Blastocystis Research

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.

Ken Boorom
Director, Blastocystis Research Foundation


Blastocystis Research Foundation
5060 SW Philomath Blvd, #202
Corvallis, OR 97333-1441 USA

Web Site: http://www.bhomcenter.org

Phone: 815-572-9701
Fax: 815-572-9701
email: director@bhomcenter.org


  1. Jones M, Whipps C, Ganac R, Hudson N, Boorom KAssociation of Blastocystis subtype 3 and 1 with patients from an Oregon community presenting with chronic gastrointestinal illness. Parasitol Res. Epub 2008 Oct 16.

  2. Boorom KF, Smith H, Nimri L, Viscogliosi E, Spanakos G, Parkar U, Li LH, Zhou XN, Ok UZ, Leelayoova S, Jones MS.  Oh my aching gut: irritable bowel syndrome, Blastocystis, and asymptomatic infection. BMC Parasites and Vectors. 2008 Oct 21;1(1):40.

  3. Souppart L, Sanciu G, Cian A, Wawrzyniak I, Delbac F, Capron M, Dei-Cas E, Boorom K, Delhaes L, Viscogliosi E.  Molecular epidemiology of human Blastocystis isolates in France. Parasitol Res. 2009 Mar 17. 

  4. Boorom K. Emerging infectious diseases are not always obvious. Lancet Infect Dis. 2009 Mar;9(3):142.

  5. Dogruman-Al F, Kustimur1 S, Yoshikawa H, Tuncer C, Simsek Z, Tanyuksel M, Araz E, Boorom K.  Blastocystis subtypes in irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease in Ankara, Turkey.    Memorias Instituto Oswaldo Cruz  In Press

  6. Boorom, KF.  A Magic Bullet for IBS.  Gut Reaction, Spring 2008.

  7. Boorom, KF.  Getting to the bottom of irritable bowels.  The New Scientist, April 13, 2008. Read part of the full text