Sappinia spp.: An update

Ruqaiyyah Siddiqui, Zinb Makhlouf, Sutherland K. Maciver, Ahmad M. Alharbi, Naveed Ahmed Khan

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Abstract

Sappinia is a free-living amoeba isolated from soil, dead plant material, freshwater, ponds, water supplies, surface water and the faecal material of various organisms such as cows, bats, reptiles, King penguin, and even humans. Of note, Sappinia was reported to be the causative agent in a case of non-granulomatous amoebic encephalitis, in an immunocompetent male who was otherwise healthy. Since only one case has been described, there is not much information regarding the pathogenesis of Sappinia. Nonetheless, the rise in temperatures accompanying global warming is predicted to increase numbers of infections caused by free-living amoeba, and this may include Sappinia. Worryingly, Sappinia has also been reported to harbour fungal and bacterial endosymbionts. Since little is known about the pathogenesis of Sappinia and its species, prospective studies should focus on deducing its pathology. Additionally, Sappinia should be inspected for harbouring any bacteria or fungi with medical relevance to humans. Herein, we review the taxonomy, biology, ecological distribution, etiology, and pathogenesis of Sappinia. Prospective studies should be focused on Sappinia as well as other free-living amoebae, comprising their pathogenesis, and in developing preventative methods as well as treatments. This is especially important, given the rise in water shortages globally and reliance of storing water in tanks, where such microorganisms may propagate.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100095
JournalThe Microbe
Early online date1 Jun 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Jun 2024

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