Molecular confirmation of sappinia pedata as a causative agent of amoebic encephalitis

Yvonne Qvarnstrom, Alexandre J. Da Silva, Frederick L. Schuster, Benjamin B. Gelman, Govinda S. Visvesvara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


Pathogenic free-living amoebae, such as Acanthamoeba species, Balamuthia mandrillaris, and Naegleria fowleri, are known to cause infections of the central nervous system in human and other animals. In 2001, a case of human encephalitis was reported that was caused by another amoeba with morphological features suggestive of Sappinia. The amoeba originally identified as Sappinia diploidea was identified, most likely as S. pedata, by use of newly developed real-time polymerase chain reaction assays. This amoeba had previously been found only in environmental sources, such as soil and tree bark. The results illustrate the potential for other freeliving amoebae, which are not normally associated with human disease, to cause occasional infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1139-1142
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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