Enterocytozoon spp

From Cow
Enterocytozoon bieneusi under light microscopy

Enterocytozoon spp (f. microsporidia) are a zoonotic obligate intracellular parasitic fungus[1] associated with bovine viral diarrhea in cattle worldwide.

Pathogenic species associated with disease in cattle includes:

  • Enterocytozoon bieneusi[2]

Clinical signs are generally nonspecific for this parasite as up to 20% of most dairy herds are usually infected asymptomatically[3][4]. Symptoms are usually associated with pre-existing diarrhea caused by other agents such as bovine viral diarrhea or coccidiosis. This parasite is often seen in young weaned beef and dairy calves.

Diagnosis is usually based on laboratory identification of Enterocytozoon spp by ELISA or PCR assays[5].


  1. Zhang X et al (2011) Identification and genotyping of Enterocytozoon bieneusi in China. J Clin Microbiol 49(5):2006-2008
  2. Santín M et al (2012) Prevalence and genotypes of Enterocytozoon bieneusi in weaned beef calves on cow-calf operations in the USA. Parasitol Res 110(5):2033-2041
  3. Santín M et al (2005) Enterocytozoon bieneusi genotypes in dairy cattle in the eastern United States. Parasitol Res 97(6):535-538
  4. Santín M & Fayer R (2009) A longitudinal study of Enterocytozoon bieneusi in dairy cattle. Parasitol Res 105(1):141-144
  5. Fayer R et al (2012) Detection of concurrent infection of dairy cattle with Blastocystis, Cryptosporidium, Giardia, and Enterocytozoon by molecular and microscopic methods. Parasitol Res 111(3):1349-1355