Blastocystis infection frequency and subtype distribution in university students.
ABSTRACT: Blastocystis is a parasite commonly found in the gut of humans and animals; there are 22 known subtypes (STs). STs 1-9 and 12 have been found in humans. This parasite has a faecal-oral route of transmission; its high infection prevalence in developing countries is due to poor hygiene practices, exposure to infected animals, and intake of contaminated water or food. Its pathogenicity has not been established, because it has been found in symptomatic and asymptomatic patients. The goal of this study was to analyze the frequency of Blastocystis and its subtypes (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7), and assess the relationship between these subtypes and abdominal pain and distension. 202 university students participated in this study. A questionnaire was applied to assess the gastrointestinal symptoms, and subsequently the students were asked to provide faecal samples. The presence of parasites was determined by optical microscopy. Blastocystis-positive samples had their DNA extracted and end-point PCR was performed to corroborate the presence of Blastocystis and determine its subtypes. Among the samples, 47.03% were positive according to PCR analysis. The most prevalent subtypes were ST3 (29.79%), ST4 (16.84%), and ST1 (14.89%). We found a relationship between ST1 and abdominal pain (OR = 0.196; CI = 0.0533-0.7318; p = 0.015), and between ST4 and abdominal distension (OR = 0.2928; CI = 0.1017-0.8429; p = 0.023). However, the presence of this parasite and the probable relationship with gastrointestinal symptoms suggest the need to determine its role within intestinal microbiota in order to confirm whether its eradication is really necessary or not.
Project description:Blastocystis is a cosmopolitan protist parasite found in the human gastrointestinal tract and is highly prevalent in developing countries. Recent molecular studies have revealed extensive genetic diversity, which has been classified into different subtypes (STs) based on sequence analysis of small subunit ribosomal RNA gene. Blastocystis is one of the most common fecal parasites in Brazil, but the diversity of subtypes remains unknown in the country. This study aimed to determine the distribution of Blastocystis STs in an urban community in Duque de Caxias, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.A total of 64 stool samples positive for Blastocystis in Pavlova's medium were subtyped by PCR and sequenced using primers targeting the small subunit rRNA gene, in addition to phylogenetic analysis and subtype-specific PCR using sequence-tagged-site (STS) primers.Endolimax nana (14%), Entamoeba complex (10.5%), Taenia sp. (0.6%), Trichuris trichiura (1.3%) and Enterobius vermicularis (1.3%) were detected in Blastocystis-positive samples. Of the 64 samples tested by PCR/DNA sequencing, 55 were identified as ST1 (42%), ST3 (49%), ST2 (7%) and ST4 (2%), and the presence of mixed ST (ST1 + ST3) infection was detected in nine samples (14%).DNA sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of Brazilian Blastocystis isolates identified four different subtypes. To our knowledge, this study provided the first genetic characterization of Blastocystis subtypes in an urban area of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We also identified ST4 for the first time in Brazil. Further studies are necessary to determine the distribution of STs across human populations in Rio de Janeiro.
Project description:Blastocystis is the most common eukaryotic parasite in the intestinal tract of humans. Because of its potential impact in public health, we acquired the first data concerning the prevalence of this parasite and the frequency of the Blastocystis subtypes (STs) in the Lebanese population. In this study, fecal samples from 220 Lebanese symptomatic and asymptomatic patients were collected and a total of 42 patients (19%) were identified as positive for this parasite by direct-light microscopy of smears. Among these, 36 Blastocystis isolates were genotyped using partial small subunit ribosomal RNA gene sequencing. The ST distribution in the present Lebanese population was as follows: ST3 (33.3%), ST2 (33.3%), ST1 (30.6%), and ST4 (2.8%). These data were compared with those available in other Middle Eastern and neighboring countries. Finally, ST1 was significantly more prevalent among symptomatic patients of this Lebanese population.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Blastocystis is a stramenopile of worldwide significance due to its capacity to colonize several hosts. Based on its high level of genetic diversity, Blastocystis is classified into global ribosomal subtypes (STs). The aim of this study was to conduct a summary of Blastocystis STs and depict their distribution throughout North and South America; we did this by assembling maps and identifying its most common 18S alleles based on diverse studies that had been reported all over the continent and whose Blastocystis-positive samples were obtained from numerous hosts. RESULTS:Thirty-nine articles relating to nine countries from the American continent were considered, revealing that ST1 (33.3%), ST2 (21.9%), ST3 (37.9%), ST4 (1.7%), ST5 (0.4%), ST6 (1.2%), ST7 (1%), ST8 (0.7%), ST9 (0.4%), ST12 (0.3%), Novel ST (1.1%) and Mixed STs (0.2%) occurred in humans. The STs in other animal hosts were ST1 (6.5%), ST2 (6.5%), ST3 (4.7%), ST4 (7.2%), ST5 (15.9%), ST6 (17.3%), ST7 (3.6%), ST8 (20.6%), ST10 (9%), ST14 (3.6%), ST17 (1.1%) and Novel ST (4%). The countries that presented the most abundant variety of studies reporting STs were the USA with 14 STs, Brazil with 9 STs and Colombia with 8 STs. Additionally, new variants had been described in the last few years, which have increased the prevalence of these subtypes in the countries studied, such as Novel ST (1.1%) and Mixed STs (0.2%) in humans and Novel ST (4%) in animals. CONCLUSIONS:This summary updates the epidemiological situation on the distribution of Blastocystis STs in North and South America and will augment current knowledge on the prevalence and genetic diversity of this protozoan.
Project description:The enteric protist Blastocystis is one of the most frequently reported parasites infecting both humans and many other animal hosts worldwide. A remarkable genetic diversity has been observed in the species, with 17 different subtypes (STs) on a molecular phylogeny based on small subunit RNA genes (SSU rDNA). Nonetheless, information regarding its distribution, diversity and zoonotic potential remains still scarce, especially in groups other than primates. In Brazil, only a few surveys limited to human isolates have so far been conducted on Blastocystis STs. The aim of this study is to determine the occurrence of Blastocystis subtypes in non-human vertebrate and invertebrate animal groups in different areas of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. A total of 334 stool samples were collected from animals representing 28 different genera. Blastocystis cultivated samples were subtyped using nuclear small subunit ribosomal DNA (SSU rDNA) sequencing. Phylogenetic analyses and BLAST searches revealed six subtypes: ST5 (28.8%), ST2 (21.1%), ST1 and ST8 (19.2%), ST3 (7.7%) and ST4 (3.8%). Our findings indicate a considerable overlap between STs in humans and other animals. This highlights the importance of investigating a range of hosts for Blastocystis to understand the eco-epidemiological aspects of the parasite and its host specificity.
Project description:Blastocystis sp., a unicellular intestinal parasite in humans and animals worldwide, is frequently found in immunocompromized patients and people in close contact with animals. Here, we reviewed recent studies on the prevalence, subtypes, and distribution of Blastocystis infection in humans and animals in China. To date, more than 12 provinces have reported Blastocystis infection in humans, with identification of six different subtypes (ST1, ST2, ST3, ST4, ST5, and ST6). The overall infection rate reported was 3.37% (3625/107,695), with the lowest prevalence (0.80%) in Fujian province and the highest prevalence (100%) in Guangdong province. ST3 (62%, 186/300) was the most dominant subtype, identified in all tested provinces in China. A total of eight provinces have reported Blastocystis infection in various animals, with the overall prevalence being 24.66% (1202/4874). Molecular analysis revealed 14 subtypes that infected animals, including 10 known (ST1, ST2, ST3, ST4, ST5, ST6, ST7, ST10, ST13, ST14), and 4 novel (Novel1, Novel2, Novel3, Novel4) subtypes. ST5 was the dominant subtype infecting artiodactyls (44.1%, 460/1044), while ST1 commonly infected carnivores (45.5%, 5/11). These findings provide insights into the epidemiological behavior of Blastocystis sp. in China, and could help in developing effective control strategies against the parasite.
Project description:AbstractThis study was conducted to investigate the prevalence of Blastocystis spp. and its subtypes (STs) in North Cyprus; and to evaluate the presence of this parasite and its STs with respect to demographic, socioeconomic, and epidemiological factors, as well as gastrointestinal symptoms. Stool samples were collected from 230 volunteers. Each participant also filled out a questionnaire. The samples were examined microscopically by native-Lugol and trichrome methods and further tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequencing. Prevalence of Blastocystis spp. infection was found to be 10.5%, 10.5%, and 27.8%, by direct microscopy, trichrome method, and PCR, respectively. No other parasites were detected in the specimens except Giardia spp. (n = 2; 0.8%) and Entamoeba coli (n = 1; 0.4%). The most common Blastocystis STs were ST3 (20; 31.2%), ST2 (18; 28.2%), ST1 (8; 12.5%), and ST4 (7; 11%); whereas other STs were identified as ST6 (3; 4.7%), ST7 (2; 3.2%), and non-ST (6; 9.4%). Presence of Blastocystis spp. and its STs was not significantly related to any of the demographic, socioeconomic, and epidemiological factors. Furthermore, no significant association of Blastocystis spp. and its STs with gastrointestinal symptoms was found. This study is the first investigation of the epidemiology of Blastocystis spp. in North Cyprus. Distribution of Blastocystis spp. and its STs among demographic, socioeconomic, and epidemiological factors showed complete homogeneity. Presence of the parasite and its STs was not significantly related with the gastrointestinal symptoms among symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. These findings suggest that Blastocystis spp. may be part of the intestinal flora in humans.
Project description:Blastocystis sp. is described as an enteric protist prevalent in fecal samples from humans and animals; its pathogenicity and epidemiology are still controversial. Currently, it has been associated with intestinal diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome and clinical manifestations of allergic skin, such as chronic urticaria. In the context of urticaria, it is still uncertain whether this organism is directly related to the allergic manifestation or just a common component of the intestinal microbiota. This study aimed to evaluate the occurrence and molecular diversity of Blastocystis sp. in individuals with urticaria from a dermatology outpatient clinic, São Paulo, Brazil. Fecal samples of 58 patients with urticaria were examined using parasitological methods; and subsequently tested by polymerase chain reaction using Blastocystis-specific primers. The subtypes (STs) and alleles (a) were determined using BLASTn and MLST tools. ST1, ST2, ST3, ST4, ST6 and mixed infection (ST1 + ST3) were identified in the patients with urticaria; ST1 (a4), ST3 (a34 and a36) and ST4 (a42) were the most prevalent. Our molecular analyses allowed an initial description of Blastocystis subtypes in patients with urticaria from São Paulo city, Brazil.
Project description:<h4>Background & methods</h4><i>Blastocystis</i> sp. is one of the most prevalent unicellular eukaryote of the human large intestine in Chile and worldwide. It is classified in subtypes (STs), where using the polymorphic sequences of its <i>18S rRNA</i> genes currently recognizes 22. STs 1-9 and ST12 have been reported in humans. It has been hypothesized that different STs of <i>Blastocystis</i> sp. differentially affect the clinical severity of the digestive disease in Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) patients, but more studies ar4e needed to establish this statement. To contribute in the elucidation of the potential relationship between <i>Blastocystis</i> sp. subtypes and IBS severity, 37 IBS patient fecal samples were collected at hospitals in Santiago (Chile) and were screened for the presence of vacuolated forms of <i>Blastocystis</i> sp. by using conventional microscopy. Positive samples were submitted to PCR and sequencing for determining STs. The same procedure was performed in fecal samples from five non-IBS <i>Blastocystis</i> sp. carriers for preliminary comparative purpose.<h4>Results and discussion</h4>Four out of the 37 samples from the IBS patients were found positive for <i>Blastocystis</i> sp. (10.81%) by using microscopy. The presence of this microorganism in these four samples were confirmed by PCR and sequencing. Subtypes and their respective closest match alleles were searched and the ST1, ST2 and ST4 subtypes were found in these patients. ST4 subtype is scarcely detected in South America countries, being reported previously only in Colombia and Brazil. In this ST4 subtype we determined the allele 42 which is the most frequent allele observed in human <i>Blastocystis</i> isolates. In the non-IBS individuals' carriers, three subtypes were found: ST1, ST2 and ST3, even belonging to the same family group. Closest match alleles: 2, 12 and 34 here detected were also commonly reported globally. Instead of the small number of IBS patients studied here, the frequency of blastocystosis detected (10.81%) was lower than the prevalence of <i>Blastocystis</i> sp. infections described for the Chilean general population (30.4%). In Chile, clear correlation of <i>Blastocystis</i> sp. subtypes and IBS severity is still lacking with this study but it may lead and contribute to a better understanding of its pathogenicity and worldwide epidemiology.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Blastocystis sp. is a common intestinal protist that infects humans and many animals globally. Thus far, 22 subtypes (STs) have been identified in mammalian and avian hosts. Since various STs are common to humans and animals, it was suggested that some human infections might arise from zoonotic transmission. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the presence of Blastocystis sp. in domestic (dogs and cats) and synanthropic animals (rats) of Fars Province, Iran, and to genetically characterize the samples. METHODS:A total of 400 fresh faecal samples from 154 dogs, 119 cats, and 127 rats were inspected by direct microscopy, Wheatley's trichrome staining, in vitro culture, and 18S rRNA gene nested-PCR. Finally, sequencing and phylogenetic analyses were performed. RESULTS:Out of 400 samples, 47 (11.8%) and 61 (15.3%) samples were detected as positive by direct wet mount and culture, respectively. Molecular analysis detected a larger number of positive samples (n?=?70, 17.5%): nested-PCR showed that 29 (18.8%) dogs, 21 (17.7%) cats, and 20 (15.8%) rats were infected by Blastocystis sp. Sequence analysis of positive samples indicated the presence of zoonotic STs in all investigated host species. Specifically, ST2 (allele 9), ST3 (allele 34), ST4 (allele 94), ST7 (allele 99), ST8 (allele 21), and ST10 (allele 152) were detected in dogs; ST1 (allele 2), ST3 (allele 34), ST4 (allele 94), ST10 (allele 152), and ST14 (allele 159) were detected in cats; and ST1 (allele 2), ST3 (allele 34), and ST4 (allele 92) were detected in rats. CONCLUSIONS:Our data suggest that domestic dogs and cats can serve as possible reservoirs for in-contact humans, especially those who handle shelter-resident and client-owned animals. Moreover, rats as synanthropic animals can function as a potential source of human infections. Conversely, humans can act as a source of infections to animals. These results should be reinforced in future molecular epidemiological studies.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to assess the genetic variation and differentiation of Blastocystis subtypes (STs) recovered from symptomatic children by analysing partial sequences of the small subunit rDNA gene region (SSUrDNA) and internal transcribed spacers (1 and 2) plus the 5.8S region (ITS, ITS1 + 5.8S + ITS2) and comparing with isolates from other countries. FINDINGS: Faecal samples from 47 Blastocystis-infected children with gastrointestinal symptoms and negative for pathogenic enterobacteria were analysed. PCR was performed on DNA from all the samples to identify Blastocystis STs, amplifying a fragment of SSUrDNA and the ITS region. The amplicons were purified and sequenced, and consensus sequences were submitted to GenBank; afterwards, SSUrDNA sequences were analysed for genetic diversity according to geographic area. Regarding the Blastocystis STs found, 51% were ST1, 23% ST2, 19% ST3 and 2% ST7. For ITS, a haplotype network tree and Bayesian inference revealed the presence of two novel variants of ST1, clustering some sequences into ST1A and ST1B. The values of nucleotide diversity (π) and haplotype polymorphism (θ) for ST1, ST2 and ST3 ranged from 0 to 1, whereas the ratio of genetic differentiation (FST)/migration index (Nm) showed the highest differentiation between Libya and Thailand-Philippines for ST2 (0.282/0.63). In contrast, a high flow gene was observed between Czech Republic-Denmark-Holland-Spain and USA-Mexico-Colombia for ST1 (0.003/84). CONCLUSION: Our data on genetic differentiation and gene flow might explain the differences for the prevalence of Blastocystis STs. Moreover, the ITS region could be used as a genetic marker to assess genetic variation in this parasite.