Parasite Blastocystis Homini Associated with IBS

The parasite Blastocystis Homini has traditionally been considered a non- pathogenic organism with no role in gastrointestinal conditions such as IBS. This position is however beginning to change as Blastocystis and other parasites such as Dientamoeba fragilis have been linked to the aetiology of Irritable bowel syndrome.

In a study published in Parasitol Res in August 2011, 45 patients with IBS and 45 controls were enrolled and blood was taken and tested for the presence of the two parasites. The clinical and molecular approaches undertaken in this study demonstrated a pathogenic role for Blastocystis. This has important clinical implications as if Blastocystis can be identified and successfully treated in patients with IBS then this may favourably improve symptoms in some IBS patients. More research is needed in this area, specifically to identify which of the sub strains of Blastocystis may have a pathogenic role in IBS.

Source: Blastocystis infection is associated with irritable bowel syndrome in a Mexican patient population, Parasitol Res. 2011 Aug 26

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