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BioMed Research International
Volume 2018, Article ID 3916263, 7 pages
Research Article

Genetic Diversity and Distribution of Blastocystis Subtype 3 in Human Populations, with Special Reference to a Rural Population in Central Mexico

1Unidad de Investigación en Medicina Experimental, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Dr. Balmis 148, Doctores, Cuauhtémoc, 06726 Ciudad de México, Mexico
2Unidad de Posgrado, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Circuito de Posgrado S/N, Coyoacán, Cd. Universitaria, 04510 Ciudad de México, Mexico
3Centro de Investigación en Recursos Naturales y Sustentabilidad (CIRENYS), Universidad Bernardo O’Higgins, Avenida Viel 1497, Santiago, Chile
4Departamento de Ingeniería de Sistemas Computacionales y Automatización, Sección de Ingeniería de Sistemas Computacionales, Instituto de Investigaciones en Matemáticas Aplicadas y en Sistemas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Circuito Escolar 3000, Cd. Universitaria, Coyoacán, 04510 Ciudad de México, Mexico
5Unidad de Bioinformática, Bioestadística y Biología Computacional, Red de Apoyo a la Investigación, Coordinación de la Investigación Científica, UNAM, Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición, Vasco de Quiroga 15, Tlalpan, 14080 Ciudad de México, Mexico
6Unidad de Investigación Médica en Enfermedades Infecciosas y Parasitarias, Hospital de Pediatría, Centro Médico Siglo XXI, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS), Avenida Cuauhtémoc 330, Doctores, Cuauhtémoc, 06720 Ciudad de México, Mexico
7Departamento de Ecología Evolutiva, Instituto de Ecología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Circuito Exterior S/N, Junto al Jardín Botánico, Cd. Universitaria, Coyoacán, 04510 Ciudad de México, Mexico

Correspondence should be addressed to Liliana Rojas-Velázquez; moc.oohay@ylihl and Cecilia Ximénez; xm.manu@zenemixc

Received 29 December 2017; Accepted 11 February 2018; Published 18 March 2018

Academic Editor: Daniele Corsaro

Copyright © 2018 Liliana Rojas-Velázquez et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Blastocystis subtype 3 (ST3) is a parasitic protist found in the digestive tract of symptomatic and asymptomatic humans around the world. While this parasite exhibits a high prevalence in the human population, its true geographic distribution and global genetic diversity are still unknown. This gap in knowledge limits the understanding of the spread mechanisms, epidemiology, and impact that this parasite has on human populations. Herein, we provided new data on the geographical distribution and genetic diversity of Blastocystis ST3 from a rural human population in Mexico. To do so, we collected and targeted the SSU-rDNA region in fecal samples from this population and further compared its genetic diversity and structure with that previously observed in populations of Blastocystis ST3 from other regions of the planet. Our analyses reveled that diversity of Blastocystis ST3 showed a high haplotype diversity and genetic structure to the world level; however, they were low in the Morelos population. The haplotype network revealed a common widespread haplotype from which the others were generated recently. Finally, our results suggested a recent expansion of the diversity of Blastocystis ST3 worldwide.