JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Naegleria fowleri: pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment options

Eddie Grace, Scott Asbill, Kris Virga
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 2015, 59 (11): 6677-81
26259797
Naegleria fowleri has generated tremendous media attention over the last 5 years due to several high-profile cases. Several of these cases were followed very closely by the general public. N. fowleri is a eukaryotic, free-living amoeba belonging to the phylum Percolozoa. Naegleria amoebae are ubiquitous in the environment, being found in soil and bodies of freshwater, and feed on bacteria found in those locations. While N. fowleri infection appears to be quite rare compared to other diseases, the clinical manifestations of primary amoebic meningoencephalitis are devastating and nearly always fatal. Due to the rarity of N. fowleri infections in humans, there are no clinical trials to date that assess the efficacy of one treatment regimen over another. Most of the information regarding medication efficacy is based on either case reports or in vitro studies. This review will discuss the pathogenesis, diagnosis, pharmacotherapy, and prevention of N. fowleri infections in humans, including a brief review of all survivor cases in North America.

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