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Gut Pathog. 2014 May 28;6:17. doi: 10.1186/1757-4749-6-17. eCollection 2014.

Update on the pathogenic potential and treatment options for Blastocystis sp.

Author information

1
Department of Microbiology, St. Vincent's Hospital, Victoria St, Darlinghurst 2010, NSW, Australia ; School of Medical and Molecular Biosciences, University of Technology, Sydney, Ultimo, NSW 2007, Australia.
2
Department of Microbiology, St. Vincent's Hospital, Victoria St, Darlinghurst 2010, NSW, Australia.
3
School of Medical and Molecular Biosciences, University of Technology, Sydney, Ultimo, NSW 2007, Australia.

Abstract

Although Blastocystis is one of the most common enteric parasites, there is still much controversy surrounding the pathogenicity and potential treatment options for this parasite. In this review we look at the evidence supporting Blastocystis as an intestinal pathogen as shown by numerous case studies and several in vivo studies and the evidence against. We describe the chronic nature of some infections and show the role of Blastocystis in immunocompromised patients and the relationship between irritable bowel syndrome and Blastocystis infection. There have been several studies that have suggested that pathogenicity may be subtype related. Metronidazole is the most widely accepted treatment for Blastocystis but several cases of treatment failure and resistance have been described. Other treatment options which have been suggested include paromomycin and trimethroprim- sulfamethoxazole.

KEYWORDS:

Blastocystis; Parasitology; Pathogenicity; Subtypes; Treatment failure

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