Blastocystis hominis in hospital employees

Am J Gastroenterol. 1992 Jun;87(6):729-32.


Several reports have appeared that either support or deny the importance of the protozoan Blastocystis hominis as an intestinal pathogen in humans. In this report, we describe the clinical characteristics of B. hominis and its response to therapy in hospital employees found to have the parasite on routine screening of stools. During the study, 49 patients with B. hominis were identified, and 413 stools were examined from these patients. Twenty-nine patients were asymptomatic (59%), and 20 had symptoms of bloating, flatulence, soft/loose stools, or constipation. Of these 20 patients, 10 had symptoms that correlated with the presence or absence of B. hominis, four had symptoms that were independent of B. homonis, and six had other intestinal parasites that could account for their symptoms. Nineteen percent of patients without treatment had eradication of B. hominis from stool on follow-up examination. Metronidazole did not increase this rate. Iodoquinol treatment eradicated the organism in 41% of patients (p less than 0.05), and resulted in the reduction or eradication of the parasite in 62%, as determined by follow-up examination.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Blastocystis Infections / drug therapy
  • Blastocystis Infections / parasitology*
  • Blastocystis hominis / isolation & purification*
  • Dietary Services
  • Feces / parasitology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Iodoquinol / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Metronidazole / therapeutic use
  • Middle Aged
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital
  • Personnel, Hospital*


  • Metronidazole
  • Iodoquinol