Diagnosis of Encephalitozoon cuniculi infection by Western blot and the use of cross-reactive antigens for the possible detection of microsporidiosis in humans

L. M. Weiss, A. Cali, E. Levee, D. Laplace, H. Tanowitz, D. Simon, M. Wittner

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Microsporidia are very primitive, eukaryotic, obligate, intracellular, protozoan parasites. Encephalitozoon cuniculi, a microsporidian originally described from a rabbit infection, has been described in humans as well as in many species of laboratory animals. We report the detection of E. cuniculi by Western blotting in a rabbit with torticollis that was obtained from an Encephalitozoon-free colony. Cross-reactivity of this serum was observed with antigens prepared from several genera of microsporidia. Identical Western blotting patterns were obtained with sera obtained from a rabbit immunized with E. cuniculi that was purified from tissue culture cells. In addition, we were able to demonstrate cross-reactivity between E. cuniculi rabbit antisera and Enterocytozoon bieneusi antigens by indirect immunofluorescent assay techniques in human intestinal biopsy samples. These cross-reactions between microsporidia may be useful in developing diagnostic tests for non- cultivatable microsporidia such as Enterocytozoon bieneusi.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)456-462
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

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