Blastocystis hominis and the evaluation of efficacy of metronidazole and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole

Parasitol Res. 2005 Jun;96(4):273-5. doi: 10.1007/s00436-005-1363-1. Epub 2005 May 25.


Blastocystis hominis is commonly found in the intestinal tract of humans. Although the pathogenicity of this unicellular parasite is controversial, anti-protozoan agents are usually administered to infected individuals. At present, the first choice of chemotherapeutic agent is Metronidazole as described in the literature. In this study, we evaluated the effects of metronidazole and Trimethoprim/Sulfamethoxazole (TMP/SMX) on persons infected with B.hominis. A total of 104 subjects infected with B. hominis were admitted to the laboratory from 2002 to 2003. All individuals were non-immunocompromised and subjects were monitored for 1 year after treatment. All stool samples were microscopically examined after staining with iodine and by culturing in an egg slant medium. Of the 104 infected individuals (52+/-16 years of age, M:F=60:44) with B. hominis infection, 28 were discharging large numbers of parasites before treatment. Of 28 severely infected individuals, 12 were treated with metronidazole/250-750 mg at a regimen of 3 x/day/10 days and 4 of the 12 were eradicated. Nine individuals were treated with TMP/SMX/1 tab at a regimen of 3 x/day/10 days and 2 of the 9 were eradicated. For severe B. hominis infections, it appears that metronidazole and TMP/SMX are effective in some individuals, but not all.

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain / drug therapy
  • Abdominal Pain / parasitology
  • Animals
  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antiprotozoal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Blastocystis Infections / drug therapy*
  • Blastocystis hominis / drug effects*
  • Blastocystis hominis / pathogenicity
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Feces / parasitology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metronidazole / therapeutic use*
  • Middle Aged
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Trimethoprim, Sulfamethoxazole Drug Combination / therapeutic use*


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Antiprotozoal Agents
  • Metronidazole
  • Trimethoprim, Sulfamethoxazole Drug Combination