In-vitro cultivation: a sensitive method for detecting Blastocystis hominis

Ann Trop Med Parasitol. 2002 Dec;96(8):803-7. doi: 10.1179/000349802125002275.


Currently, the detection of human infection with Blastocystis hominis is usually based on the examination under a light microscope of faecal samples, either directly, as 'simple smears', or after some form of concentration. Whether short-term, in-vitro cultivation would increase the sensitivity of such detection remains a matter of controversy. Over 900 fresh stool specimens, from soldiers in the Royal Thai Army, were each checked for the parasite using three methods: simple smears; formalin-ethyl-acetate concentration; and cultivation in Jones' medium. Although 334 of the samples were found to be culture-positive, the parasites were only detected in 142 of the simple smears, and faecal concentration led to an even lower sensitivity (64 positive samples). In-vitro cultivation does seem worthwhile in the detection of B. hominis carriage in field studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blastocystis Infections / diagnosis
  • Blastocystis Infections / parasitology*
  • Blastocystis hominis / growth & development*
  • Blastocystis hominis / isolation & purification
  • Culture Media
  • Feces / parasitology*
  • Humans
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Thailand


  • Culture Media