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Parasite. 2019;26:46. doi: 10.1051/parasite/2019046. Epub 2019 Jul 25.

Prevalence and subtype distribution of Blastocystis in ethnic minority groups on both sides of the China-Myanmar border, and assessment of risk factors.

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Department of Parasitology, Harbin Medical University, Harbin, 150081 Heilongjiang, PR China.
National Institute of Parasitic Diseases, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Chinese Center for Tropical Diseases Research, WHO Collaborating Centre for Tropical Diseases, National Center for International Research on Tropical Diseases, Ministry of Science and Technology, Key Laboratory of Parasite and Vector Biology, MOH, Shanghai 200025, PR China.


Blastocystis is one of the most common intestinal parasites in humans worldwide. To understand its prevalence and to explore the risk factors for Blastocystis in humans in developing countries, a molecular epidemiological investigation of Blastocystis was conducted in ethnic minority groups on both sides of the China-Myanmar border. A total of 461 fecal specimens were collected from 289 Yao people in China and 172 Wa people in Myanmar, together with a questionnaire for each participant. Based on sequence analysis of the partial small subunit of ribosomal RNA (SSU rRNA) gene (barcode region or 260 bp region), an average prevalence of 6.29% (29/461) was observed, with 4.50% (13/289) in Yao people and 9.30% (16/172) in Wa people. Twenty-two Blastocystis isolates were successfully subtyped by sequence analysis of the barcode region. Three subtypes were identified: ST1 (n = 7), ST3 (n = 13) and ST4 (n = 2). A statistical difference in the prevalence of Blastocystis was only observed between children (12.37%, 12/97) and adults (4.95%, 16/323), and between not washing hands (11.02%, 14/127) and washing hands (4.76%, 15/315) after using toilets, emphasizing the importance and necessity of health education in people in the investigated areas, especially in children.

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