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Acta Gastroenterol Latinoam. 2012 Dec;42(4):301-8.

Molecular identification of protozoa causing AIDS-associated cholangiopathy in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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Hospital Municipal de Enfermedades Infecciosas Dr Francisco Javier Muñiz, Uspallata 2272 (CP 1282), Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Argentina.



Several species of microsporidia and coccidia are protozoa parasites responsible for cholan-giopathy disease in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The goals of this work were to identift opportunistic protozoa by molecular methods and describe the clinical manifestations at the gastrointestinal tract and the biliary system in patients with AIDS-associated cholangiopathy from Buenos Aires, Argentina.


This study included 11 adult HIV-infected individuals with diagnosis ofAIDS- associated cholangiopathy. An upper gastrointestinal endoscopy with biopsy specimen collection and a stool analysis for parasites were performed on each patient. The ultrasound analysis revealed bile ducts compromise. An endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography and a magnetic resonance cholangiography were carried out. The identification to the species level was performed on biopsy specimens by molecular methods.


Microorganisms were identified in 10 cases. The diagnosis in patients with sclerosing cholangitis was cryptosporidiosis in 3 cases, cystoisosporosis in 1 and microsporidiosis in 1. In patients with sclerosing cholangitis and papillary stenosis the diagnosis was microsporidiosis in 2 cases, cryptosporidiosis in 2 and cryptosporidiosis associated with microsporidiosis in 1. In 3 cases with cryptosporidiosis the species was Cryptosporidium hominis, 1 of them was associated with Enterocytozoon bieneusi, and the other 2 were coinfected with Cryptosporidium parvum. In the 4 cases with microsporidiosis the species was Enterocytozoon bieneusi.


These results suggest that molecular methods may be useful tools to identify emerging protozoa in patients with AIDS-associated cholangiopathy.

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