Blastocystis hominis is an enteric protozoan with many subtypes. It is frequently found in children and may cause chronic diarrhea. This study revealed Blastocystis subtypes among primary school children and comparison of molecular technique and culture method in Blastocystis diagnosis. A total of 141 stools were collected, examined microscopically, selected into the Blastocystis and negative parasite groups, for diagnostic comparison between culture and 18S rRNA polymerase chain reaction (PCR) methods. Positive PCR amplicons were subsequently sequenced for subtyping. The PCR results revealed 89%, 78%, 80% and 88% sensitivity, specificity and positive and negative predictive values, respectively, in comparison with the culture method (McNemar, p > 0.05). Sixteen PCR samples were successfully sequenced and resulted in three Blastocystis subtypes 1, 3 and 4. In conclusion, PCR was sensitive enough and can be used to exclude Blastocystis infection up to 88% of the cases. Subtypes 3 and 1 were the main subtypes found in apparently healthy school children in Jakarta.
- Blastocystis subtype
- Intestinal parasite