Detection of Blastocystis sp. in ulcerative colitis, Crohn's and chronic diarrheal patients by microscopy, culture and real-time polymerase chain reaction

Beyhan Y. E., Güven İ., Aydın M.

Microbial Pathogenesis, vol.177, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 177
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.micpath.2023.106039
  • Journal Name: Microbial Pathogenesis
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, Environment Index, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Keywords: Blastocystis, Ulcerative colitis, Crohn, Diarrhea, Culture, PCR
  • Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Affiliated: Yes


Blastocystis sp. is a zoonotic parasite that is common in humans and animals and settles in the large intestine. The parasite can cause various gastrointestinal system complaints such as indigestion, diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, nausea and vomiting. The aim of this study is to determine the distribution of Blastocystis in patients diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, Crohn's and diarrhea from the gastroenterology outpatient clinic and to compare the diagnostic value of the most preferred methods. A total of 100 patients, 47 men and 53 women, were included in the study. Of the cases, 61 had diarrhea, 35 had ulcerative colitis (UC) and four had Crohn's disease. Stool samples of the patients were analyzed by as direct microscopic examination (DM), culture and real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). A total of 42% positivity was detected, 29% positivity in DM and trichrome staining, 28% in culture and 41% in qPCR. 40.4% (20/47) of men and 37.7% (22/53) of women were found to be infected. Blastocystis sp. was found in 75% of Crohn's, 42.6% of diarrheal and 37.1% of UC patients. Diarrhea cases are more common with UC and there is a close relationship between Crohn's and Blastocystis positivity. While DM and trichrome staining showed a sensitivity of 69%, PCR test was found to be the most sensitive diagnostic method with approximately 98%. Diarrhea and UC are often seen together. A close relationship was detected between Crohn's disease and Blastocystis. High prevalence of Blastocystis in cases with clinical symptoms reveals the importance of the parasite. There is a need for studies on the pathogenicity of Blastocystis sp. in various gastrointestinal cases, and it is thought that molecular techniques should be used since PCR is seen to be a much more sensitive.