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Brazilian Journal of Infectious Diseases

Print version ISSN 1413-8670

Abstract

TEIXEIRA, Lais Helena et al. Prevalence of potentially pathogenic free-living amoebae from Acanthamoeba and Naegleria genera in non-hospital, public, internal environments from the city of Santos, Brazil. Braz J Infect Dis [online]. 2009, vol.13, n.6, pp.395-397. ISSN 1413-8670.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-86702009000600001.

Acanthamoeba and Naegleria species are free-living amoebae (FLA) found in a large variety of natural habitats. The prevalence of such amoebae was determined from dust samples taken from public non-hospital internal environments with good standards of cleanliness from two campuses of the same University in the city of Santos (SP), Brazil, and where young and apparently healthy people circulate. The frequency of free-living amoebae in both campuseswas 39% and 17% respectively, with predominance of the genus Acanthamoeba. On the campus with a much larger number of circulating individuals, the observed frequency of free-living amoebae was 2.29 times larger (P< 0.00005). Two trophozoite forms of Naegleria fowleri, are the only species of this genus known to cause primary amoebian meningoencephalitis, a rare and non-opportunistic infection. We assume that the high frequency of these organisms in different internal locations represents some kind of public health risk.

Keywords : Free - living amoebae; Acanthamoeba spp.; Naegleria spp.; prevalence; dust from internal environments; Brazil.

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