Molecular genotyping of Blastocystis spp. in wild mammals from Mexico

  • Fernando Martinez-Hernandez
  • Jose Alejandro Martinez-Ibarra
  • Eduardo Lopez-Escamilla
  • Claudia Villanueva-Garcia
  • Claudia Irais Muñoz-Garcia
  • Emilio Rendon-Franco
  • Pablo MaravillaEmail author
  • Guiehdani VillalobosEmail author
Genetics, Evolution, and Phylogeny - Original Paper


Blastocystis spp. are common intestinal parasites found worldwide in humans and a wide range of animals. They exhibit extensive genetic diversity; currently, 17 subtypes (STs) and some groups called non-mammalian and avian STs (NMASTs) have been proposed. In addition, a large variety of animals have been reported as hosts of the parasite, and new hosts and STs are still being described. In this study, Blastocystis infection of wild animals in two sylvatic areas of Mexico was surveyed. Of one hundred twenty-four fecal samples, six were positive for Blastocystis: specifically, one sample from an opossum, one sample from a bat, and four samples from different species of rodents. ST4, ST17, and nucleotide sequences similar to Blastocystis lapemi were identified based on SSU rDNA sequences. To our knowledge, this is the first report to investigate species poorly or not previously evaluated for Blastocystis infection. Mammals having different niches and geographical distribution were infected with similar genetic type of Blastocystis, so that we suggest that local water or food sources could play an important role in Blastocystis transmission and ST maintenance in wild animals. Additionally, there are STs with scarce genetic variation, suggesting that they could be highly adapted to their hosts. These data contribute to our understanding of the host range and genetic diversity of Blastocystis.


Blastocystis spp. Genetic diversity Subtypes Wild animals 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed. Sampling and procedures were in accordance with the provisions of the Regulations of the Environment and Natural Resources Ministry with the license numbers SGPA/DGVS/04726/13 and FAUT-0250.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fernando Martinez-Hernandez
    • 1
  • Jose Alejandro Martinez-Ibarra
    • 2
  • Eduardo Lopez-Escamilla
    • 1
  • Claudia Villanueva-Garcia
    • 3
  • Claudia Irais Muñoz-Garcia
    • 4
  • Emilio Rendon-Franco
    • 4
  • Pablo Maravilla
    • 1
    Email author
  • Guiehdani Villalobos
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Departamento de Ecología de Agentes PatógenosHospital General Dr. Manuel Gea GonzálezMexico CityMexico
  2. 2.Laboratorio de Entomología Médica, Centro Universitario del SurUniversidad de GuadalajaraCiudad GuzmánMexico
  3. 3.Laboratorio de Ecología del Paisaje y Cambio Global, Centro de Investigación para la Conservación y Aprovechamiento de Recursos TropicalesUniversidad Juárez Autónoma de TabascoVillahermosaMexico
  4. 4.Departamento de Producción Agrícola y Animal, Universidad Autónoma MetropolitanaUnidad XochimilcoMexico CityMexico

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