Medical Definition of Blastocystosis

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Blastocystosis: Infection with Blastocystis hominis, a common microscopic parasite found worldwide. Symptoms may include watery or loose stools, diarrhea, abdominal pain, anal itching, weight loss, and excess gas. Some people have no symptoms. The organism can remain in the intestines for weeks, months, or years. Diagnosis requires finding it in the stool, How Blastocystis is transmitted is unknown, although the number of people infected seems to increase in areas where sanitation and personal hygiene is inadequate. Treatment is with the antibiotics metronidazole or iodoquinol.

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018

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