About this Research Topic
Blastocystis is the most prevalent intestinal microbial eukaryote in humans and other animals. Based on the genetic heterogeneity of the SSU rRNA, 22 subtypes (STs) exist in mammals and birds, which are likely separate species. The various Blastocystis STs do not display host specificity as evidenced by the presence of each ST in a broad array of hosts. A considerable amount of data exists on associations of Blastocystis with the prokaryotic microbiome of humans, aspects of its epidemiology, and prevalence on human and non-human hosts. Despite this, significant knowledge gaps persist. For instance, information on prevalence, geographic distribution, and host specificity of the various STs is fragmentary. Pathogenicity of Blastocystis remains controversial compounded by the fact that a high proportion of carriers have no gastrointestinal symptoms. Importantly, transmission dynamics of Blastocystis and the role of the environment is a little explored area. Collectively, this paucity of data blurs the Blastocystis landscape considerably. New intervention technologies have brought forth questions regarding the eligibility of Blastocystis as a probiotic and inclusion or not in fecal microbiome transplants. Nonetheless, knowledge gaps especially regarding clearly defined roles of the different STs in the gut hinder progress.
Given the lack of knowledge in many aspects of Blastocystis biology, ecology, and epidemiology, the goal of this Research Topic is to gather articles and reviews addressing these gaps. The aim is to provide a comprehensive overview of the issues surrounding Blastocystis and potential approaches to addressing them.
In this Research Topic, we welcome both original articles and reviews on the following subtopics:
- Blastocystis-host microbiome interactions
- Clinical significance and associations to gastrointestinal diseases
- Prevalence, distribution and host specificity
- Transmission dynamics and epidemiology
- Cell biology and advances in new methodologies
This Research Topic is linked to the Virtual Edition, 3rd International Blastocystis Conference2-4 June, 2021
Keywords: Blastocystis in health and disease, Host-parasite-microbiome interactions, Epidemiology, Blastocystis diversity and evolution, Omics
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.