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Microsporidia

Wednesday 21 May 2008

Microsporidia sp.

Definition: Microsporidia can affect the entire gastrointestinal tract and cause microsporidiosis. It is believed that they do not affect immunocompetent persons. Enterocytozoon bieneusi and Encephalitozoon intestinalis are the most commonly seen species in human infections.

Images

- Blue vacuoles and microsporidia / microsporidiosis

In contrast to Cryptosporidium sp., which appears as basophilic beads lining the surface of the epithelial cells, microsporidia appears as subtle vacuolations, often at the apex of the epithelial cells. These vacuoles are difficult to recognize using hematoxylin and eosin stain.

Thinly cut sections may help in recognition. Also, a modified trichrome stain is a great aid in diagnosis as these vacuoles would appear red.

Warthin-Starry stain also demonstrates them well. Other histologic features include villous blunting, and patchy lymphoplasmacytic infiltration in the lamina propria.

See also

- coccidial infections