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J Clin Microbiol. 1995 Jul;33(7):1739-41.

Identification of microsporidia in stool specimens by using PCR and restriction endonucleases.

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  • 1Clinical Pathology Department, Warren G. Magnuson Clinical Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


We report the development of a PCR-based assay for the detection of microsporidia in clinical specimens. A single primer pair complementary to conserved sequences of the small-subunit rRNA enabled amplification of DNA from the four major microsporidian pathogens of humans: Encephalitozoon cuniculi, Encephalitozoon hellem, Enterocytozoon bieneusi, and Septata intestinalis. The extraction method allowed PCR amplification of E. bieneusi and S. intestinalis DNA from sodium hypochlorite-treated stool specimens. Differentiation of the microsporidian gastrointestinal pathogens E. bieneusi and S. intestinalis could be accomplished by restriction endonuclease digestion of PCR products using PstI and HaeIII.

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