Treatment of axenic Naegleria gruberi cultures with alligator serum resulted in time-dependent amoebacidal activity, with measurable activity at 5 min and maximal activity occurring at 20 min. The amoebacidal activity was concentration dependent, with measurable activity at 25% serum, whereas treatment of amoebas with undiluted serum resulted in only 16% survival. The efficacy was dependent on the concentration of amoebas, with higher survival rates at high amoeba densities and lower survival rates at low amoeba densities. The amoeba-killing effects of alligator serum were broad in spectrum because the serum was effective against 3 strains of Naegleria species tested and 4 Acanthamoeba species, which have been reported to be resistant to human serum complement–mediated lysis. The amoebacidal effects of alligator serum were temperature dependent, with optimal activity at 15–30 C and a decrease in activity below 15 C and above 30 C. The amoebacidal activity of alligator serum was heat labile and protease sensitive, indicating the proteinaceous nature of the activity, and was also inhibited by ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, which indicated a requirement for divalent metal ions. These characteristics strongly suggest that the amoebacidal properties of alligator serum are because of complement activity.
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