Evidence of an epidemic of Blastocystis hominis infections in preschool children in northern Jordan

J Clin Microbiol. 1993 Oct;31(10):2706-8.


Blastocystis hominis is now gaining acceptance as an agent of human intestinal disease. A case-control study of the cause of gastroenteritis in children less than 6 years old was conducted. A total of 500 stool specimens were examined by wet mount preparation, formalin-ether concentration, Sheather's sugar flotation technique, and permanent stains when necessary. B. hominis was found in 63 (25%) of 250 stool specimens of the cases examined; 38 (15%) of these specimens contained this parasite alone. The appearance of severe symptoms was associated with increased numbers of the parasite in the diarrheic specimens (more than five parasites per field at a magnification of x 400). The most common symptoms were abdominal pain, recurrent diarrhea, cramps, anorexia, and fatigue. Contaminated water was suspected to be the major source of infection, since several cases were associated with Giardia infection. These findings support the concept of B. hominis pathogenicity in children with gastroenteritis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Blastocystis Infections / epidemiology*
  • Blastocystis Infections / transmission
  • Blastocystis hominis*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Jordan / epidemiology
  • Male