Parasitology Research

, Volume 113, Issue 4, pp 1305–1311

Serologic survey for exposure following fatal Balamuthia mandrillaris infection

  • Brendan R. Jackson
  • Zuzana Kucerova
  • Sharon L. Roy
  • Glenda Aguirre
  • Joli Weiss
  • Rama Sriram
  • Jonathan Yoder
  • Rebecca Foelber
  • Steven Baty
  • Gordana Derado
  • Susan L. Stramer
  • Valerie Winkelman
  • Govinda S. Visvesvara
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00436-014-3769-0

Cite this article as:
Jackson, B.R., Kucerova, Z., Roy, S.L. et al. Parasitol Res (2014) 113: 1305. doi:10.1007/s00436-014-3769-0

Abstract

Granulomatous amebic encephalitis (GAE) from Balamuthia mandrillaris, a free-living ameba, has a case fatality rate exceeding 90 % among recognized cases in the USA. In August 2010, a GAE cluster occurred following transplantation of infected organs from a previously healthy landscaper in Tucson, AZ, USA, who died from a suspected stroke. As B. mandrillaris is thought to be transmitted through soil, a serologic survey of landscapers and a comparison group of blood donors in southern Arizona was performed. Three (3.6 %) of 83 serum samples from landscapers and 11 (2.5 %) of 441 serum samples from blood donors were seropositive (p = 0.47). On multivariable analysis, county of residence was associated with seropositivity, whereas age, sex, and ethnicity were not. Exposure to B. mandrillaris, previously unexamined in North America, appears to be far more common than GAE in Southern Arizona. Risk factors for disease progression and the ameba’s geographic range should be examined.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg (outside the USA) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brendan R. Jackson
    • 1
  • Zuzana Kucerova
    • 1
  • Sharon L. Roy
    • 1
  • Glenda Aguirre
    • 2
  • Joli Weiss
    • 3
  • Rama Sriram
    • 1
  • Jonathan Yoder
    • 1
  • Rebecca Foelber
    • 4
  • Steven Baty
    • 1
    • 3
  • Gordana Derado
    • 1
  • Susan L. Stramer
    • 5
  • Valerie Winkelman
    • 6
  • Govinda S. Visvesvara
    • 1
  1. 1.Centers for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Pima County Health DepartmentTucsonUSA
  3. 3.Arizona Department of Health ServicesPhoenixUSA
  4. 4.Tufts School of Veterinary MedicineNorth GraftonUSA
  5. 5.American Red CrossGaithersburgUSA
  6. 6.Creative Testing SolutionsTempeUSA