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Parasitol Res. 2003 May;90(1):48-51. Epub 2003 Jan 30.

Hematological effects of Blastocystis hominis infection in male foreign workers in Taiwan.

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Institute of Environmental and Occupational Health, Medical College, National Cheng Kung University, No. 1, Dashiue Road, 701 Dung Chiu, Tainan, Taiwan.


Blastocystis hominis found in stool specimens has been the most frequently identified parasite among foreign workers from Southeast Asia in Taiwan since 1992. The prevalence of B. hominis was 14.1% in this study. In their quarantine physical examinations, 121 male Thai workers were examined hematologically and screened for stool parasites using the merthiolate-iodine-formaldehyde concentration method. Hematological values were compared in workers with and without a B. hominis infection. Multiple regressions were used to adjust for age. Those infected with any parasite other than B. hominis were excluded from further analysis. The workers infected with B. hominis had a lower leukocyte count (6.5+/-0.4 X 10(3)/microl) than those who were not (7.4+/-0.2 X 10(3)/microl). This was mainly caused by a reduced neutrophil count (3.2+/-0.4 vs 4.2+/-0.2 X 10(3)/microl). Hemoglobin (13.9+/-0.3 vs 14.5+/-0.1 g/dl) and hematocrit (41.4+/-0.6 vs 42.9+/-0.2%) were also reduced in B. hominis-positive workers.

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