Isolation and molecular identification of Naegleria fowleri from Nile river, Egypt

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Members of the genus Naegleria are free-living amoebae distributed in various aquatic environments. Naegleria fowleri is the only species that can cause fatal primary amoebic meningoencephalitis in humans.

Materials and methods

A total of 48 Nile water samples were collected from the water stream passing though Cairo. The samples were processed for the detection of Naegleria spp. using non-nutrient agar at 45°C. The isolates of Naegleria spp. were identified based on the morphologic criteria of trophozoite, flagellated and cyst stages. Molecular characterization of the isolates was performed using PCR.


The obtained results showed that Naegleria spp. were found in 45.8% of Nile water samples by means of microscopic examination. Seasonally, the highest prevalence of Naegleria spp. was recorded in summer (66.7%). Moreover, the highest prevalence of N. fowleri was recorded in summer (25%).


The occurrence of heat-tolerant Naegleria spp., especially N. fowleri, in Nile water should be considered as a potential health threat.

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