Corneal Microsporidiosis in a Patient with Aids

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  • Department of Biological Sciences, Rutgers University, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Division of Parasitic Diseases, Centers for Disease Control, Newark, New Jersey

Microsporidia are obligate intracellular protozoan parasites that are becoming increasingly recognized as opportunistic pathogens in patients with AIDS. They have been associated with enteritis, hepatitis, and peritonitis and recently keratoconjunctivitis. Gram stain demonstrates the presence of these organisms on light microscopic sections. The specific diagnostic features that distinguish microsporidia from other small nonspore-forming organisms are best demonstrated by electron microscopy, which is also used to characterize the members of Microsporea. In this study, salient histopathologic features of microsporidia in corneal epithelium obtained from an HIV-seropositive individual who developed AIDS are illustrated and discussed.