An analysis of the microsporidian genus Brachiola, with comparisons of human and insect isolates of Brachiola algerae

Ann Cali, Louis M. Weiss, Peter M. Takvorian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The genus Brachiola is the newest microsporidian genus established for a human infection with the type species being B. vesicularum in skeletal muscle. Subsequently, the microsporidium, Nosema algerae, identified from mosquitoes, was added to this genus because of morphological and physiological similarities. The present report illustrates a confirmed case of Brachiola algerae infecting skeletal muscle in a 56-year-old woman who was being treated for rheumatoid arthritis with immunosuppressive drugs. In the following study, these two human-infecting microsporidian species are ultrastructurally compared from human biopsy tissue. Additionally, Brachiola algerae from mosquitoes as reference B. algerae, was grown in athymic mice and compared to the human isolate in vivo, and in culture. B. algerae is morphologically identical in the host situations presented and different from B. vesicularum in human skeletal muscle. B. algerae has a consistently, slightly longer spore that typically contains one row of polar filament coils, while B. vesicularum typically contains two rows of polar filament coils and occasionally, one or three rows. In proliferative development, B. vesicularum forms protoplasmic extensions which do not occur on B. algerae, nor have they been reported on any other microsporidium. This report demonstrates that B. vesicularum and B. algerae are two different species of Brachiola that infect human skeletal muscle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)678-685
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Eukaryotic Microbiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2004


  • Human myositis
  • Microspora
  • Microsporidia
  • Opportunistic infections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology


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