Parasitology Research

, Volume 106, Issue 2, pp 299–309

Encephalitozoonosis in rabbits

Review

Abstract

Encephalitozoon cuniculi is an obligatory intracellular microsporidian parasite that can infect a wide range of mammals, including rodents, rabbits, horses, carnivores and humans, in which the organism is known as an opportunistic pathogen of immunocompromised individuals. Nevertheless, the main host for E. cuniculi is the rabbit and infections usually have a sub-clinical course. However, severe disease is recognised in pet rabbits more frequently within the last years. As the central nervous system, the kidney and the eye are predilection organs for the organism, predominant histopathological alterations comprise granulomatous meningoencephalitis, chronical interstitial nephritis and phacoclastic uveitis. A definitive diagnosis of encephalitozoonosis in vivo is difficult, but it is important for specific treatment and the determination of possible zoonotic risks. This review article covers epidemiology, pathology, pathophysiology, immunology, clinical signs, differential diagnosis, diagnosis and treatment of encephalitozoonosis in rabbits.

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© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clinical Department of Small Animals and Horses, Clinic of Internal Medicine and Infectious DiseasesUniversity of Veterinary Medicine ViennaViennaAustria
  2. 2.Department of Pathobiology, Institute of Parasitology and ZoologyUniversity of Veterinary Medicine ViennaViennaAustria

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