Morphological and Molecular Identification of Free- living Amoebae Acanthamoeba spp. Isolated From Environmental and clinical Sources in Thi- Qar province / Iraq
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Acanthamoebaas a free-living protozoan which is one of the most commonly isolated amoebae in environmental samples.It is ubiquitous and found in a variety of habitats including domestic water supplies , hospital water , dental water units , air and soil .Several species of Acanthamoeba can cause Granulomatous Amoebic Encephalitis (GAE) ,cutaneous acanthamoebiasis or Amoebic Keratitis (AK) . The current study undertaken investigation and detection of Acanthamoeba spp. throughout morphological and molecular methods in different environmental and clinical samples at Thi-Qar province south Iraq. This study included one hundred and two sample were collected from different environmental and clinical source during February to September 2020. The samples were cultured on NN-agar medium after that PCR was conducted on the culture positive samples .Overall 17 (16.66%) samples were positive on morphological characters , PCR –analysis showed that only 13 (12.74%) of Acanthamoeba morphologically positive samples were positive by specific primer . For the first time in Iraq, Acanthamoeba spp. was isolated from CSF, potato soil , lizard and wild mice wastesamples this was confirmed by molecular examination .In the present study four species of Acanthamoeba can be morphologically recognized namely A. triangularis , A. astronyxis , A. castellini and A. polyphaga .Eventually,the present study considering the presence of potentially Acanthamoeba species in different samples whether in environmental or clinical source that will be opened gate to further epidemiological studies for a better understanding of the role of Acanthamoeba as a potential health threat to humans .