Miscellaneous ‘Parasites’

The miscellaneous parasites is a name frequently given to organisms that over time have been reclassified as fungi, microsporidia, coccidia and sporozoa.

They are important causes of infections in humans … in particular those that are immunocompromised. These parasitic infections can be very difficult to detect because of their insidious presentations and small size requiring special staining techniques; serologic testing; and diagnostic molecular testing.

Some of these organisms have caused large outbreaks of disease. Some produce intestinal disease, others extraintestinal disease; and still others pulmonary disease. In most cases the diseases caused are accentuated by an immunocompromised condition in the person affected. Under ordinary circumstances most infections are asymptomatic or short lived in immunocompetent persons.

The following are a list of the miscellaneous protozoa chosen to cover that are clinically the most important, but not all inclusive, to man.