Limited genetic diversity among genotypes of Enterocytozoon bieneusi strains isolated from HIV-infected patients from Sydney, Australia

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Journal Article
Journal of Medical Microbiology, 2009, 58 (3), pp. 355 - 357
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Microsporidia are intracellular parasites, with over 1200 species belonging to 143 genera described to date. They are opportunistic pathogens in humans and can cause chronic diarrhoea in immunosuppressed patients. Both Enterocytozoon bieneusi and Encephalitozoon intestinalis cause intestinal disease, with Enterocytozoon bieneusi more commonly identified in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. In this study, intestinal microsporidial clinical isolates from patients in Sydney, Australia, were genotyped. All specimens were from HIV-infected men with low CD4+ T-cell counts (<100 cells mm-3). Genotyping of the internal transcribed spacer regions of the rRNA gene showed the presence of only one genotype, the anthroponotic Enterocytozoon bieneusi genotype B strain. This study thus highlighted the limited genetic diversity among Australian Enterocytozoon bieneusi isolates, and it is hypothesized that, due to the reduced incidence of microsporidia and the subsequent reduction in the human reservoir of the anthroponotic genotype B, locally acquired intestinal microsporidiosis will rarely be seen in HIV-infected persons undergoing highly active antiretroviral therapy in the future in Australia.
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