AIMS Microbiology, 2019, 5(3): 223-231. doi: 10.3934/microbiol.2019.3.223

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Isolation and Identification of Legionella spp. in environmental water sources based on macrophage infectivity potentiator (mip) gene sequencing in southwest Iran

1 Infectious and Tropical Diseases Research Center, Health Research Institute, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran
2 Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran
3 Department of Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran
4 Cellular and Molecular Research Center, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran
5 Student Research Committee, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran

Legionella species are widespread in natural water sources and man-made aqueous environments, as well as fresh-water. The present study was conducted owing to the lack of research regarding the prevalence of Legionella spp in the water sources of Ahvaz city in southwest Iran. In this study the macrophage infectivity potentiator (mip) gene sequencing was used for identification of various Legionella species isolated from different water sources. In this study, 144 water samples were collected and inoculated on the buffered charcoal-yeast extract (BCYE) agar and modified Wadowsky-Yee (MWY) medium. The DNA was extracted from positive cultures. The Legionella species were confirmed by amplifying a 654 bp fragment of the 16S rRNA gene. The mip gene of all isolates were amplified by PCR and purified for sequencing. The mip gene sequences were analyzed by jPHYDIT software version 1. The results showed a 13.9% (20/144) prevalence of Legionella spp. in water sources of Ahvaz city, southwest Iran. Analyzing of the mip gene sequences showed, out of 20 Legionella isolates, 13 isolates (54.1%) were positive for L. pneumophila, 5 isolates (20.8%) were positive for L. worsleinsis, one isolates for each one of L. dumoffi and L. fairfieldensis, (4.1%). According to our research, the occurrence of Legionella spp in water sources could be a hazard for the health systems especially in the hospitals. The regular monitoring of these water sources by health planners may therefore be useful for decreasing the risk for Legionella spp. infections.
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