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HIV Med. 2000 Jul;1(3):155-61.

Disseminated infection due to Encephalitozoon cuniculi in a patient with AIDS: case report and review.

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Department of Infectious Diseases, Saint-Louis Hospital, Paris, France.



Infections due to microsporidia are increasingly recognized as opportunistic infections in patients with AIDS. We describe here a case of disseminated infection due to Encephalitozoon cuniculi and review the literature on this microsporidial infection.


All 12 patients reported in the literature had AIDS and nine presented with disseminated infection involving the kidneys, sinuses, lungs, brain and conjunctiva. Asymptomatic infection was seen in three patients. Microsporidia were detected by light microscopy examination of urine samples in all the cases. Species identification was performed by various genotypic methods or transmission electron microscopy. Eight of 12 patients who received albendazole therapy experienced clinical improvement with documented clearance of spores in five of these eight patients. Two patients relapsed.


E. cuniculi infection should be considered in severely immunocompromised HIV-infected patients with multi-organ involvement and fever, especially when renal failure is present. Microsporidial spores are usually seen in urine samples and in the involved organ. Albendazole therapy seems to be effective.

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