Alterations in Oxidative Stress Activities and Trace Elements Levels on Experimental Blastocystosis

Azza M. Fahmy, Rabab S. Zalat, Amany M. Hegab, Wafaa A. Wafy


AIM: The present study was intended to assess the impact of the Blastocystis infection in mice on oxidative stress markers, in particular, malondialdehyde (MDA), superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione (GSH) and the serum concentrations of vital trace elements; zinc, iron, and copper.

Methods: At a dose of 104 cysts/mouse, Blastocystis were inoculated orally. Feces from all mice were microscopically examined after infection and after metronidazole (MTZ) treatment for assessment of the intensity of Blastocystis infection. Measurement of antioxidant enzymes activities in the liver and determination of serum zinc, iron, and copper were established.

Results: The greatest infection intensity was reported in the third week of Blastocystosis reaching 48.6 vegetative forms/field and 186.2×103 cysts/gm. Treatment with metronidazole after three weeks of infection disclosed a decrease of about 60 percent and 83 percent in the amount of Blastocystis. Blastocystis infection significantly enhanced lipid peroxidation in the liver while SOD, CAT, and GSH were significantly reduced. The altered values of MDA, SOD, CAT, and GSH tend to be standardized compared to normal values by using antiparasitic drug; MTZ. Serum zinc and iron levels in mice infected with Blastocystis declined significantly however, there was a notable increase in serum copper levels. Treatment of Blastocystis-infected mice with metronidazole standardized the altered levels of serum zinc, iron and copper compared with normal groups.

Conclusion: Our research suggests that other than inflicting oxidative stress, Blastocystis infestation prompts biochemical alterations and interfering with micronutrient absorption in mice.


Blastocystis, oxidative stress, trace elements, metronidazole

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