Naegleria fowleri

Naegleria fowleri

Aug 7th – Naegleria fowleri can cause an often lethal infection of the brain called naegleriasis (also known as primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), amoebic encephalitis/meningitis, or simply Naegleria infection). Infections most often occur when water containing N. fowleri is inhaled through the nose, where it then enters the nasal and olfactory nerve tissue, traveling to the brain through the cribriform plate. N. fowleri normally eat bacteria, but during human infections, the trophozoites consume astrocytes and neurons. The reason why N. fowleri prefers to pass across the cribriform plate has remained unknown, but the neurotransmitter acetylcholine has been suggested to act as a stimulus, as a structural homolog of animal CHRM1 has been shown to be present in Naegleria and Acanthamoeba. It takes 1-9 days (average 5) for symptoms to appear after nasal exposure to N. fowleri flagellates. [8]symptoms may include headache, fever and nausea. Later symptoms can include stiff neck, confusion, lack of attention, loss of balance, seizures, and hallucinations. Once symptoms begin to appear, death will usually occur within two weeks. A person infected with N. fowleri cannot spread the infection to another person. The core antimicrobial treatment consists of antifungal drug amphotericin B, but the fatality rate even with this treatment is greater than 95%. New treatments are being sought. Miltefosine, an antiparasitic, has been used in a few cases with mixed results.


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