|Year : 2014 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 142-143
Book Review: Thoughts on Blastocystis
Shashiraja Padukone, Subhash Chandra Parija
Department of Microbiology, JIPMER, Puducherry, India
|Date of Web Publication||12-Aug-2014|
Subhash Chandra Parija
Department of Microbiology, JIPMER, Puducherry
|How to cite this article:|
Padukone S, Parija SC. Book Review: Thoughts on Blastocystis. Trop Parasitol 2014;4:142-3
Author: Christen Rune Stensvold
Publisher: Amazon Kindle
Year: 2013; Pages: 142
C. R. Stensvold's "Thoughts on Blastocystis", an E-book consisting of 40 chapters, includes personal blog posts, recent updates and whole lot of interesting sections dealing with various aspects of Blastocystis related research. The author has been working in the field of Blastocystis research since 8 years and has contributed remarkably on Blastocystis sub type identification, its clinical relevance and in developing consensuses regarding taxonomic nomenclature of the organism.
In Blastocystis, molecular epidemiology, its clinical relevance and diagnosis are the most focused research areas. This book details on the various aspects of the author's work with Blastocystis, which will assist clinical microbiologists and young researchers to understand the basics and choose the appropriate techniques for their designed studies. The author also illustrates the association of particular subtypes of Blastocystis in various gastrointestinal tract infections and also sheds light on importance of sub-typing in the same. Furthermore, chapter 31 analyzes the data of Dr. Stensvold's study, which identifies possible dissimilarities in the prevalence of infection with Blastocystis and Dientamoeba fragilis in patients with active and inactive inflammatory bowel disease compared to healthy controls.
The book engrosses several chapters that focus on recent developments and future perspectives in Blastocystis research, as well as other closely associated intestinal parasites such as D. fragilis. In several chapters the author stresses on the need for microbiome and metagenomic studies of intestinal parasites, because most of the metagenomic studies thus far have majorly targeted bacteria. Metagenomics of gastrointestinal tract could explore how a gut ecosystem can be helpful in understanding the human health and disease.
The Blastocystis infection in humans may lead to varying degrees of nonspecific symptoms or may be present asymptomatically. The author had discussed adequately on the pathogenic potentials of this parasite and complexity involved in studying pathogenicity of Blastocystis, by reviewing many recent, original research papers. Furthermore, in chapter 15, the author enlightens on the reasons why animal models are not recommended to study Blastocystis pathogenesis. The author also stresses on the challenges in developing standardized axenic culture for different subtypes of Blastocystis. In short, the book presents itself as a ready reckoner to any researcher who has interests in the parasite.
The author has given enough space to discuss about yet another controversial aspect of Blastocystis research that is, treatment. At present, there are no standard treatment guidelines for the effective eradication of the Blastocystis while metronidazole is being used as a drug of choice as in the case of other intestinal protozoans. However, the author has raised a question regarding efficacy of metronidazole, as it doesn't reach the large intestine, where Blastocystis inhabits. The author also suggests/recommends a combinatorial therapy of luminal agents, such as paromomycin, in combination with metronidazole would be the better choice for treating Blastocystis infection. The book also indicates the need for randomized controlled treatment studies by using culture andpolymerase chain reaction to identify carriers both pre- and post-treatment.
Apart from this, explanation on fecal therapy for gastrointestinal (GI) tract diseases, extremophilic eukaryotes and gene transfer among microbes, so as to adapt to hostile environment of human GI tract have also been discussed. The author has also introduced a dedicated section for Blastocystis research in monthlies, where most recent articles and various scientific abstracts are being explored for the benefit of the readers. The book also consists of some of the conference proceedings and abstracts, which are relevant to Blastocystis research. Although this Ebook is devoid of images, links to the original blog posts with colored images and research articles are made available to the readers for further reading at the end of each chapter. On a concluding remark, one can agree that this Ebook is a handy tool for any clinical microbiologist, student and researcher involved in Blastocystis research.