Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12105/14439
Cyst detection and viability assessment of Balantioides coli in environmental samples: Current status and future needs
Food Waterborne Parasitol. 2022 Jan 5;26:e00143.
The ciliate Balantioides coli is a human enteric parasite that can cause life-threatening infections. It is a food- and waterborne parasite, with cysts being the infective stage. Despite its importance as a potential pathogen, few reports have investigated its presence in environmental samples, and some issues need attention including i) The accuracy of B. coli identification. In most cases, the protozoa is identified only by its morphological traits, which can be identical to those from other parasitic ciliates of animals. Genetic analysis of cysts recovered from environmental samples is necessary for species confirmation. In addition, genetic methods used with faecal samples need to be adequately validated with environmental matrices. ii) The methodology for searching this parasite in environmental samples. The protocols include an initial phase to isolate the cysts from the matrix followed by a second phase in which concentration procedures are usually applied. The methods may be valid but are not standardised and differences between studies could affect the results obtained. iii) The areas that needs further research. The development of genetic identification methods and standardised analytical protocols in environmental samples are required, as well as the assessment of viability and infectivity of B. coli cysts. The development of axenic culture systems will boost research on this parasite.
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