Encyclopedia of Parasitology

Living Edition
| Editors: Heinz Mehlhorn

Blastocystis hominis

  • Heinz Mehlhorn
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27769-6_416-2


Greek: blastos = bladder; kystis = cyst; Latin: homo = human.

Geographic Distribution/Epidemiology

Worldwide; up to 20 % prevalence rates in healthy people, extremely high rates in AIDS patients (up to 50 %).

Morphology/Life Cycle

Blastocystis was first thought to be a fungus (nonpathogenic yeast), but it is now recognized as parasitic protozoan organism inhabiting the cecum and large intestine of humans and animals. Morphology of Blastocystis isolates has been extensively elucidated by light microscopy using the samples from fresh fecal materials and axenic or xenic cultures of human and animal isolates. Blastocystisis strictly an anaerobic eukaryotic unicellular organism, because the cells are quickly degenerated when they are exposed to the air. The most typical feature of this organism is its polymorphic appearance, including a great variation in cell size and distribution of granules in the large central vacuole and occurrence of polymorphic morphological shapes from...


Fecal Sample Central Vacuole Granular Form Fresh Fecal Sample Large Central Vacuole 
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.
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Further Reading

  1. Mehlhorn H, Tan KSW, Yoshikawa H (2013) Blastocystis: pathogen or passenger? An evaluation of 101 years of research. Parasitology research monographs 4. Springer, Heidelberg/New YorkGoogle Scholar
  2. Tan TC, Suresh KG (2007) Evidence of plasmotomy in Blastocystis hominis. Parasitol Res 101:1521–1525CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Yoshikawa H et al (2007) Ultrastructural and phylogenetic studies on Blastocystis isolates from cockroaches. J Eukaryot Microbiol 54:33–37CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Zhong X et al (2011) Ultrastructural insights into morphology and reproductive mode of Blastocystis hominis. Parasitol Res 110:1165–1172CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Zoomorphologie, Zellbiologie und ParasitologieHeinrich-Heine-UniversitätDüsseldorfGermany