Parasitology research

Features of Blastocystis spp. in xenic culture revealed by deconvolutional microscopy.

PMID 25994314


Blastocystis spp. are common human enteric parasites with complex morphology and have been reported to cause irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Deconvolutional microscopy with time-lapse imaging and fluorescent spectroscopy of xenic cultures of Blastocystis spp. from stool samples of IBS patients and from asymptomatic, healthy pigs allowed observations of living organisms in their natural microbial environment. Blastocystis organisms of the vacuolated, granular, amoebic and cystic forms were observed to autofluorescence in the 557/576 emission spectra. Autofluorescence could be distinguished from fluorescein-conjugated Blastocystis-specific antibody labelling in vacuolated and granular forms. This antibody labelled Blastocystis subtypes 1, 3 and 4 but not 5. Surface pores of 1 μm in diameter were observed cyclically opening and closing over 24 h. Vacuolated forms extruded a viscous material from a single surface point with coincident deflation that may demonstrate osmoregulation. Tear-shaped granules were observed exiting from the surface of an amoebic form, but their origin and identity remain unknown.