Subtype distribution of Blastocystis in communities along the Chao Phraya river, Thailand

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Korean Journal of Parasitology, 2016, 54 (4), pp. 455 - 460
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© 2016, Korean Society for Parasitology and Tropical Medicine. Blastocystis is a common zoonotic enteric protozoan that has been classified into 17 distinct subtypes (STs). A cross-sectional study was conducted to determine the prevalence and subtype distributions of Blastocystis in villagers living along the Chao Phraya River, Ayutthaya Province, Thailand, and to assess the risk of zoonotic infection. In total, 220 stool samples were collected, and DNA was extracted. PCR and sequencing were performed with primers targeting the small-subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU rRNA) genes. Blastocystis was present in 5.9% (13/220) of samples, and ST3 (5.0%; 11/220) was the predominant subtype, followed by ST2 (0.45%; 1/220) and ST6 (0.45%; 1/220). Phylogenetic trees were constructed with the maximum-likelihood method based on the Hasegawa–Kishino–Yano + G + I model, neighbor-joining, and maximum parsimony methods. The percentage of bootstrapped trees in which the associated taxa clustered together was relatively high. All the sequences of the Blastocystis-positive samples (KU051524–KU051536) were closely related to those from animals (pig, cattle, and chicken), indicating a zoonotic risk. Therefore, the villagers require proper health education, especially regarding the prevention of parasitic infection, to improve their personal hygiene and community health. Further studies are required to investigate the Blastocystis STs in the animals living in these villages.
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