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

Therapeutic strategies for human microsporidia infections.

Over the past 20 years, microsporidia have emerged as a cause of infectious diseases in AIDS patients, organ transplant recipients, children, travelers, contact lens wearers and the elderly. Enterocytozoon bieneusi and the Encephalitozoon spp., Encephalitozoon cuniculi, Encephalitozoon hellem and Encephalitozoon intestinalis, are the most frequently identified microsporidia in humans, and are associated with diarrhea and systemic disease. The microsporidia are small, single-celled, obligately intracellular parasites that have been identified in water sources, as well as in wild, domestic and food-producing farm animals, thereby raising concerns for waterborne, foodborne and zoonotic transmission. Current therapies for microsporidiosis include albendazole, a benzimidazole that inhibits microtubule assembly and is effective against several microsporidia, including the Encephalitozoon spp., although it is less effective against Encephalitozoon bieneusi. Fumagillin, an antibiotic and antiangiogenic compound produced by Aspergillus fumigatus, is more broadly effective against Encephalitozoon spp. and E. bieneusi; however, is toxic when administered systemically to mammals. Recent studies are also focusing on compounds that target the microsporidia polyamines (e.g., polyamine analogs), methionine aminopeptidase 2 (e.g., fumagillin-related compounds), chitin inhibitors (e.g., nikkomycins), topoisomerases (e.g., fluoroquinolones) and tubulin (e.g., benzimidazole-related compounds).[1]


  1. Therapeutic strategies for human microsporidia infections. Didier, E.S., Maddry, J.A., Brindley, P.J., Stovall, M.E., Didier, P.J. Expert review of anti-infective therapy. (2005) [Pubmed]
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