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High diversity of Blastocystis subtypes isolated from asymptomatic adults living in Chiang Rai, Thailand

Yowang, Amara, Tsaousis, Anastasios D, Chumphonsuk, Tawatchai, Thongsin, Nontaphat, Kullawong, Niwed, Popluechai, Siam, Gentekaki, Eleni (2018) High diversity of Blastocystis subtypes isolated from asymptomatic adults living in Chiang Rai, Thailand. Infection, Genetics and Evolution, 65 . pp. 270-275. ISSN 1567-1348. E-ISSN 1567-7257. (doi:10.1016/j.meegid.2018.08.010) (KAR id:68539)


Blastocystis is a common and broadly distributed microbial eukaryote inhabiting the gut of humans and other animals. The genetic diversity of Blastocystis is extremely high comprising no less than 17 subtypes in mammals and birds. Nonetheless, little is known about the prevalence and distribution of Blastocystis subtypes colonising humans in Thailand. Molecular surveys of Blastocystis remain extremely limited and usually focus on the central, urban part of the country. To address this knowledge gap, we collected stool samples from a population of Thai adults (n=178) residing in Chiang Rai Province. The barcoding region of the small subunit ribosomal RNA was employed to screen for Blastocystis and identify the subtype. Forty-one stool samples (23%) were identified

as Blastocystis positive. Six of the nine subtypes that colonise humans were detected with subtype (ST) three being the most common (68%), followed by ST1 (17%) and ST7 (7%). Comparison of subtype prevalence across Thailand using all publicly available sequences showed that subtype distribution differs among geographic regions in the country. ST1 was most commonly encountered in the central region of Thailand, while ST3 dominated in the more rural north and northeast regions. ST2 was absent in the northeast, while ST7 was not found in the center. Thus, this study shows that ST prevalence and distribution differs not only among countries, but also among geographic regions within a country. Potential explanations for these observations are discussed herewith.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.meegid.2018.08.010
Uncontrolled keywords: Blastocystis; genetic diversity; prevalence; subtyping; Thailand
Subjects: Q Science
Q Science > QR Microbiology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Biosciences
Funders: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (
Depositing User: Anastasios Tsaousis
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2018 08:15 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 18:12 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Tsaousis, Anastasios D.

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