Amoebas in drinking water: a double threat

Analysis reveals widespread, hidden contamination by the sometimes lethal parasites

By Janet Raloff, 18:22 PM January 28, 2011

Amoebas — blob-shaped microbes linked to several deadly diseases — contaminate drinking-water systems around the world, according to a new analysis. The study finds that amoebas are appearing often enough in water supplies and even in treated tap water to be considered a potential health risk.

A number of these microorganisms can directly trigger disease, from a blinding corneal infection to a rapidly lethal brain inflammation. But many amoebas possess an equally sinister if less well-recog...

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