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Brief Summary

The genus Sappinia includes at least two species (probably more) exhibiting two life-cycle stages, a trophozoite and a cyst. Two nuclei in the trophozoite stage are characteristic for the genus. Because the first Sappinia isolates were derived from animal dung, Sappinia was at first assumed to be coprozoic. Today, however, Sappinia is considered to be a typical free-living amoeba that is widely distributed in the environment. In 2001, a case of amoebic encephalitis caused by Sappinia was reported. Although only a single confirmed case of a brain infection with Sappinia has been described, there may be a considerable number of unrecorded cases due to lack of awareness on the part of physicians, as was long the case for infections with other free-living amoebae (and to some degree is still the case). (Walochnik et al. 2010 and references therein; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)


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© Shapiro, Leo

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