Parasitology Research

, Volume 81, Issue 3, pp 193–201 | Cite as

Seasonal distribution of pathogenic free-living amebae in Oklahoma waters

  • David T. John
  • Marsha J. Howard
Original Paper


Pathogenic free-living amebae cause serious human disease, including infection of the eye and the central nervous system. The purpose of this study was to sample aquatic environments in the Tulsa, Oklahoma, area year-round for the presence of these disease-causing amebae. A total of 34 pathogenic isolates were obtained from 2,016 processed water and swab samples. Pathogenicity was determined by the ability of amebae to cause death in mice after intranasal inoculation. Pathogenic amebae were isolated during every month of the year and were identified asNaegleria australiensis (38%),Acanthamoeba species (35%),N. fowleri (18%), and leptomyxid amebae (9%). Pathogenic leptomyxids have not previously been reported from the environment. The greatest percentage of recovery of pathogens occurred during the spring and autumn. The prevalence of pathogenic free-living amebae in the sampled waters was 1 pathogen/3.41 water.


Nervous System Central Nervous System Human Disease Aquatic Environment Great Percentage 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • David T. John
    • 1
  • Marsha J. Howard
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry and MicrobiologyOklahoma State University, College of Osteopathic MedicineTulsaUSA

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