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Protozoan parasites in irritable bowel syndrome.

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eMediNexus Editorial    09 December 2017

A new study published in the World Journal of Gastrointestinal Pharmacology and Therapeutics investigated the putative role of protozoan parasites in the development of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

This case control study included 109 IBS consecutive adult patients fulfilling the Rome III criteria and 100 healthy controls. These patients answered a structured questionnaire, which covered demographic information and clinical data. The IBS patients recruited comprised 31 males and 78 females, aged between 16 to 60 years. While 100 healthy subjects, 30 males and 70 females, aged between 18 and 66 years, were recruited as controls.

Results revealed that the main IBS subtype based on the symptoms of these patients was constipation-predominant in 88.7% of patients. Blastocystis DNA was detected in 25.7%, Cryptosporidium oocysts were observed in 9.2%, and Giardia cysts were observed in 11%, in IBS patients. Whereas, in the control subjects, Blastocystis, Cryptosporidium and Giardia were detected in 9%, 0%, and 1%, respectively. Moreover, the difference in the presence of Blastocystis, Cryptosporidium, and Giardia between IBS patients and controls was statistically significant.

Therefore, it was inferred that prevalence of Blastocystis, Cryptosporidium and Giardia is higher in IBS patients than in controls. Hence, it was speculated that these parasites may have a role in the pathogenesis of IBS.1

Reference

  1. Jadallah KA, Nimri LF, Ghanem RA. Protozoan parasites in irritable bowel syndrome: A case-control study. World Journal of Gastrointestinal Pharmacology and Therapeutics. 2017;8(4):201-207. doi:10.4292/wjgpt.v8.i4.201.

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