Aleksandra Duda, Danuta Kosik-Bogacka, Natalia Łanocha, Sławomir Szymański


Blastocystis hominis (B. hominis) is a cosmopolitan protozoa which parasitizes the human large intestine. This parasite had been considered to be commensal of the large intestine for a long time, because even an intense invasion may be asymptomatic. However, this species is now being regarded as a parasitic organism. In this paper the latest data concerning the epidemiology, diagnostics and treatment of B. hominis invasion have been cited and discussed.


Blastocystis hominis; pathogenicity; diagnostics; epidemiology

Full Text:

PDF (Język Polski)


Sohail M.R., Fischer P.R.: Blastocystis hominis and travelers. Travel Med Infect Dis. 2005, 3, 33–38.

Hotez P.: The other intestinal protozoa: Enteric infections caused by Blastocystis hominis, Entamoeba coli, and Dientamoeba fragilis. Sem Ped Infect Dis. 2000, 11, 178–181.

Zierdt C.H., Donnolley C.T., Muller J., Constantopoulos G.: Biochemical and ultrastructural study of Blastocystis hominis. J Clin Microbiol. 1988, 26, 965–970.

Zierdt C.H.: Blastocystis hominis, a long‑misunderstood intestinal parasite. Parasitol Today. 1988, 4, 15–17.

Stenzel D.J., Boreham P.F.: Blastocystis hominis revisited. Clin Microbiol Rev. 1996, 9, 563–584.

Tan K.S.: Blastocystis in humans and animals: new insights using modern methodologies. Vet Parasitol. 2004, 126, 121–144.

Bitkowska E., Wnukowska N., Wojtyniak B., Dzbeński T.H.: Analiza występowania pasożytów jelitowych u dzieci klas pierwszych w Polsce w roku szkolnym 2002/2003. Przegl Epidemiol. 2004, 58, 295–302.

Wysocka J., Sobotko J., Lipsa A.: Blastocystis hominis. Diagn Lab. 2001, 37, 183–189.

Lim Y.A., Ngui R., Shukri J., Rohela M., Mat Naim H.R.: Intestinal parasites in various animals at a zoo in Malaysia. Vet Parasitol. 2008, 157, 154–159.

Thathaisong U., Worapong J., Mungthin M., Tan‑Ariya P., Viputtigul K., Sudatis A. et al.: Blastocystis isolates from a pig and a horse are closely related to Blastocystis hominis. J Clin Microbiol. 2003, 41, 967–975.

Lopez J., Abarca K., Paredes P., Inzunza E.: Intestinal parasites in dogs and cats with gastrointestinal symptoms in Santiago, Chile. Rev Med Chil. 2006, 134, 193–200.

Parkar U., Traub R.J., Vitali S., Elliot A., Levecke B., Robertson I. et al.: Molecular characterization of Blastocystis isolates from zoo animals and their animal‑keepers. Vet Parasitol. 2010, 169, 8–17.

Marietto‑Gonçalves G.A., Fernandes T.M., Silva R.J., Lopes R.S., Andreatti Filho R.L.: Intestinal protozoan parasites with zoonotic potential in birds. Parasitol Res. 2008, 103, 1237–1240.

Santin M., Gomez‑Munoz M.T., Solano‑Aguilar G., Fayer R.: Development of a new PCR protocol to detect and subtype Blastocystis spp. from humans and animals. Parasitol Res. 2011, 109, 205–212.

Yoshikawa H., Morimoto K., Nagashima M., Miyamoto N.: A survey of Blastocystis infection in anuran and urodele amphibians. Vet Parasitol. 2004, 122, 91–102.

Abe N., Wu Z., Yoshikawa H.: Zoonotic genotypes of Blastocystis hominis detected in cattle and pigs by PCR with diagnostic primers and restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of the small subunit ribosomal RNA gene. Parasitol Res. 2003, 90, 124–128.

Angelov I., Lukanov T., Tsvetkova N., Petkova V., Nicoloff G.: Clinical, immunological and parasitological parallels in patients with blastocytosis. Journal of IMAB – Annual Procceding (Scientific Papers). 2008, 1, 55–58.

Doyle P.W., Helgason M.M., Mathias R.G., Proctor E.M.: Epidemiology and pathogenicity of Blastocystis hominis. J Clin Microbiol. 1990, 28, 116–121.

Ozcakir O., Gureser S., Erguven S., Yilmaz Y.A., Topaloglu R., Hascelik G.: Characteristics of Blastocystis hominis infection in a Turkish university hospital. Turkiye Parazitol Derg. 2007, 31, 277–282.

Baldo E.T., Belizario V.Y., De Leon W.U., Kong H.H., Chung D.I.: Infection status of intestinal parasites in children living in residential institutions in Metro Manila, the Philippines. Korean J Parasitol. 2004, 42, 67–70.

Werner A., Majewska A.C., Słodkowicz‑Kowalska A.: Częstość występowania wybranych pasożytów przewodu pokarmowego w wybranych populacjach ludzkich Wielkopolski. Wiad Parazytol. 2007, 53, 128.

Raś‑Noryńska M., Białkowska J., Sokół R., Piskorz‑Ogórek K.: Badanie parazytologiczne kału od dzieci bez typowych objawów chorób pasożytniczych. VI Konferencja „Niebezpieczne zoonozy – toksokaroza, toksoplazmoza, echinokokoza”, 24 października 2012, Warszawa, 8–9.

Płonka W., Dzbeński T.H.: The occurrence of intestinal parasites among children attending first classes of the elementary schools in Poland in the school year 1997/1998. Przegl Epidemiol. 1999, 53, 331–338.

Tan K.S.: New insights on classification, identification, and clinical relevance of Blastocystis spp. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2008, 21, 639–665.

Jelinek T., Peyerl G., Loscher T., von Sonnenburg F., Nothdurft H.D.: The role of Blastocystis hominis as a possible intestinal pathogen in travelers. J Infect. 1997, 35, 63–66.

Abdel‑Hameed D.M., Hassanin O.M.: Proteaese activity of Blastocystis hominis subtype 3 in symptomatic and asymptomatic patients. Parasitol Res. 2011, 109, 321–327.

Kurniawan A., Karyadi T., Dwintasari S.W., Sari I.P., Yunihastuti E., Djauzi S. et al.: Intestinal parasitic infections in HIV/AIDS patients presenting with diarrhoea in Jakarta, Indonesia. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2009, 103, 892–898.

Tan T.C., Ong S.C., Suresh K.G.: Genetic variability of Blastocystis sp. isolates obtained from cancer and HIV/AIDS patients. Parasitol Res. 2009, 105, 1283–1286.

Coyle C.M., Varughese J., Weiss L.M., Tanowitz H.B.: Blastocystis: to treat or not to treat. Clin Infect Dis. 2012, 54, 105–110.

Dogruman‑Al F., Simsek Z., Boorom K., Ekici E., Sahin M., Tuncer C. et al.: Comparison of methods for detection of Blastocystis infection in routinely submitted stool samples, and also in IBS/IBD patients in Ankara, Turkey. PLoS One. 2010, 5, e15484.

Windsor J.J., Macfarlane L., Whiteside T.M., Chalmers R.M., Thomas A.L.: Blastocystis hominis: a common yet neglected human parasite. Br J Biomed Sci. 2001, 58, 129–130.

Yakoob J., Jafri W., Jafri N., Khan R., Islam M., Beg M.A. et al.: Irritable bowel syndrome: in search of an etiology: role of Blastocystis hominis. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2004, 70, 383–385.

Eida A.M., Eida M.M.: Identification of Blastocystis hominis in patients with irritable bowel syndrome using microscopy and culture compared to PCR. Parasitol United J. 2008, 1, 87–92.

Nowak P., Pietrzyk A., Papir B.: Pierwotniaki chorobotwórcze. Cz. VI. Blastocystis hominis – enigmatyczny pierwotniak przewodu pokarmowego człowieka. Farm Krak. 2010, 13, 17–22.

Roberts T., Barratt J., Harkness J., Ellis J., Stark D.: Comparison of microscopy, culture, and conventional polymerase chain reaction for detection of Blastocystis sp. in clinical stool samples. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2011, 84, 308–312.

Al‑Fellani M.A., Khan A.H., Al‑Gazoui R.M., Zaid M.K., Al‑Ferjani M.A.: Prevalence and clinical features of Blastocystis hominis infection among patients in Sebha, Libya. Sultan Qaboos Univ Med J. 2007, 7, 35–40.

Kaya S., Cetin E.S., Aridogan B.C., Arikan S., Demirci M.: Pathogenicity of Blastocystis hominis, a clinical reevaluation. Turkiye Parazitol Derg. 2007, 31, 184–187.

Sheehan D.J., Raucher B.G., McKitrick J.C.: Association of Blastocystis hominis with signs and symptoms of human disease. J Clin Microbiol. 1986, 24, 548–550.

Boorom K.F., Smith H., Nimri L., Viscogliosi E., Spanakos G., Parkar U. et al.: Oh my aching gut: irritable bowel syndrome, Blastocystis, and asymptomatic infection. Parasit Vectors. 2008, 1, 40.

Jones M.S., Whipps C.M., Ganac R.D., Hudson N.R., Boorom K.: Association of Blastocystis subtype 3 and 1 with patients from an Oregon community presenting with chronic gastrointestinal illness. Parasitol Res. 2009, 104, 341–345.

Zuel‑Fakkar N.M., Abdel Hameed D.M., Hassanin O.M.: Study of Blastocystis hominis isolates in urticaria: a case‑control study. Clin Exp Dermatol. 2011, 36, 908–910.

Al‑Tawil Y.S., Gilger M.A., Gopalakrishna G.S., Langston C., Bommer K.E.: Invasive Blastocystis hominis infection in a child. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1994, 148, 882–885.

Horiki N., Maruyama M., Fujita Y., Yonekura T., Minato S., Kaneda Y.: Epidemiologic survey of Blastocystis hominis infection in Japan. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 1997, 56, 370–374.

Zierdt C.H.: Blastocystis hominis, a protozoan parasite and intestinal pathogen of human beings. Clin Microbiol Newsl. 1983, 5, 57–92.

Lee L.I., Chye T.T., Karmacharya B.M., Govind S.K.: Blastocystis sp.: waterborne zoonotic organism, a possibility? Parasit Vectors. 2012, 5, 130.

Alfellani M.A., Stensvold C.R., Vidal‑Lapiedra A., Onuoha E.S., Fagbenro‑Beyioku A.F., Clark C.G.: Variable geographic distribution of Blastocystis subtypes and its potential implications. Acta Trop. 2013, 126, 11–18.

Moosavi A., Haghighi A., Mojarad E.N., Zayeri F., Alebouyeh M., Khazan H. et al.: Genetic variability of Blastocystis sp. isolated from symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals in Iran. Parasitol Res. 2012, 111, 2311–2315.

Abdel‑Hameed D.M., Hassanin O.M., Zuel‑Fakkar N.M.: Association of Blastocystis hominis genetic subtypes with urticaria. Parasitol Res. 2011, 108, 553–560.

Garcia L.S.: Intestinal protozoa: Amebae, Diagnostic medical parasitology. Ed. L.S. Garcia. ASM Press, Washington 2007, 27–30.

Shah M., Tan C.B., Rajan D., Ahmed S., Subramani K., Rizvon K. et al.: Blastocystis hominis and Endolimax nana co‑Infection resulting in chronic diarrhea in an immunocompetent male. Case Rep Gastroenterol. 2012, 6, 358–364.


Copyright (c) 2016 Aleksandra Duda, Danuta Kosik-Bogacka, Natalia Łanocha, Sławomir Szymański

License URL: