What symptoms does microsporidiosis cause?
Although microsporidiosis can occur in people with normal immune systems, it is very uncommon. The symptoms of microsporidiosis primarily occur in people with immune-system deficiency, such as HIV-infected individuals and organ-transplant recipients. Microsporidiosis can cause intestinal, lung, kidney, brain, sinus, muscle, or eye disease.
Intestinal symptoms that are caused by microsporidia infection include chronic diarrhea, wasting, malabsorption, and gallbladder disease. In patients with AIDS, the chronic diarrhea may be extremely debilitating and carries a significant mortality (death) risk. The majority of cases of intestinal microsporidiosis in AIDS patients are caused by Enterocytozoon bieneusi.
Lung symptoms may include a cough and difficult, labored breathing. A chest X-ray may show signs of inflammation, fluid, or cavities in the lungs.
Microsporidiosis can cause infection in the urinary tract, kidney failure, bladder inflammation, and bowel perforation. Microsporidia can also spread throughout the body (disseminate) to cause inflammation in the brain, pancreas, sinuses, and muscle tissue.
Eye infection with microsporidia can cause inflammation of the cornea and conjunctiva (keratoconjunctivitis). Symptoms of ocular microsporidiosis may include eye pain, eye redness, or blurry vision.