Parasitology Research

, Volume 111, Issue 6, pp 2311–2315 | Cite as

Genetic variability of Blastocystis sp. isolated from symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals in Iran

  • A. Moosavi
  • A. HaghighiEmail author
  • E. Nazemalhosseini Mojarad
  • F. Zayeri
  • M. Alebouyeh
  • H. Khazan
  • B. Kazemi
  • M. R. Zali
Original Paper


Blastocystis is an unusual enteric protozoan parasite of humans and many animals whose pathogenic potential is still controversial. To increase the understanding of the molecular epidemiology of this emerging parasite and due to its potential impact on public health, its subtypes (STs) in Iranian symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals were determined. A total of 100 Blastocystis isolates by microscopy and culture methods were obtained. DNA was extracted from the positive culture isolates, and the Blastocystis subtypes were identified using seven subtype-specific sequenced-tagged site (STS) primers. Four subtypes, ST3 as dominant (53 %), followed by ST1 (48 %), ST5 (33 %), and ST2 (7 %) were identified. In this study, ST1 in gastrointestinal patients compared to asymptomatic individuals was significantly dominant (p = 0.001). From 33 (33 %) mixed subtype infections, ST1, 3 (14 %) was significantly related to GI symptoms (p = 0.045), and eight mixed infections with three different STs, which are under reported, were also identified.


Irritable Bowel Syndrome Irritable Bowel Syndrome Patient Acute Diarrhea Cryptic Genetic Diversity Blastocystis 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.



A. Moosavi acknowledges support for a Master's degree from grant no. 535 by the Research Center for Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. The authors would like to thank Masoumeh Azimi Rad, Research Center for Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases, and Farideh Nadery, Department of Parasitology and Mycology, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, for their help and technical assistance.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Moosavi
    • 1
  • A. Haghighi
    • 1
    Email author
  • E. Nazemalhosseini Mojarad
    • 2
  • F. Zayeri
    • 3
  • M. Alebouyeh
    • 2
  • H. Khazan
    • 1
  • B. Kazemi
    • 1
  • M. R. Zali
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Medical Parasitology and Mycology, School of MedicineShahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  2. 2.Research center for Gastroenterology and Liver diseasesShahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  3. 3.Department of Biostatistics, School of Paramedical Sciences, Proteomics Research CenterShahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesTehranIran

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