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Amoebae as potential environmental hosts for Mycobacterium ulcerans and other mycobacteria, but doubtful actors in Buruli ulcer epidemiology

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dc.contributor.author Gryseels, S.
dc.contributor.author Amissah, D.
dc.contributor.author Durnez, L.
dc.contributor.author Vandelannoote, K.
dc.contributor.author Leirs, H.
dc.contributor.author De Jonckheere, J.
dc.contributor.author Silva, M. T.
dc.contributor.author Portaels, F.
dc.contributor.author Ablordey, A.
dc.contributor.author Eddyani, M.
dc.date.accessioned 2012-12-12T15:57:01Z
dc.date.available 2012-12-12T15:57:01Z
dc.date.issued 2012
dc.identifier.issn 1935-2727
dc.identifier.doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0001764
dc.identifier.other ITG-B3B
dc.identifier.other ITG-B4B
dc.identifier.other ITG-X8B
dc.identifier.other ITG-BLB
dc.identifier.other DBM
dc.identifier.other U-ENTOM
dc.identifier.other U-MYCOB
dc.identifier.other JIF
dc.identifier.other DOI
dc.identifier.other FTA
dc.identifier.other E-only
dc.identifier.other Abstract
dc.identifier.other UPD53
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10390/7255
dc.description.abstract BACKGROUND: The reservoir and mode of transmission of Mycobacterium ulcerans, the causative agent of Buruli ulcer, remain unknown. Ecological, genetic and epidemiological information nonetheless suggests that M. ulcerans may reside in aquatic protozoa. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We experimentally infected Acanthamoeba polyphaga with M. ulcerans and found that the bacilli were phagocytised, not digested and remained viable for the duration of the experiment. Furthermore, we collected 13 water, 90 biofilm and 45 detritus samples in both Buruli ulcer endemic and non-endemic communities in Ghana, from which we cultivated amoeboid protozoa and mycobacteria. M. ulcerans was not isolated, but other mycobacteria were as frequently isolated from intracellular as from extracellular sources, suggesting that they commonly infect amoebae in nature. We screened the samples as well as the amoeba cultures for the M. ulcerans markers IS2404, IS2606 and KR-B. IS2404 was detected in 2% of the environmental samples and in 4% of the amoeba cultures. The IS2404 positive amoeba cultures included up to 5 different protozoan species, and originated both from Buruli ulcer endemic and non-endemic communities. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This is the first report of experimental infection of amoebae with M. ulcerans and of the detection of the marker IS2404 in amoeba cultures isolated from the environment. We conclude that amoeba are potential natural hosts for M. ulcerans, yet remain sceptical about their implication in the transmission of M. ulcerans to humans and their importance in the epidemiology of Buruli ulcer. en
dc.language English en
dc.subject Bacterial diseases en
dc.subject Buruli ulcer en
dc.subject Mycobacterium ulcerans en
dc.subject Hosts en
dc.subject Amoeba en
dc.subject Acanthamoeba polyphaga en
dc.subject Phagocytosis en
dc.subject Epidemiology en
dc.subject Transmission dynamics en
dc.subject Culture en
dc.subject Pathogens en
dc.subject Experimental en
dc.subject Infection en
dc.subject Detection en
dc.subject Markers en
dc.subject Ghana en
dc.subject Africa, West en
dc.title Amoebae as potential environmental hosts for Mycobacterium ulcerans and other mycobacteria, but doubtful actors in Buruli ulcer epidemiology en
dc.type Article-E en
dc.citation.issue 8 en
dc.citation.jtitle PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases en
dc.citation.volume 6 en
dc.citation.pages e1764 en
dc.identifier.pmid http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22880141
dc.citation.jabbreviation PLoS Negl Trop Dis en


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