E-ISSN 2146-3077
Review
Is Blastocystis hominis An Opportunist Agent?
1 Gazi Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi, Tıbbi Mikrobiyoloji Anabilim Dalı, Ankara, Türkiye  
2 İstanbul Üniversitesi Cerrahpaşa Tıp Fakültesi, Mikrobiyoloji Anabilim Dalı, İstanbul, Türkiye  
Turkiye Parazitol Derg 2007; 31: 28-36

Key Words: Blastocystis hominis, pathogenesis
Abstract

Despite its high prevalence throughout the world, major issues about Blastocystis hominis remain unresolved, including fundamental areas such as taxonomy and pathogenicity. Sequences of the SSUrRNA gene place Blastocystis in the stramenophiles. Analysis of the elongation factor 1-α gene, however, indicates similarity to Entamoeba histolytica. There is considerable morphological variability and karyotype diversity, and it appears that more than one species is present in humans and animals. In culture, three major forms predominate: vacuolar, granular, and ameboid. The vacuolated form (usually 10 to 30 µm) was most frequently detected in fecal specimens. The prevalence of Blastocystosis in humans appears to be higher in developing countries (30% to 50%) than in developed countries (1.5% to 10%), and has been associated with travel. B. hominis is the most common parasite isolated from stool specimens in symptomatic and asymptomatic persons in a variety of settings. Isolates resembling B. hominis have been described in a variety of mammals, birds, reptiles, and even insects. The significance of this human infection is uncertain. 

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