International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, vol.13, no.6, pp.4434-4440, 2020 (Journal Indexed in SCI Expanded)
We aimed to determine the prevalence of five intestinal protozoa in cancer and organ transplant recipient patients with molecular methods. This case-control study in a university hospital examined stool samples with
microscopy-based conventional and polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based molecular techniques to determine the
existence of five principal protozoa (Cryptosporidium spp., Giardia spp., Entamoeba histolytica, Blastocystis spp.
and Dientamoeba spp.) among 57 cancer patients (CP), 33 organ transplant recipient patients (OTP), in comparison
with 90 healthy individuals (HI) from Turkey. The overall frequency of intestinal protozoa was 17.2% (31/180) using
microscopy and 51.7% (93/180) using PCR. Because of its high sensitivity, PCR was compared with microscopy in
terms of the accuracy of detecting intestinal protozoa, and the agreement was found to be inadequate (κ=0.217;
P<0.001). According to the protozoa species, distribution of multiparasitism (68.2%; 22.7%), Cryptosporidium spp.
(53.8%; 30.8%) and Giardia spp. (55.6%; 18.5%) were found in CP and OTP, respectively (P<0.001). Depending on
the patient groups, multiparasitism (26.3%; 15.2%), Giardia spp. (26.3%; 15.2%) and Cryptosporidium spp. (24.6%;
24.2%) were the most frequent agents in CP and OTP, respectively (P<0.001). In accordance with literature review,
this is the first study conducted in Turkey clarifying the prevalence of five intestinal protozoa with PCR techniques
among these groups, and tries to ensure a ground for further research. Comprehensive consultation and periodic
fecal examinations are recommended especially among patients with cancer undergoing chemotherapy using molecular methods in reference laboratories, oncology and/or transplantation departments of hospitals.