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Blastocystis sp.: frequency and typing among Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) patients

Correspondence to Author: Samar Al Nahhas 

Department of Animal Biology, Faculty of Science, Damascus University, Damascus, Syria


Blastocystis is an intestinal protozoan that has been evaluated for its possible pathogenicity role in IBS disease. In Syria, no previous studies have focused on the presence of Blastocystis among IBS patients; therefore, this study aims to specify the frequency of Blastocystis parasite and its subtypes (STs) among IBS patients. Fecal samples were obtained from 70 patients; 35 IBS and 35 non-IBS patients. Samples were subjected to direct microscopic examination, and then studied by conventional PCR. Genotyping using seven specific primers targeting the SSU rRNA gene was employed. No significant correlation between gender was found (ChiSquare; P= 0.212); however, significant difference was found in ages among both groups (Mann-Whitney Test; P= 0.011). Blastocystis was detected in 71.4% (25/35) of IBS patients and in 77.1% (27/35) of non-IBS patients; nonetheless, the difference between the two groups was not statistically significant (P=0.299). Interestingly, a high proportion of single Blastocystis infection (88%; 22/25) was found among IBS patients’ samples compared to those of the non-IBS. Three different subtypes were identified, where ST1 subtype was the dominant in IBS patients and ST3 was found only in the non-IBS participants. In addition, the patients suffering from IBS had approximately a six-time increase risk of having flatulence symptoms compared to the non-IBS patients (OR:5.712; P= 0.001), and it was the main clinical symptoms found among IBS patients with ST1 subtype. In conclusion this study is the first in Syria to highlight the prevalence of Blastocystis sp. among IBS patients. Further studies are needed to investigate Blastocystis pathogenic role causing IBS syndrome.


Blastocystis sp., subtypes; IBS syndrome; clinical symptoms; Syria


Samar Al Nahhas.Blastocystis sp.: frequency and typing among Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) patients. The Journal of Clinical Medicine 2024.

Journal Info

  • Journal Name: The Journal of Clinical Medicine
  • Impact Factor: 2.4**
  • ISSN: 2995-6315
  • DOI: 10.52338/Tjocm
  • Short Name: TJOCM
  • Acceptance rate: 55%
  • Volume: (2024)
  • Submission to acceptance: 25 days
  • Acceptance to publication: 10 days
  • Crossref indexed journal
  • Publons indexed journal
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  • International Scientific Indexing (ISI)-indexed journal
  • Eurasian Scientific Journal Index (ESJI) index journal
  • Semantic Scholar indexed journal
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