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Haylea C Miller, Matthew J Morgan, Tom Walsh, Jason T Wylie, Anna H Kaksonen, Geoffrey J Puzon
The amoeba Naegleria fowleri is the causative agent of the highly fatal disease, primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, and estimated to cause 16 deaths per year in the United States alone. Colonisation of drinking water distribution systems (DWDSs) by the N. fowleri is a significant public health issue. Understanding the factors which enable this pathogen to colonise and thrive in DWDSs is critical for proper management. The microbial ecology within DWDSs may influence the ability of N. fowleri to colonise DWDSs by facilitating the availability of an appropriate food source...
May 6, 2018: Water Research
Leonard Kachienga, Keshri Jitendra, Maggy Momba
Biodegradation of hydrocarbons by indigenous populations of microorganisms found in petroleum-contaminated water sources represents one of the primary mechanisms by which petroleum and other hydrocarbon pollutants are eliminated from the aquatic environment. The identification of these microorganisms, which have capabilities to convert the majority of toxic hydrocarbons into compounds that are less harmful for end-users, is therefore crucial for bioremediation purposes. The aim of this study was to profile the microbial diversity of two South African petroleum-contaminated water aquifer sites and to determine the microbial adaptation to hydrocarbon degradation using a metagenomics approach...
May 15, 2018: Scientific Reports
Ling-Ling Zhang, Mao Wu, Bang-Chuan Hu, Hua-Liang Chen, Jin-Ren Pan, Wei Ruan, Li-Nong Yao
Naegleria fowleri (N. fowleri) is the only Naegleria spp. known to cause an acute, fulminant, and rapidly fatal central nervous system infection called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) in human. In 2016, a suspected PAM patient was found in Zhejiang Province of China. The pathogen was identified by microscopic examination and PCR. The positive PCR products were sequenced and the sequences were aligned using NCBI BLAST programme. The homologous and phylogenetic analysis was conducted using the MEGA 6 programme...
May 8, 2018: International Journal of Infectious Diseases: IJID
Rikesh Baral, Binit Vaidya
Primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) is a rare, fulminating, hemorrhagic infection of the brain caused by Naegleria fowleri , a thermophilic, free-living amoeba. A 74-year male presented with sudden severe global headache and fever with features of anomic aphasia. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) suggested herpes encephalitis and acyclovir (IV) was started but the patient developed altered sensorium, agitation and progressive weakness of lower limbs with gradual truncal weakness. Repeat MRI showed increase in lesion size and edema with confluent blood areas...
May 2018: Oxford Medical Case Reports
Young Yil Bahk, Pyo Yun Cho, Sung Kyu Ahn, Sangjung Park, Won Hwa Jheong, Yun-Kyu Park, Ho-Joon Shin, Sang-Seob Lee, Okjae Rhee, Tong-Soo Kim
Waterborne parasitic protozoa, particularly Giardia lamblia and Cryptosporidium spp., are common causes of diarrhea and gastroenteritis worldwide. The most frequently identified source of infestation is water, and exposure involves either drinking water or recreation in swimming pools or natural bodies of water. In practice, studies on Cryptosporidium oocysts and Giardia cysts in surface water are challenging owing to the low concentrations of these microorganisms because of dilution. In this study, a 3-year monitoring of Cryptosporidium parvum, Giardia lamblia , and Naegleria fowleri was conducted from August 2014 to June 2016 at 5 surface water sites including 2 lakes, 1 river, and 2 water intake plants...
April 2018: Korean Journal of Parasitology
Jan Mach, Jarmila Bíla, Kateřina Ženíšková, Dominik Arbon, Ronald Malych, Marie Glavanakovová, Eva Nývltová, Robert Sutak
Naegleria gruberi is a free-living amoeba, closely related to the human pathogen Naegleria fowleri, the causative agent of the deadly human disease primary amoebic meningoencephalitis. Herein, we investigated the effect of iron limitation on different aspects of N. gruberi metabolism. Iron metabolism is among the most conserved pathways found in all eukaryotes. It includes the delivery, storage and utilization of iron in many cell processes. Nevertheless, most of the iron metabolism pathways of N. gruberi are still not characterized, even though iron balance within the cell is crucial...
May 5, 2018: International Journal for Parasitology
Abdul Mannan Baig
Despite advances in drug discovery and modifications in the chemotherapeutic regimens, human infections caused by free-living amoebae (FLA) have high mortality rates (~95%). The FLA that cause fatal human cerebral infections include Naegleria fowleri, Balamuthia mandrillaris and Acanthamoeba spp. Novel drug-target discovery remains the only viable option to tackle these central nervous system (CNS) infection in order to lower the mortality rates caused by the FLA. Of these FLA, N. fowleri causes primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), while the A...
April 25, 2018: Current Drug Targets
Shobana Gabriel, Abdul Khaliq Rasheed, Ruqaiyyah Siddiqui, Jimmy Nelson Appaturi, Leo Bey Fen, Naveed Ahmed Khan
Brain-eating amoebae (Acanthamoeba spp., Balamuthia mandrillaris, Naegleria fowleri) have gained increasing attention owing to their capacity to produce severe human and animal infections involving the brain. Early detection is a pre-requisite in successful prognosis. Here, we developed a nanoPCR assay for the rapid detection of brain-eating amoebae using various nanoparticles. Graphene oxide, copper and alumina nanoparticles used in this study were characterized using Raman spectroscopy measurements through excitation with a He-Ne laser, while powder X-ray diffraction patterns were taken on a PANanalytical, X'Pert HighScore diffractometer and the morphology of the materials was confirmed using high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM)...
April 20, 2018: Parasitology Research
Luis Fernando Lares-Jiménez, Manuel Alejandro Borquez-Román, Rosalía Alfaro-Sifuentes, María Mercedes Meza-Montenegro, Ramón Casillas-Hernández, Fernando Lares-Villa
The presence of free-living amoebae of the genera Naegleria, Acanthamoeba and Balamuthia, which contain pathogenic species for humans and animals, has been demonstrated several times and in different natural aquatic environments in the northwest of Mexico. With the aim of continuing the addition of knowledge about immunology of pathogenic free-living amoebae, 118 sera from children and adolescents, living in three villages, were studied. Humoral IgG response against B. mandrillaris, N. fowleri and Acanthamoeba sp...
April 16, 2018: Experimental Parasitology
Priscila Peña-Diaz, Julius Lukeš
The majority of established model organisms belong to the supergroup Opisthokonta, which includes yeasts and animals. While enlightening, this focus has neglected protists,  organisms that represent the bulk of eukaryotic diversity and are often regarded as primitive eukaryotes. One of these is the "supergroup" Excavata, which comprises unicellular flagellates of diverse lifestyles and contains species of medical importance, such as Trichomonas, Giardia, Naegleria, Trypanosoma and Leishmania. Excavata exhibits a continuum in mitochondrial forms, ranging from classical aerobic, cristae-bearing mitochondria to mitochondria-related organelles, such as hydrogenosomes and mitosomes, to the extreme case of a complete absence of the organelle...
April 5, 2018: Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry: JBIC
Alexandre Taravaud, Myriam Ali, Bernard Lafosse, Valérie Nicolas, Cédric Féliers, Sylvie Thibert, Yves Lévi, Philippe M Loiseau, Sébastien Pomel
Free-living amoebae (FLA) are ubiquitous organisms present in various natural and artificial environments, such as drinking water storage towers (DWST). Some FLA, such as Acanthamoeba sp., Naegleria fowleri, and Balamuthia mandrillaris, can cause severe infections at ocular or cerebral level in addition to being potential reservoirs of other pathogens. In this work, the abundance and diversity of FLA was evaluated in two sampling campaigns: one performed over five seasons in three DWST at three different levels (surface, middle and bottom) in water and biofilm using microscopy and PCR, and one based on the kinetics analysis in phase contrast and confocal microscopy of biofilm samples collected every two weeks during a 3-month period at the surface and at the bottom of a DWST...
March 21, 2018: Science of the Total Environment
Anjan Debnath, Andrew T Nelson, Angélica Silva-Olivares, Mineko Shibayama, Dionicio Siegel, James H McKerrow
Primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) is a fatal infection caused by the free-living ameba Naegleria fowleri , popularly known as the "brain-eating ameba." The drugs of choice in treating PAM are the antifungal amphotericin B and an antileishmanial miltefosine, but these are not FDA-approved for this indication and use of amphotericin B is associated with severe adverse effects. Moreover, very few patients treated with the combination therapy have survived PAM. Therefore, development of efficient drugs is a critical unmet need to avert future deaths of children...
2018: Frontiers in Microbiology
Ingrid Zyserman, Deboprosad Mondal, Francisco Sarabia, James H McKerrow, William R Roush, Anjan Debnath
Primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) is a rapidly fatal infection caused by the free-living ameba Naegleria fowleri. PAM occurs principally in healthy children of less than 13 years old with a history of recent exposure to warm fresh water. While as yet not a reportable disease, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) documents a total of 143 cases in the United States. Only four patients have survived. Infection results from water containing N. fowleri entering the nose, followed by migration of the amebae to the brain...
May 2018: Experimental Parasitology
Emily K Herman, Lyto Yiangou, Diego M Cantoni, Christopher N Miller, Francine Marciano-Cabral, Erin Anthonyrajah, Joel B Dacks, Anastasios D Tsaousis
Although the Golgi complex has a conserved morphology of flattened stacked cisternae in most eukaryotes, it has lost the stacked organisation in several lineages, raising the question of what range of morphologies is possible for the Golgi. In order to understand this diversity, it is necessary to characterise the Golgi in many different lineages. Here, we identify the Golgi complex in Naegleria , one of the first descriptions of an unstacked Golgi organelle in a non-parasitic eukaryote, other than fungi. We provide a comprehensive list of Golgi-associated membrane trafficking genes encoded in two species of Naegleria and show that nearly all are expressed in mouse-passaged N...
April 9, 2018: Journal of Cell Science
Natália Karla Bellini, Thomás Michelena Santos, Marco Túlio Alves da Silva, Otavio Henrique Thiemann
Naegleria fowleri is a pathogenic amoeboflagellate most prominently known for its role as the etiological agent of the Primary Amoebic Meningoencephalitis (PAM), a disease that afflicts the central nervous system and is fatal in more than 95% of the reported cases. Although being fatal and with potential risks for an increase in the occurrence of the pathogen in populated areas, the organism receives little public health attention. A great underestimation in the number of PAM cases reported is assumed, taking into account the difficulty in obtaining an accurate diagnosis...
April 2018: Experimental Parasitology
Agnes Thiane Pereira Machado, Marcio Silva, Jorge Iulek
Naegleria gruberi is a free life amoeba believed to have more than one billion years of existence; it is not pathogenic and had its genome sequenced, which revealed a high complexity in the metabolic pathways. This paper presents the experimental structure of GAPDH from N. gruberi, the first one belonging to the phylum Percolozoa, comparisons to structures from various species and molecular dynamics studies of some particular features. The final refined structure presents Rcryst  = 15.54% and Rfree  = 19...
May 2018: Biochimica et Biophysica Acta
Jennifer R Cope, Jennifer Murphy, Amy Kahler, Daniel G Gorbett, Ibne Ali, Brandi Taylor, Lisa Corbitt, Shantanu Roy, Nicole Lee, Dawn Roellig, Scott Brewer, Vincent R Hill
Background: Naegleria fowleri is a thermophilic ameba found in freshwater that causes primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) when it enters the nose and migrates to the brain. Patient exposure to water containing the ameba typically occurs in warm freshwater lakes and ponds during recreational water activities. In June 2016, an 18-year-old woman died of PAM after traveling to North Carolina, where she participated in rafting on an artificial whitewater river. Methods: We conducted an epidemiologic and environmental investigation to determine the water exposure that led to the death of this patient...
February 1, 2018: Clinical Infectious Diseases: An Official Publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America
Haylea C Miller, Jason T Wylie, Anna H Kaksonen, David Sutton, Geoffrey J Puzon
Free living amoebae (FLA), including pathogenic Naegleria fowleri, can colonize and grow within pipe wall biofilms of drinking water distribution systems (DWDSs). Studies on the interactions between various FLA species in biofilms are limited. Understanding the interaction between FLA and the broader biofilm ecology could help better predict DWDS susceptibility to N. fowleri colonization. The aim of this study was to determine if N. fowleri and other FLAs ( Naegleria, Vermamoeba, Willaertia, and Vahlkampfia spp...
March 6, 2018: Environmental Science & Technology
Junji Matsuo, Shinji Nakamura, Torahiko Okubo, Manabu Fukui, Hiroyuki Yamaguchi
A free-living amoeba, Naegleria is ubiquitously distributed in various natural environments. Since some Naegleria spp. are exclusively distributed in the Arctic and sub-Antarctic regions, we hypothesized that the amoeba may be useful to determine long-term survival of Naegleria in laboratory conditions at 4 °C. The main objective of the study is to determine that a species of an environmental amoebal isolated can live at low temperatures after a long time. Here, we therefore show long-term survival of an amoeba, Naegleria polaris isolated from a sediment sample, which was collected from Antarctica 10 years ago, and since stored at 4 °C...
March 2018: Parasitology Research
Jennifer Weidhaas, Angela Anderson, Rubayat Jamal
Fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) are the basis for water quality regulations and are considered proxies for waterborne pathogens when conducting human health risk assessments. The direct detection of pathogens in water and simultaneous identification of the source of fecal contamination are possible with microarrays, circumventing the drawbacks to FIB approaches. A multigene target microarray was used to assess the prevalence of waterborne pathogens in a fecally impaired mixed-use watershed. The results indicate that fecal coliforms have improved substantially in the watershed since its listing as a 303(d) impaired stream in 2002 and are now near United States recreational water criterion standards...
March 15, 2018: Applied and Environmental Microbiology
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