Primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) is a rare but nearly always fatal infection of the central nervous system caused by the thermophilic, free-living ameba Naegleria fowleri. Since its first description in 1965 through 2010, 118 cases have been reported in the U.S.; all cases are related to environmental exposure to warm freshwater; most have occurred in children and adolescents and are associated with recreational water activities, such as swimming, diving, or playing in freshwater lakes, ponds, or rivers. Over one-fourth of all national PAM cases have occurred in Florida. The authors describe here a fatal case of PAM in a resident of northeast Florida and the ensuing environmental and public health investigation; they also provide a review of all cases of PAM in Florida from 1962 to 2010 and discuss public health responses to PAM in Florida, highlighting opportunities for positive collaboration between state and local environmental health specialists, epidemiologists, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Naegleria is a free-living amoeba, and pathogenic Naegleria may pose a health risk to people exposed to recreational water. Our objective in this study was to determine if there are pathogenic amoebae in environmental water samples from Changchun, Northeastern China.
During July to September 2012, a total of 70 water samples were collected from Changchun, Northeastern China, and Naegleria was enriched by in vitro culture and detected by PCR using Naegleria genus-specific primers. Resulting PCR products were sequenced and phylogenetically analyzed to identify Naegleria species.
Naegleria was detected in 65 (92.9%) of 70 water samples. DNA sequence and phylogenetic analyses based on the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) rDNA sequences revealed four Naegleria species, including N. pagei (n = 24) and N. Australiensis (n = 18), N. clarki (n = 13) and N. gruberi (n = 10), in which N. australiensis is pathogenic to mice. But the pathogenic species N. fowleri was not detected.
This is the first report on Naegleria species in Northeastern China, showing that almost all environmental water samples were contaminated with Naegleria, including N. pagei, N. Australiensis, N. clarki and N. gruberi, which should be considered a potential public health threat.
Iranian Journal of Parasitology 04/2014; 9(2):254-9. · 0.86 Impact Factor