ASSESSING THE PREVALENCE OF MICROSPORIDIA IN HIV/AIDSPATIENTS IN MINNA, NIGER STATE
1.1 Background of the study
Microsporidia are single-celled, obligate intracellular parasites that were recently reclassified from protozoa to fungi. Microsporidia are a group of intracellular parasites which have attracted the interest of parasitologists for over 100 years. The first species, Nosemabombycis, was discovered in the middle of the 19th century as the cause of silkworm disease (i.e., pepper disease, pebrine disease), which nearly destroyed the silkworm industry in Southern Europe (Didier,2005; Franzen,2008).More than 1,400 microsporidian species have been described in both invertebrate and vertebrate hosts. Only eight genera and 15 species of microsporidia have been associated with human infections.
The first report on human microsporidia infection was in 1959 and described the case of a 9-year-old Japanese boy who presented with disseminated microsporidiosis associated with fever, headache, vomiting,and spastic convulsions, (Matsubayashet al.,1959). Interest in this group of parasites started with the development of the AIDS pandemic around the world in 1980’s. In 1985, a new species Enterocytozoonbieneusiwas found in an HIV-infected patient. Since then,species of microsporidia have been recognized worldwideas etiologic agents of opportunistic infections. The clinicalcourse of microsporidiosis depends on the immune statusof the patient and the site of infection. The groups at riskconstitute people with HIV/AIDS, organ transplant recipientsbeing treated with immunosuppressive drugs, travellers,children and the elderly, (Didier, 2000; Garcia, 2002;Rabodonirina, 2003; Wichro, 2005; Dworkin, 2007; Galvan, 2011).
Two microsporodiaEnterocytozoonbieneusi and Encephalitozoonintestinalis have been identified as possible causes of diarrhoeal illness in HIV-infected patients, (Mouraet al.,1993; Kotler, 1995).Over 40 million people are living with HIV/AIDS, the majority (more than 25 million) of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa. Up to 2.4 million deaths were recorded worldwide in 2005, (Akinboet al.,2009).