Diagnosis and manifestation of encephalitozoonosis in mice after experimental infection with different species and application of dexamethasone

J Vet Med A Physiol Pathol Clin Med. 2006 Sep;53(7):340-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0442.2006.00847.x.


Twenty-eight BALB/c mice were infected with different strains of Encephalitozoon species (Encephalitozoon cuniculi II - mouse type, E. cuniculi III - dog type, Encephalitozoon hellem, Encephalitozoon intestinalis). Five of them were infected with E. cuniculi II (mouse type) and simultaneously immunosuppressed with dexamethasone. Clinical signs of encephalitozoonosis were not remarkable. Ascites was found in two mice of dexamethasone-treated group 14 days post-infection (p.i.). The histopathological changes were found mainly in spleen and liver in the form of lymphoepithelioid granuloma. Spores were found in faeces since day 14 p.i. and visualized by Calcoflour White M2R. After cultivation on cellular cultures (VERO E6 - monkey kidney cells, RK-13 - rabbit kidney fibroblasts), the species differentiation was performed by PCR using panmicrosporidial primers (PMP1, PMP2) and specific primers (ECUN-F, ECUN-R, V1, SI-500). The differences were recorded in the immune response of immunocompetent and immunosuppressed mice. At day 60 p.i., the titres of specific antibodies measured by indirect immunofluorescence antibody test were lower (1:4096) in dexamethasone-treated mice when compared with non-immunosuppressed animals (1:8196). The significant increases of antibody titres were recorded in particular infected groups within the experiment (P < 0.01 between day 14 p.i. and day 30 p.i., P < 0.001 between day 14 p.i. and day 60 p.i.). Experimental encephalitozoonosis in non-immunosuppressed and immunosuppressed mice provides a useful model for the study of immune response and lesions associated with these protozoans.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antibodies, Fungal / blood
  • Dexamethasone / administration & dosage*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Encephalitozoon / pathogenicity
  • Encephalitozoon cuniculi / immunology
  • Encephalitozoon cuniculi / pathogenicity*
  • Encephalitozoonosis / diagnosis
  • Encephalitozoonosis / immunology
  • Encephalitozoonosis / pathology
  • Encephalitozoonosis / veterinary*
  • Immunocompromised Host*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Organ Specificity
  • Random Allocation
  • Species Specificity


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antibodies, Fungal
  • Dexamethasone