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Int J Infect Dis. 2019 Feb;79:21-25. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2018.10.016. Epub 2018 Oct 26.

Symptomatic respiratory Encephalitozoon cuniculi infection in renal transplant recipients.

Author information

1
Department of Biology and Medical Parasitology, Wroclaw Medical University, J. Mikulicza-Radeckiego 9, 50-367 Wroclaw, Poland. Electronic address: marta.kicia@umed.wroc.pl.
2
Department of Biology and Medical Parasitology, Wroclaw Medical University, J. Mikulicza-Radeckiego 9, 50-367 Wroclaw, Poland.
3
Department of Nephrology and Transplantation Medicine, Borowska 213, 50-556 Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland.
4
Department of Pulmonology and Lung Cancer, Wroclaw Medical University, Grabiszyńska 105, 53-439 Wroclaw, Poland.
5
Czech Academy of Sciences, Biology Centre, Institute of Parasitology, Branišovská 31, CZ-370 05 České Budějovice, Czech Republic.
6
Czech Academy of Sciences, Biology Centre, Institute of Parasitology, Branišovská 31, CZ-370 05 České Budějovice, Czech Republic; University of South Bohemia, Faculty of Agriculture, Branišovská 31, CZ-370 05 České Budějovice, Czech Republic.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Encephalitozoon spp. and Enterocytozoon bieneusi are intracellular parasitic fungi from the phylum Microsporidia, which initially localize to the intestine. As opportunistic pathogens, Encephalitozoon spp. in particular can disseminate to the respiratory tract, among other locations. Patients on life-long immunosuppression are at higher risk of such infections, mostly symptomatic.

METHODS:

Sputum samples and bronchial washings from 72 renal transplant recipients and 105 patients with various respiratory diseases were screened for Encephalitozoon spp. and E. bieneusi by microscopic examination and genus-specific nested PCR followed by genotyping.

RESULTS:

A total of 8.3% (6/72) of immunosuppressed renal transplant recipients and 1.9% (2/105) of patients with various respiratory diseases, both immunocompetent and immunosuppressed, were positive for respiratory microsporidial infection. All six transplant recipients were Encephalitozoon cuniculi-positive by PCR/sequencing and five of them suffered from respiratory symptoms. The presence of microsporidial spores was also confirmed microscopically in three of the transplant recipients. Of the two immunocompetent patients with various respiratory diseases, one had an E. cuniculi infection, while the second had an E. bieneusi infection.

CONCLUSIONS:

Life-long immunosuppression in renal transplant recipients increases the risk of respiratory infection by E. cuniculi. Microsporidia should be screened in respiratory samples of these patients, particularly when they have respiratory symptoms.

KEYWORDS:

Encephalitozoon cuniculi; Enterocytozoon bieneusi; Life-long immunosuppression; Renal transplant recipients; Respiratory tract

PMID:
30391325
DOI:
10.1016/j.ijid.2018.10.016
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