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ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 33-40

Detection of Blastocystis in clinical stool specimens using three different methods and morphological examination in Jones' medium


1 Department of Microbiology, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India
2 Department of Neonatology, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India
3 Department of Medicine, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Subhash Chandra Parija
Department of Microbiology, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry - 605 006
India
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DOI: 10.4103/tp.TP_4_18

PMID: 29930905

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Background: Blastocystis was identified almost a century ago, yet its biology and pathogenicity status in humans is obscure. Studies on Blastocystis in India are scanty and are mostly microscopy based. This study compared three detection modalities to determine their efficiency in the identification of Blastocystis in human feces. Materials and Methods: A total of 279 stool samples were screened using microscopy, culture (Jones' medium), and polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based methods. Among the three, PCR is considered the gold standard test for detection of Blastocystis, as it helps to authenticate the sensitivity, specificity, and kappa agreement obtained by the other two tests. The morphological features of Blastocystis were recorded at 24, 48, and 72 h. After positive morphological identification, ten samples were cultured on Löwenstein–Jensen (LJ) medium and Locke's egg slant medium. Results: The sensitivity and specificity determined on the basis of microscopy were 36.2% and 99.4%, respectively. On the other hand, Jones' medium showed 67.6% sensitivity and 100% specificity. Further, we documented various morphological and reproductive features of Blastocystis using various staining techniques on cultures positive in Jones' medium. In addition, we also found that LJ medium was not equally efficacious as Jones' medium in assisting the growth of Blastocystis. Conclusions: Although molecular diagnosis is a necessary tool for understanding the true epidemiology of Blastocystis, in laboratories devoid of molecular detection facilities, stool microscopy in conjunction with stool culture on Jones' medium could serve as the best alternative tool for the detection of Blastocystis.


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