Other Specimens – Tissue Specimens for Free-living Amebae (FLAs)

Tissue specimens, including biopsy, surgical or necropsy specimens, may be collected for the detection of free-living amebae (Naegleria, Balamuthia, and Acanthamoeba). The desired specimens include:

  • tissue slides stained with hematoxylin and eosin (H&E).
  • unstained slides (for indirect Immunofluorescence, or IIF).
  • unfixed brain tissue or CSF for PCR.
  • unfixed corneal scrapings (for Acanthamoeba).
  • paraffin-embedded tissue block.

Ship samples according to shipping guidelines and requirements (see shipping guidelines). Unfixed specimens for culture should be sent at ambient temperature by overnight priority mail. For PCR, sterile unfixed specimens or specimens in 70-90% ethanol should be sent by overnight priority mail on ice packs. Care should be taken to pack glass slides securely, as they can be damaged in shipment if not packed in a crush-proof container. Specimen submission forms for free-living amebae testing can be requested by emailing

For additional information about tissue specimens, call the Division of Parasitic Diseases, at (404) 718-4110.

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