Parasitology research vol:100 issue:6 pages:1249-1256
Free-living amoebae (FLA) are distributed ubiquitously in aquatic environments with increasing importance in hygienic, medical and ecological relationships to man. In this study, water samples from Belgian industrial cooling circuits were quantitatively surveyed for the presence of FLA. Isolated, thermotolerant amoebae were identified morphologically as well as using the following molecular methods: enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and isoenzyme electrophoresis and PCR. Thermophilic amoebae were present at nearly all collection sites, and the different detection methods gave similar results. Naegleria fowleri was the most frequently encountered thermotolerant species, and concentrations of thermotolerant FLA were correlated with higher temperatures.