Pathogenic potential of Blastocystis hominis in laboratory mice

Parasitol Res. 2010 Aug;107(3):685-9. doi: 10.1007/s00436-010-1922-y. Epub 2010 May 25.


Blastocystis hominis is a ubiquitous enteric protozoan whose pathogenic potential is still controversial. This study was carried out to clarify the pathogenecity of B. hominis infection and to study the proper number of parasites for mice infection. A total of 15 albino mice were orally inoculated with B. hominis and divided according to the inoculums, 10(2), 10(5), and 4 x 10(7) B. hominis forms/100 microl saline, into three groups consisting of five mice each, GI, GII GIII, respectively. In addition with group IV (uninfected control) consisting of five mice. All mice were sacrificed 2 weeks post-infection. The results revealed that all mice of GIII and two mice of GII got the infection while all mice of GI showed a completely negative result. Histopathological examination of large intestine on highly infected group (GIII) showed that B. hominis infiltrated the lamina propria, the submucosa, and the muscle layers in the form of collection of vacuolar forms. This was accompanied by active colitis with infiltration of mixed inflammatory cells. In conclusion, this study revealed that large number of B. hominis is essential for oral infection of mice and that vacuolar forms of B. hominis can invade the lamina propria, the submucosa, and even the muscle layers.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Laboratory*
  • Blastocystis Infections / parasitology
  • Blastocystis Infections / pathology*
  • Blastocystis hominis / pathogenicity*
  • Cecum / parasitology
  • Cecum / pathology
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / parasitology
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / pathology
  • Intestine, Large / parasitology
  • Intestine, Large / pathology
  • Mice