Brain-Eating Amoeba, Naegleria fowleri, in Fresh Water and Soil
EMSL Analytical provides PCR testing services for Naegleria fowleri, the amoeba implicated in several recent high profile cases of PAM.
Cinnaminson, NJ, September 24, 2013
The startling news is breaking another child has been infected with the brain-eating amoeba Naegleria fowleri. It happened in Louisiana. News broadcasts have reported information pertaining to this recent infection as well as a link to this amoeba and the occurrence of hurricanes around the world. To link the presence of this brain-eating amoeba in Louisiana to the occurrence of Hurricane Katrina is purely speculative, at this point, and has not been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), according to news sources.
Naegleria fowleri is a free-living amoeba found in warm water sources such as lakes, rivers, and hot springs. It is also found in soil, and unchlorinated or poorly chlorinated swimming pools. There is no evidence that this organism lives in bodies of salt water. Thus, the speculative link to the presence of this brain-eating amoeba in Louisiana to Hurricane Katrina may mislead people who live within Katrina-affected regions. This years historic heavy rains have resulted in a preponderance of flooding and overflow of swimming pools, rivers, and lakes in many regions across the United States. For this reason, the risk of exposure is higher than in years past. According to CDC statistics, while 128 known infections have occurred within the US since 1962, 31 of these infections were reported between 2003 and 2012. Naegleria fowleri usually infects people when contaminated water enters their body through the nose. When the amoeba travels from the nose to the brain, it causes primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). PAM destroys brain tissue and causes brain swelling. Of the 128 people known to be infected within the US, only one person has survived.
Swimming or diving in bodies of warm freshwater such as lakes, rivers, and even swimming pools, represent the highest risk of infection. Naegleria fowleri has been detected in ground water aquifers and domestic water sources through the use of nested PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) laboratory analysis - a very sensitive, DNA test. EMSL Analytical, Inc. offers the same, sensitive PCR method for the detection of Naegleria fowleri in water samples.
To speak with an EMSL Analytical representative about water testing analysis for the brain-eating amoeba, Naegleria fowleri, please call 1-800-220-3675.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, microbial pathogen, indoor air quality and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.
- Contact Information
- Joseph Frasca
- Senior Vice President of Marketing
- EMSL Analytical
- (1) 1-800-220-3675
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