Balantidiasis is caused by a large ciliated protozoan parasite, Balantidium coli. The patient most often acquires the cyst through ingestion of contaminated food or water. Following ingestion, excystation occurs in the small intestine, and the trophozoites colonise the large intestine and grow there.
Occurrence: Worldwide. Because pigs are an animal reservoir, human infections occur more frequently in areas where pigs are raised. Other potential animal reservoirs include rodents and nonhuman primates.
Manifestations: Most cases are asymptomatic. Clinical manifestations, when present, include:
abdominal pain weight loss
Diagnose and treatment: Diagnosis is based on detection of trophozoites in stool specimens or in tissue collected during endoscopy. Treatment is effective with antibiotics.
Vaccine: Not available
Prevent infection with ascarids by:
Avoid contacting soil that may be contaminated with human faeces.
Do not defecate outdoors.
Dispose of diapers properly.
Wash hands with soap and water before handling food.
When travelling to countries where sanitation and hygiene are poor, avoid water or food that may be contaminated.
Wash, peel or cook all raw vegetables and fruits before eating.
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