The main aim and objective of this Action is to shape and direct a state-of-the-art and dynamic Blastocystis Network, linking academia, health sectors and industry in order to enhance, spread and apply knowledge and expertise on this gut microbe and its role in health and disease.

To achieve this, a One Health approach is required to study Blastocystis by integrating new advances in medical, veterinary, public, and environmental health research.

Introduction to the Action

Blastocystis is the most prevalent intestinal protist colonizing the gut of at least one billion people. Emerging data indicates a higher prevalence in animals, both endotherms and ectotherms. A high proportion of carriers are asymptomatic.

Despite a century of study, pathogenicity of Blastocystis remains controversial. Currently, at least 32 genetic subtypes (STs) exist. Of these, ST1-ST9, ST10, ST12, ST16 and ST23 have been found in humans, while the rest have been isolated only from non-human hosts.

Information on prevalence, geographic distribution and host specificity of STs is incomplete. Significant gaps also exist on environmental presence of Blastocystis. Collectively, this paucity of data blurs the Blastocystis landscape considerably.

Action aims

Support advancement of Blastocystis research by bringing together professionals from various disciplines and countries.

Foster information sharing on current methodologies, especially in the areas of subtyping.

Promote capacity building via a transdisciplinary network of international collaboration.

Open avenues of communication with veterinarians, physicians and general public.

Working Groups

Leadership – Action Chairs, Vice Chairs and Group Leaders

Mapping Blastocystis epidemiology and diagnostics

Blastocystis collection and database

Blastocystis ‘omics generation and analyses

Blastocystis in vivo and in vitro investigations

Blastocystis – dissemination and education

News & Activities


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