Parasites & vectors 2017 04 0710(1) 174 doi 10.1186/s13071-017-2114-8
Blastocystis is a group of cosmopolitan gastrointestinal parasite of humans and a wide variety of animals. These anaerobic protozoans include more than 17 specific small-subunit ribosomal RNA subtypes, of which nine are found in humans with a variable geographical distribution. Until now, no study has described the Blastocystis subtypes present in Saudi Arabia.
In total, 1,262 faecal samples were collected from patients with gastrointestinal complaints and asymptomatic individuals visiting two major hospitals. All samples were analysed by F1/R1 diagnostic PCR, microscopy and culture methods. The subtypes of Blastocystis sp. isolates were determined by the sequenced-tagged site (STS)-based method.
One-hundred-thirty-three positive cases were detected by F1/R1 diagnostic PCR, of which 122 were also positive by the culture method and 83 by direct microscopy. The sensitivities of direct microscopy and the culture method were 62% and 92%, respectively. Subtype (ST3) was the most prevalent (80.5%), followed by ST1 (14.5%) and ST2 (5%). ST4, ST5, ST6 and ST7 were not detected in this study. ST3 infections were significantly predominant (P < 0.05) among symptomatic patients. CONCLUSIONS
To our knowledge, this study provides the first run-through information on Blastocystis sp. epidemiology in Makkah city, revealing a rather moderate prevalence of 10.5% and the presence of three subtypes, ST1, ST2, and ST3. ST3 was the most predominant, particularly among symptomatic patients.