Laboratory Diagnosis of Microsporidia

Kaya Ghosh, David Schwartz, Louis M. Weiss

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

18 Scopus citations


The Microsporidia are a phylum containing over 1200 species. Since the mid-1980s, these organisms have been increasingly identified as agents of human disease in patients with HIV infection. Detection of microsporidia can also be done by histologic examination of tissue specimens fixed by formalin or by electron microscopy of tissues fixed with glutaraldehyde. The staining techniques include chromotrope stains, Gram or Giemsa stain, and fluorescein-tagged antisera. Nucleic acid-based detection methods utilize synthetic DNA molecules that are specific and complementary to a sequence in the DNA of the pathogen. Antigen-based detection methods such as the immunofluorescence assays (IFA), enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and Western blot (WB) use antibodies from experimentally immunized animals to recognize characteristic pathogen-specific antigens. Antibody-based detection method is used as a supplement to conventional histological techniques. Detailed histopathology of human microsporidiosis has mostly been performed in patients with immune deficiencies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMicrosporidia
Subtitle of host publicationPathogens of Opportunity: First Edition
Number of pages36
ISBN (Electronic)9781118395264
ISBN (Print)9781118395226
StatePublished - Oct 20 2014


  • Antibody-based detection methods
  • Antigen-based detection methods
  • Electron microscopy
  • Human microsporidiosis
  • Microsporidia
  • Nucleic acid-based detection methods
  • Staining techniques

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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