Authors: Muchesa P, Mwamba O, Barnard TG, Bartie C.

Source: BioMed Research International Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 575297


Free-living amoebae pose a potential health risk in water systems as they may be pathogenic and harbor potential pathogenic bacteria known as amoebae resistant bacteria. Free-living amoebae were observed in 150 (87.2%) of the environmental water samples. In particular, Acanthamoeba sp. was identified in 22 (12.8%) using amoebal enrichment and confirmed by molecular analysis. FLA were isolated in all 8 stages of the wastewater treatment plant using the amoebal enrichment technique. A total of 16 (9.3%) samples were positive for FLA from influent, 20 (11.6%) from bioreactor feed, 16 (9.3%) from anaerobic zone, 16 (9.3%) from anoxic zone, 32 (18.6%) from aerators, 16 (9.3%) from bioreactor effluent, 11 (6.4%) from bioreactor final effluent, and 45 (26.2%) from maturation pond. This study provides baseline information on the occurrence of amoebae in waste water treatment plant. This has health implications on receiving water bodies as some FLA are pathogenic and are also involved in the transmission and dissemination of pathogenic bacteria.