The simplest unicellular organism turned out to bethe perfect killer. A few victims, into whose bodies a tiny amoeba made their way, are doomed. Fowler’s glacier (Naegleria fowleri) is called an amoeba that eats the brain and no one knows how to stop it. In the summer of this year, 10 days after swimming in the lake, a resident of the United States of America died at the age of 59. And this week, Mexican authorities reported the death of a 15-year-old boy. Both victims were in contact with a unicellular organism that lives in fresh water.
What do we know about amoeba?
In case you forgot a little schoolbiology program, recall that amoeba are the simplest unicellular organisms whose body shape is constantly changing. This is also due to the fact that the amoeba move with the help of the so-called false feet, which either appear or disappear.
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Despite its microscopic size, amoebabelong to the animal kingdom and belong to the Amoebidae family. They inhabit mainly rivers, ponds and other bodies of water. The peculiarity of these animals lies in the fact that they are not averse to invading the organisms of various mammals, including you and me. Amoebas cannot survive in the absence of a humid environment, so the organisms of living beings in a sense replace them with their usual habitats.
Amoebas feed on various bacteria, algaeand other types of protozoa. In the human body, some types of amoeba can parasitize, for example, in the intestine or in the oral cavity. There are cases when amoebas came into contact with contact lenses, which ultimately led to blindness. It turns out that thanks to these animals a person can get sick.
Where did the amoeba killer come from?
Given all of the above, it no longer seemsIt is strange that both victims of the killer amoeba came into contact with this parasite in water. Moreover, these protozoa have been known since the 1970s. Since then, reports of her catastrophic attacks hit the headlines almost every year. 97% of confirmed cases of Fowler Negleria have been fatal.
You can discuss these and other cases of human infection with protozoa here.
Scientists studying this amoeba believe that, onwhat is capable of this simplest is one of the most perfect crimes of nature. Despite the terrible nickname, most brain-eating amoebas don't actually eat brains. Fowler negleria is mostly at rest or splashing around eating bacteria.
If the killer amoeba enters the human body duringdrinking water, nothing will happen to you. Fowler's Negleria becomes dangerous when it comes to our nose. This can happen while swimming in a water park or lake. The person who distracted the amoeba with his bathing from eating bacteria in most cases is doomed.
What does an amoeba do inside the brain?
Distracted from eating an amoeba, once in a warmthe human body, changes the shape of the body. Having woken up in an unfamiliar place, Negleria Fowler sets off in search of food. Traveling along the olfactory nerve, the amoeba will surely stumble upon a tangle of neurons, where it will be buried inside. The human immune system will try to get rid of the unwanted guest by sending leukocytes to it, which should destroy the parasite. It is this that results in edema and irreparable damage to the brain.
All in all, this deadly infection is known asprimary amoebic meningoencephalitis. This disease is similar to viral and bacterial meningitis, except that the invader comes from the water and “eats” your brain. Fowler's negleria is also extremely dangerous because it is incredibly difficult to detect. After an amoeba-infected patient enters the hospital, in most cases, everything that happens to him is mistaken for one of the types of meningitis.
Experts agree that todayFowler’s little is known about Negleria. Scientists know that this amoeba loves heat, but it is not yet known how to expel this uninvited guest from the human body without consequences.
So the next time you are planning a trip to the southern United States or to Mexico, be vigilant while swimming in the lakes.