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Parasitol Res. 2014 Jan;113(1):261-5. doi: 10.1007/s00436-013-3652-4. Epub 2013 Oct 30.

Detection of Blastocystis hominis: a controversial human pathogen.

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Department of Microbiology, J.N. Medical College, Wardha, 442004, India,


Blastocystis hominis has been reclassified as a protozoan parasite. Its role as a human pathogen is somewhat controversial. There has been a dramatic increase in the frequency of B. hominis infection in association with diarrhea especially in immunocompromised hosts like AIDS patients, travelers, homosexuals, day care children, animal handlers especially zoo keepers, etc. Recent reports suggest that B. hominis is an emerging pathogen; hence, we have undertaken this study to detect B. hominis from stool samples of patients attending our hospital. About 200 stool samples were tested by light microscopic examination, for observing wet mounts with saline and Lugol's iodine. Permanent staining of fecal smear by Gram's staining and modified acid fast staining was done. The stool sample which was microscopically positive for B. hominis was cultured on Lowenstein-Jensen's (LJ) medium. In one patient, the vacuolated form of B. hominis was observed in wet mount with saline preparation of stool sample. This was very clearly seen in wet mount with Lugol's iodine. In Gram's stained preparation, also the vacuolated form was observed. Detection of B. hominis was not possible by modified acid fast staining. B. hominis was also grown on LJ medium which is an egg-containing medium. Clinical microbiology laboratories should start screening of stool samples for B. hominis as it is an emerging pathogen.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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