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 ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 343-348

Free living amoebae in water sources of critical units in a tertiary care hospital in India


1 Department of Medical Parasitology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
2 Department of Medical Microbiology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
3 Department of Internal Medicine, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
4 Department of Hospital Administration, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
S Khurana
Department of Medical Parasitology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0255-0857.158543

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Background: Isolation of free-living amoebae (FLA) is reported sparsely from water taps, ventilators, air conditioners, haemodialysis units and dental irrigation systems of hospitals worldwide. Their prevalence in hospital environment especially in wards having immunocompromised patients may pose a risk to this group of susceptible population as they may cause disease themselves or may carry pathogens inside them. No study from India has performed such surveillance. Objective: To evaluate extent of FLA contamination in water sources of bone marrow transplant (BMT) intensive care unit (ICU), transplant ICU, haemodialysis unit and high dependency unit in a tertiary care hospital in India. Materials and Methods: A total of hundred samples including fifty each of tap water samples and swabs from mouth of taps used for drinking, bathing and hand washing purposes in these units were collected according to standard procedure. Samples were inoculated onto non-nutrient agar plates at room temperature followed by morphological confirmation. Molecular identification including polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequencing was performed in culture positive samples. Results: Four tap water samples and ten swab samples showed growth of trophozoites and cyst formation. Morphologically, four amoebae resembled Acanthamoeba spp. which was further confirmed by PCR and sequencing showed them to be of T3 and T4 genotypes. Conclusion: The presence of these FLA in hospital water sources emphasises the urgent need of implementing effective preventive measures. Further studies are required to estimate the true prevalence of FLA in Indian hospitals by taking larger number of samples.






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2004 - Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology
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