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Isolation of Amoeba 

Amoeba are essentially everywhere and can be isolated from almost any kind of sample; soil, freshwater or salt water.  Most methods for isolating amoeba are based on the "walk out" method in which a mono-layer of bacteria (usually E.coli) is deposited on an agar plate, and any amoeba present inoculum crawl as they consume the bacteria, to produce characteristic haloes of growth.  Of course, just as 95% of bacteria cannot be easily cultured, by simple inoculative methods, so we can be certain that a proportion of the amoeba initially present cannot be cultured by this simple method and are rapidly overgrown by the usual amoebal "weeds"!  This makes it very important to consider what type of organism we would wish to culture.  

The source of sample is a very important influence over which type of amoeba predominates in the culture.  For example, if one is interested in obtaining Naegleria, then the best source would be freshwater.  If  Acanthamoeba are desired then soil is the best bet especially if the soil is rich in organic content.  Flattened or flabellate amoeba (Vannella, Platyamoeba etc) are most likely to be found in marine samples

 

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