Detection of Enterocytozoon bieneusi in two human immunodeficiency virus-negative patients with chronic diarrhea by polymerase chain reaction in duodenal biopsy specimens and review

Clin Infect Dis. 1998 Aug;27(2):394-8. doi: 10.1086/514660.


Intestinal microsporidiosis has been associated traditionally with severely immunocompromised patients with AIDS. We describe two new cases of intestinal microsporidiosis due to Enterocytozoon bieneusi in human immunodeficiency virus-negative adults. Both patients presented with chronic nonbloody diarrhea, and one had intestinal lymphangiectasia as well. Intestinal microsporidiosis was diagnosed by evaluation of stool samples, and the specific species was determined by use of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in duodenal biopsy specimens. To our knowledge, this is the first report of confirmation of E. bieneusi in the intestinal epithelium of HIV-negative individuals by use of PCR in duodenal biopsy specimens. Cases of intestinal microsporidiosis in HIV-negative individuals reported in the English-language literature are reviewed. These two new cases along with those described previously corroborate the need to evaluate for microsporidia in HIV-negative individuals with unexplained diarrhea.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Biopsy
  • Chronic Disease
  • DNA, Protozoan / isolation & purification
  • Diarrhea / parasitology*
  • Duodenum / parasitology*
  • Duodenum / pathology
  • Female
  • HIV Seronegativity
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microsporida / genetics
  • Microsporida / isolation & purification*
  • Microsporidiosis / diagnosis*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • DNA, Protozoan