Affiliations: *Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
**National Institute of Health, Department of medical sciences, Ministry of Public Health, Nonthaburi 11000
***Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
Source: IXth International Meeting on the Biology and Pathogenicity of Free-Living Amoebae Proceedings, Paris, 8-14 July 2001
We isolated Acanthamoeba spp. From soil samples collected from the Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand. The amoebae were examined for the presence of intracellular Legionella spp. by in vitro cultivation. We found growth of Legionella from 3 out of 15 isolates of the Acanthamoeba. The bacteria were identified by specific antiserum to be serogroup 6-Legionella pneumoniae in one of the Acanthamoeba isolates. Legionella of unknown serogroup were also found in 2 other isolates of the Acanthamoeba. The bacteria were carried in cystic stage of the Acanthamoeba.
This finding clearly demonstrated the close association of soil Acanthamoeba spp. and Legionella spp. in nature. The role of soil Acanthamoeba as the shelter and also the vehicles for Legionella spp. in nature is of environmentally and medically significance.