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Parasitol Res. 1997;83(4):313-8.

Description of a Blastocystis species from Rattus norvegicus.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore.


Two isolates (WR1 and WR2) of Blastocystis from laboratory-bred Wistar rats were axenized by a method of colony growth in soft agar combined with antibiotic treatment. The colonies were cultured in Iscove's modified Dulbecco's medium (IMDM) and Bacto agar mixture supplemented with 10% horse serum in the presence of thioglycollate. The cells from the colonies had an ameboid outline with a central body. Large inclusions were seen in the central body of some cells. Some granular forms were also found. In the axenic culture of isolate WR2, about one-third of the organisms were granular forms. Cysts were found in the axenic culture of both isolates. This is the first report of such cyst formation in in vitro culture. The karyotypic patterns of both isolates of the rat Blastocystis were analyzed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). A total of 13 chromosomal bands were separated, ranging from 1.86 Mb to 295 kb. The karyotypic patterns of the rat Blastocystis were different from those of B. hominis and reptilian Blastocystis. On the basis of the above-mentioned differences, the rat Blastocystis is assigned as B. ratti sp. nov.

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