Presentation Type

Poster

Title of Abstract

Microsporidia in Platelets samples: Good or Bad News?

Abstract

Microsporidia is a recognized emerging opportunistic fungal pathogen that can cause serious

diseases in the immunocompromised, such as in HIV-infected AIDS patients. Complications due

to the dissemination of microsporidial infection by the Encephalitozoon species (disseminated

microsporidiosis) have been reported in immunosuppressed patients, including organ transplant

recipients and cancer patients. Due to the lack of specific symptoms and the lack of a routine clinical

test, disseminated microsporidiosis was only diagnosed in post-mortem pathological studies. With

the new methods of isolation and detection of microsporidia in biological samples that have been

developed in the Dao Laboratory (CMMB Department, USF, Tampa, FL), microsporidia can be identified

and quantified in packed red blood cell samples. Various levels of microsporidia were observed in

blood samples from normal donors, with approximately 20% of the samples showing significantly high

concentrations of microsporidian levels. Furthermore, although the blood samples were irradiated

at gy25, the spores were found to be viable in tissue culture. In consideration of these findings,

high levels of microsporidia in blood products should be of concern when the transfusion recipients

are immunosuppressed, the present study is focused on the analysis of platelets because of their

use in cancer patients. Preliminary data has shown that four of twelve platelet samples have high

concentration of microsporidia. Additional samples are being investigated in ongoing experiments

in order to identify and quantify the Encephalitozoon species by immunochemical analysis and by

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). Detection of samples having a high microsporidia concentrations and

the avoidance of their use in transfusion should contribute to the prevention of microsporidia-related

complications in immunosuppressed patients.

Categories

Natural Sciences

Research Type

Research Assistant

Mentor Information

Dr. My-Lien Dao

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Microsporidia in Platelets samples: Good or Bad News?

Microsporidia is a recognized emerging opportunistic fungal pathogen that can cause serious

diseases in the immunocompromised, such as in HIV-infected AIDS patients. Complications due

to the dissemination of microsporidial infection by the Encephalitozoon species (disseminated

microsporidiosis) have been reported in immunosuppressed patients, including organ transplant

recipients and cancer patients. Due to the lack of specific symptoms and the lack of a routine clinical

test, disseminated microsporidiosis was only diagnosed in post-mortem pathological studies. With

the new methods of isolation and detection of microsporidia in biological samples that have been

developed in the Dao Laboratory (CMMB Department, USF, Tampa, FL), microsporidia can be identified

and quantified in packed red blood cell samples. Various levels of microsporidia were observed in

blood samples from normal donors, with approximately 20% of the samples showing significantly high

concentrations of microsporidian levels. Furthermore, although the blood samples were irradiated

at gy25, the spores were found to be viable in tissue culture. In consideration of these findings,

high levels of microsporidia in blood products should be of concern when the transfusion recipients

are immunosuppressed, the present study is focused on the analysis of platelets because of their

use in cancer patients. Preliminary data has shown that four of twelve platelet samples have high

concentration of microsporidia. Additional samples are being investigated in ongoing experiments

in order to identify and quantify the Encephalitozoon species by immunochemical analysis and by

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). Detection of samples having a high microsporidia concentrations and

the avoidance of their use in transfusion should contribute to the prevention of microsporidia-related

complications in immunosuppressed patients.