Korean J Parasitol.  1998 Jun;36(2):69-80. 10.3347/kjp.1998.36.2.69.

Subgenus classification of Acanthamoeba by riboprinting

  • 1Department of Parasitology, Kyungpook National University School of Medicine, Taegu, Korea. dichung@bh.kyungpook.ac.kr


Subgenus classification of Acanthamoeba remains uncertain. Twenty-three reference strains of Acanthamoeba including 18 (neo)type-strains were subjected for classification at the subgenus level by riboprinting. PCR/RFLP analysis of 18S rRNA gene (rDNA). On the dendrogram reconstructed on the basis of riboprint analyses, two type-strains (A. astronyxis and A. tubiashi) of morphological group 1 diverged early from the other strains and were quite distinct from each other. Four type-strains of morphological group 3, A. culbertsoni, A. palestinensis, A. healyi were considered taxonomically valid, but A. pustulosa was regarded as an invalid synonym of A. palestinensis. Strains of morphological group 2 were classified into 6 subgroups. Among them, A. griffini which has an intron in its 18S rDNA was the most divergent from the remaining strains. Acanthamoeba castellanii Castellani, A. quina Vil3, A. lugdunensis L3a, A. polyphaga Jones, A. triangularis SH621, and A. castellanii Ma strains belonged to a subgroup, A. castellanii complex. However, A. quina and A. lugdunensis were regarded as synonyms of A. castellanii. The Chang strain could be regarded as A. hatchetti. Acanthamoeba mauritaniensis, A. divionensis, A. paradivionensis could be considered as synonyms of A. rhysodes. Neff strain was regarded as A. polyphaga rather than as A. castellanii. It is likely that riboprinting can be applied for rapid identification of Acanthamoeba isolated from the clinical specimens and environments.

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