Balamuthia mandrillaris is a free-living ameba (a single-celled living organism) naturally found in the environment. Balamuthia can cause a rare* and serious infection of the brain and spinal cord called Granulomatous Amebic Encephalitis (GAE).
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There is no universal definition of a “rare disease” but the U.S. Rare Disease Act of 2002 defined a rare disease as affecting less than 200,000 people in the U.S. and this definition has been adopted by the National Institutes of Health, Office of Rare Diseases.
- Page last reviewed: February 17, 2016
- Page last updated: February 17, 2016
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