1. Structure of Microsporidia

  1. Louis M. Weiss5 and
  2. James J. Becnel6
  1. Jiří Vávra1,2,3 and
  2. J. I. Ronny Larsson4

Published Online: 1 AUG 2014

DOI: 10.1002/9781118395264.ch1

Microsporidia: Pathogens of Opportunity, First Edition

Microsporidia: Pathogens of Opportunity, First Edition

How to Cite

Vávra, J. and Ronny Larsson, J. I. (2014) Structure of Microsporidia, in Microsporidia: Pathogens of Opportunity, First Edition (eds L. M. Weiss and J. J. Becnel), John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118395264.ch1

Editor Information

  1. 5

    Department of Pathology, Division of Parasitology and Tropical Medicine, and Department of Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, USA

  2. 6

    USDA/ARS, Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, FL, USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    Faculty of Sciences, Charles University in Prague (Emeritus), Czech Republic

  2. 2

    Institute of Parasitology, Biology Centre, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Czech Republic

  3. 3

    Faculty of Sciences, University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic

  4. 4

    Department of Biology, University of Lund (Emeritus), Sweden

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 AUG 2014
  2. Published Print: 9 SEP 2014

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118395226

Online ISBN: 9781118395264



  • human opportunistic microsporidia;
  • microsporidian classification;
  • microsporidian cytology;
  • microsporidian developmental stages;
  • spores


Microsporidia are eukaryotic and unicellular. Structural characters are still basic for microsporidian classification, despite that molecular biology characters are progressively gaining importance for revealing relationships between individual taxons of the phylum and between microsporidia and other organisms. This chapter presents the structural aspects of reproduction and life cycles, essentials of microsporidian cytology, structure of microsporidian developmental stages, and envelopes of microsporidian origin. Discussions also include the mature spore, cytological anomalies in microsporidia, microsporidia-induced effects on host cytology, the structure of some human opportunistic microsporidia and techniques in microsporidia research. Spores are the only stage that survives outside the host, and due to their durability and structural complexity, the spores are essential for microsporidium recognition and classification.