Worldwide prevalence of emerging parasite Blastocystis in immunocompromised patients: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Microb Pathog. 2021 Mar;152:104615. doi: 10.1016/j.micpath.2020.104615. Epub 2020 Nov 24.


Blastocystis is one of the most common pathogens of the human intestine, caused by an emerging parasite, which can lead to severe symptoms and even death in immunocompromised patients. We aimed to determine the global prevalence of Blastocystosis infection in people with immunodeficiency. A systematic literature search was conducted on Web of Science, Scopus, Google scholar, Science Direct and MEDLINE databases to select all observational studies reporting the prevalence of Blastocystosis infection in Worldwide, based on different diagnostic methods in immunocompromised patients of any age and published from inception to February 2019. Pooled estimates and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were calculated using random effects models and in addition, the I2 statistic was calculated. The geographic distribution of studies was evaluated and the diagnosis of Blastocystis was compared by various techniques. Electronic databases were reviewed for Blastocystosis infection in HIV/AIDS, cancer and other immunocompromised patients, and meta-analyses were conducted to calculate the overall estimated prevalence. Total68 eligible studies were included. The estimated pooled prevalence rate of Blastocystosis infection in immunocompromised patients was overall 10% (95% CI, 7-13%; I2 96.04%) (P < 0.001), of whom 21% [18-25] were in Australia, 12% [4-24] in America, 11% [6-17] in Europe and 10% [5-15], 7% [3-13] in Asia and Africa, respectively. It was calculated that the estimated pooled prevalence rate of Blastocystosis infection in immunocompromised patients was overall 10% and the prevalence estimates ranged from 0.44 to 72.39. Also, overall the prevalence of parasites co-infection in immunocompromised patients was detected as 0.024%. Our finding showed that immunocompromised people show a high prevalence of Blastocystosis infection compared to the control population. Adequate information on the prevalence rate is still missing from many countries. However, current information underscore that Blastocystis should not be neglected.

Keywords: Blastocystis; Blastocystosis infection; Cancer patients; HIV/AIDS patients; Immunocompromised patients; Prevalence.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Africa / epidemiology
  • Animals
  • Asia / epidemiology
  • Australia
  • Blastocystis*
  • Europe
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Parasites*
  • Prevalence