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HomePediatrics: General MedicineAmebic Meningoencephalitis

Amebic Meningoencephalitis

Practice Essentials

Amebic meningoencephalitis is an extremely rare and sporadic central nervous system (CNS) infection caused by free-living amoebae, mostly found in freshwater lakes and rivers. The initial symptoms of primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) are indistinguishable from bacterial meningitis, while the symptoms of granulomatous amebic meningoencephalitis (GAE) can mimic a brain abscess or meningitis. Diagnosis can be made by observing motile amebae in a wet mount of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) or visualization on CSF Wright or Giemsa stain. Treatment consists of a combination of systemic and intrathecal antibiotics.

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