Blastocystis sp. and other intestinal parasites in hemodialysis patients

Braz J Infect Dis. 2008 Aug;12(4):338-41. doi: 10.1590/s1413-86702008000400017.


Chronic renal insufficiency disease (CRI) leads to uremia in hemodialysis patients and induces a state of immunodepression that results in higher frequencies of infections and diarrhea. Hemodialysis patients resident in the city of Campo Mourão, Paraná, Brazil were analyzed from April 2006 through September 2007 for Blastocystis sp. and other intestinal parasites and for associated diarrhea. Fecal samples from 86 hemodialysis patients and 146 healthy (reference) persons were examined by standard methods for detecting ova, larvae and cysts, which included preservation in 10% formalin and the Kinyoun method. Thirty-three hemodialysis patients (45.1%) and 36 reference individuals (25.7%) were found to be parasitized. The differences in the percentages of parasitism and polyparasitism between the reference group and the chronic renal patients was significant (p= 0.0318 and 0.0019, respectively). Blastocystis sp. (18%-20.1%), Endolimax nana (14%-16.3%), Cryptosporidium sp. (4%-4.7%) and Entamoeba coli (4%-4.7%) were the most frequent protozoa found in the hemodialysis patients. Parasitism was not significantly associated with diarrhea (p=0.9947) or with decreased white blood cell counts (p=0.7046) in these individuals. Because parasitic infections may be an important comorbidity factor in hemodialysis patients, we suggest that parasitological stool examinations, especially for Blastocystis sp. and Cryptosporidium sp., be included in routine medical follow-up examinations of these patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Animals
  • Blastocystis Infections / diagnosis
  • Blastocystis Infections / epidemiology*
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Diarrhea / parasitology*
  • Feces / parasitology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / diagnosis
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / epidemiology
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / parasitology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Renal Dialysis*