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Ali Pezeshki, Elnaz Kadkhodamohammadi, Abbas Mahmmodzadeh, Ali Haniloo,
Volume 2, Issue 3 (6-2017)
Abstract

Background: The genus of Acanthamoeba is an opportunistic protozoan parasite with a worldwide distribution where it is able to cause fatal granulomatous amoebic encephalitis (GAE) and amoebic keratitis (AK). This organism inhabits in the wide range of natural and man-made aquatic environments. The present study was carried out to evaluate the presence of Acanthamoeba spp. in the various water resources of Zanjan province, northwest Iran, using both morphological and molecular methods.
Methods: The Water samples were randomly collected from 30 water sources in different parts of Zanjan, Iran, between April 2015 and May 2016. Then, the samples were cultured on non-nutrient agar and the Acanthamoeba genus identified by morphological characters. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was performed using the 18S rRNA gene as a molecular marker. 
Results: The obtained data showed that, out of the 60 water samples collected, 30 (50%) were positive for Acanthamoeba spp. According to morphological and molecular approaches.
Conclusion: The present investigation is the first report of the distribution of Acanthamoeba spp. in the various water sources of Zanjan province, gives baseline knowledge regarding water contamination with Acanthamoeba spp. in these areas and emphasizes the necessity of more attention to water sources in order to prevent infections associated with Acanthamoeba spp.

 

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