1887

Abstract

It has been 50 years since the first case of primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), an acute and rapidly fatal disease of the central nervous system (CNS), was reported in Australia. It is now known that the aetiological agent of PAM is Naegleria fowleri, an amoeba that is commonly known as ‘the brain-eating amoeba’. N. fowleri infects humans of different ages who are in contact with water contaminated with this micro-organism. N. fowleri is distributed worldwide and is found growing in bodies of freshwater in tropical and subtropical environments. The number of PAM cases has recently increased, and the rate of recovery from PAM has been estimated at only 5 %. Amphotericin B has been used to treat patients with PAM. However, it is important to note that there is no specific treatment for PAM. Moreover, this amoeba is considered a neglected micro-organism. Researchers have exerted great effort to design effective drugs to treat PAM and to understand the pathogenesis of PAM over the past 50 years, such as its pathology, molecular and cellular biology, diagnosis and prevention, and its biological implications, including its pathogenic genotypes, its distribution and its ecology. Given the rapid progression of PAM and its high mortality rate, it is important that investigations continue and that researchers collaborate to gain better understanding of the pathogenesis of this disease and, consequently, to improve the diagnosis and treatment of this devastating infection of the CNS.

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2016-09-01
2019-10-21
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