Encephalitozoon cuniculi: quantitation of parasites and evaluation of viability

J Protozool. 1988 Aug;35(3):430-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1550-7408.1988.tb04123.x.


Two methods (manual and automated) for quantitation of viable versus dead Encephalitozoon cuniculi are reported. The manual method uses ethidium bromide and acridine orange to stain dead and viable organisms, respectively. The stained organisms are visually differentiated with the aid of a fluorescence microscope. The automated method uses propidium iodide to stain dead parasites, which are differentiated from viable unstained parasites with the aid of a flow cytometer. An automated cell counter (Coulter Counter) was used to count rapidly large numbers of samples and to improve the sensitivity of counting low concentrations of parasites. These methods will enhance investigators' abilities to conduct quantitative experiments on host defense mechanisms against E. cuniculi.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acridine Orange
  • Animals
  • Apicomplexa / growth & development*
  • Encephalitozoon cuniculi / growth & development*
  • Ethidium
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Staining and Labeling


  • Ethidium
  • Acridine Orange