Encyclopedia of Parasitology

Living Edition
| Editors: Heinz Mehlhorn

Enterocytozoon bieneusi

  • Heinz Mehlhorn
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27769-6_1066-2


Greek: enteron = intestine; kytos = cell; zoon = animal; Bieneus = family of the first patient (♀) detected.

Geographic Distribution/Epidemiology

Worldwide; the first description occurred in France on material from a female Haitian patient. E. bieneusi represents about 40 % of all human infections due to microsporidia. About 10 % of the AIDS patients are infected in general with microsporidia in addition to other opportunistic agents of disease. E. bieneusi mainly infects AIDS patients.

Morphology/Life Cycle

Characteristic and name-giving for the microsporidia is the tiny sized spore, which is the infectious stage. Their life cycle derives in the same phases as diagrammatically described in Fig. 1 of Encephalitozoon cuniculi. The ovoid spores are ovoid, measure 1.5 × 0.5 μm. They possess a five times wound polar tube and their endospore is rather thin. In case such a spore is orally ingested within contaminated food or drinking water, inside the intestine the hollow tube is...


Drinking Water Polar Tube Immunocompetent Patient Intestinal Biopsy Parasitophorous Vacuole 
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Further Reading

  1. Müller A, Rinder H (2010) Giardiasis und andere intestinale Protozoenerkrankungen. In: Tropenmedizin in Klinik und Praxis, 4th edn. Thieme, StuttgartGoogle Scholar
  2. Nemejc K et al (2014) Prevalence and diversity of Encephalitozoon bieneusi in wild boars (Sus scrofa) in Central Europe. Parasitol Res. doi:10.1007/s00436-013-3707-6PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Saigal K et al (2013) Intestinal microsporidiasis: a two year study. Parasitol Int 62:53–56CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Widmer O et al (2013) Frequent occurrence of mixed Enterocytozoon bieneusi infections in humans. Appl Environ Microbiol 79:5357–5362CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  5. Ye J et al (2014) Occurrence of human pathogenic Enterocytozoom bieneusi, Giardia duodenalis and Cryptosporidium genotypes in laboratory macaques in Guangxi, China. Parasitol Int 63:132–137CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Zoomorphologie, Zellbiologie und ParasitologieHeinrich-Heine-UniversitätDüsseldorfGermany