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Pathol Int. 1999 May;49(5):468-70.

Primary amebic meningoencephalitis due to Naegleria fowleri: an autopsy case in Japan.

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Department of Pathology, Kurume University School of Medicine, Fukuoka-ken, Japan.


Free-living amebas represented by Naegleria fowleri, Acanthamoeba and Balamutia have been known to cause fatal meningoencephalitis since Fowler and Carter (1965) reported the first four human cases. An autopsy case of a 25-year-old female with primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) due to Naegleria fowleri is described. Headache, lethargy and coma developed in this patient, and her condition progressed to death 8 days after the onset of clinical symptoms. Cerebral spinal fluid examination confirmed clusters of amebas, which were grown in culture and identified as Naegleria fowleri. At autopsy, lesions were seen in the central nervous system (CNS) and the ethmoid sinus. The CNS had severe, suppurative meningoencephalitis with amebic trophozoites mingled with macrophages. This case is the first report of PAM due to Naegleria fowleri in Japan.

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