Abstract

Many helminthic and protozoal infections have been implicated in iron deficiency anemia (IDA) but few reports have suggested a link between Blastocystis sp. infection and IDA. Herein, we investigated the frequency and the association of the Blastocystis sp. genotype with IDA. Two-hundred and six stool samples were examined for Blastocystis sp. Samples were obtained from 96 cases with a confirmed diagnosis of IDA and 110 matched non-anemic controls. The prevalence of the parasite was significantly higher in the IDA group (54.2%) when compared to controls (17.3%) and was 34.5% in all study subjects. Thus, a relationship between Blastocystis sp. infection and IDA was confirmed. PCR amplification of isolates from cases with IDA and controls using subtype-specific sequenced-tagged site primers found that subtype 3 was the most common (83.3%), followed by subtype 1 (16.7%), and both had similar prevalence in both groups. Therefore, there was no correlation found between the Blastocystis sp. genotype and the occurrence of IDA.

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