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Mod Pathol. 1997 Jan;10(1):68-77.

Encephalitozoon cuniculi microsporidiosis: infection of the brain, heart, kidneys, trachea, adrenal glands, and urinary bladder in a patient with AIDS.

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Department of Pathology, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, USA.


A female AIDS patient, dying with widely disseminated Encephalitozoon cuniculi microsporidiosis, cytomegalovirus (CMV) disease, and Pneumocystis carinii infection, is described. Indirect immunofluorescent antibody staining studies and molecular analyses identified the microsporidian as the dog strain of E. cuniculi. Autopsy revealed necrotizing microsporidiosis of the adrenal glands and kidneys, with lesser involvement of the brain, heart, trachea, urinary bladder, spleen, and lymph nodes. Cellular targets included macrophages, epithelium, endothelium, and cardiac myocytes. Spore detection was enhanced by Gram-staining, polarization, and fluorescence chitin stains. Central nervous system microglial nodules were present and either contained microsporidia, CMV, or no identifiable pathogen. CMV disease was most severe in the central nervous system, trachea, adrenal glands, and colon, whereas the Pneumocystis carinii infection was focal in the lungs, lymph nodes, and spleen. This is the first demonstration of Encephalitozoon microsporidiosis of the brain, heart, and adrenal glands in a patient with AIDS. E. cuniculi should be included in the differential diagnosis of disseminated opportunistic infections in patients with AIDS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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