Blastocystis hominis
Clinical Aspects
Treatment and Control

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B. hominis is an intestinal protozoa. The infection may be symptomatic or asymptomatic, but most of the patients are asymptomatic. The symptoms are diarrhea, stomachache, nausea, vomiting, flatulence or fatigue. The factor determining the different outcomes is still inconclusive. It may be found in stool specimens from both normal hosts and immunocompromized hosts.

Recent research has shown that it is prevalent among 30 to 50 percent of the people in tropical countries. It's assumed that B. hominis is transmitted via fecal-oral route.

Data from Thailand are rather limited. Most of the studies have been done in the army.

The common diagnostic tests of B. hominis are the simple smear, concentration technique, trichrome staining and in-vitro cultivation. Currently, the detection of human infection with B. hominis is usually based on the trichrome staining examination under a light microscope of faecal samples.

The trichrome staining is routine diagnostic method for detection of B. hominis. Even though it increases sensitivity from a simple smear, it is limited due to the difficulty of identification because of parasites' variation in form and size, variation in staining, the need of professional technician and complicated steps of staining.

Currently, some research has shown that in-vitro cultivation is more sensitive and specific in detection of B. hominis than the simple smear and concentration technique because it increases the size and number of the organism.

The treatment is still empirical. The drug of choice is Metronidazole.

To determine valid pathogenicity, transmission, clinical and epidemiological data, the best diagnostic method should be chosen and further studies are required.


Summarized by Thirayost Nimmanon


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