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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013, Article ID 405794, 8 pages
Research Article

Diversity and Seasonal Impact of Acanthamoeba Species in a Subtropical Rivershed

1Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, National Chung Cheng University, Chiayi 621, Taiwan
2Department of Internal Medicine, Cheng Hsin Hospital, Taipei 112, Taiwan
3Section of Respiratory Therapy, Cheng Hsin Hospital, Taipei 112, Taiwan
4Division of Thoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Mackay Memorial Hospital, Mackay Medicine, Nursing, and Management College, Taipei 251, Taiwan
5Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, National Yang Ming University, Taipei 112, Taiwan
6General Surgery, Surgical Department, Cheng Hsin General Hospital, Taipei 112, Taiwan

Received 25 April 2013; Accepted 9 October 2013

Academic Editor: Achim Langenbucher

Copyright © 2013 Po-Min Kao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study evaluated the presence of Acanthamoeba species in the Puzih River watershed, which features typical subtropical monsoon climate and is located just above the Tropic of Cancer in Taiwan. The relationship between the seasonal and geographical distributions of Acanthamoeba species in this rivershed was also investigated. Acanthamoeba species were detected in water samples using the amoebal enrichment culture method and confirmed by PCR. A total of 136 water samples were included in this study, 16 (11.7%) of which contained Acanthamoeba species. Samples with the highest percentage of Acanthamoeba (32.4%) were obtained during the summer season, mainly from upstream areas. The identified species in the four seasons included Acanthamoeba palestinensis (T2), Acanthamoeba sp. IS2/T4 (T4), Acanthamoeba lenticulata (T5), Acanthamoeba hatchetti (T11), Acanthamoeba healyi (T12), and Acanthamoeba jacobsi (T15). The most frequently identified Acanthamoeba genotype was T4 (68.7%). Acanthamoeba genotype T4 is responsible for Acanthamoeba keratitis and should be considered for associated human health risk potential in the rivershed.