Primary Amoebic Meningoencephalitis: Neurochemotaxis and Neurotropic Preferences of Naegleria fowleri.

Document Type



Biological and Biomedical Sciences


Naegleria fowleri causes one of the most devastating necrotic meningoencephalitis in humans. The infection caused by this free-living amoeba is universally fatal within a week of onset of the signs and symptoms of the disease called primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). In all the affected patients, there is always a history of entry of water into the nose. Even though the diagnostic and treatment protocols have been revised and improved, the obstinate nature of the disease can be gauged by the fact that the mortality rate has persisted around ∼95% over the past 60 years. Some of the unanswered questions regarding PAM are is there a neurochemical basis of the chemotaxis of N. fowleri to the brain? What immune evasion means occurs preceding the neurotropic invasion? What is the contribution of the acute inflammatory response in the fatal cases? Can a combination of anti-amoebic drugs with antagonism of the acute inflammation help save the patient's life? As prevention remains the most valuable safeguard against N. fowleri, a quicker diagnosis, better understanding of the pathogenesis of PAM coupled with testing of newer and safer drugs could improve the chances of survival in patients affected with PAM.

Publication (Name of Journal)

ACS chemical neuroscience