Diagnosis

Clinicians: For 24/7 diagnostic assistance, specimen collection guidance, shipping instructions, and treatment recommendations, please contact the CDC Emergency Operations Center at 770-488-7100. More detailed guidance is under Information for Public Health & Medical Professionals.

Video: Lab Detection of Naegleria fowleri
Jennifer Cope discusses the detection of Naegleria fowleri in the lab.

Lab Detection of Naegleria fowleri, the Jordan Smelski Foundation.

Subject matter experts, including CDC expert Dr. Jennifer Cope, provide background information on Naegleria fowleri and discuss how to identify the ameba in diagnostic specimens.

Diagnostic Tests

Specimens Needed for Pre-Mortem Diagnosis

Clinical Specimens for Diagnosis at CDC

If possible, please send the following specimens:

  • Fresh CSF (Please DO NOT FREEZE and DO NOT REFRIGERATE as this kills the amebae)
  • Fresh, unfixed brain tissue
  • Fresh, unfixed tissue (other than brain)
  • Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded, tissue
    • Three H&E-stained slides
    • Six unstained slides
    • Paraffin-embedded tissue block
  • Photos of gross brain morphology
    • Particularly around olfactory and auditory areas
  • Serum