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primary amebic meningoencephalitis


Definition: an invasive, rapidly fatal cerebral infection by soil amebae, chiefly Naegleria fowleri, found in humans and other primates and experimentally in rodents; the disease is characterized by a high fever, neck rigidity, and symptoms associated with upper respiratory infection such as cough and nausea; although organisms have been cultured from various organs, the brain is the primary focus, especially the olfactory lobes and cerebral cortex, which are first attacked by amebae that enter from nasal mucosa through the cribriform plate; death usually occurs 2–3 days after onset of symptoms.

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.