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Common name for members of the protozoan phylum Microspora. It includes some 80 genera parasitizing all classes of vertebrates and many invertebrates, especially the insects. Several genera, such as Encephalitozoon, Enterocytozoon, Nosema, Vittaforma, Pleistophora, and Trachipleistophora have been implicated in the infection of immunocompromised humans.
MicrosporidiaA phylum of ubiquitous spore-forming unicellular parasites, which have been reclassified as fungi. Microsporidia have a long polar filament and a polar cap that serves as a means of extrusion. They primarily infect infects, but crustaceans, fish and humans are not immune. Of the estimated million species of Microsporidia, 1500 have been formally named.
Microsporidia genera that cause human disease
• Brachiola—B algerae, B connori, B vesicularum.
• Encephalitozoon—E cuniculi, E hellem, E intestinalis.
• Enterocytozoon—E bieneusi (prolonged production of intra- and extracellular spores by Enterocytozoon bieneusi is not always associated with systemic disease).
• Microsporidium—M ceylonensis, M africanum.
• Nosema—N ocularum.
• Pleistophora species.
• Trachipleistophora—T hominis, T anthropophthera.
• Vittaforma species—V corneae.