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Occurrence of Acanthamoeba species in the Damanhour Drinking Water Treatment Plant, Behera Governorate (Egypt)

Authors Al-Herrawy A, Heshmat M, Abu Kabsha S, Gad M, Lotfy W

Received 20 March 2015

Accepted for publication 9 May 2015

Published 22 July 2015 Volume 2015:4 Pages 15—21

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/RIP.S85106

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Màrius V. Fuentes


Ahmad Z Al-Herrawy,1 Mohamed G Heshmat,2 Shaban H Abu Kabsha,3 Mahmoud A Gad,1 Wael M Lotfy2

1Water Pollution Research Department, National Research Centre, Cairo, Egypt; 2Parasitology Department, Medical Research Institute, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt; 3Behera Water and Drainage Company, Damanhour, Egypt

Abstract: Members of the genus Acanthamoeba are common free-living amoebae that may be pathogenic to humans. The aim of the present work was to evaluate the presence of Acanthamoeba species in the Damanhour Drinking Water Treatment Plant (DWTP) before and after conventional drinking water treatment. Water samples were filtered through nitrocellulose membranes of 0.45 µm pore size, cultured on nonnutrient agar plates seeded with Escherichia coli, and incubated at 37°C. The obtained amoebae, which proved to be morphologically consistent with Acanthamoeba spp., were confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The confirmed isolates of Acanthamoeba were morphologically identified to the species level, based on assessment of the size and shape of the endo- and ectocysts and the mean number of pores per cyst. The obtained results showed that members of the genus Acanthamoeba were isolated from 33.3% and 16.7% of inlet and outlet samples, respectively. Six different species of Acanthamoeba were morphologically identified. Species morphologically identified as Acanthamoeba castellanii, Acanthamoeba culbertsoni, and Acanthamoeba polyphaga were isolated from the “finished” water of DWTP. Such species may be pathogenic to humans. In conclusion, the conventional drinking water treatment steps did not remove all the detected species of Acanthamoeba in the inlet water, and about half of them could escape to completely treated and finished water. These species may cause human infections.

Keywords: free-living, amoebae, identification, morphology, PCR

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