Blastocystis is a common enteric protist colonizing probably more than 1 billion people with a large variety of non-human hosts. Remarkable genetic diversity has been observed, leading to the subdivision of the genus into multiple subtypes (ST), some of which are exclusively found in non-human hosts. The aim of this study was to determine the distribution of Blastocystis STs/18S alleles in symptomatic (abdominal pain, anal pruritus, diarrhea, headache, nauseas and/or vomit) and asymptomatic children from nine geographical regions of Colombia. A total of 2026 fecal samples were collected as part of a national survey to estimate the frequency of intestinal parasites in children. A set of 256 samples that were Blastocystis positive was finally selected. The samples were submitted to DNA extraction, Real Time PCR and sequencing using Blastocystis-specific primers targeting the small subunit rRNA gene for ST identification. DNA of Ascaris lumbricoides (16.4%), Trichuris trichiura (8.2%), hookworms (Necator americanus/Ancylostoma duodenale) (7.3%), Giardia duodenalis (23.1%), Entamoeba complex (82%), Entamoeba coli (55%), Hymenolepis nana (0.8%), Endolimax nana (33.2%) and Neobalantidium coli (2.7%) was detected in the Blastocystispositive samples. We detected ST1 (21.4%), ST2 (19.5%), ST3 (55.5%), ST4 (0.8%), ST6 (2%) and ST7 (0.8%); alleles 1, 2, 4, 81, 82 and 83 for ST1; alleles 9, 11, 12, 15, 67, 71 and 73 for ST2; alleles 34, 36, 38, 45, 49, 55, 134 and 128 for ST3; allele 42 for ST4; allele 122 for ST6, and allele 142 for ST7. Further studies implementing high-resolution molecular markers are necessary to understand the dynamics of Blastocystis transmission and the role of this Stramenopila in health and disease.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)