A Systematic Analysis of Acanthamoeba Genotype Frequency Correlated With Source and Pathogenicity: T4 Is Confirmed as a Pathogen-Rich Genotype

Eur J Protistol. 2013 May;49(2):217-21. doi: 10.1016/j.ejop.2012.11.004. Epub 2013 Jan 3.


Acanthamoeba is a genus of facultative human parasites that is currently classified into 17 genotypes (T1-T17) each of which arguably represents a species. These amoebae cause Acanthamoeba Keratitis (AK) a disease of the eye, and a rare but usually fatal Granulatomous Acanthamoeba Encephalitis (GAE). A database of strains derived from the literature and a number of fresh isolates has been constructed to detect trends of pathogenic and other associations with these genotypes. One genotype in particular, T4, was found to be over represented in human disease. The prevalence of this genotype has been commented upon previously, however T4 is also the most common type isolated from the environment. Our statistical analysis of the database allows us to claim that T4 is in fact the genotype most often associated with human disease, even after its abundance in the general environment is taken into account. T3 and T11 are closest relatives to T4 and they are the second and third most often associated with AK. A number of other more subtle correlations also emerge from this analysis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acanthamoeba / classification
  • Acanthamoeba / genetics*
  • Acanthamoeba / isolation & purification
  • Acanthamoeba / pathogenicity*
  • Amebiasis / parasitology*
  • Amebiasis / pathology*
  • DNA, Protozoan / chemistry
  • DNA, Protozoan / genetics
  • Encephalitis / parasitology
  • Encephalitis / pathology
  • Eye Infections / parasitology*
  • Eye Infections / pathology
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


  • DNA, Protozoan

Associated data

  • GENBANK/JX486704
  • GENBANK/JX494762
  • GENBANK/JX494763
  • GENBANK/JX494764
  • GENBANK/JX494765
  • GENBANK/JX494766
  • GENBANK/JX494767
  • GENBANK/JX494768
  • GENBANK/JX494769
  • GENBANK/JX494770
  • GENBANK/JX494771
  • GENBANK/JX494772
  • GENBANK/JX494773
  • GENBANK/JX494774
  • GENBANK/JX494775
  • GENBANK/JX494776
  • GENBANK/JX494777
  • GENBANK/JX494778
  • GENBANK/JX494779
  • GENBANK/JX494780
  • GENBANK/JX494781
  • GENBANK/JX494782
  • GENBANK/JX494783