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Int J Parasitol. 1998 Sep;28(9):1361-6.

Identification of a human isolate of Encephalitozoon cuniculi type I from Italy.

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Laboratory of Parasitology, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy.


A microsporidial strain, obtained from a person with AIDS living in Italy was isolated and cultivated on RK13 (rabbit kidney) cell monolayers. Identification at the species level was performed by immunological and molecular methods. Western blot analysis showed that the human isolate and the Encephalitozoon cuniculi reference strain had similar banding patterns. The small subunit rRNA sequence analysis confirmed the identification of the isolate as E. cuniculi, which is a widespread microsporidian species infecting a wide range of natural hosts, including humans. Moreover, based on the sequence of the rDNA internal transcribed spacer region, this isolate was classified as E. cuniculi type I (rabbit strain), previously reported in six persons with AIDS living in Switzerland. These results provide further information on the geographical distribution of E. cuniculi types.

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