A review on rabbit ocular Encephalitozoon cuniculi infection

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Abstract / Description of output

Encephalitozoon cuniculi is a microsporidian parasite affecting rabbits and other mammals, including immunocompromised humans. One clinical manifestation of E. cuniculi is the ocular form, typically presenting with phacoclastic uveitis, a yellow-white granuloma and a cataract. This literature review will focus on the aetiopathogenesis, presentation, diagnosis, and treatment options for ocular E. cuniculi with emphasis on phacoemulsification, the gold standard treatment.
As well as infecting rabbits, Encephalitozoon cuniculi may also colonise other mammals including mice, cats, dogs and sheep. It is important to recognise its zoonotic potential in immunocompromised humans. In rabbits, E. cuniculi most commonly presents as a neurological condition (Figure 1), but also affects the kidneys and eyes. Exposure to E. cuniculi is not uncommon in the UK, with one study finding that 52% of healthy rabbits were seropositive for E. cuniculi antibodies (Keeble and Shaw, 2006). Compared to the prevalence of E. cuniculi seropositivity, the prevalence of the ocular manifestation is fairly low
(Williams, 2012).
Original languageEnglish
JournalUK-VET Companion animal
Early online date5 Nov 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Nov 2021


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