Brain Eating Amoeba: Alarming Rise of Naegleriasis in Pakistan

Author(s): Hamza Sohail, Abeer Iftikhar, Syeda Maria Hassan and Zainab Rafat

Naegleriasis also known as primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) is a fulminant brain infection is caused by a single-celled, ameboflagellate known as Naegleria fowleri. Naegleria fowleri has been difficult to eradicate since its growth is typically found in bodies of warm freshwater, unchlorinated, piped water, swimming pools and moist soil. This letter focuses on characteristics and route of spread of infection caused by Naegleria Fowleri and preventative measures that can be taken to limit its spread. A thorough literature review was performed to identify different route of spread of Naegleria Fowleri infection and specific measures that should be taken to limit its spread. We found that Naegleria follows a nasal route of infection, migrating along the olfactory nerve, through the cribriform plate into the brain where it evokes a substantial immune response causing a widespread inflammation, hemorrhage and necrosis eventually leading to death. The at-risk population includes individuals associated with swimming, diving and water skiing in freshwater and poorly chlorinated swimming pools and individuals performing ablution. Therefore, specific measures should be taken to limit the spread of Naegleria Fowleri infection which includes education and awareness of the public as well as of the health professionals regarding Naegleriasis and its preventative measures.


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