Meeting Abstract

34.1  Thursday, Jan. 5  The distribution of Acanthamoeba spp. in marine sediments from Great Sound, Bermuda MUNSON, D.A.; Washington College, Chestertown, MD

A previous study (Munson et al., Oceanis, 37, 2007) illustrated the impact of pollution on the incidence of Acanthamoeba spp. in North Sea coastal sediments. Acanthamoeba is a ubiquitous soil amoeba and its distribution is often associated with sewage pollution and/or nutrient runoff from land. Some species in the genus are opportunistic pathogens of humans. This investigation focused on ameba distribution in sediments from Great Sound, Bermuda. In June of 2011 sediments were collected by scuba from 14 sites in Great Sound and were cultured at room temperature and at 370C on non-nutrient agar seeded with Klebsiella aerogenes. Room temperature cultures were positive for amebas in 11 of 14 (79%) sediment samples. At elevated temperatures (370C) amebic growth occurred in 7 of 14 (50%) sediment samples. In this investigation sampled sites that were positive for ameba showed a relatively even distribution of Group II and Group III Acanthamoeba spp. Only one site yielded Group I Acanthamoeba spp. (A. astronyxis). Commonly isolated Group II species were A. polyphaga, A. castellanii, A. rhysodes, and to a lesser degree A. hatchetti. Several other unidentified isolates that belonged to either Group II or Group III of the genus were also commonly present.