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Chapter 136 : Pathogenic and Opportunistic Free-Living Amebae

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Abstract:

Small, free-living amebae belonging to the genera , , and have been identified as agents of central nervous system (CNS) infections of humans and other animals. The concept that these small, free-living amebae may occur as human pathogens was proposed by Culbertson and colleagues, who isolated sp. The genus contains as many as 24 species in three groups, with groupings based largely on morphologic characteristics. The chapter talks about clinical significance of Meningoencephalitis, Encephalitis, (Leptomyxid) Encephalitis, and Keratitis. It outlines the recommended procedure for isolating free-living pathogenic amebae from biological specimens. Identification of living organisms to the genus level is based on characteristic patterns of locomotion, morphologic features of the trophozoite and cyst forms, and results of enflagellation experiments. spp can easily be cultivated axenically, without the addition of serum or host tissue, in many different types of nutrient media, e.g., proteose peptone-yeast extract-glucose medium, Trypticase soy broth medium, and chemically defined medium. The serologic techniques discussed in this chapter have been developed as research tools and are not routinely available to clinical laboratories. Most clinical laboratories rely on the agar plate technique for the isolation and identification of these small, free-living, and pathogenic amebae, as other techniques, like PCR, are not available and sometimes not even feasible. The laboratories usually send the specimens to an outside laboratory like the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for identification and interpretation.

Citation: Visvesvara G. 2011. Pathogenic and Opportunistic Free-Living Amebae, p 2139-2148. In Versalovic J, Carroll K, Funke G, Jorgensen J, Landry M, Warnock D (ed), Manual of Clinical Microbiology, 10th Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816728.ch136

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Figures

Image of FIGURES 1 through 4 FIGURES 5 and 6 FIGURES 7 and 8
FIGURES 1 through 4 FIGURES 5 and 6 FIGURES 7 and 8

. (1) Trophozoite, phase contrast (note the uroid and filaments at arrow); (2) trophozoite, trichrome stain; (3) biflagellate, phase contrast; (4) smooth-walled cyst, phase contrast (note the pore at the arrow). All magnifications, ∼×835.

. (5) Trophozoite, phase contrast (note the acanthopodia at the arrow); (6) double-walled cyst, phase contrast. Both magnifications, ∼×835.

. (7) Trophozoite, phase contrast; (8) cyst, phase contrast. Both magnifications, ∼×1,140.

Citation: Visvesvara G. 2011. Pathogenic and Opportunistic Free-Living Amebae, p 2139-2148. In Versalovic J, Carroll K, Funke G, Jorgensen J, Landry M, Warnock D (ed), Manual of Clinical Microbiology, 10th Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816728.ch136
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Image of FIGURE 9
FIGURE 9

Large numbers of trophozoites (arrows) in a section of CNS tissue, showing extensive necrosis and destruction of brain tissue. Magnification, ∼×564.

Citation: Visvesvara G. 2011. Pathogenic and Opportunistic Free-Living Amebae, p 2139-2148. In Versalovic J, Carroll K, Funke G, Jorgensen J, Landry M, Warnock D (ed), Manual of Clinical Microbiology, 10th Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816728.ch136
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Image of FIGURE 10
FIGURE 10

trophozoites (arrows) and a cyst (arrowhead) around a blood vessel in a section of CNS tissue from a GAE patient. Magnification, ∼×489.

Citation: Visvesvara G. 2011. Pathogenic and Opportunistic Free-Living Amebae, p 2139-2148. In Versalovic J, Carroll K, Funke G, Jorgensen J, Landry M, Warnock D (ed), Manual of Clinical Microbiology, 10th Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816728.ch136
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Image of FIGURE 11
FIGURE 11

trophozoites and a cyst (arrowhead) in a brain section from a GAE patient. Note the double (small arrow) and triple (large arrow) nucleolar elements within the nuclei of the trophozoites. Magnification. ∼×413.

Citation: Visvesvara G. 2011. Pathogenic and Opportunistic Free-Living Amebae, p 2139-2148. In Versalovic J, Carroll K, Funke G, Jorgensen J, Landry M, Warnock D (ed), Manual of Clinical Microbiology, 10th Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816728.ch136
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Image of FIGURE 12
FIGURE 12

Immunofluorescence localization of in a brain section from a GAE patient. Note the fluorescent amebae (arrows) around blood vessels. Magnification, ∼×188.

Citation: Visvesvara G. 2011. Pathogenic and Opportunistic Free-Living Amebae, p 2139-2148. In Versalovic J, Carroll K, Funke G, Jorgensen J, Landry M, Warnock D (ed), Manual of Clinical Microbiology, 10th Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816728.ch136
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