Perfect killer — amoeba, brain-eating

The simplest single-celled organism turned out to be the perfect assassin. Few the victim, in the body which snuck a tiny amoeba is doomed. Naegleria Fowler (Naegleria fowleri) is called the amoeba, brain-eating, and nobody knows how to stop it. This summer, 10 days after swimming in the lake, at the age of 59 years died a resident of the United States of America. And this week, Mexican authorities reported the death of 15-year-old boy. Both victims had contact with a single-celled organism that lives in fresh water.

It looks like Naegleria Fowler under the microscope

What do we know about amoebas?

In case you are a little bit forgotten high school biology will recall that amoeba is a protozoa, the shape of the body which changes all the time. This happens in part because that amoeba move by means of a so-called pseudopod that appear, then disappear.

More interesting about microorganisms can be found on our channel in Yandex.Zen

Despite their microscopic size, the amoeba belong to the animal Kingdom and belong to the family Amoebidae. They primarily inhabit rivers, ponds and other water bodies. A feature of these animals is that they are not averse to infiltrate the organisms of the most different mammals, including us. Amoebas cannot survive in the absence of a moist environment, so the organisms of living beings in a sense replace their usual habitats.

It looks like under a microscope the amoeba the ordinary

Amoeba feed on various bacteria, algae and other protozoa. In the human body can to parasitize some species of amoebas, for example in the intestine or in the mouth. Known cases when amoeba came into his eyes along with contact lenses, which ultimately led to blindness. Turns out, these animals can get.

Where did the amoeba-killer?

Given all of the above no longer seems strange the fact that both victims amoeba killer had contact with this parasite in water. Moreover, these simplest known since the 1970s of the last century. Since then, reports of its devastating attacks hit the headlines almost every year. 97% of confirmed cases of infection with Naegleria Fowler ended with a lethal outcome.

To discuss these and other cases of human infection with protozoan here.

Scientists studying this amoeba, I believe that we are capable of is a simple is one of the most committed crimes of the nature. Despite the terrible nickname, most of the amoeba, brain-eating, in fact don’t eat brains. Naegleria Fowler is primarily located in the state of rest or splashing eating bacteria.

If the amoeba killer gets into the human body by drinking water, nothing will happen. Dangerous Naegleria Fowler becomes when it hits us in the nose. This can occur during bathing in the water Park or the lake. Distracted amoeba its dip from eating bacteria man is in most cases doomed.

What amoeba is doing inside the brain?

Abstract eating amoeba got into a warm human body, changing body shape. Waking up in a strange place, Naegleria Fowler goes in search of food. Traveling along the olfactory nerve, the amoeba will stumble on a tangle of neurons, and where to bury inside. The immune system will try and get rid of unwanted guest by sending it to the white blood cells that should destroy the parasite. This result leads to swelling and irreparable brain damage.

Overall, this fatal infection known as primary amoebic meningoencephalitis. This disease is similar to viral and bacterial meningitis, except that the invader comes from water and “eats” your brain. Naegleria Fowler is extremely dangerous because it is incredibly difficult to detect. Once infected with the amoeba, the patient gets to the hospital, everything that happens to him in most cases mistaken for one of meningitis.

Black-and-white photo of Naegleria Fowler

Experts agree in opinion that on the date of Naegleria Fowler is little known. Scientists know that the amoeba likes warm, but how to expel this intruder from the human body without consequences is not yet known.

So next time when you’re going on a trip to the southern US or in Mexico, beware, swimming in the lakes.

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