Intestinal microsporidiosis in Italian individuals with AIDS

Ital J Gastroenterol. 1996 Sep;28(7):381-6.


A survey on microsporidiosis in individuals with AIDS presenting chronic diarrhoea was carried out in Italy, over a four-year period (1992-1995). Three out of 72 (4.2%) individuals were found positive, on intestinal biopsies, for Enterocytozoon bieneusi by light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Sixteen individuals with AIDS, from a second group of subjects, were confirmed positive, by TEM, for intestinal microsporidiosis due to Enterocytozoon bieneusi. Of these 19 cases, 10 (52.6%) were homosexual men. Two of these individuals, under albendazole treatment, showed also spores with unusual features. The prevalence of intestinal microsporidiosis (12-50%) reported in European countries, Australia and North America, where homosexuality is the major HIV risk factor (63-77%), is higher than in Italy, where homosexual men represent only 16% of the total number of AIDS cases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / epidemiology
  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / etiology*
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / complications*
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Diarrhea / etiology
  • Female
  • Homosexuality
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / epidemiology
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / etiology*
  • Male
  • Microsporida*
  • Microsporidiosis / epidemiology
  • Microsporidiosis / etiology*
  • Prevalence