Florida teen survives brain-eating amoeba infection

Profounda Inc. recently reported the successful treatment of 16-year-old Sebastian DeLeon, a significant milestone in the light of the fact that the teen was infected by Naegleria fowleri, also known as the brain-eating amoeba, which causes primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM).

"We could not be happier for this recent patient and their family," Profounda CEO Todd MacLaughlan said. "This case confirms that having Impavido (miltefosine) readily available at the hospital and with early diagnosis and treatment, that we can provide hope for attaining a clinical cure for an otherwise lethal condition."

Timing is crucial in treating PAM. Because both the Florida Hospital for Children and Profounda headquarters are located in Orlando, the medication Impavido (miltefosine) was delivered within 30 minutes of the diagnosis. Of the 35 cases of PAM diagnosed between 2005 and 2014, only two patients survived. Both were treated with miltefosine. DeLeon is the third survivor of the disease.

Miltefosine is also used to treat Balamuthia and Acanthamoeba infection, which are also caused by Free Living Amoeba (FLA). It is the only oral treatment for a rare tropical parasitic disease, leishmaniasis, an often fatal infection, and second only to malaria worldwide.

"We want to raise awareness of Free Living Amoeba (FLA) by working closely with the Jordan Smelski Foundation for Amoeba Awareness in Orlando and the Kyle Lewis Amoeba Awareness Foundation in Texas," MacLaughlan said. "While there is a low incidence of patients, without prompt treatment the condition is deadly. PAM symptoms mimic those of viral and bacterial meningitis, with proper knowledge and the drug on hand, we believe lives can be saved. That's why we are making it available to hospitals at no cost until the drug is needed. Once Naegleria fowleri is suspected, time can't be wasted in sourcing and transporting treatment."
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Profounda, Inc. 5790 Hoffner Ave Orlando, FL 32822-4824