Monday, December 21, 2009

IN THE NEWS-Balamuthia mandrillaris and Kidney Transplants

The New York Times just reported that two transplant patients had a rare brain infection that was transmitted to them by kidneys taken from a donor at the University of Mississippi Medical Center  This might be the first human-to-human transfer of the amoeba Balamuthia mandrillaris....What is Balamuthia mandrillaris: - Its a leptomyxid Amoeba which can cause amoebiasis in humans. The most common thing it causes is the meningoencephalitis.  It will enter our body via the lower respiratory tract or open wounds. The granulamotous ameobic encephalitis it causes is usually fatal. The patient might present with neurological symptoms of siezures, headaches and frank paralysis. There are so few cases in the word, that only two have been successfully treated with antibiotics and antiparasitics but all had permanent neurological defecits. Only a  total of 10 encephalitis cases were known to have been caused by the amoeba between 1997 and 2007. This is scary!!!

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