Acta Parasitologica

, Volume 64, Issue 3, pp 658–669 | Cite as

Multimethodological Approach to Gastrointestinal Microsporidiosis in HIV-Infected Patients

  • Jorge Néstor VelásquezEmail author
  • Cecilia di Risio
  • Cristina Etchart
  • Agustín Víctor Chertcoff
  • Osvaldo Germán Astudillo
  • Silvana Carnevale
Original Paper



Microsporidiosis is an opportunistic infection that produces chronic diarrhoea and cholangiopathy in patients with AIDS, mainly caused by two species of microsporidia, Enterocytozoon bieneusi and Encephalitozon intestinalis. The aim of this work was to develop an integral system for the diagnosis of microsporidiosis of the intestine and biliary tract in HIV-infected patients, comprising microscopic and molecular techniques.


The study population comprised 143 adult patients of both sexes with diagnosis of HIV infection, with chronic diarrhoea, and with or without HIV-associated cholangiopathy. Stool studies for microsporidia identification of spores were performed on each patient. A video esofagogastroduodenoscopy with biopsy collection was also carried out for routine histology and semi-thin sections stained with Azure II. Species identification was carried out by transmission electron microscopy and/or polymerase chain reaction for the species E. bieneusi and E. intestinalis.


Out of the 143 patients a total of 12.6% (n = 18) were infected with microsporidia. Microsporidia species identified in most cases was E. bieneusi (16/18 cases), followed by E. intestinalis (4/18), all of these last ones in coinfection with E. bieneusi.


Clinical, imaging, microscopic and molecular analyses, when applied in a systematic and integrated approach, allow diagnosis and identification of microsporidia at species level in AIDS patients with chronic diarrhoea, and with or without HIV-associated cholangiopathy.


Microsporidiosis Enterocytozoon bieneusi Encephalitozoon intestinalis HIV 



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Copyright information

© Witold Stefański Institute of Parasitology, Polish Academy of Sciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jorge Néstor Velásquez
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cecilia di Risio
    • 2
  • Cristina Etchart
    • 2
  • Agustín Víctor Chertcoff
    • 3
  • Osvaldo Germán Astudillo
    • 3
  • Silvana Carnevale
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Hospital Municipal de Infecciosas “Dr. Francisco Javier Muñiz”Buenos AiresArgentina
  2. 2.Hospital Municipal General de Agudos “Dr. José María Penna”Buenos AiresArgentina
  3. 3.Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Infecciosas, ANLIS “Dr. Carlos G. Malbrán”Buenos AiresArgentina
  4. 4.Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET)Buenos AiresArgentina

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