Taxonomy: Class Blastocystea
Animal: Blastocystis hominis (pathology) 1 06.jpg
Sites: Gut
Putative symptoms of Blastocystis; Some consider symptoms may last 3-10 days but others say 2 months to 1 year (av. 5 months), incubation time is not known. There is still much to know about Blastocystis hominis, it has been implicated as the cause of acute and chronic gastroenteritis but alse has been found in people who are asymptomatic; severity does not appear to be related to number of organisms detected in a stool sample. There are at least 2 discrete groups which differ in their protein and DNA contents. This may explain differences in pathogenicity and response to chemotherapy. It is ubuiqutous world wide. (see Bibliography for reference details). It is accepted that Blastocystis hominis may act as a commensal but become pathogenic under certain conditions related to the host factors such as immunosuppression, poor nutrition or other concomitant infections/conditions. Indeed, symptoms may resolve in some patients in whom Blastocystis is still present, perhaps related to: parasite load, presence of a toxin, strain or life cycle stage present, host factors or an underlying infection or condition for which B.hominis is a marker.

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