Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/223345
Title:
The Occurrence of Free Living Amoebae in Water
Author:
Sifuentes, Laura Yvette
Issue Date:
2012
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
The amoebae Naegleria fowleri, Acanthamoeba spp., and Balamuthia mandrillaris are free-living amoebae found in both water and soil. They are opportunistic pathogens in humans. Acanthamoeba is the most common cause of illness, usually infecting the eyes and sometimes causing a sight-threatening keratitis. Acanthamoeba spp. and B. mandrillaris can cause granulomatous amoebic encephalitis, in addition to infections of the lungs and skin. N. fowleri causes primary amoebic meningoencephalitis . There is little known regarding the ecology and occurrence of these organisms. A total of 36 high-use recreational surface waters in Arizona were surveyed over a period of two years to assess the occurrence of N. fowleri and seasonal and environmental factors. Overall, 9.3% of the warm weather samples collected were positive for N. fowleri, whereas 16.3% of the samples were positive during cold weather. Although the presence of N. fowleri could not be significantly correlated with physical and chemical parameters such as temperature, pH, turbidity, conductivity, and the presence of heterotrophic bacteria, total coliforms, and Escherichia coli, a weak correlation (0.52) with live amoebic activity was observed. Five lakes to the north and northeast of Phoenix tested positive for the N. fowleri on more than one occasion over multiple seasons. Finished drinking water samples (n= 785) from a municipal potable distribution system were evaluated for the presence of N. fowleri, B. mandrillaris and Acanthamoeba spp. from 18 different regions during three different sampling periods. Physical and chemical parameters were also evaluated but provided no significant correlations with the occurrence of amoebae or indicator organisms. A total of 138 samples (17.9%) were positive for viable amoebae in distribution water with more than an adequate chlorine residual (average of 0.86 mg/L). Microorganisms that are typically used to monitor microbial water quality such as coliforms and E. coli would likely not be found under these circumstances. Clusters with three or more samples testing positive for viable amoebae per region were observed during all three periods. Viable amoebae may not only provide a better assessment of the microbial quality of water, but such clustering could reveal areas with potential water quality issues within the distribution system.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Naegleria fowleri; water; Soil, Water & Environmental Science; Amoebae; Distribution System
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Soil, Water & Environmental Science
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Gerba, Charles P.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleThe Occurrence of Free Living Amoebae in Wateren_US
dc.creatorSifuentes, Laura Yvetteen_US
dc.contributor.authorSifuentes, Laura Yvetteen_US
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThe amoebae Naegleria fowleri, Acanthamoeba spp., and Balamuthia mandrillaris are free-living amoebae found in both water and soil. They are opportunistic pathogens in humans. Acanthamoeba is the most common cause of illness, usually infecting the eyes and sometimes causing a sight-threatening keratitis. Acanthamoeba spp. and B. mandrillaris can cause granulomatous amoebic encephalitis, in addition to infections of the lungs and skin. N. fowleri causes primary amoebic meningoencephalitis . There is little known regarding the ecology and occurrence of these organisms. A total of 36 high-use recreational surface waters in Arizona were surveyed over a period of two years to assess the occurrence of N. fowleri and seasonal and environmental factors. Overall, 9.3% of the warm weather samples collected were positive for N. fowleri, whereas 16.3% of the samples were positive during cold weather. Although the presence of N. fowleri could not be significantly correlated with physical and chemical parameters such as temperature, pH, turbidity, conductivity, and the presence of heterotrophic bacteria, total coliforms, and Escherichia coli, a weak correlation (0.52) with live amoebic activity was observed. Five lakes to the north and northeast of Phoenix tested positive for the N. fowleri on more than one occasion over multiple seasons. Finished drinking water samples (n= 785) from a municipal potable distribution system were evaluated for the presence of N. fowleri, B. mandrillaris and Acanthamoeba spp. from 18 different regions during three different sampling periods. Physical and chemical parameters were also evaluated but provided no significant correlations with the occurrence of amoebae or indicator organisms. A total of 138 samples (17.9%) were positive for viable amoebae in distribution water with more than an adequate chlorine residual (average of 0.86 mg/L). Microorganisms that are typically used to monitor microbial water quality such as coliforms and E. coli would likely not be found under these circumstances. Clusters with three or more samples testing positive for viable amoebae per region were observed during all three periods. Viable amoebae may not only provide a better assessment of the microbial quality of water, but such clustering could reveal areas with potential water quality issues within the distribution system.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectNaegleria fowlerien_US
dc.subjectwateren_US
dc.subjectSoil, Water & Environmental Scienceen_US
dc.subjectAmoebaeen_US
dc.subjectDistribution Systemen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineSoil, Water & Environmental Scienceen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorGerba, Charles P.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberPepper, Ian L.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberGlenn, Edwarden_US
dc.contributor.committeememberBright, Kelly R.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberGerba, Charles P.en_US
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