Microsporidia are a group of tiny, spore-forming parasites that can infect humans, animals, and even insects. They were first discovered in the mid-19th century, but it wasn’t until the development of electron microscopy that scientists were able to study them in detail.

Microsporidia are unique among parasites in that they lack mitochondria, the energy-producing organelles found in most eukaryotic cells. Instead, they rely on their host cells to provide them with the energy they need to survive.

Despite their small size, microsporidia can cause a range of serious illnesses in both humans and animals. In humans, they are associated with a variety of infections, including conjunctivitis, diarrhea, and even encephalitis, a potentially fatal inflammation of the brain.

One of the most interesting aspects of microsporidia is their ability to form complex, multicellular structures known as sporophorocysts. These structures are used to protect the microsporidian spores as they are transmitted from one host to another.

Although microsporidia have been known to science for nearly two centuries, there is still much that we don’t know about them. As technology continues to improve, scientists are hopeful that we will be able to unlock the secrets of these fascinating parasites and develop new treatments to combat their potentially deadly effects.