Parasitology Research

, Volume 102, Issue 5, pp 853–860 | Cite as

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

  • Eman M. Hussein
  • Abdalla M. Hussein
  • Mohamed M. Eida
  • Maha M. Atwa
Original Paper


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 (ΔIsc) 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.


Irritable Bowel Syndrome Ussing Chamber Blastocystis Isolate Human Clinical Isolate Asymptomatic Isolate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Abe N, Wu Z, Yoshikawa H (2003) Molecular characterization of Blastocystis isolates from birds By PCR with diagnostic primers and restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of the small subunit ribosomal RNA gene. Parasitol Res 89:393–396PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Abou-El Naga I, Negm A (2001) Morphology, histochemistry and infectivity of Blastocystis hominis cysts. J Egypt Soc Parasitol 31(2):627–635PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Al-Tawil Y, Gilger M, Gorpalakrishna G, Longston C, Bommer K (1994) Invasive Blastocystis hominis infection in a child. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 148:882–885PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Appleyard C, Wallace J (1995) Reactivation of hapten induced colitis and its prevention by anti-inflammatory drugs. Am J Physiol 269(32):G119–G125PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Arisue N, Hasimoto T, Yoshikawa H (2003) Sequence heterogeneity of the small subunit ribosomal RNA genes among Blastocystis isolates. Parasitology 126:1–9PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Ashford R, Atkinson E (1992) Epidemiology of Blastocystis hominis infection in Papua New Guinea: age-prevalence and association with other parasites. Ann Trop Med Parasitol 86:129–136PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Bajka H, Gillespie M, Steeb B, Reed C, Howarth S (2003) Applicability of Ussing chamber technique to permeability determination in functionally distinct region of the gastrointestinal tract in the rat. Scand J Gastroenterol 38(7):732–743PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Böhm-Gloning B, Knobloch J, Walderich B (1997) Five subgroups of Blastocystis hominis isolates from symptomatic and asymptomatic patients revealed restriction site analysis of PCR-amplified 16S-like rDNA. TM IH Trop Med Int Health 2:771–778CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chen T, Chan C, Chen H, Fung C, Chan W, Liu C (2003) Clinical characteristics and endoscopic findings associated with Blastocystis hominis in healthy adults. Am J Trop Med Hyg 69:213–216PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Cirioni O, Giacometti A, Drenaggi D, Ancarani F, Scalise G (1999) Prevalence and clinical relevance of Blastocystis hominis in diverse patient cohorts. Eur J Epidemiol 15:398–3930CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Clark C (1997) Extensive genetic diversity in Blastocystis hominis. Mol Biochem Parasitol 87:79–83PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dagci H, Ustum S, Taner M, Ersoz G, Karacasu F, Buda S (2002) Protozoon infections and intestinal permeability. Acta Trop 81:116–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dunlop S, Hebden J, Campbell E, Naesdal J, Olbe L, Perkins C, Spiller R (2006) Abnormal intestinal permeability in subgroups of diarrheic-predominant irritable bowel syndromes. Am J Gastroenterol 101:1288–1294PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gallagher P, Venglarick J (1985) Blastocystis hominis enteritis. Pediatr Infect Dis 4:556–557PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Garcia L (2001) Diagnostic parasitology. ASM, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  16. Gericke A, Burchard G, Knobloch J, Walderich B (1997) Isoenzyme patterns of Blastocystis hominis patients isolates derived from symptomatic and healthy carriers. TM IH Trop Med Int Health 2(3):245–253CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gugliemetti P, Cellesi C, Figura N, Rossolini A (1989) Family outbreaks of Blastocystis hominis associated gastroenteritis. Lancet ii:1394CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Horiki N, Maruyana M, Fujita Y, Yonekura T, Minato S, Keneda Y (1997) Epidemiologic survey of Blastocystis hominis infection in Japan. Am J Trop Med Hyg 56(4):370–374PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Horiki N, Kaneda Y, Maruyama M, Fujita Y, Tachibana H (1999) Intestinal blockage by carcinoma and Blastocystis ho-minis infection. Am J Trop Med Hyg 60(3):400–402PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Hussain R, Jafri W, Zuberi S, Baqai R, Abrar N, Ahmed A, Zaman V (1997) Significantly increased IgG2 subclass anti-body levels to in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Am J Trop Med Hyg 56(3):301–306PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Iguch A, Ebisu A, Nagata S, Saitou Y, Yoshikawa H, Iwatani S, Kimata I (2007) Infectivity of different genotypes of human Blastocystis hominis isolates in chicken and rats. Parasitol Int 56:107–112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Jones W (1946) The experimental infection in rats with Entameba histolytica. Ann Trop Med Parasitol 40:130–138Google Scholar
  23. Kaya S, Cetin E, Aridogan B, Arikan S, Demirci M (2007) Pathogenicity of Blastocystis hominis, a clinical reevaluation. Turk Parazitol Derg 31(3):184–187Google Scholar
  24. Keneda Y, Horiki N, Cheng X, Fujita Y, Maruyama M, Tachibana H (2001) Ribodeme of Blastocystis hominis isolated in Japan. Am J Trop Med Hyg 65(4):393–396Google Scholar
  25. Lanuza M, Carbajal J, Villar J, Mir J, Borras R (1999) Soluble protein and antigenic heterogeneity in axenic Blastocystis hominis isolates. Parasitol Res 85:93–97PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Leder K, Hellard M, Sinclair M, Fairley C, Wolfe R (2005) No correlation between clinical symptoms and Blastocystis hominis in immunocompetent individuals. J Gastroenterol Hepatol 20:1390–1394PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Leelayoova S, Taamasri P, Rangsin R, Naaglor T, Thathaisong U, Mungthin M (2002) In vitro cultivation a sensitive method for detecting Blastocystis hominis. Ann Trop Med Parasitol 96:803–807PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Moe K, Singh M, Ho L, Tan S, Chen X, Ng G, Yap E (1997) Experimental Blastocystis hominis infection in laboratory mice. Parasitol Res 83:319–325PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Noёl C, Peyronnent C, Gerbod D, Edgcomb V, Delgado-Viscogliosi P, Sogin L, Carpon M, Viscogliosis E, Zenner L (2003) Phylogenetic analysis of Blastocystis isolates from different hosts based on the comparison of small-sbunit rRNA gene sequences. Mol Biochem Parasitol 126:119–123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Noёl C, Dufernez F, Gerbod D, Edgcomb V, Delgado-Viscogliosi P, Ho L, Singh M, Wintjens R, Sogin L, Carpon M, Pierce R, Zenner L, Viscogliosis E (2005) Molecular phylogenies of Blastocystis hominis isolates from different hosts: implications of genetic diversity, identification of species, and zoonosis. J Clin Microbiol 43(1):348–355CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Parkar U, Traub J, Kumar S, Mungthin M, Vitali S, Leelayoova S, Morris K, Thompson A (2007) Direct characterization of Blastocystis from faeces by PCR and evidence of zoonotic potential. Parasitology 134:359–367PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Puthia M, Vaithilingam A, Lu J, Tan K (2005) Degradation of human secretory immunoglobulin A by Blastocystis. Parasitol Res 97:286–289CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Puthia M, Sio S, Tan K (2006) Blastocystis ratii induces contact independent apoptosis, F-actin rearrangement, and barrier function disruption in IEC-6 cells. Infect Immun 74(7):4114–4123PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Rossingnol J, Kabil S, Said M, Samir H, Younis A (2005) Effect of nitazoxanide in persistent diarrhea and enteritis associated with Blastocystis hominis. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 3:987–991CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Sadek Y, el-Fakahany A, Lashin A, el-Salam F (1997) Intestinal parasites among food-handlers in Qualyobia Governorate, with reference to the pathogenic parasite Blastocystis hominis. J Egypt Soc Parasitol 27(2):471–478PubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Shlim M, Suresk K, Ho L, Ng G, Yap E (1995) Is Blastocystis hominis a cause of diarrhea in travelers? A prospective controlled study in Nepal. Clin Infect Dis 21:97–101PubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Sio S, Puthia M, Lee A, Lu J, Tan K (2006) Protease activity of Blastocystis hominis. Parasitol Res 99:126–130PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Stark D, Van Hal S, Marriett D, Ellis J, Harkness J (2007) Irritable bowel syndrome: a review on the role of intestinal protozoa and importance of their detection and diagnosis. Int J Parasitol 37:11–20PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Tan K (2004) Blastocystis in humans and animals: new insights using modern methodologies. Vet Parasitol 126:121–144PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Tan T, Suresh K (2006) Predominance of amoeboid forms of Blastocystis hominis in isolates from symptomatic patients. Parasitol Res 98:189–193PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Tan K, Singh M, Yap E (2002) Recent advances in Blastocystis hominis research: hot spots in terra incognita. Int J Parasitol 21:723–726Google Scholar
  42. Ussing H, Zerhan K (1950) Active transport of sodium as the sources current in the short circuit current isolated frog skin. Acta Physiol Scand 23:110–127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Windser J, Macfarlance G, Hughes-Thapa S, Jones A, Whiteside T (2002) Incidence of Blastocystis hominis in fecal samples submitted for routine microbiological analysis. Br J Biomed Sci 59:154–157Google Scholar
  44. Yakoop J, Jafri W, Jafir N, Khan R, Islam M, AsimBeg M, Zaman V (2004) Irritable bowel syndrome: in search of an etiology: role of Blastocystis hominis. Am J Trop Med Hyg 70(4):383–385Google Scholar
  45. Yan Y, Su S, Lai R, Liao H, Ye J, Li X, Luo X, Chen G (2006) Genetic variability of Blastocystis hominis isolates in China. Parasitol Res 99:597–560PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Yao F, Qiao J, Zhao Y, Zhang X, Yang J, Li X (2005) Experimental infection of mice with Blastocystis hominis. Zhongguo Jishengchongxue Yu Jishengchongbing Zazhi 23(6):444–448Google Scholar
  47. Yoshikawa H, Wu Z, Nagano I, Takahashi Y (2003) Molecular comparative studies among Blastocystis isolates obtained from human and animals. J Parasitol 89:585–594PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Yoshikawa H, Wu Z, Kimata M, Iseki I, Ali M, Hossain B, Zaman R, Haque R, Takahashi Y (2004a) Polymerase chain reaction-based genotype classification among human Blastocystis hominis population isolated from different countries. Parasitol Res 92:22–29PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Yoshikawa H, Yoshida K, Nakajima A, Yamanri K, Iwatani S, Kimata M (2004b) Feco-oral transmission of the cyst form of Blastocystis hominis in rats. Parasitol Res 94:361–366CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Zuckerman M, Watts M, Ho H, Meriano F (1994) Blastocystis hominis infection and intestinal injury. Am J Med Sci 30(8):96–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eman M. Hussein
    • 1
  • Abdalla M. Hussein
    • 2
  • Mohamed M. Eida
    • 3
  • Maha M. Atwa
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of ParasitologyFaculty of Medicine Suez Canal UniversityIsmailiaEgypt
  2. 2.Department of Bio-physicsFaculty of Science El-Azhar University (Males Branch)CairoEgypt
  3. 3.Department of Tropical MedicineFaculty of Medicine Suez Canal UniversityIsmailiaEgypt
  4. 4.Department of PathologyFaculty of Medicine Suez Canal UniversityIsmailiaEgypt

Personalised recommendations