PNA FISH assay uncovers Enterococcus faecium as a facultative intracellular bacterium in co-culture with Acanthamoeba castellanii

  • HADI ABD Department of Parasitology Faculty of Medical Laboratory Sciences University of Medical Sciences and Technology
  • BENJAMIN EDVINSSON AstraZeneca, Liquid Production Process Technology, Sweden
  • TALAR BOSKANI Public Health Agency of Sweden
Keywords: E. faecium, facultative intracellular, A. castellanii, PNA FISH


Enterococci species are gram-positive bacteria that causedifferent infections among hospitalized patients including urinarytract infections, bacteremia, intra-abdominal infections, andendocarditis. Acanthamoeba castellanii is an aquatic environmentaleukaryote that is considered as an ideal cell in studying eukaryote-prokaryote interaction and as a powerful tool for the culture of someintracellular bacteria. We aimed to study interaction betweenEnterococcus faecium and A. castellanii in co-cultivation assay. Theinteraction has studied utilizing co-cultivation assay, Peptide nucleicacid technology and Fluorescence in situ hybridization combination.The utilised methods have uncovered an intracellular localisation of E.faecium inside A. castellanii. Growth and viability of the bothinteracted microorganisms are not inhibited snice bothmicroorganisms have exhibited fluorescence as a detectable markers.Such this relation between the interacted microorganisms is definedsymbiosis and A. castellanii as a host for the endosymbiont E. faecium. The fluorescent bacteria found outside and inside A. castellanii cellsmeaning that E. faecium is a facultative intracellular bacterium.In conclusion, the facultative intracellular behaviour of E.faecium has shown for the first time in this study. We suggest that thisbehavior may be taken in considerations related to treatment andvaccination strategies against E. faecium. 


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