Sappinia infection is an uncommon but fatal infection of the brain’s central nervous system brought on by free-living amoebae prevalent in aquatic bodies of water like rivers and lakes. A single-celled biological creature known as an ameba that lives unrestrained in the environment is identified as Sappinia. 

The two organisms of Sappinia that are recognized are Sappinia pedata and Sappinia diploidea. The sappinia infection may survive at greater temperatures for brief periods and thrives fastest at extremely high temperatures up to 115°F.


Sappinia comes in two different types: 

  • Primary meningoencephalitis (PAM). Unicellular infection may be found in soil and freshwater, lakes, streams, waterways, rock pools, and water fountains without chlorine. 
  • Granulomatous amebic encephalitis (GAE). A severe infection of the brain and spinal cord frequently affects those who have weakened immune systems.


In humans, Sappinia encephalitis has only ever been reported in one incidence. A 2-centimeter lump that resembled a tumor was discovered on the rear left area of the brain of the only known afflicted individual. Possible signs of a Sappinia infection involve:

  • Headache
  • Hazy vision
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Nausea or stomach discomfort
  • Vomiting

Infection or illness risk is increased in some groups:

  • Anyone may acquire a balamuthia infection.
  • Acanthamoeba-related GAE is more frequent in persons with impaired immune systems or chronic conditions.

The risk of infection is most significant in those with compromised immune systems and those who come in touch with animal excrement.


Doctors may rule out further probable reasons with imaging tests and a spinal puncture. To look for amebas, a sample is taken from a skin area and viewed under a microscope. Physicians may also use brain biopsy for diagnosis. 


The excision of brain cancer and several medications provided to the patient following surgery were part of the treatment for the one instance of Sappinia infection. Miltefosine is often used in medicine combinations prescribed by doctors to treat the illness.

Doctors identified the Sappinia type of free-living ameba as the infection-causing agent after examining tumor cell specimens.

Consult your doctor about the ideal course of action for your condition.

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