5 doctors weighed in:

Why is naegleria fowleri way more deadly than viral and bacterial forms of meningoencephalitis ? And why doesn't it have a treatment?

5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Kevin Olson
Family Medicine
3 doctors agree

In brief: Similar to humans

Naegleria fowleri is a eukaryotic protozoan.
Humans are also eukaryotes, which means our DNA and general cellular structure is very similar. Antibiotics and antiviral medications are effective because they can target components of cells that are different than ours. However, with Naegleria, given that they are so similar it is difficult to target them specifically and leave our own cells alone.

In brief: Similar to humans

Naegleria fowleri is a eukaryotic protozoan.
Humans are also eukaryotes, which means our DNA and general cellular structure is very similar. Antibiotics and antiviral medications are effective because they can target components of cells that are different than ours. However, with Naegleria, given that they are so similar it is difficult to target them specifically and leave our own cells alone.
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Dr. Marvin Ott
Emergency Medicine
3 doctors agree

In brief: Because of its type

Primary Amebic Meningioencephalitis, caused by Naegleria Fowleri is quite deadly.
Fortunately it is quite rare. The usual mode of transmission is thru exposure to warm lake water. It is often deadly because it is recognized late. It is a myth that there is no treatment, however. Azithromycin, clotrimazole, itraconazole, fluconazole, and ketoconazole can all treat it, but not 100% of the time.

In brief: Because of its type

Primary Amebic Meningioencephalitis, caused by Naegleria Fowleri is quite deadly.
Fortunately it is quite rare. The usual mode of transmission is thru exposure to warm lake water. It is often deadly because it is recognized late. It is a myth that there is no treatment, however. Azithromycin, clotrimazole, itraconazole, fluconazole, and ketoconazole can all treat it, but not 100% of the time.
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