A rare complication of nasal irrigation or jalneti

Health Care, Medicine Comments Off

Two fatal cases of primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) were reported in patients in the state of Louisiana, resulting from the use of unclean tap water to irrigate the sinuses.

The causative amoeba was Naegleria fowleri, an organism that is usually contracted from swimming in freshwater lakes and rivers, geothermal bodies of water, or inadequately chlorinated pools.

Patients who perform sinus irrigation should be advised to use distilled, sterilized, or previously boiled water if making their own saline solutions. Although rare, PAM is usually fatal.


1.     Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. http://new.dhh.louisiana. gov/index.cfm/ newsroom/detail/2332 (Accessed on January 22, 2012).

2.     Information about Naegleria infection is available online from the United States Centers for disease control. http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/naegleria/faqs.html#how_infect