Microsporidiosis

  • Medical Author:
    Steven Doerr, MD

    Steven Doerr, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Doerr received his undergraduate degree in Spanish from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He graduated with his Medical Degree from the University Of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, Colorado in 1998 and completed his residency training in Emergency Medicine from Denver Health Medical Center in Denver, Colorado in 2002, where he also served as Chief Resident.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Is microsporidiosis contagious?

Though the route of spread is poorly understood, studies have suggested that humans may possibly contract microsporidia via sexual transmission with an infected individual. Transmission from human to human may also possibly occur via the fecal-oral route or through direct contact with ocular secretions from infected individuals.

What is the incubation period for microsporidiosis?

The exact incubation period for microsporidiosis in humans has not been definitively established for all species.

How are microsporidia transmitted?

Microsporidia spores are released from the stool, respiratory secretions, and urine of infected animals. A number of animals, including insects, birds, and mammals, can serve as reservoirs of infection for microsporidia. Transmission of these spores is thought to occur primarily via ingestion or inhalation by humans, though the process is not perfectly understood. Studies have also suggested that water-borne and food-borne transmission may be possible.

Once within a cell, the microsporidia develop and multiply, producing more spores. The infective spores are then released when the cell expands and bursts.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/22/2016

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