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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 113-121

Blastocystis spp. infection in cases of diarrhea: A pilot study from a tertiary care teaching hospital in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, with a brief review of literature

Department of Microbiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India

Correspondence Address:
Pratima Gupta
Department of Microbiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/tp.TP_90_20

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Context: Intestinal parasitic infections (IPI) are among the most common infections throughout the world. Blastocystis spp. is a mysterious parasite which is commonly encountered in tropical countries. Its pathogenic status is unknown and there is a paucity of literature about this organism from the state of Uttarakhand, India. Aims: The aim was to estimate the prevalence of Blastocystis spp. in diarrheal stools. Settings and Design: This was a cross-sectional study conducted from January 2018 to July 2019. Subjects and Methods: Nonrepetitive stool samples of 187 consecutive patients of diarrhea attending the inpatient department and outpatient department of a tertiary care teaching hospital located in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, were collected after obtaining informed written consent. These samples were subjected to wet mount microscopy and permanent staining. Statistical Analysis Used: Fisher's exact test and Kappa coefficient were used in this study. Results: The mean age ± standard deviation of the patients was 36.04 ± 11.31 years with a male-to-female ratio of 1.49:1. The prevalence of IPI was 36.09%. Giardia intestinalis was the most common parasite. Blastocystis spp. was observed in 6.42% of the stool samples, majority of which were obtained from cases of chronic diarrhea. Moderate agreement (0.48) was observed between wet mount microscopy and permanent staining in the identification of Blastocystis spp. Conclusions: This is the first study to assess the burden and role of different epidemiological and clinical profiles of Blastocystis spp. in Uttarakhand. More studies are required to know its pathogenesis and its role as opportunistic pathogen.

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