Brain eating Amoeba.


It doesn’t happen often. But most summers, several Americans — usually healthy, young people — suffer sudden, tragic deaths from brain-eating amoeba.

What is this scary bug? How does it get to the brain? Where is it and how can I avoid it?


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What Is a Brain-Eating Amoeba?

Amoebas are single-celled organisms. The so-called brain-eating amoeba is a species discovered in 1965. It’s formal name isNaegleria fowleri. Although first identified in Australia, this amoeba is believed to have evolved in the U.S.

There are several species of Naegleria but only the fowleri species causes human disease. There are several fowleri subtypes. All are believed equally dangerous.

N. fowleri is microscopic: 8 micrometers to 15 micrometers in size, depending on its life stage and environment. By comparison, a hair is 40 to 50 micrometers wide.

Like other amoebas, Naegleria reproduces by cell division. When conditions aren’t right, the amoebas become inactive cysts. When conditions are favorable, the cysts turn into trophozoites — the feeding form of the amoeba.

To reach their food, N. fowleri trophozoites temporarily grow tails (flagella) that allow them to swim. In this form they cannot eat, so they soon go back to the trophozoite stage.

Where Are Brain-Eating Amoebas Found?

Naegleria loves very warm water. It can survive in water as hot as 113 degrees Fahrenheit.

These amoebas can be found in warm places around the globe. N. fowleri is found in:

  • Warm lakes, ponds, and rock pits
  • Mud puddles
  • Warm, slow-flowing rivers, especially those with low water levels
  • Untreated swimming pools and spas
  • Untreated well water or untreated municipal water
  • Hot springs and other geothermal water sources
  • Thermally polluted water, such as runoff from power plants
  • Aquariums
  • Soil, including indoor dust

Naegleria can’t live in salt water. It can’t survive in properly treated swimming pools or in properly treated municipal water.

Most cases of N. fowleri disease occur in Southern or Southwestern states. Over half of all infections have been in Florida and Texas.

How Do People Get Infected With Brain-Eating Amoeba?

The term “brain-eating amoeba” makes the amoeba sound like a tiny zombie stalking your skull. But brains are accidental food for them.

According to the CDC, N. fowleri normally eats bacteria. But when the amoeba gets into humans, it uses the brain as a food source.

The good news is that if you were to drink a glass of water infested with N. fowleri amoeba, you would not get a brain infection. It infects people by getting into your nose.

This happens most often when people are diving, water skiing, or performing water sports in which water is forced into the nose. But infections have occurred in people who dunked their heads in hot springs or who cleaned their nostrils with neti pots filled with untreated tap water

A person infected with N. fowleri amoeba cannot spread the infection to another person.


How Do Amoebas Get in the Brain?

Studies suggest that N. fowleri amoebas are attracted to the chemicals that nerve cells use to communicate with one another. Once in the nose, the amoebas travel through the olfactory nerve (the nerve connected with sense of smell) into the frontal lobe of the brain.

How Frequently Do People Get Infected by Brain-Eating Amoeba?

Even though N. fowleri amoebas are relatively common, they only rarely cause brain disease. N. fowleri disease is known as primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). It occurs from zero to eight times a year, almost always from July to September.

It’s considered a rare infection. But some cases may be unreported. A study in Virginia that looked at more than 16,000 autopsy records from patients who died ofmeningitis found five previously unreported cases of PAM.

Studies show that many people may have antibodies to N. fowleri. That suggests that they became infected with the amoeba but that their immune systems fought it off.

It’s not at all clear whether N. fowleri is a rare infection that always causes PAM and is almost always fatal, or a more common infection that only sometimes causes PAM.

In a 2009 study, CDC researchers suggested that the common finding of antibodies to the amoeba in humans and the frequent finding of N. fowleri in U.S. waters indicates “that exposure to the amoeba is much more common than the incidence of PAM suggests.”

How Long Until Symptoms of Brain-Eating Amoeba Appear?

It takes two to 15 days for symptoms to appear after N. fowleri amoebas enter the nose. Death usually occurs three to seven days after symptoms appear. The average time to death is 5.3 days from symptom onset. Only a handful of patients worldwide have been reported to have survived an infection.

What Are the First Symptoms Someone Might Have?

Symptoms of PAM are not specific to this disease. At first, PAM may seem like viral meningitis. Symptoms include:

  • headache
  • fever
  • stiff neck
  • loss of appetite
  • vomiting
  • altered mental state
  • seizures
  • coma

There may also be hallucinations, drooping eyelid, blurred vision, and loss of the sense of taste.

Is There a Treatment for Infection With Brain-Eating Amoeba?

The right treatment isn’t clear. A number of drugs kill N. fowleri amoebas in the test tube. But even when treated with these drugs, very few patients survive.

Is There a Rapid Test for Infection With Brain-Eating Amoeba?

There is no rapid test for infection with brain-eating amoeba. But researchers are working to develop one. Until such tests come along, it can take weeks to identify the amoeba.

How Do Amoebas Dissolve Brain Tissue?

One study suggests that N. fowleri amoebas produce two proteases — enzymes that dissolve protein.

There is also evidence that this particular species of amoeba is attracted to the olfactory nerve and then to the brain by the chemical messengers nerve and brain cells use to communicate with one another.


Parasite testing center

Parasitic Infection in America


There’s no use denying it, reports of parasitic infection have been appearing more frequently, and in places you might not expect. Some estimates place the infection rate at 90% in the US alone. Another estimates shows that as many as 50% of preschool children are infected with pinworm. With symptoms like; chronic Fatigue, irregular digestion, and irritated bowels, many people will go through they life never suspecting that a parasitic infection is causing their symptoms. This is a major risk to the health of Americans, one which is still under the radar.


Why would Americans worry about parasites? Parasites are found in every economic climate, though they are more prevalent poorer countries. Literally every facet of our survival deal with parasites, such as in our food and drinking water. There are 150,000 different kinds of parasites, and there are even fewer laboratories that do broad spectrum tests.  Parasites are often discovered in surgery, during operation on a failed organ. Not only does this shock surgeons, but I’m certain it shocks patients as well.

Are you at risk? You may not believe your in the risk group. Well, you’re wrong. Do you eat food? Drink Water? (which I’m going to guess you do)  you are at risk for parasitic infection!

Roundworm from pets:  Most cats and dogs have a roundworm infection. By sleeping with your pet, you greatly increase the chance of getting a parasitic infection from them!

Raw fish:  Many parasites can be found in raw fish. Among them, the Anisakis roundworm. This worm can cause fatal organ damage if left untreated. Due to the lack of FDA inspectors, only 10% of fish is inspected. Even still, you cannot tell if a fish is infected just by looking it at. Many can only be viewed on the microscopic level. There no way to tell if fish you’r eating is safe. Cooking a fish thoroughly can help insure any parasites within the fish are killed.

Tap water: There have been many cases of parasitic infections spreading from contaminated tap water. Many hundreds of people have died from this. Many more people continued on, never knowing the sometimes fatal damage being done to them.

Food: Many foods you eat come from other countries, and there is no way to insure your food is not contaminated without giving it a good wash with soap. However, even if you buy local, that doesn’t mean the food is parasite free.


Common parasites found in human intestines:

Pork Tape Worm (Taenia Solium): Infections come from eating raw or under cooked pork  Larvae grow in the body, causing cysts which can occur in the brain, leading to seizure and death.

Round Worms: According to “The WHO” one billion people are infected with round worms. Growing over 14″ long, and laying 200,000 eggs each day, these worms can cause intestinal blockages. Symptoms include rashes, stomach pain, asthma, eye pain and more, often depending on what part of the body houses the infection.

Pin Worms: An infection commonly found in children. The CDC states in some countries the infection rate is as high as 61%. Children can often get pin worms from playing dirt. Usually there are no symptoms but itching of the anus. Children are at high risk for parasitic infections.

Giardia Parasite: Giardia is the most common intestinal parasites in people. Contaminated water, food, or soil. Symptoms may include fatigue, diarrhea, stomach cramps,   nausea, and chills.

Whip Worms: Infecting more then 500 million people, this worm can lay over 10.000 eggs per day. The eggs are often found in dry goods such as grains, beans, and rice.  This worm causes blood loss that will lead to anemia.

Hookworms: A microscopic worm that sucks  your blood through your intestinal wall. Damage to the intestinal wall causes blood loss, leading to anemia. This worm has been known to get into the heart, causing a fatal infection. Animal feces often carry hookworms.  There are few symptoms that accompany this infection, and are often not experienced until there is damage to the heart or intestines.


The best parasite cleanse:  Dr. Omar Amin’s parasite cleanse; “Freedom, Cleanse, Restore” can be found here


Parasite Cleanse

Dr. Omar Amin’s Parasite Testing and Natural Treatment


Dr. Omar Amin is the leading expert in parasitology in the United States.  His vast knowledge in this realm is impressive.  Parasites are a topic that most people choose to ignore because they are thought to be “dirty” and certainly could not exist in the United States.  Well, I think that point of view is rather dangerous to the health of many.  It is my opinion that many people, especially those with chronic Lyme disease, have an underlying parasite issue as part of their overall health challenge.

Dr. Amin spoke at the Physician’s Round Table in Tampa Florida which was held January 24-27, 2013.  Not only did he speak, but he was given a special award of recognition for all of his hard work in the diagnosis and treatment of parasitic conditions.  His lab is one of the best in the country for parasite testing.  Recently, he formulated a 3-part product called Freedom, Cleanse, and Restore to help rid the body of parasites and other organisms based on his many years of research.

Parasite Cleanse

While RX anti-parasitics are often very useful as well, his all-natural product represents one of the best options for the treatment of parasites formulated by one of the leading experts in the world in this area of medicine.

I share here his presentation from the event with his permission.  It was an excellent summary of the many different issues in dealing with parasites.  A special thank you to Dr. Amin for allowing me to post his presentation here.  Also a warning that some of the photographs in the presentation are difficult to look at so be prepared if you decide to REVIEW THE SLIDES. Click HERE to see the latest video of his presentation on parasite cleanses and HERE to see the latest video of his presentation on “Understanding Parasites” , both filmed at the Physcicians Round Table Conference in Tampa, Florida at the end of January 2013.
If you are interested in trying Freedom, Cleanse, and Restore, you can find out more information here.  Additionally, for some of the best parasite testing in the world, you may want to ask your doctor to consider ordering from the Parasitology Center in Arizona where Dr. Amin has his lab.

Note: I have no financial connection to Dr. Amin nor do I benefit from the sale of his products.

A Parasite’s Parasites


French scientists identify a new giant virus, which carries the genome of a smaller virus and a new breed of mobile DNA.

Bernard La Scola and Christelle Desnues from the CNRS in France found that the fluid was contaminated with an amoeba infected by a new giant virus, which they called Lentille virus. Inside that, they found a virophage—a virus that can only replicate in cells infected by another virus—which they called Sputnik 2. Deeper still, they found tiny chunks of parasitic DNA, which they called transpovirons, that can hop around Lentille virus genomes and stow away inside Sputnik 2. They published their results today (October 15) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Lentille belongs to a group of giant viruses called Mimiviridae. First discovered in 2003, new members have been rapidly added to the family tree ever since. “This story again reveals another aspect of the remarkable complexity and diversity of giant viruses,” said Curtis Suttle, a virologist from the University of British Columbia who was not involved in the study.


Sputnik 2 is the fourth known virophage. La Scola and Desnues found the first—Sputnik—in 2008, under similar circumstances. It infected a giant virus called mamavirus, which infected an amoeba found in dirty water from a Parisian cooling tower. Mamavirus copies itself by creating large viral factories inside the amoeba, and Sputnik replicates by hijacking these factories at the giant virus’s expense.


Two more virophages were found in giant viruses last year—Mavirus, discovered by Suttle, and OLV, found in an Antarctic Lake by Ricardo Cavicchioli from the University of New South Wales.


Of the virophages found so far, however, Sputnik 2 holds a important distinction: it can insert its DNA into its host’s genome, just as other viruses such as HIV and herpes, insert their DNA into the genomes of infected animals.


Jean-Michel Claverie, also at the CNRS but not involved in this study, says that this discovery could explain why different giant viruses often carry similar genes. By fusing with the genomes of their hosts and hopping out again, virophages could act as “vehicles for gene transfer between these giant viruses,” he said.


The team also looked “in the trash,” said team leader Didier Raoult, examining DNA fragments found inside the giant viruses did not seem to be a part of the Lentille virus or Sputnik 2 genomes. In doing so, they found an independent stretch of DNA inside Lentille virus that outnumbers the giant virus’s own DNA by as much as 14 times and can insert itself into the virus’s genome or stay outside of it. Mobile pieces of DNA have been found in giant viruses before, but Raoult saw this as a new type, one with similarities to the transposons that jump in and out of the genomes of living cells. The researchers dubbed the new mobile element a transpoviron.


The transpovirons seem to rely on the giant virus to replicate, and while the details are unclear, these sequences are very good at reproducing. When Lentille virus first infects the amoeba, the transpovirons are “produced like mad” according to Raoult, at an earlier stage and to a greater extent than the genes of either the virophage or virus. They can also stow away inside Sputnik 2, and Raoult thinks that they may ride from one giant virus to another aboard virophages.


The transpovirons seem to be a mish-mash of DNA from many sources. They contain between six to eight genes, including some that look to have come from giant viruses, others that are similar to virophage genes, and at least one that may have come from bacteria.


The same is true for virophages themselves. Sputnik’s tiny genome contains genes that look like they came from giant viruses, bacteria, or eukaryotic cells. Mavirus has genes that look like jumping genes called “Maverick transposons,” which are also found in eukaryotic cells, including those in humans. These eukaryotic Maverick sequences may evolved from virophages. Since virophages hamper the replication of giant viruses, Suttle suspects that early cells might have protected themselves from such viruses by incorporating virophages into their own genomes, effectively domesticating them.


Raoult suspects that many more virophages and transpovirons await discovery. “Very few people work on giant viruses, and [transpovirons] may have been neglected as they are unexpected,” he said. His team has already found more such elements in the genomes of three other giant viruses.


Suttle agrees. “The natural viral world encompasses the greatest genetic and biological diversity on Earth,” he said. “Its continued exploration will undoubtedly unlock many more secrets that fundamentally change our understanding of the evolution and diversity of life on our planet.”


C. Desnues et al., “Provirophages and transpovirons as the diverse mobilome of giant viruses,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, doi:10.1073/pnas.1208835109, 2012.