Journal of Parasitic Diseases

, Volume 43, Issue 4, pp 537–543 | Cite as

Frequency and genetic diversity of Blastocystis subtypes among patients attending to health centers in Mazandaran, northern Iran

  • Davood Shaker
  • Davood Anvari
  • Seyed Abdollah Hosseini
  • Mahdi Fakhar
  • Ahmad Mardani
  • Hajar Ziaei Hezarjaribi
  • Sara Gholami
  • Shirzad GholamiEmail author
Original Article


Blastocystis hominis is a common intestinal protozoan with global distribution. The prevalence of B. hominis is extremely diverse in different countries. Molecular studies show that there is a great deal of genetic variation in the Blastocystis parasite isolated from humans and animals. Therefore, this study was conducted to determine B. hominis genotypes in patients attending to health centers of Sari, Mazandaran Province, north of Iran. 420 fecal specimens were collected from individuals in health centers of Sari from April to December 2017. The samples were examined by direct methods, parasite test (formalin ether) and Giemsa staining. In order to determine the genotypes of Blastocystis parasite, all positive samples in direct methods were tested by PCR using SSU rDNA gene. Eventually, seven positive molecular samples were sequenced and recorded in the gene bank. The phylogenetic analysis was done by drawing a gene tree using the neighbor-joining procedure. B. hominis was detected in 60 stool specimens by microscopic method. All these 60 samples were positive by PCR and the bands 310 bp were observed. According to the phylogenetic tree, it was revealed that B. hominis isolates of Mazandaran Province are more similar to subtype ST3 (ST type) that reported in Khorramabad in Lorestan Province (West of Iran). The present study showed that, like most studies, ST3 is the dominant genotype of protozoan in Sari. Improvement of public health awareness, relative improvement in environmental health, urban wastewater treatment, proper clothing coverage and the use of gloves during dealing with livestock and the use of domestic water treatment devices can reduce the Blastocystis infection in this area.


Blastocystis hominis Prevalence Genotype Mazandaran Iran 



This research is a part of the first author’s MSc thesis. The authors thank all colleagues working in Toxoplasmosis Research Centre (TRC) at Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences.

Author’s contribution

ShG, MF, HZH and AM provided the research proposal. DS, DA, SG collected the samples and performed laboratory works. ShG, MF and DA supervised the project. ShG was a scientific and lab diagnostic advisor to the project. SAH analysed the data. The manuscript was written by DS, finally revised by ShG. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

Ethical approval for the present study was duly obtained from and approved by Research committee of Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in this article.


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Copyright information

© Indian Society for Parasitology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Student Research Committee, Department of Parasitology, School of MedicineMazandaran University of Medical SciencesSariIran
  2. 2.Iranshahr University of Medical SciencesIranshahrIran
  3. 3.Department of Parasitology, Molecular and Cell Biology Research Center, School of MedicineMazandaran University of Medical SciencesSariIran
  4. 4.Department of Microbiology, Blood Transfusion Research CenterHigh Institute for Research and Education in Transfusion MedicineTehranIran
  5. 5.Department of Parasitology, Toxoplasmosis Research Center, School of MedicineMazandaran University of Medical SciencesSariIran

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