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- Microsporidiosis facts
- What is microsporidiosis? What causes the disease?
- What are risk factors for microsporidiosis?
- Is microsporidiosis contagious?
- What is the incubation period for microsporidiosis?
- How are microsporidia transmitted?
- What symptoms does microsporidiosis cause?
- How do health-care professionals diagnose microsporidiosis?
- What types of specialists treat microsporidiosis?
- What is the treatment for microsporidiosis?
- What is the prognosis of microsporidiosis?
- Is it possible to prevent microsporidiosis?
How do health-care professionals diagnose microsporidiosis?
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 exact species of microsporidia. However, this form of testing is expensive, and it is not available for routine use in all laboratories.
Finally, blood tests and imaging studies can also assist in detecting microsporidiosis.
What types of specialists treat microsporidiosis?
Microsporidiosis is generally treated primarily by an infectious-disease specialist. Other specialists may be consulted depending on the site of infection, such as an ophthalmologist for eye involvement.
What is the treatment for microsporidiosis?
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 and dehydration, 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.