Association of Helicobacter pylori and protozoal parasites in patients with chronic diarrhoea
[Epub ahead of print]
Introduction An association of Helicobacter pylori and common protozoal parasites in patients with abdominal discomfort and chronic diarrhoea is unclear and may be pathological. Materials and methods One hundred and sixty-one patients with diarrhoea were compared to 114 age and sex matched controls. Stool samples were examined by microscopy and DNA extracted for PCR with specific primers for H. pylori and protozoal parasites Blastocystis sp., Entamoeba sp. (Entamoeba histolytica, Entamoeba dispar and Entamoeba moshkovskii) and Giardia duodenalis (G. duodenalis). Results There was a marked difference in the presence of parasites between patients and controls: no parasite 42/75%, one parasite 42/15%, two or more parasites 16/10%, respectively (p < 0.001). Patients with diarrhoea were more likely to be infected with Blastocystis sp (p < 0.001), E. histolytica (p = 0.027) and E moshkovskii (p = 0.003). There was no difference in the frequency of H. pylori (p = 0.528), G duodenalis (p = 0.697) or E dispar (p = 0.425). Thirty-three patients and 27 controls had H. pylori infection. Of these, 22 patients and 6 controls were infected with Blastocystis sp (p = 0.001), 6 patients and no controls were infected with E. histolytica (p = 0.02), whilst 7 patents and 9 controls were infected with E dispar (p = 0.292). Conclusion In this population, diarrhoea is linked to infection with Blastocystis sp, E. histolytica and E moshkoviskii. In H. pylori infection, diarrhoea is linked to Blastocystis sp and E. histolytica infection. These associations may be linked pathogenically.