Blastocystis hominis is the most prevalent parasite but often isn’t detected due to poor laboratory techniques, At Genova Blastocystis is found in more than 20% of clinical specimens. The weight of evidence supports treating it as a potential pathogen. Together with other weak pathogens, it is associated with many chronic conditions, including irritable bowel, chronic fatigue, and arthritic/rheumatoid complaints. Three forms have been identified, and the vacuolated form is most commonly seen in fecal specimens.
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Blastocystis has been found to produce gastrointestinal cramps, vomiting, sleeplessness, nausea, weight loss, lassitude, dizziness, flatus, anorexia, and pruritus. B. hominis is often found in patients with classic symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Treatment with metronidazole has been found to eradicate the organism. Blastocystis hominis may be highly variable in its pathogenicity. The organism is present in a number of healthy individuals, and an asymptomatic carrier state has been postulated. In many patients with gastrointestinal illness, this organism is the only identifiable parasite, and these patients improve when Blastocystis is eradicated. We find its presence highly correlates with gastrointestinal symptoms; and, along with others, suggest it may be a pathogen in symptomatic patients.