Pathogenicity of Korean isolates of Acanthamoeba by observing the experimental infection and zymodemes of five isoenzymes

Korean J Parasitol. 1999 Jun;37(2):85-92. doi: 10.3347/kjp.1999.37.2.85.


To determine the pathogenicity of Acanthamoeba spp. isolated in Korea and to develop a isoenzymatic maker, the mortality rate of infected mice, in vitro cytotoxicity against target cells and isoenzyme band patterns were observed. Five isolates of Acanthamoeba spp. (YM-2, YM-3, YM-4, YM-5, and YM-7) were used in this study as well as three reference Acanthamoeba spp. (A. culbertsoni, A. hatchetti, and A. royreba). According to the mortality rate of infected mice, Korean isolates could be categorized into three groups high virulent (YM-4), low virulent (YM-2, YM-5, YM-7) and the nonpathogenic group (YM-3). In addition, the virulence of Acanthamoeba spp. was enhanced by brain passage in mice. In the cytotoxicity assay against chinese hamster ovary cells, especially, the cytotoxicity of brain-passaged amoebae was relatively higher than the long-term cultivated ones. The zymodeme patterns of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD), malate dehydrogenase (MDH), hexokinase (HK), glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase (GOT) and malic enzyme (ME) of Acanthamoeba spp. were different among each isolate, and also between long-term cultured amoebae and brain passaged ones. In spite of the polymorphic zymodemes, a slow band of G6PD and HK, and an intermediate band of MDH were only observed in pathogenic Acanthamoeba spp., which should be used as isoenzymatic makers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acanthamoeba / enzymology
  • Acanthamoeba / pathogenicity*
  • Amebiasis / parasitology*
  • Animals
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases / isolation & purification
  • CHO Cells
  • Cricetinae
  • Glucosephosphate Dehydrogenase / isolation & purification
  • Hexokinase / isolation & purification
  • Isoenzymes / isolation & purification*
  • Korea
  • Malate Dehydrogenase / isolation & purification
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Virulence


  • Isoenzymes
  • Malate Dehydrogenase
  • Glucosephosphate Dehydrogenase
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases
  • Hexokinase