[Microsporidia and microsporidiosis]

Turkiye Parazitol Derg. 2013;37(2):123-34. doi: 10.5152/tpd.2013.28.
[Article in Turkish]


All microsporidia are obligate parasites and have no active stages outside their host cells. Microsporidia lack some typical eukaryotic characteristics. There are now over 1200 species identified in 144 genera. The most familiar stage of microsporidia is the small, highly resistant spore, the size of which differs according to the species and is often 1-10 μm. The general life cycle pattern of the microsporidia can be divided into three phases: the infective or environmental phase, the proliferative phase, and the sporogony or spore-forming phase. There are several methods for diagnosing microsporidia: light microscopic, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), immunofluorescence assays (IFA) and molecular methods. The clinical course of microsporidiosis depends on the immune status of the host and site of infection. Microsporidia can cause infections such as diarrhoea, keratitis, myositis, bronchitis and brochiolitis. Human microsporidiosis represents an important and rapidly emerging opportunistic disease, occurring mainly, but not exclusively, in severely immunocompromised patients with AIDS. The treatment of microsporidiosis is generally achieved with medications and supportive care. Depending on the site of infection and the microsporidia species involved, different medications are utilized. The most commonly used medications for microsporidiosis include albendazole and fumagillin.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Life Cycle Stages
  • Microsporidia / physiology*
  • Microsporidiosis* / diagnosis
  • Microsporidiosis* / drug therapy
  • Microsporidiosis* / immunology
  • Microsporidiosis* / microbiology
  • Opportunistic Infections / drug therapy
  • Opportunistic Infections / immunology
  • Opportunistic Infections / microbiology
  • Spores, Fungal / cytology
  • Spores, Fungal / physiology


  • Antifungal Agents