TBI Seminar: Naegleria fowleri in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks
- Monday, March 2, 2020 from 3:10pm to 4:00pm
- Plant Biosciences Building, 108 - view map
Dr. Sandra Halonen is an associate professor in MSU’s Department of Microbiology & Immunology. Her research interest and expertise are in host/pathogen interactions of intracellular protozoan parasites. Dr. Elliott Barnhart is a research hydrologist at USGS Wyoming-Montana Water Science Center. His research focuses on using new DNA technology to better understand ecological processes, promote energy development, and examine environmental issues.
Naegleria fowleri, often called the ‘brain-eating amoeba’, is a thermophilic free-living amoeba which is the causative agent of primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), a rare but particularly virulent disease that has a fatality rate of 95%. N. fowleri infects individuals through the nasal passages via a water droplet, with the amoeba migrating along olfactory nerves and then entering the brain. N. fowleri lives in warm fresh water environments including rivers, lakes and hot springs. Dr. Halonen and Dr. Barnhart have been surveying popular hot springs in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks for the past several years and will present their findings on the prevalence of this deadly amoeba in the parks.