Infectious Disease Online
Pathology of Isosporiasis (Infection caused by Isospora Belli)
is a protozoal
parasite in the class of sporozoa, a group that includes
Isospora belli in humans, has been described as causing chronic diarrhea and acalculous cholecystitis in patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
Isosporiasis should be suspected in HIV-infected patients from tropical
countries and the organism (Isospora
belli) has been commonly identified in the small bowel of patients with
mucous diarrhoea, weight loss, fever, peripheral eosinophilia ,
malabsorption and low CD4+ cell counts.
Disseminated extra-intestinal isosporiosis may sometimes occur in AIDS patient.
Investigation: When oocysts cannot be identified in stool or intestinal aspirate, an upper endoscopic small biopsy can be diagnostic.
Moderate to severe enteritis, villous shortening , crypt hyperplasia, disorganised epithelium with loss of nuclear polarity, cytoplasmic vacuolation and intraepithelial lymphocytosis may be noted.
Infiltration of lamina propria with eosinophils, neutrophils, lymphocytes and plasma cells may occur.
Schizonts and gametocytes are identifiable within the epithelial cells.
Merozoites (the asexual form) is most readily identifiable from the villous base to the tip.
It forms clusters of small crescent-shaped structures to single large uninucleated banana shaped forms, similar in size to enterocyte nuclei.
The merozoites are found in perinuclear and often subnuclear locations surrounded by pale parasitic cytoplasm.
Special stains: The organisms can be seen on routine haematoxylin and eosin staining.
Alcian blue stain highlights the parasites.
Giemsa stain provides an even
Coccidiosis. In Pathology of tropical and extraordinary diseases. Vol I. Section 7. Protozoa. Chapter 13. pp: 332-335. Published by Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. Washintong D.C. 1976.
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