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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)
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Disease relevance of Microsporidia


High impact information on Microsporidia

  • Thalidomide significantly increased the villus height/crypt depth ratio (1.95 to 2.07; P = 0.045) and number of abnormal forms of microsporidia (P < 0.01) [4].
  • Microsporidia are related to Fungi: evidence from the largest subunit of RNA polymerase II and other proteins [5].
  • Phylogenetic analyses of these and other RPB1 sequences strongly support the notion that Microsporidia are not early-diverging eukaryotes but instead are specifically related to Fungi [5].
  • Pot1-like proteins have now been found in plants, animals, yeasts, and microsporidia [6].
  • Patients with no pathogen had significantly longer duration of symptoms prior to presentation; however, patients with microsporidia had significantly greater malabsorption of fat, D-xylose, vitamin B12, and significantly lower serum levels of zinc [7].

Biological context of Microsporidia


Anatomical context of Microsporidia


Associations of Microsporidia with chemical compounds

  • All 4 controls subsequently cleared microsporidia following open-labeled albendazole treatment [15].
  • These results suggest that Calcofluor White M2R and Sytox Green stains, when used together, may facilitate studies to identify viable microsporidia [16].
  • Addition of the L-arginine analogue, N3 monomethyl-L-arginine (NMMA) at concentrations of 50, 100 or 250 uM significantly inhibited nitrite synthesis and prevented microsporidia killing [17].
  • The expression of cytosolic AP-P in sporogonial stages of microsporidia may suggest a key role in the attack of proline-containing peptides as a prerequisite to long-duration biosynthesis of structural proteins destined to the sporal polar tube [18].
  • In addition, individual octospores and megaspores were isolated into groups of 8-20 from methanol-fixed and Calcofluor-stained smears of the infected ants for subsequent PCR analysis by the laser pressure catapulting function of a position ablative laser microbeam microscope, a technique applied for the first time to research of microsporidia [19].

Gene context of Microsporidia

  • Functional characterization of a putative aquaporin from Encephalitozoon cuniculi, a microsporidia pathogenic to humans [20].
  • We found PCR-SSCP to be an easy and reproducible method for speciation of human microsporidia when the primer pair PMP1 and PMP2 is used [9].
  • The analysis also positioned alpha-actinin of the fungi Encephalitozoo cuniculi close to the protozoa, supporting the suggestion that microsporidia are early eukaryotes [21].
  • However, no previous studies have explicitly determined the reason(s) why the artifactual allegiance of microsporidia and archaebacteria ("M + A") is recovered by all phylogenetic methods, including maximum likelihood, a method that is supposed to be resistant to classical LBA [22].
  • We have sequenced eIF-2gamma gene fragments from representative diplomonads, parabasalia, and microsporidia and used these new sequences together with new archaebacterial homologues to examine the phylogenetic position of eIF-2gamma within the GTPase superfamily [23].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of Microsporidia

  • We recommended that patients with chronic, intermittent diarrhea and CD4 counts of < 100 cells/mm3 be further evaluated for microsporidia by modified trichrome staining of stool and light and electron microscopy of small bowel biopsy specimens [24].


  1. Diagnosis of microsporidia keratitis by polymerase chain reaction. Conners, M.S., Gibler, T.S., Van Gelder, R.N. Arch. Ophthalmol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  2. Microsporidiosis: an emerging and opportunistic infection in humans and animals. Didier, E.S. Acta Trop. (2005) [Pubmed]
  3. Bacterial, viral and parasitic enteric pathogens associated with acute diarrhea in hospitalized children from northern Jordan. Youssef, M., Shurman, A., Bougnoux, M., Rawashdeh, M., Bretagne, S., Strockbine, N. FEMS Immunol. Med. Microbiol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  4. Thalidomide: a novel therapy for microsporidiosis. Sharpstone, D., Rowbottom, A., Francis, N., Tovey, G., Ellis, D., Barrett, M., Gazzard, B. Gastroenterology (1997) [Pubmed]
  5. Microsporidia are related to Fungi: evidence from the largest subunit of RNA polymerase II and other proteins. Hirt, R.P., Logsdon, J.M., Healy, B., Dorey, M.W., Doolittle, W.F., Embley, T.M. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1999) [Pubmed]
  6. Human Pot1 (protection of telomeres) protein: cytolocalization, gene structure, and alternative splicing. Baumann, P., Podell, E., Cech, T.R. Mol. Cell. Biol. (2002) [Pubmed]
  7. Malabsorption and wasting in AIDS patients with microsporidia and pathogen-negative diarrhea. Lambl, B.B., Federman, M., Pleskow, D., Wanke, C.A. AIDS (1996) [Pubmed]
  8. Congruent evidence from alpha-tubulin and beta-tubulin gene phylogenies for a zygomycete origin of microsporidia. Keeling, P.J. Fungal Genet. Biol. (2003) [Pubmed]
  9. Speciation of human microsporidia by polymerase chain reaction single-strand conformation polymorphism. Fedorko, D.P., Nelson, N.A., Didier, E.S., Bertucci, D., Delgado, R.M., Hruszkewycz, A.M. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. (2001) [Pubmed]
  10. Microsporidia and Candida spores: their discrimination by Calcofluor, trichrome-blue and methylene-blue combination staining. Schottelius, J., Kuhn, E.M., Enriquez, R. Trop. Med. Int. Health (2000) [Pubmed]
  11. In vitro model to assess effect of antimicrobial agents on Encephalitozoon cuniculi. Beauvais, B., Sarfati, C., Challier, S., Derouin, F. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. (1994) [Pubmed]
  12. PCR amplification and species determination of microsporidia in formalin-fixed feces after immunomagnetic separation. Dowd, S.E., Gerba, C.P., Enriquez, F.J., Pepper, I.L. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. (1998) [Pubmed]
  13. Evidence of actin in the cytoskeleton of microsporidia. Bigliardi, E., Riparbelli, M.G., Selmi, M.G., Bini, L., Liberatori, S., Pallini, V., Bernuzzi, A., Gatti, S., Scaglia, M., Sacchi, L. J. Eukaryot. Microbiol. (1999) [Pubmed]
  14. Growth of Trachipleistophora hominis (Microsporidia: Pleistophoridae) in C2,C12 mouse myoblast cells and response to treatment with albendazole. Lafranchi-Tristem, N.J., Curry, A., Cheney, S.A., Canning, E.U. Folia Parasitol. (2001) [Pubmed]
  15. Albendazole for treatment and prophylaxis of microsporidiosis due to Encephalitozoon intestinalis in patients with AIDS: a randomized double-blind controlled trial. Molina, J.M., Chastang, C., Goguel, J., Michiels, J.F., Sarfati, C., Desportes-Livage, I., Horton, J., Derouin, F., Modaï, J. J. Infect. Dis. (1998) [Pubmed]
  16. Discrimination between viable and dead Encephalitozoon cuniculi (Microsporidian) spores by dual staining with sytox green and calcofluor white M2R. Green, L.C., LeBlanc, P.J., Didier, E.S. J. Clin. Microbiol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  17. Reactive nitrogen intermediates implicated in the inhibition of Encephalitozoon cuniculi (phylum microspora) replication in murine peritoneal macrophages. Didier, E.S. Parasite Immunol. (1995) [Pubmed]
  18. Proteolytic activity in Encephalitozoon cuniculi sporogonial stages: predominance of metallopeptidases including an aminopeptidase-P-like enzyme. Chavant, P., Taupin, V., El Alaoui, H., Wawrzyniak, I., Chambon, C., Prensier, G., Méténier, G., Vivarès, C.P. Int. J. Parasitol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  19. Spore morphotypes of Thelohania solenopsae (microsporidia) described microscopically and confirmed by PCR of individual spores microdissected from smears by position ablative laser microbeam microscopy. Sokolova, Y.Y., McNally, L.R., Fuxa, J.R., Vinson, S.B. Microbiology (Reading, Engl.) (2004) [Pubmed]
  20. Functional characterization of a putative aquaporin from Encephalitozoon cuniculi, a microsporidia pathogenic to humans. Ghosh, K., Cappiello, C.D., McBride, S.M., Occi, J.L., Cali, A., Takvorian, P.M., McDonald, T.V., Weiss, L.M. Int. J. Parasitol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  21. Molecular evolution and structure of alpha-actinin. Virel, A., Backman, L. Mol. Biol. Evol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  22. Covarion shifts cause a long-branch attraction artifact that unites microsporidia and archaebacteria in EF-1alpha phylogenies. Inagaki, Y., Susko, E., Fast, N.M., Roger, A.J. Mol. Biol. Evol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  23. Evolutionary relationship between translation initiation factor eIF-2gamma and selenocysteine-specific elongation factor SELB: change of function in translation factors. Keeling, P.J., Fast, N.M., McFadden, G.I. J. Mol. Evol. (1998) [Pubmed]
  24. Clinical features of microsporidiosis in patients with AIDS. Asmuth, D.M., DeGirolami, P.C., Federman, M., Ezratty, C.R., Pleskow, D.K., Desai, G., Wanke, C.A. Clin. Infect. Dis. (1994) [Pubmed]
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