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In a new case report published in BMC Infectious Diseases, the authors describe the case of a 54-year-old male from Southern China who survived a Balamuthia mandrillaris infection (Granulomatous amoebic encephalitis-GAE).


He was treated with two excisions and medications.

A 54-year-old male was admitted to hospital after experiencing acute onset of numbness and weakness on his left limb. Due to the initial consideration of intracranial tumor, surgical removal of the right parietal lesion was performed. However, the patient had a headache accompanied by diplopia, difficulty walking and a new lesion was found in the left occipital-parietal lobe two weeks after the first operation. High-throughput next-generation sequencing (NGS) detected the presence of high copy reads of the B. mandrillaris genome sequence in the patient’s blood, cerebral spinal fluid (CSF), and brain tissue. Pathological investigation of the brain tissue showed granulomatous changes and amoebic trophozoite scattered around blood vessels under high magnification. The patient was re-operated due to developing progressive confusion caused by subfalcine herniation of the left cerebral hemisphere. The lesions of the right parietal lobe were obviously decreasing in size after the first surgery, and the lesions of the left occipital lobe and the sunfalcine herniation didn’t ameliorate two months after the second surgery. The patient was transferred to local hospital for continuous treatment with sulfamethoxazole and azithromycin. After five months of the second surgery, the patient showed good recovery with mild headache.

The authors conclude:

This is the first report of a patient with B. mandrillaris encephalitis initially confirmed by NGS and have experienced two excisions, responding favorably to the combination of surgeries and medications. Early surgical resection of intracranial lesions combined with drug treatment may offer the chance of a cure.

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