleria are facultative parasites in humans. The amoeba have widespread distribution in various water sources. The aim of this study was isolation and molecular identification of Acanthamoeba and Naegleria isolated from swimming pools and also hot and cold tub waters in Qazvin province. The samples (166 water samples) were cultured to isolate and identify positive specimens. PCR (polymerase chain reaction) amplification, sequencing and phylogenetic analysis were conducted to confirm the isolated species and genotypes of amoeba. According to morphological characterizations, 18.6% of specimens were identified as FLA, which in 71% were Acanthamoeba by PCR method. Molecular analysis revealed that 36.3%, 18.1% and 4.5% of Acanthamoeba specimens were identified as T3, T4 and T11 Acanthamoeba genotypes, respectively. Protacanthamoeba bohemica (27.2%) and Acanthamoeba sp. (4.5%) were found among the specimens. The results of osmo-tolerance and thermo-tolerance assays demonstrated that 50% of T3 and 25% of T4 genotypes of Acanthamoeba were highly pathogenic parasites. The molecular approach showed the presence of Naegleria lovaniensis (9%) in hot tub water of swimming pools. This study demonstrated that the swimming pools and hot tub water in Qazvin province were contaminated with Acanthamoeba and Naegleria species.

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