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Med J Aust. 1997 Jul 21;167(2):82-4.

Fatal granulomatous amoebic encephalitis caused by Balamuthia mandrillaris.

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Microbiology Department, Royal Melbourne Hospital, VIC.


Granulomatous amoebic encephalitis caused by Balamuthia mandrillaris is rare (63 human) cases reported worldwide) and fatal. We report a case in a five-year-old boy who had previously been well. For 18 months, he had had a slowly progressive, granulomatous mid facial lesion, but despite extensive investigation definitive diagnosis was made only with the acute onset of neurological signs in the last two weeks of life, when a brain biopsy specimen revealed amoebic trophozoites and cysts. Infection with B. mandrillaris should be considered in the differential diagnosis of chronic skin lesions with non-specific granulomatous histopathology and negative microbiological test results.

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