1887

Abstract

Free-living amoebae are increasingly being recognized to serve as vehicles of dispersal for various bacterial human pathogens and as hosts for a variety of obligate bacterial endocytobionts. Several -like endocytobionts constituting the recently proposed family are of special interest as potential human pathogens. In this study coccoid bacterial endocytobionts of a isolate were analysed. Infection of with these bacteria resulted in prevention of cyst formation and subsequent host-cell lysis. Transfection experiments demonstrated that the parasites were not capable of propagating within other closely related free-living amoebae but were able to infect the distantly related species . Electron microscopy of the parasites revealed typical morphological characteristics of the , including the existence of a -like life-cycle, but indicated that these endocytobionts, in contrast to species, do not reside within a vacuole. Comparative 16S rRNA sequence analysis showed that the endocytobiont of , classified as gen. nov., sp. nov., is affiliated to the family . Confocal laser scanning microscopy in combination with fluorescence hybridization using rRNA-targeted oligonucleotide probes confirmed the intracellular localization of the parasites and demonstrated the absence of other bacterial species within the host. These findings extend our knowledge of the phylogenetic diversity of the and demonstrate for the first time that these endocytobionts can naturally develop within amoebae of the genus .

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2000-05-01
2020-01-22
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