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The genotypic characterisation of Acanthamoeba isolates from human ocular samples


Background: We characterised 37 amoebae cultured from corneal scrapings, contact lenses or lens case solutions of patients with suspected Acanthamoeba keratitis.

Methods: The isolates were identified by their morphology and by PCR targeting the Acanthamoeba nuclear small-subunit rRNA gene. Acanthamoeba isolates were genotyped by DNA sequence analysis.

Results: The 37 isolates comprised 35 Acanthamoeba, one Hartmannella and one Vahlkampfia. Ten Acanthamoeba isolates were shown to be responsible for keratitis.

Conclusion: Genotype T4 was the only Acanthamoeba genotype responsible for keratitis in this study, and represented 79% of non-pathogenic isolates.

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