Medical Microbiology & Diagnosis

ISSN: 2161-0703

Open Access

Update on the Molecular Epidemiology and Diagnostic Tools for Blastocystis sp


Tamalee Roberts, Damien Stark, John Harkness and John Ellis

Blastocystis is the most common enteric protist found in humans. Due to the recent advancements in molecular technologies, up to 17 subtypes have been identified from humans and animals. Molecular epidemiological studies have shown the large range of subtype (ST) distribution within geographical locations with ST1-9 being identified in humans. ST3 has been identified as the predominant subtype in most epidemiological studies with a considerable absence of ST4 noted in Africa and the Middle East compared to Europe and Australia where this subtype is fairly common. This review summarises the molecular tools used for diagnosis and speciation of Blastocystis and comments on advancements in the area over the last 15 years and what future trends may be. This review also describes the geographical distribution of Blastocystis and comments on possible intra-subtype evolutionary relationships.


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