Examination of extraintestinal tissue cysts of Isospora belli
Relapse is common in immunocompetent and immunosuppressed humans infected with Isospora belli and is believed to be associated with the presence of extraintestinal stages. In the present study, we examined this important stage in an AIDS patient using histological, immunohistological, histochemical, and ultrastructural methods to better understand the development and structure of this stage and to develop better means of detecting infections. Antisera made in rabbits to Isospora suis, Toxoplasma gondii, Hammondia hammondi, Sarcocystis neurona, Neospora caninum, and Caryospora bigenetica were tested against I. belli tissue cysts in the avidin-biotin peroxidase complex (ABC) immunohistological test. Most antisera reacted positively in the ABC test at dilutions of 1:100 but not at dilutions of 1:250. Some antisera to N. caninum and H. hammondi reacted positively at dilutions of 1:1,000 in the ABC test. Most reactive antisera stained the tissue cyst wall and not the enclosed zoite. Eight histochemical tests were examined and most were nonreactive with I. belli zoites or tissue cysts. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that the tissue cyst wall was composed of granular material and was directly beneath the parasitophorous vacuole membrane. Zoites were in the center of the tissue cysts and were surrounded by fibrillar material that appeared to originate from the zoite surface. Tubulelike structures were present in the granular tissue cyst wall and in the fibrillar material that surrounded the zoite. Zoites contained a crystalloid body. New findings in the present study consisted of identifying what are probably early tissue cysts that lack a developed tissue cyst wall, demonstrating that more than 1 tissue cyst can occupy a host cell, describing the distribution of micronemes and the shedding of zoite membranes, and identifying tubular structures in the inner tissue cyst wall and inner compartment.