The present study aims to identify the Acanthamoeba genotypes and their pathogenic potential in three recreational lakes in Malaysia. Thirty water samples were collected by purposive sampling between June and July 2022. Physical parameters of water quality were measured in situ while chemical and microbiological analyses were performed in the laboratory. The samples were vacuum filtered through nitrate filter, cultured onto non-nutrient agar and observed microscopically for amoebic growth. DNAs from positive samples were extracted and made to react with polymerase chain reaction using specific primers. Physiological tolerance tests were performed for all Acanthamoeba-positive samples. The presence of Acanthamoeba was found in 26 of 30 water samples by PCR. The highest rate in lake waters contaminated with amoeba was in Biru Lake (100%), followed by Titiwangsa Lake (80%) and Shah Alam Lake (80%). ORP, water temperature, pH and DO were found to be significantly correlated with the presence of Acanthamoeba. The most common genotype was T4. Temperature- and osmo-tolerance tests showed that 8 (30.8%) of the genotypes T4, T9 and T11 were highly pathogenic. The presence of genotype T4 in habitats related to human activities supports the relevance of this amoeba as a potential public health concern.
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