Subtype analysis of Blastocystis isolates in Swedish patients.

Clinical Microbiology, Umeå University, 901 85, Umeå, Sweden.
European Journal of Clinical Microbiology (Impact Factor: 3.02). 02/2012; 31(7):1689-96. DOI: 10.1007/s10096-011-1416-6
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Blastocystis is a genetically diverse and widespread intestinal parasite of animals and humans with controversial pathogenic potential. At least nine subtypes of Blastocystis have been found in humans. The genetic diversity of Blastocystis was examined in stool samples from 68 patients from the Stockholm area, Sweden. Blastocystis was identified by light microscopy, and subtyped by sequencing the 5'-end of the small subunit ribosomal RNA gene. Five Blastocystis subtypes were identified in the 63 patients whose samples were successfully subtyped: ST1 (15.9%), ST2 (14.3%), ST3 (47.6%), ST4 (20.6%), and ST7 (1.6%). ST3 was more common in males compared to females (P=0.049). Comparative molecular analysis of Blastocystis sequences revealed intra-subtype variations within the identified subtypes with the exception of ST4. Among ST4 sequences in this study, as well as in the majority of human GenBank sequences, a limited genetic diversity was found compared to what was found among the other common subtypes (ST1, ST2 and ST3). The relative prevalence of ST4 in this study was comparable to the overall distribution of ST4 in European cohorts (16.5%). This contrasts with the sparse reports of ST4 in studies from other continents, which may indicate that the distribution of this subtype is geographically heterogeneous.

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