Taxonomy: Class Blastocystea
Animal: Blastocystis hominis (pathology) 1 07.jpg
Sites: Gut
Evidence that Blastocystis hominis causes disease. Some researchers believe it is a pathogen and others do not. As many causes of diarrhoea are self limiting and elimination of the parasite by drugs does not preclude other causes of the symptoms indeed some strains or certain lifecycle stages may be pathogenic and others are not. It is accepted that Blastocystis hominis may act as a commensal but become pathogenic under certain conditions related to the host factors such as immunosuppression, poor nutrition or other concomitant infections/conditions. Indeed, symptoms may resolve in some patients in whom Blastocystis is still present, perhaps related to: parasite load, presence of a toxin, strain or life cycle stage present, host factors or an underlying infection or condition for which B.hominis is a marker. Associations of B. hominis infection have been found with a variety of diseases: tropical pulmonary eosinophilia, reactive arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, ulcerative colitis, enteritis etc.

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