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Rev Inst Med Trop Sao Paulo. 2000 Nov-Dec;42(6):299-304.

Clinical and diagnostic aspects of intestinal microsporidiosis in HIV-infected patients with chronic diarrhea in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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Laboratório de Parasitologia, Departamento de Patologia, Faculdade de Ciências Médicas, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil.


The objectives of this study were to determine both the prevalence of microsporidial intestinal infection and the clinical outcome of the disease in a cohort of 40 HIV-infected patients presenting with chronic diarrhea in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Each patient, after clinical evaluation, had stools and intestinal fragments examined for viral, bacterial and parasitic pathogens. Microsporidia were found in 11 patients (27.5%) either in stools or in duodenal or ileal biopsies. Microsporidial spores were found more frequently in stools than in biopsy fragments. Samples examined using transmission electron microscopy (n=3) or polymerase chain reaction (n=6) confirmed Enterocytozoon bieneusi as the causative agent. Microsporidia were the only potential enteric pathogens found in 5 of the 11 patients. Other pathogens were also detected in the intestinal tract of 21 patients, but diarrhea remained unexplained in 8. We concluded that microsporidial infection is frequently found in HIV infected persons in Rio de Janeiro, and it seems to be a marker of advanced stage of AIDS.

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