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Journal of Parasitology Research
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 981424, 19 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/981424
Review Article

Epidemiology of Enterocytozoon bieneusi Infection in Humans

1Grupo de Protozoários Oportunistas/VIH e Outros Protozoários, Unidade de Parasitologia Médica, CMDT, Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 1349-008 Lisboa, Portugal
2Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA

Received 28 February 2012; Accepted 20 May 2012

Academic Editor: C. Genchi

Copyright © 2012 Olga Matos et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

A review was conducted to examine published works that focus on the complex epidemiology of Enterocytozoon bieneusi infection in humans. Studies on the prevalence of these emerging microsporidian pathogens in humans, in developed and developing countries, the different clinical spectra of E. bieneusi intestinal infection in children, in different settings, and the risk factors associated with E. bieneusi infection have been reviewed. This paper also analyses the impact of the recent application of PCR-based molecular methods for species-specific identification and genotype differentiation has had in increasing the knowledge of the molecular epidemiology of E. bieneusi in humans. The advances in the epidemiology of E. bieneusi, in the last two decades, emphasize the importance of epidemiological control and prevention of E. bieneusi infections, from both the veterinary and human medical perspectives.