Volume 42, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



is the common etiologic agent of primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). We investigated the interaction of human neutrophils with trophozoites and examined the effect of neutrophil stimulation by the recombinant human tumor necrosis factor (TNF) on this interaction. As indicated by scanning and transmission electron microscopy, TNF stimulated the adherence of neutrophils to with destruction of the ameba. Neutrophil iodination, an indirect measure of stimulation, increased from 0.81 ± 0.23 nmol/10 cells/hr to 2.41 ± 0.62 nmol/10 cells/hr following the addition of TNF to the neutrophil- mixture ( < 0.05). This was independent of complement or specific immunoglobulin. Ingestion of neutrophils by trophozoites was observed following more prolonged incubation, particularly in the absence of TNF. These findings suggest a role for TNF-mediated destruction of trophozoites by neutrophils in host defense, and that ingestion of host neutrophils by trophozoites may represent a virulence factor.


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