Methods in Molecular Biology Volume 954, 2013, pp 393-416
Date: 17 Oct 2012

The Tetrahymena and Acanthamoeba Model Systems

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Although the study of protozoology has been active for centuries, very few current academic curricula incorporate requirements or even options for coursework on the study of protists; yet, protozoa are becoming widely recognized by investigators as organisms that play a significant role in the evolution, pathogenicity, protection and amplification of human pathogens in the environment. This is particularly true for the study of Legionella, as this accidental human pathogen has naturally evolved to infect protozoa in fresh water environments. Researchers have made great progress in the study of pathogenicity, evolution, and ecology of Legionella and its protozoan hosts, which include amoebae and ciliated protozoa. Our own collaboration in this field has been active for over a decade, and we have gained a valuable experience working with these protozoa, particularly aspects of their biology and the methods needed to address new experimental concepts. Therefore, in this chapter we provide the most effective procedures that we have developed or modified through our years of practice. We also offer notes on what procedures, in our opinion, should be avoided; and we provide the rationale for such precautions.