A simple PCR condition for detection of a single cyst of Acanthamoeba species
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- Laummaunwai, P., Ruangjirachuporn, W. & Boonmars, T. Parasitol Res (2012) 110: 1569. doi:10.1007/s00436-011-2662-3
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Acanthamoeba is a free-living protozoan with a worldwide distribution in a variety of natural and artificial habitats. It has even been found in contact lens solution. Acanthamoeba spp. can cause infections such as granulomatous amoebic encephalitis and amoebic keratitis. Specific and sensitive diagnosis of Acanthamoeba infections can prevent clinical symptoms from worsening. Recently, PCR technique has been used for Acanthamoeba diagnosis. Unfortunately the dormant cyst of Acanthamoeba is resistant to chemical reagents; thus, most extraction of DNA uses a commercial DNA extraction kit for obtaining DNA for further use in polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Therefore in the present study, we improved the ability to diagnose Acanthamoeba using a simplified PCR technique. Interestingly, heating at 94°C for 10 min could release DNA which is amplified with specific primers designed from 16S rRNA. The PCR product is about 180 bp. This technique is a simple and efficient method for detection of Acanthamoeba—even a single cyst—and does not require high-cost reagents or complicated procedures to extract DNA.