Blastocystis Acquisition and Loss Can be Highly Dynamic

Travel associated Blastocystis has been reported as a possible cause of traveler’s diarrhea, however there are few studies comparing travelers pre- and post travel.  In one of the few such studies, researchers report that although Blastocystis can be acquired in travel, infection with Blastocystis presents a much more dynamic picture in many individuals.  In this study, researchers report that “stool samples of 479 travelers were analysed. Before travel, 174 of them (36.3%) carried Blastocystis and in most of these, the same subtype was persistently carried. However, in 48/174 of those travellers (27.6%; CI95 20.8-36.6%) no Blastocystis or a different subtype was detected in the post-travel sample, indicating loss of Blastocystis during travel. Only 26 (5.4%; CI95 3.7%-8.0%) of all travellers acquired Blastocystis, including two individuals that were already positive for Blastocystis before travel but acquired a different subtype during travel.”  The study was reported in Travel Medicine and Infectious Diseases.

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