Encephalitozoon intestinalis (A. Cali, D.P. Kotler & J.M. Orenstein) anon. — Details


Encephalitozoon intestinalis

Encephalitozoon intestinalis is a parasite.[1] It can cause microsporidiosis.[2]

It is notable as having one of the smallest genome among known eukaryotic organisms, containing only 2.25 million base pairs.[3] Its genome was completely sequenced in 2010.[4]

E. intestanalis originally named Septata intestinalis, was reclassified based on morphologic, antigenic and molecular similarities with other species of the genus Encephalitozoon. Recently, Some domestic  and wild animals have been found to be naturally infected with E. intestanalis and some other  microsporidian species. [5]

E. intestanalis is transmitted in contaminated water. It causes Gastro-Intestinal tract infection which  subsequently leads to diarrhea and circulates to the ocular, genitourinary and respiratory tracts. Research has proven that E. intestinalis infection can increase host cell nuclear mutation rate. [6]


Microsporidia are obligate intracellular opportunistic fungi that cause significant pathology in  immunocompromised (simply put: having an impaired immune system) hosts. Like other  obligate intracellular pathogens, microsporidia exert significant stress on infected host cells.  Microsporidia infection alters host cell cycle regulation and can lead to development of  multinucleated host cells.


Compared to E. cuniculi which encodes about 2000 massive genes at 2.9 Mbp, E. intestanalis  encodes its own genes which are more reduced because of high degree of host dependency at  2.3 Mbp. E. intestinalis lack large gene blocks of sequence in its subtelomeric regions unlike E.  cuniculi. Also, E. intestinalis and E. cuniculi share a conserved gene content, order and density  over most of their genomes which have similar GC content. They also contain the same  complement of transfer RNAs and ribosomal RNAs.[7]


The assay is adaptable to the clinical laboratory and represents the first real‐time PCR assay  designed to detect Encephalitozoon species. Melting temperature analysis of the amplicons allows for the differentiation of three Encephalitozoon species (E. intestinalis, E. cuniculi,  and E.hellem).[8]

Prevention and Treatment[edit]

Frequent washing of hands and limited exposure to animals is highly recommended especially for  people with immune­system deficiency.  Treatment of Microsporidia can vary depending on the  species involved. Intravenous fluid administration, electrolyte repletion, dietary and nutritional  regimens can be helpful to patients with diarrhea while antiretroviral therapy can help improve  immune system function.[9]  


  1. ^ Dowd SE, Gerba CP, Pepper IL (1998). "Confirmation of the Human-Pathogenic Microsporidia Enterocytozoon bieneusi, Encephalitozoon intestinalis, and Vittaforma corneae in Water". Applied and Environmental Microbiology 64 (9): 3332–5. PMC 106729. PMID 9726879. 
  2. ^ Lanternier F, Boutboul D, Menotti J et al. (2009). "Microsporidiosis in solid organ transplant recipients: two Enterocytozoon bieneusi cases and review". Transpl Infect Dis 11 (1): 83–8. doi:10.1111/j.1399-3062.2008.00347.x. PMID 18803616. 
  3. ^ http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2010/10/scienceshot-biggest-genome-ever.html
  4. ^ Corradi N, Pombert JF, Farinelli L, Didier ES, Keeling PJ (2010). "The complete sequence of the smallest known nuclear genome from the microsporidian Encephalitozoon intestinalis". Nature Communications 1 (6): 77. doi:10.1038/ncomms1082. PMID 20865802. 
  5. ^ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2013.
  6. ^ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2013.
  7. ^ Macmillan Publishers Limited. 2010.
  8. ^ D. M. Wolk, S. K. Schneider, N. L. Wengenack, L. M. Sloan, and J. E. Rosenblatt.
  9. ^ Steven Doerr, MD  Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD.

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