Subtype Analysis of Blastocystis Isolates from Blastocystis Cyst Excreting Patients

Betangbeh A. Rene Department of Bacteriology, Mycology and Parasitology; Department of Quality Control, Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen, Denmark

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Christen R. Stensvold Department of Bacteriology, Mycology and Parasitology; Department of Quality Control, Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen, Denmark

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Jens H. Badsberg Department of Bacteriology, Mycology and Parasitology; Department of Quality Control, Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen, Denmark

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Henrik V. Nielsen Department of Bacteriology, Mycology and Parasitology; Department of Quality Control, Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen, Denmark

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To determine the distribution of Blastocystis sp. subtypes from Blastocystis cyst excreters, 1,000 fecal samples from patients suspected of enteroparasitic disease were scored for stool consistency, submitted to xenic in vitro culture (XIVC), formol ethyl acetate concentration (FECT) with subsequent isopycnic centrifugation, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with subtype (ST) analysis. Blastocystis was significantly more prevalent in specimens from patients with travel-associated diarrhea (15.6%) than those with persistent diarrhea (8.3%) (P = 0.005). Overall, 115 (11.5%) and 35 (3.5%) specimens were positive by XIVC and FECT, respectively. Blastocystis cysts were detected in 33 (28.7%) of the XIVC-positive specimens. A positive FECT result was associated with ST3 (P = 0.05). The presence of Blastocystis in general or Blastocystis cysts was independent of stool consistency, and no particular ST was significantly associated with cyst identification. In view of these data, the present study indicates that Blastocystis cyst formation is independent of Blastocystis sp. subtype and gastrointestinal transit time.

Author Notes

Reprint requests: Christen R. Stensvold, Department of Bacteriology, Mycology and Parasitology, Building 43, Room no. 114, Statens Serum Institut, Artillerivej 5, DK-2300 Copenhagen S, Denmark, Tel: +45 3268 3604, Fax: +45 3268 3033, E-mail: RUN@ssi.dk.
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