Title : Molecular screening for intestinal protozoan and fungal pathogens and first subtyping of blastocystis spp. in hemodialysis patients in Slovakia
Blastocystis spp., Cryptosporidium spp., Giardia intestinalis and Microsporidia spp. are protozoan and fungal intestinal pathogens in immunocompromised individuals, causing symptomatic or asymptomatic infections, which are usually undiagnosed. Uremia in hemodialysis patients with CRI induces a state of immunosuppression. Diarrhea is also one of the most important clinical manifestations.
The aim of this study was to perform molecular screening and subtyping of Blastocystis spp., Cryptosporidium parvum/hominis, Giardia intestinalis and Microsporidia spp. in hemodialysis patients, to help assess risk factors contributing to the infection and the distribution of circulating genotypes. From 53 stool samples, zoonotic Blastocystis subtypes were identified in 13 patients (24.5%), with a dominant prevalence of ST 3 (n=9), followed by ST 1 (n=3) and ST 2 (n=1). Molecular panels for the diagnosis of C. parvum/hominis, G. intestinalis and Microsporidia spp. were negative.
All Blastocystis subtypes identified in patients in this study, revealing possible animal sources of infection, but due to the immunosuppression condition in these patients, contact with nursing staff and contaminated surfaces or objects while undergoing therapy may also be an important transmission route.
Acknowledgement: This study was supported by grant VEGA 1/0359/21
Audience take away:
- Explain how the audience will be able to use what they learn?
Molecular methods are more accurate than conventional microscopic diagnostic of protozoan and fungal infections, especially when the load of pathogens in the sample is low, revealing undiagnosed infections with moderate manifestations. It is necessary to keep in mind, that the population of immunocompromised individuals increases each year, therefore, we aim to draw attention to novel methods to be applied for diagnosing emerging opportunistic pathogens in this group of patients.
- How will this help the audience in their job?
From a clinical perspective, the possible application and introduction of novel diagnostic methods for opportunistic pathogens in immunocompromised patients, especially in patients, in which diarrhea is a result of another ongoing disease or therapy and opening a path for targeted antimicrobial therapy leading to the increase of the quality of life.
- Is this research that other faculty could use to expand their research or teaching?
Subtyping and phylogenesis reveals the distribution of individual subtypes of pathogens. Zoonotic subtypes should be the focus from both an epidemiological perspective, but also an epizootiological view and environment control.