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Abstract zur Publikation: Cytopathogenicity of Balamuthia mandrillaris, an opportunistic causative agent of granulomatous amebic encephalitis

Kiderlen AF, Tata PS, Özel M, Laube U, Radam E, Schäfer H (2006): Cytopathogenicity of Balamuthia mandrillaris, an opportunistic causative agent of granulomatous amebic encephalitis.
J. Eukaryot. Microbiol. 53 (6): 456-463.

Balamuthia mandrillaris is a free-living ameba and an opportunistic agent of lethal granulomatous amebic encephalitis in humans and other mammals. Balamuthia mandrillaris is highly cytopathic but, in contrast to the related Acanthamoeba, does not feed on bacteria and seems to feed only on eukaryotic cells instead. Most likely, the cytopathogenicity of B. mandrillaris is inseparable from its infectivity and pathogenicity. To better understand the mechanisms of B. mandrillaris cytopathogenicity, an assay for measuring amebic cytolytic activity was adapted that is based on the release of a reporter enzyme by damaged target cells. The ameba is shown to lyse murine mastocytoma cells very efficiently in a time- and dose-related manner. Furthermore, experiments involving semipermeable membranes and phagocytosis inhibitors indicate that the cytolytic activity of B. mandrillaris is essentially cell contact-dependent. Standard and fluorescence light microscopy, as well as scanning and transmission electron microscopy support and extend these findings at the ultrastructural level.

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