Blastocystis sp., an intestinal organism is known to cause diarrhea with metronidazole regarded as the first line of treatment despite reports of its resistance. The conflicting reports of variation in drug treatment have been ascribed to subtype differences. The present study evaluated in vitro responses due to metronidazole on ST3 isolated from three symptomatic and asymptomatic patients, respectively. Symptomatic isolates were obtained from clinical patients who showed symptoms such as diarrhea and abdominal bloating. Asymptomatic isolates from a stool survey carried out in a rural area. These patients had no other pathogens other than Blastocystis. Ultrastructural studies using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) revealed drug-treated ST3 from symptomatic patients were irregular and amoebic with surface showing high-convoluted folding when treated with metronidazole. These organisms had higher number of mitochondrion-like organelle (MLO) with prominent cristae. However, the drug-treated ST3 from asymptomatic persons remained spherical in shape. Asymptomatic ST3 showed increase in the size of its central body with the MLO located at the periphery.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.