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Parasitol Res. 2008 Apr;102(5):853-60. doi: 10.1007/s00436-007-0833-z. Epub 2008 Jan 11.

Pathophysiological variability of different genotypes of human Blastocystis hominis Egyptian isolates in experimentally infected rats.

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Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine Suez Canal University, P.O. Box 41111, Ismailia, Egypt.


The genotyping of Blastocystis hominis clinical isolates obtained from 28 gastrointestinal symptomatic patients and 16 asymptomatic individuals were identified by polymerase chain reaction using sequenced-tagged site (STS) primers. Then, pathophysiological variability between different B. hominis genotypes was evaluated in experimentally infected rats. Only four B. hominis subtypes (1, 2, 3, and 4) were detected (18.2%, 9.1%, 54.5%, and 18.2%, respectively) in human isolates. In symptomatic isolates, subtypes 1, 3, and 4 were detected in 8 (28.6%), 16 (57.1%), and 4 (14.3%) patients, respectively. In asymptomatic isolates, subtypes 2, 3, and 4 were identified in 4 (25%), 8 (50%), and 4 (25%), respectively. Subtype 3 was the commonest in humans. Different degrees of pathological changes were found among infected rats by symptomatic subtypes compared with asymptomatic subtypes. The moderate and severe degrees of pathological changes were found only in symptomatic subtypes infected rats while mild degree was found only in asymptomatic subtypes infected rats. Only subtype 1 induced mortality rate with 25% among infected rats. On evaluation of the intestinal cell permeability in the Ussing chamber, a prominent increase in short circuit current (DeltaIsc) was found in symptomatic subtype 1 compared to symptomatic subtypes 3 and 4 infected rats. Minimal effects were found in the asymptomatic and control groups. The results proved that subtype 1 was clinically and statistically highly relevant to the pathogenicity of B. hominis while subtype 2 was irrelevant. Also, the results suggest the presence of pathogenic and nonpathogenic strains among subtypes 3 and 4.

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