Comparison of the genetic variability of Blastocystis subtypes between human carriers from two contrasting climatic regions of México

Isaac Villegas-Gómez, Fernando Martínez-Hernández, Alejandro Urrea-Quezada, Mariana González-Díaz, María Durazo, Jesús Hernández, Guadalupe Erendira Orozco-Mosqueda, Guiehdani Villalobos, Pablo Maravilla, Olivia Valenzuela*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Blastocystis sp. is an anaerobic intestinal microorganism commonly identified in the feces of several animals, including humans. Blastocystis exhibits high genetic polymorphism and at least 17 subtypes (ST) have been identified; ST1-ST3 are frequently found in the Americas. Furthermore, in vitro assays have shown that temperature and humidity can affect the viability of Blastocystis cysts. In this study, we describe the genetic variability and genetic differentiation among and within Blastocystis STs in adults and children from the cities of Hermosillo and Morelia cities, which represent arid and humid subtropical climatic regions of México, respectively. Phylogenetic and genetic diversity was assessed by analyzing a region of the small subunit ribosomal DNA (SSU rDNA) gene as a marker. Blastocystis ST3 and ST1 were associated with children from Hermosillo and Morelia, respectively. An analysis of the nucleotide diversity (π) and haplotype polymorphism (θ) indexes showed that they were similar within each ST, but different between ST1 and ST3. Interestingly, the group of symptomatic carriers from Hermosillo showed scarce mean nucleotide diversity compared to the asymptomatic carriers (0.0039 ± 0.0030 and 0.0329 ± 0.0286, respectively). Furthermore, the gene flow and genetic differentiation indexes between the children and adults suggested that the Blastocystis haplotypes in the adult carriers were “highly mobile” among humans, while the haplotypes found in the children were more isolated and genetically differentiated between them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-340
Number of pages7
JournalInfection, Genetics and Evolution
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier B.V.


  • Blastocystis sp.
  • Ecozones
  • Haplotype polymorphism
  • Landscape epidemiology
  • Nucleotide diversity


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