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Brain-Eating Amoeba Came From Faucet

Two recent cases of primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) show that municipal tap water can harbor the amoeba responsible for the fatal disease, according to CDC researchers.

The deaths of two adults in Louisiana hospitals of infectious meningoencephalitis are the first recorded PAM cases in the country associated with the presence of Naegleria fowleri in household plumbing served by treated municipal water, wrote Jonathan Yoder, MPH, of the CDC's National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases in Atlanta, and colleagues in Clinical Infectious Diseases online.

The cases also are the first reports of a potential link between PAM and the use of a nasal irrigation device, the group added. As a result, the CDC recommended that patients who use a neti pot or similar device for nasal irrigation distill, filter, or boil the municipally treated tap water before use.

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