Author(s): Mirelman D, Bracha R, Wexler A, Chayen A
Abstract Share this page
Abstract The axenization of an Entamoeba histolytica isolate with a nonpathogenic isoenzyme electrophoretic pattern (zymodeme) was recently achieved for the first time (15). Forty days after the cells were transferred to the medium used for axenic cultivation, the amebae developed virulence properties, and the zymodeme converted to a pathogenic pattern. To exclude the possibility that the original isolate consisted of two zymodeme populations and that conditions of growth selected for a particular population, the experiment was repeated with a cloned culture of a nonpathogenic (zymodeme III) strain, E. histolytica SAW 1734R clAR, isolated by and obtained from P. G. Sargeaunt. Axenization was accomplished, as before, by transferring trophozoites to TYI-S-33 medium containing a mixture of antibiotics to suppress the growth of the associated bacterial flora and a nutritional supplement consisting of gamma-irradiated bacteria. A change in the hexokinase and phosphoglucomutase isoenzyme pattern was observed 21 days after the amebae had been transferred to the axenic medium but before complete axenization of the amebae had occurred. The change in zymodeme was accompanied by an increase in virulence, as evidenced by the ability of fewer amebae to induce hepatic abscesses in hamsters. A reverse conversion to a nonpathogenic zymodeme was also accomplished by reassociating and subculturing the newly converted pathogenic trophozoites of strain SAW 1734R clAR with the bacterial flora that accompanied this ameba in the original xenic culture. The electromobilities of the hexokinase isoenzymes changed back to their original pattern 7 days after the amebae were returned to xenic growth conditions. Our in vitro results demonstrate that culture conditions and bacterial flora can cause changes in the zymodeme and virulence of a cloned ameba isolate and raise the concern that this could happen also in vivo. Thus, the finding of a particular zymodeme in a culture of E. histolytica isolated from a carrier should not be used to predict a clinical condition or serve as a basis for the recommendation of therapy.
This article was published in Infect Immun
and referenced in Journal of Cell Science & Therapy