Chronic diarrhea as a result of intestinal microsposidiosis in a liver transplant recipient

Transplantation. 2001 Jan 27;71(2):334-7. doi: 10.1097/00007890-200101270-00029.


Background: Microsporidia are common pathogens among patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus. They account for a substantial proportion of chronic diarrhea and malabsorption in acquired immune deficiency syndrome, but their appearance after solid organ transplantation has only rarely been reported. Methods. We report what we believe is the first case of documented Enterocytozoon bieneusi infection in a liver transplant recipient. Results. Our patient presented with chronic diarrhea and colicky abdominal pain. Although symptoms were severe, only mild microscopical mucosal changes were found in the intestinal tract. A modified trichrome stain of stool specimens revealed microsporidial spores, and species differentiation by restriction fragment length polymorphism polymerase chain reaction identified Enterocytozoon bieneusi. Albendazole therapy brought symptomatic relief but no microbiological clearance.

Conclusions: Enterocytozoon bieneusi may cause chronic diarrhea not only in immunosuppression as a result of human immunodeficiency virus infection but also among patients with therapeutic immunosuppression after organ transplantation. Therefore, microsporidial infection should be considered in immunosuppressed patients with otherwise unexplained diarrhea.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Albendazole / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Chronic Disease
  • Diarrhea / etiology*
  • Feces / parasitology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intestines / parasitology*
  • Liver Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Microsporida*
  • Microsporidiosis / complications*
  • Microsporidiosis / drug therapy


  • Albendazole