We are working to develop a library of axenic Blastocystis isolates from chronically ill patients. The ATCC has some isolates, but none are recent, and many are not axenic. The isolates will be used to screen drugs to identify a treatment for blastocystosis.
We're interested in finding researchers who would be interested in developing ways to axenicize Blastocystis, and also to ship isolates internationally.
Also, we are also looking for people who would be interested in identifying a microbial cause for ‘irritable bowel syndrome' or ‘Gulf War Illness.' We are completing studies in this area overseas, but need someone to repeat them with US patients.
This effort may interest you as an ASM member, as much of the work identifying the symptoms of Blastocystis was done by NIH Researcher Charles Zierdt, who was a President of the DC Chapter of ASM. He was the first to identify blastocystosis as being associated with widespread pain, and draw the analogies to Entamoeba histolytica. We believe the same mechanism that makes EH pathogenic (protease production) may produce symptoms in Blastocystis. Dr. Zierdt is a board member emeritus of our organization.
If you might know anyone interested in studying microbial protease production, or the protease-activated 2 (PAR2) receptors in human cells, I'd be interested in talking to them as well.
Many thanks for your consideration.
Blastocystis Research Foundation
Web Site: http://www.bhomcenter.org