Intra-amoebic localization of Arcobacter butzleri as an endocytobiont of Acanthamoeba castellanii

  • G. MedinaEmail author
  • P. Leyán
  • C. Viera da Silva
  • S. Flores-Martin
  • C. Manosalva
  • H. Fernández
Short Communication


Acanthamoeba castellanii is a free-living amoeba found mainly in humid environments and Arcobacter butzleri is an emerging zoonotic pathogen, both can establish in vitro endosymbiotic relationships in the absence of bacterial replication. We analyzed the localization of A. butzleri within A. castellanii establishing their association with endoplasmic reticulum vesicles and mitochondria. Through confocal microscopy, we observed that during the early stages of endosymbiosis, there is not colocalization between amoebic vacuoles containing A. butzleri and mitochondria or ER vesicles of A. castellanii. Considering that energy production of this bacterium occurs via metabolism of amino acids or the tricarboxylic acid cycle, these results contribute to explain the absence of bacterial replication, since A. butzleri would not have access to the nutrients found in endoplasmic reticulum vesicles and mitochondria. In addition, we observe that A. butzleri induces significantly the actin polymerization of A. castellanii during the early stages of endosymbiosis.


Acanthamoeba Arcobacter Endosymbiosis Confocal microscopy 



This work was supported by grants Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Científico y Tecnológico (FONDECYT) 1110202, Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (CONICYT) AT 24121322 from Chile and Fondo de Equipamiento FEQUIP2018-PL-06 Vicerrectoría de Investigación y Posgrado Universidad Católica de Temuco. The authors would like to thank Professor Ph.D. Guillermo Pérez-Pérez (New York University Langone Medical Center) for their scientific advices and critical review.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Diagnostic Processes and EvaluationUniversidad Católica de TemucoTemucoChile
  2. 2.Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Universidade Federal de UberlândiaUberlândiaBrazil
  3. 3.Institute of Clinical Microbiology,Faculty of MedicineUniversidad Austral de ChileValdiviaChile
  4. 4.Institute of Pharmacy, Faculty of ScienceUniversidad Austral de ChileValdiviaChile

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