About CDC's Naegleria fowleri Program

At a glance

  • CDC's Free-Living and Intestinal Amebas (FLIA) Lab is one of only a few U.S. labs that can identify Naegleria fowleri.
  • The lab provides test results quickly.
  • CDC tracks and collects information on Naegleria fowleri infections in the United States.
CDC scientist Shantanu Roy sits in front of computer and runs a test on a suspected case of Naegleria fowleri.


Around-the-clock assistance‎

CDC's Naegleria fowleri Program provides 24/7 diagnostic assistance, specimen collection guidance, shipping instructions, and treatment recommendations. Health providers needing assistance should contact the CDC Emergency Operations Center at 770-488-7100.

CDC's Free-Living and Intestinal Amebas (FLIA) Lab is a national and global leader for diagnostic expertise and clinical guidance.

As one of only a few labs in the United States that can identify Naegleria fowleri, it diagnoses the most U.S. cases of primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), a rare but nearly always fatal brain infection caused by the ameba.

The FLIA Lab provides assistance if there is a suspected case of PAM. Identifying Naegleria fowleri as the source of an infection quickly is critical. An accurate test result within the first few days after a patient starts having symptoms of PAM increases their chances of getting the right treatment and surviving.

CDC's Naegleria fowleri Program also:

  • Tracks and investigates infections to learn more about who is at risk, how the infections are best treated, and how infections can be prevented
  • Develops new methods for detecting Naegleria fowleri