Encephalitozoon hellem is a unicellular, obligate intracellular microsporidian species detected and isolated in HIV-infected patients presenting with keratoconjunctivitis, sinusitis, tracheobronchitis, nephritis, cystitis, and disseminated infection. A total of 24 monoclonal antibodies were produced against E. hellem and characterized. The monoclonal antibodies were of the immunoglobulin (Ig) G and Ig M subclasses, and, when incorporated into indirect immunofluorescence and immunoblotting assays, reacted against 13 isolates of E. hellem originating from three geographic regions. These monoclonal antibodies did not react with one strain each of either Encephalitozoon intestinalis or Encephalitozoon cuniculi, demonstrating their specificity. Two monoclonal antibodies reacted with all karyotype B-E. hellem isolates but did not react with karyotype A-isolates from North America and the Netherlands, thus demonstrating antigenic diversity among E. hellem isolates. These results add to the increasing evidence for diversity among E. hellem, which therefore may be reclassified into subspecies.
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Vol. 49 • No. 3