Lisa A. Spacek, M.D., Ph.D.


  • Microsporidia are fungi and endoparasites related to Cryptomycota.[5] They are obligate intracellular organisms that spread via spores. Microsporidia behave as protozoa; they possess a defining characteristic called a "polar tube" that coils around the sporoplasm inside of the spore and during germination, the polar tube everts to bring the sporoplasm into contact with the host cell.[12]
  • Most commonly identified with human disease:
    • Enterocytozoon bieneusi and Encephalitozoon intestinalis (syn. Septata intestinalis) are etiology of majority of infections.
    • Encephalitozoon hellem, E. cuniculi
    • Vittaforma corneae
    • Nosema ocularum
    • Trachipleistophora hominis, T. anthropothera
    • Anncaliia algerae,[9] A. connori, A. vesicularum
    • Pleistophora spp
    • Microsporidium spp
  • Sources of infection and modes of transmission, likely zoonotic with pigs, cattle, donkeys, birds, and mosquitoes as reservoirs, and/or waterborne.[8]
  • Spores are quite resistant to environmental conditions and can persist in environment for years, particularly if protected from desiccation.

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Last updated: August 12, 2019