A possible link between subtype 2 and asymptomatic infections of Blastocystis hominis

Parasitol Res. 2008 Aug;103(3):685-9. doi: 10.1007/s00436-008-1031-3. Epub 2008 Jun 5.


Blastocystis hominis is one of the most common eukaryotic organisms in the intestinal tract of humans, while its pathogenic potential is still controversial. A total of 286 stool samples obtained from adult and pediatric patients with or without gastrointestinal symptoms in two hospitals in Manisa, Turkey, were cultured to detect B. hominis infection. Forty-one and 51 isolates were obtained from the adults and children, respectively, and these isolates were subjected to subtyping by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with the known sequence-tagged site primers. The correlation between the genotype and the symptoms was evaluated. PCR subtyping indicated that subtype 3 was the most common genotype in both symptomatic and asymptomatic groups, and the second common genotype was subtypes 1 and 2 in symptomatic and asymptomatic groups, respectively. A significant correlation between subtype 2 and the asymptomatic groups was found among both in pediatric and adult patients (chi(2) (cal) = 4.38, df = 1, p = 0.044). However, there were no significant differences between the other genotypes and the symptomatic or asymptomatic groups, as well as both the age and sex of the patients. The present study suggests that subtype 2 is a non-pathogenic genotype of B. hominis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Blastocystis Infections / parasitology*
  • Blastocystis Infections / physiopathology
  • Blastocystis hominis / classification*
  • Blastocystis hominis / genetics
  • Blastocystis hominis / isolation & purification
  • Blastocystis hominis / pathogenicity*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • DNA Primers / genetics
  • DNA, Protozoan / genetics*
  • Feces / parasitology
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Sex Factors
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Turkey


  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Protozoan