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GC Booton, DJ Kelly, Y-W Chu, D Seal, E Houang, D Lam, TJ Byers, PA Fuerst; A Very Sensitive Genus-specific rDNA Sequence Probe for Investigating the Epidemiology of Acanthamoeba Keratitis Infections . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(13):4293.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Purpose: Variable sequences of an 18S rRNA gene fragment were used as markers to examine whether the specific strains causing Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) in contact lens wearers in Hong Kong also could be detected in specimens from the lenses, lens cases, or home water supplies. Methods: Identification of Acanthamoeba sequence types was based on a variable region of ∼113bp. Specimens differing by a single base pair could be consistently distinguished. Sixteen specimens were obtained from 9 AK patients. Results: Twelve distinct sequences associated with patients or their homes were identified. Seven were assigned to Rns genotype T4 and five to Rns T3. The corneal scrapes of five patients each yielded a single sequence, although not the same in all cases. In two cases where corneal scrapes and a contact lens or lens case specimen were available, the corneal specimen sequence was the same as that obtained from the other specimens. Although the home water supply used in cleaning lenses was a logical source of the infecting amoebae, specimens obtained from the water were very different from the corresponding scrape or lens specimens in the two cases where comparisons were made. Conclusions: The short sequence used in this genus-specific assay offers a sensitivity for exploring the complexity and epidemiology of Acanthamoeba infections that has not been previously available. The isolation of more than one sequence from a single contact lens is the best evidence to date that some AK infections may involve more than one strain.
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