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Am J Clin Pathol. 1979 Feb;71(2):201-3.

Recovery of soil Amebas from the nasal passages of children during the dusty harmattan period in Zaria.


Following a fatal case of primary amebic meningoencephalitis during the dusty harmattan period in an 8-month-old child in whose case Naegleria fowleri was recovered both from the cerebrospinal fluid and from material from the nose in absence of a history of swimming, it was hypothesized that dust during the harmattan might harbor amebic cysts, which may be inhaled by human beings and cause infection. A preliminary survey was thus carried out to examine the nasal passages of children for the presence of soil amebas during the harmattan. In all, 50 children were evaluated for the presence of soil amebas. Positive cultures for the soil amebas were obtained from 12 children (24%). Four species of amebas were isolated singly or in combination with other species. Pathogenic Naegleria fowleri, proved pathogenic for mice, were cultured from specimens from two children.

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