Microsporidiosis (cont.)

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How is microsporidiosis diagnosed?

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There are several tests available to diagnose microsporidia infection. Microscopic examination of stained samples of body fluids, primarily fecal samples, allows for rapid diagnosis, although the exact species of microsporidia may not be identified. Urine samples can also be used to detect spores when the kidney and/or bladder are involved.

A powerful microscope, called a transmission electron microscope, is needed to identify the species of microsporidia. However, this form of testing is expensive, and it is not available for routine use in all laboratories.

Other methods, such as immunofluorescence assays and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing, can also identify microsporidia infection in the research-laboratory setting.

Finally, blood tests and imaging studies can also assist in detecting microsporidiosis.

How is microsporidiosis treated?

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The treatment of microsporidiosis is generally achieved with medications and supportive care. Depending on the site of infection and the microsporidia species involved, different medications are utilized. The most commonly used medications for microsporidiosis include albendazole (Albenza) and fumagillin.

For patients with diarrhea, intravenous fluid administration and electrolyte repletion may be necessary. Dietary and nutritional regimens may also assist with chronic diarrhea. Finally, improvement of immune system function with antiretroviral therapy in HIV-infected individuals may also lead to improvement of symptoms.

How is microsporidiosis prevented?

For patients with immune-system deficiency, frequent hand washing and limiting exposure to animals suspected of being infected with microsporidia is recommended.

Medically reviewed by Robert Cox, MD; American Board of Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Infectious Disease

REFERENCE:

"Microsporidiosis"
uptodate.com


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/15/2014

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