PCR-based identification of zoonotic isolates of Blastocystis from mammals and birds

Microbiology (Reading). 2004 May;150(Pt 5):1147-1151. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.26899-0.


The genotype of Blastocystis isolated from humans and animals is highly polymorphic. Therefore, it is important to compare the genotypes of Blastocystis isolates from humans and animals to determine the zoonotic potential of animal isolates. PCR-based genotype classification using known sequence-tagged site (STS) primers allows identification of zoonotic isolates of animal origin. To this end, 51 isolates from monkeys, cattle, pigs, chickens, quails and pheasants were subjected to genotype analysis using seven kinds of STS primers. Out of the 51 isolates, 39 were identified as one of the known genotypes, four showed mixed genotypes, and eight were unknown genotypes as these were negative for all STS primers. When these results were combined with previous studies on 41 isolates from animals and compared with the diversity of genotypes of 102 human Blastocystis hominis isolates, 67.4 % (62/92) of isolates from mammals and birds were identical to human B. hominis genotypes. Since the unknown genotype of human origin had been placed into an additional clade in the small-subunit rRNA gene phylogeny, further molecular study on the eight isolates of unknown genotype from the present study will facilitate our understanding of their zoonotic potential.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blastocystis / classification*
  • Blastocystis / genetics
  • Blastocystis / isolation & purification*
  • Blastocystis Infections / parasitology*
  • Cattle
  • DNA Primers
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Parasitology / methods
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Sequence Tagged Sites
  • Zoonoses / parasitology*


  • DNA Primers