Document Detail

Biology of microsporidian species infecting mammals.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  9554077     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Microsporidia (phylum Microspora) are obligate intracellular protozoan parasites that infect a wide range of vertebrate and invertebrate hosts. Over 1000 species have been classified into approximately 100 genera, and at least 13 species have been reported to infect mammals. Phylogenetically, the microsporidia are early eukaryotes because they have a true nucleus, possess prokaryote-like ribosomes, and lack mitochondria. The species that infect mammals are relatively small, measuring 2.0-7.0 microns long and 1.5-5.0 microns wide. The mature organism is the spore, which is enclosed by a chitinous coat, making it relatively resistant to the environment. Infections often occur by fecal-oral or urinary-oral transmission, although vertical transmission is quite common in the carnivores. Host cells become infected through a process of germination in which the spore propels its contents through the everting and unwinding polar filament into the host cell. The polar filament is unique to the microsporidia. With a few exceptions, microsporidiosis is typically chronic and subclinical in immunologically competent hosts. Young carnivores infected with microsporidia, however, develop severe and sometimes lethal renal disease, and immunodeficient laboratory animals (e.g. athymic and SCID mice) develop ascites and die from microsporidiosis. This review describes the morphology, life cycle, taxonomy, and host-parasite relationships of the species of microsporidia that infect mammals.
E S Didier; K F Snowden; J A Shadduck
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Advances in parasitology     Volume:  40     ISSN:  0065-308X     ISO Abbreviation:  Adv. Parasitol.     Publication Date:  1998  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1998-05-20     Completed Date:  1998-05-20     Revised Date:  2007-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0370435     Medline TA:  Adv Parasitol     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  283-320     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Microbiology, Tulane Regional Primate Research Center, Covington, LA 70433, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Host-Parasite Interactions
Life Cycle Stages
Mammals / parasitology
Microsporida* / classification,  growth & development,  physiology
Microsporidiosis / veterinary*

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