The role of Blastocystis sp. and Dientamoeba fragilis in irritable bowel syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Seyed Mohammad Riahi
Seyyed Javad Seyyedtabaei
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Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is globally one of the most prevalent gastrointestinal disorders with a negative impact on quality of life and socio-economic status of patients. Recently, controversial evidences suggest that Blastocystis sp. and Dientamoeba fragilis infections may be implicated in the development of IBS. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine the possible association regarding this issue. PubMed, ScienceDirect, Scopus, Web of Science, and Cochrane electronic databases were searched (up to February 2017) to identify the relevant studies. Pooled odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals were estimated using a random effects meta-analysis model on data from included studies. A total of 17 studies including 5882 participants (2527 patients and 3310 controls) met the eligibility criteria. Individuals with Blastocystis infection were found to have a positive association with IBS (OR, 2.19; 95% CI, 1.54-3.13), while this association was not observed for D. fragilis infection (OR, 1.13; 95% CI, 0.22-5.72). In subgroup analysis for Blastocystis infection, the pooled ORs were OR 2.29, 95% CI 1.55-3.41; OR 1.70, 95% CI 0.83-3.44; and OR 3.83, 95% CI 2.34-6.27 for hospital-based, healthy volunteers, and combined controls, respectively. Considering the subtypes, meta-analysis result demonstrated significant positive ORs for ST1 (OR, 4.40; 95% CI, 2.81-6.90) and ST3 (OR, 1.94; 95% CI, 1.36-2.77) to be potential risk factors for IBS. Our results support the existence of a positive association between Blastocystis sp. and IBS. Further studies with more sample size should be performed to better investigate the real impact of these parasites on the occurrence of IBS.