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Abstract

NAEGLERIA FOWLERI - THE BRAIN-EATING AMOEBA: A REVIEW

Dr. Shruthy B. Kurup*, Dr. Siva Lekshmi S. P., Silpa Vijayan, Jiji Mohan M. U. and Dr. Prasobh G. R.

Abstract

Naegleria fowleri, a thermophilic flagellate amoeba known as a “braineating” amoeba, is the aetiological agent of a perilous and devastating waterborne disease known as primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), both in humans as well as in animals. Naegleria amoebae are ubiquitous in the environment, being found in soil and bodies of freshwater, and feed on bacteria found in those locations. While N. fowleri infection appears to be quite rare compared to other diseases, the clinical manifestations of primary amoebic meningoencephalitis are devastating and nearly always fatal. Due to the rarity of N. fowleri infections in humans, there are no clinical trials to date that assess the efficacy of one treatment regimen over another. This review will discuss the epidemiology, life cycle, mode of transmission, etiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, pharmacotherapy, and prevention of N. fowleri infections in humans.

Keywords: Naegleria fowleri, primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), “braineating” amoeba, olfactory neuroepithelium, trophozoites, amphotericin B.


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