- A genus of protozoan parasites, formerly considered part of the family Toxoplasmatidae, class Sporozoea, but now recognized as a member of the protozoan phylum Microspora, family Nosematidae. E. cuniculi is considered the primary microsporan parasite of mammals, commonly found in the brain and kidney tubules of rodents and carnivores and causing nosematosis in rabbits. [encephalitis + G. zoon, animal]- E. cuniculi a common cryptic infection of most mammals and some birds, transmitted in urine-contaminated food and by transplacental transmission. Disseminated human infection has been reported among immunosuppressed individuals. Latent infection seen by serodiagnosis suggests widespread nonsymptomatic infection in tropical regions.- E. hellem a species of E. described from human ophthalmic infections causing punctate keratopathy and corneal ulceration in AIDS patients.- E. intestinale a diarrheogenic microsporidian described in HIV-infected patients; disease may be localized to the gastrointestinal tract or may disseminate intravascularly.- E. intestinalis a species of E. described from human muscle; very few cases have been reported. Formerly called Septata intestinale.
* * *en·ceph·a·li·to·zo·on -.līt-ə-'zō-.än, -'zō-ən n1) cap a genus of protozoans of the order Microsporidia that infect the brain and kidneys of numerous mammals and that include one (E. cuniculi) infecting humans and esp. immunocompromised individuals2) pl en·ceph·a·li·to·zoa -'zō-ə any protozoan of the genus Encephalitozoon
* * *En·ce·phal·i·to·zo·on (en″sə-fal″ĭ-to-zoґon) [encephal- + Gr. zōon animal] a genus of parasitic protozoa (suborder Apansporoblastina, order Microsporida), formerly thought to be identical with Nosema, first reported in the brains of rabbits.
Medical dictionary. 2011.