MSPTM 2019 Annual Scientific Conference
13 - 14 March 2019
InterContinental Kuala Lumpur




Oral Presentation
Scaling Up Efforts in Tropical Disease and Vector Control through Evidence-Based Research
Medical Microbiology & Parasitology


Main Author
Arutchelvan Rajamanikam1
Presenting Author
Arutchelvan Rajamanikam1
Mohd Noor Mat Isa3
Chandramathi Samudi2
Suresh Kumar Govind1

Authors' Institution

Department / Institution / Country
Parasitology / University of Malaya / Malaysia1
Medical Microbiology / University of Malaya / Malaysia2
Genome Technology Innovation (GTI) Core Facilities / Malaysian Genome Institution / Malaysia3
Abstract Content

Gut microbiome includes habitation of bacteria, fungus and virus co-existing mainly in the large intestines. These microbes create an immediate environment for other eukaryotes such as intestinal protozoa and helminthes. Dietary intake, host environment and lifestyle factors are key elements that play pivotal role in shaping the gut microbiome. However, variation in these elements across the globe has resulted in distinct gut microbial profile specific to region and community. Blastocystis sp., the most prevalent intestinal protozoan parasite that infects humans and wide range of animals, has inconclusive and debatable status as a human pathogen. This organism exhibits variation across different studies in the aspects of pathogenicity, prevalence and drug resistance. In this study, we isolated Blastocystis sp. ST3 from 2 different populations, namely urban and Orang asli. Metagenomic analysis was deployed to analyse the microbiota of these populations. Next, accompanying bacteria of Blastocystis sp. was altered to investigate the influence of bacteria on the parasites growth and pathogenicity. Orang asli gut flora demonstrated greater alpha and beta diversity indicating increased species richness and significant dissimilarity (P<0.05) between the two groups. Blastocystissp. infection increased the microbial diversity only in urban gut conditions and not significantly in orange asli gut flora.  Altering the accompanying bacteria of Blastocystis sp. causes a change in its phenotypic characteristics. The asymptomatic isolates showed characteristics of a symptomatic isolates when the bacteria from symptomatic isolates was cultured together with asymptomatic parasites. The findings, for the first time, provide evidence on the influential role of gut microbiome in altering the expression of phenotypic and pathogenic characteristics of Blastocystis sp.  This also explains the variations seen across different studies on different communities. The study suggests the predictive and determining role of gut microbiome in Blastocystis sp. infection. 

Keywords: Gut microflora; Blastocystis sp.; urban; orang asli; species richness; accompanying bacteria
Requires Audio or Video system for Presentation?: No