, Volume 108, Issue 3, pp 621-627

Prevalence of Acanthamoeba spp. and other free-living amoebae in household water, Ohio, USA—1990–1992

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Abstract

Knowledge of the prevalence of free-living amoebae (FLA) in US household water can provide a focus for prevention of amoeba-associated illnesses. Household water samples from two Ohio counties, collected and examined for amoebae during 1990–1992, were used to describe the prevalence of Acanthamoeba and other FLA in a household setting. Amoebae were isolated and identified by morphologic features. A total of 2,454 samples from 467 households were examined. Amoebae were found in water samples of 371 (79%) households. Sites most likely to contain amoeba were shower heads (52%) and kitchen sprayers (50%). Species of Hartmannella, Acanthamoeba, or Vahlkampfia were most common. Detection was higher in biofilm swab samples than in water samples. Detection of FLA and Acanthamoeba, at 79% and 51%, respectively, exceed estimates that have been published in previous surveys of household sources. We believe FLA are commonplace inhabitants of household water in this sample as they are in the environment.

The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.