Fatal granulomatous amoebic encephalitis caused by Balamuthia mandrillaris

Med J Aust. 1997 Jul 21;167(2):82-4. doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.1997.tb138785.x.


Granulomatous amoebic encephalitis caused by Balamuthia mandrillaris is rare (63 human) cases reported worldwide) and fatal. We report a case in a five-year-old boy who had previously been well. For 18 months, he had had a slowly progressive, granulomatous mid facial lesion, but despite extensive investigation definitive diagnosis was made only with the acute onset of neurological signs in the last two weeks of life, when a brain biopsy specimen revealed amoebic trophozoites and cysts. Infection with B. mandrillaris should be considered in the differential diagnosis of chronic skin lesions with non-specific granulomatous histopathology and negative microbiological test results.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Amebiasis / diagnosis
  • Amebiasis / parasitology*
  • Animals
  • Brain / parasitology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Encephalitis / diagnosis
  • Encephalitis / parasitology*
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Granuloma / parasitology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Skin / parasitology
  • Skin Diseases, Parasitic / parasitology*