Detection of microsporidia (Enterocytozoon bieneusi) in intestinal biopsy specimens from human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients by PCR.J Clin Microbiol. 1995 Sep; 33(9):2294-6.JC
Intestinal microsporidiosis has been implicated as a major cause of chronic diarrhea in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients. So far diagnosis depends on direct visualization of the parasites by light and transmission electron microscopy. We evaluated the diagnostic value of microsporidian DNA amplification by PCR on duodenal biopsy specimens obtained from patients with and without intestinal microsporidiosis caused by Enterocytozoon bieneusi. Thirteen HIV-infected patients (all CDC stage C3) were studied. Eight patients had intestinal microsporidiosis caused by E. bieneusi (n = 6), Septata intestinalis (n = 1), and Encephalitozoon cuniculi (n = 1); microsporidioses were diagnosed by light microscopy of stool samples and confirmed by light and electron microscopy of intestinal biopsy specimens. Five patients had no microsporidia in their stool samples or in their intestinal biopsy specimens, as examined by light and electron microscopy. Additionally, DNA prepared from Toxoplasma gondii derived from mouse ascites was used as a further control. A 353-bp DNA fragment of the small-subunit rRNA gene could be amplified from all six biopsy specimens infected with E. bieneusi, and the nature of the PCR products was confirmed by Southern blot hybridization. No amplification of DNA fragments was seen by using DNA extracted from biopsy specimens with S. intestinalis or E. cuniculi infection or without microsporidian infection and with template DNA extracted from T. gondii. The results suggest that PCR testing of intestinal biopsy specimens may be a useful approach to diagnosing microsporidiosis in HIV-infected patients.