Here, we carried out a survey to determine the prevalence of free-living amoebae (FLA) in tap-water sources from rivers and water treatment plants located in Osaka Prefecture, Japan. A total of 374 raw water samples were collected from 113 sampling points. The samples were filtrated and transferred to non-nutrient agar plates seeded with a heat-killed suspension of Escherichia coli and incubated for 2 to 7 days at 30°C or 42°C. The plates were examined by microscopy to morphologically identify FLA families, and polymerase chain reaction and sequence analysis were then performed to define the species of the detected Naegleria and Acanthamoeba isolates. A total of 257 of 374 samples (68.7%) were positive for FLA by microscopy, and among these there were 800 FLA isolates, including Acanthamoeba and Naegleria species. Sequence analysis identified five Acanthamoeba spp. isolates of the known pathogenic T4 genotype and 43 Naegleria australiensis isolates, a reported pathogen to mice and also of concern as a potential pathogen to humans. Our results suggest a wide distribution of FLA, including potential pathogenic species, in tap-water sources of western Japan.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science
- Infectious Diseases