Blastocystis and Dengue: The Hidden Connection Worsening Your Symptoms
Blastocystis and Dengue: The Hidden Connection Worsening Your Symptoms

Blastocystis and Dengue: The Hidden Connection Worsening Your Symptoms

cute asian baby girl has skin rash and allergy from mosquito bite and sucking blood while playing outdoor

Dengue fever, a mosquito-borne viral disease, has become a global health threat, with major clinical manifestations including high fever and gastrointestinal symptoms. Interestingly, these symptoms are also commonly observed in individuals infected with Blastocystis sp., a parasite frequently found in human stool samples. This study aimed to investigate the potential association between Blastocystis sp. infection and the severity of gastrointestinal symptoms in dengue patients.

The Alarming Prevalence of Blastocystis in Dengue Patients

In this cross-sectional hospital-based study conducted at the University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) between June 2015 and August 2016, researchers collected stool samples from 89 dengue patients. Through in vitro cultivation and molecular analysis, they found that 23.6% of the patients were positive for Blastocystis sp. infection.

Blastocystis and Dengue: A Dangerous Duo?

The study revealed that dengue patients infected with Blastocystis sp. experienced significantly higher fever rates, reaching 38.73°C, compared to non-infected patients (38.44°C). Additionally, Blastocystis-positive patients reported frequenting the toilet more than five times a day, and their stools were predominantly soft and watery.

Prolonged Hospitalization and Increased Treatment Costs

Notably, the duration of hospitalization for Blastocystis-infected dengue patients was significantly longer (4.33 days) compared to non-infected patients (3.71 days). This finding suggests that the presence of Blastocystis sp. during dengue infection could exacerbate gastrointestinal symptoms, potentially leading to increased treatment costs and higher demands for hospital beds, especially in dengue-endemic areas.

The Thermal Stress Connection

Interestingly, the study also investigated the growth pattern of Blastocystis sp. under different thermal conditions. Remarkably, Blastocystis sp. isolated from dengue patients (in vivo thermal stress) exhibited a higher growth rate compared to non-dengue isolates exposed to high temperatures in vitro. This observation supports the hypothesis that higher body temperatures during dengue fever may trigger increased proliferation of Blastocystis sp., further exacerbating gastrointestinal symptoms.

Clinical Implications and Future Directions

The study's findings highlight the importance of screening dengue patients with gastrointestinal symptoms for Blastocystis sp. infection. Early detection and treatment could potentially reduce the severity of symptoms and minimize the burden on healthcare resources in dengue-endemic regions. However, further research is needed to establish a direct correlation between Blastocystis sp. infection and the severity of dengue symptoms, as well as to evaluate the effectiveness of treating co-infections in reducing gastrointestinal complications.


This study provides valuable insights into the potential interplay between Blastocystis sp. and dengue fever, emphasizing the need for increased awareness and further investigation to improve patient outcomes and optimize healthcare resource allocation.

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Effect of Blastocystis sp. in dengue patients—Increase in the treatment cost and exacerbation of symptoms

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