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Balantidiasis is defined as large-intestinal infection with Balantidium coli. B coli are known to parasitize the colon, and pigs may be its primary reservoir. Most cases of balantidiasis in individuals are asymptomatic.


Signs and symptoms

  • Diarrhea - watery, bloody, and mucoid
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain/cramps
  • Anorexia
  • Weight loss
  • Headache
  • Mild colitis
  • Fever
  • Severe and marked fluid loss resulting in dehydration (resembling amebic dysentery)







Risk factors for balantidiasis

  • Contacts with pigs
  • Handling fertilizer contaminated with pig excrement
  • Living in areas where the water supply may be contaminated by the excrement of infected animals.
  • Poor nutrition
  • Achlorhydria
  • Alcoholism
  • Immunosuppression

Tests and diagnosis

  • Wet smear stool specimens
  • Chest X-ray may show pulmonary involvement in patients with balantidiasis.
  • CT- chest reveals reveal pulmonary parenchymal and lymph node involvement.


  • Perforation of ulcer
  • Gastro intestinal bleeding
  • Severe dehydration

Preventive measures

  • Purification of drinking water
  • Proper handling of food stuffs
  • Careful disposal of human feces and excreta
  • Monitoring the contacts of balantidiasis patients


  • Antibiotics- Tetracycline 500 mg 4 times a day for 10 days
  • Metronidazole- 500 mg 3 times a day for 5 days
  • Contact Amebicide- Iodoquinol

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