Naegleria fowleri

David Kipre

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Naegleria fowleri, colloquially known as a “brain-eating amoeba“, is a species of the genus Naegleria, belonging to the phylum Percolozoa, which is technically not classified as true amoeba, but a shapeshifting amoeboflagellate excavate. I is a free-living, bacteria-eating microorganism that can be pathogenic, causing an extremely rare sudden, severe and usually fatal brain infection called naegleriasis or primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). This microorganism is typically found in bodies of warm freshwater, such as ponds, lakes, rivers, hot springs, warm water discharge from industrial or power plants, geothermal well water, poorly maintained or minimally chlorinated (under 0.5 mg/m3 residual) swimming pools, water heaters, soil, and pipes connected to tap water.It can be seen in either an amoeboid or temporary flagellate stage.

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