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An intestinal infection of humans caused by the protozoan Balantidium coli.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(balantidiosis in animals), a disease of swine and man caused by the holotrichous infusoria Balantidium. The disease is associated with impairment of intestinal activity. Balantidiasis occurs throughout the world. Among animals, weaned piglets and gilts are most prone to the disease. The source is sick swine, in whose feces nonmotile forms (cysts) of balantidia reach the soil and floors of pigsties. When swallowed, the cysts reach the intestine and turn into motile forms, or infusoria, which penetrate the intestinal wall and ulcerate it. Affected animals suffer from high temperature and diarrhea admixed with mucus and blood. The death rate in swine may be as much as 50 percent of the number contracting the disease. The presence of cysts in feces is necessary for a conclusive diagnosis. The treatment includes the use of disinfectants and bactericidal agents. Prevention is accomplished through strict observance of veterinary and sanitary regulations on farms, the keeping of swine in summer camps during the warm weather, and periodic feeding of antibiotics and other agents used to combat infestations.

In man, balantidiasis, or infusorian dysentery, arises as a result of the penetration of balantidia into the wall of the large intestine. The organisms come mainly from swine, but a human being who excretes the infusoria can also infect those around him. The cysts are transported by flies and may enter the digestive tract of man with contaminated food, water, or vegetables and from the hands. After entering the intestine, the parasites necrotize the tissues and produce ulcers. Balantidiasis often occurs with a normal temperature, and at times intestinal function is only slightly impaired. Stools are liquid, frequent, and admixed with mucus and pus, sometimes with blood; ineffectual urges to evacuate (tenesmus) are common, as is pain along the large intestine. If untreated, the disease invariably progresses. The diagnosis is based on physical examination and laboratory confirmation of the presence of balantidia. There are cases of an asymptomatic parasite carrier state. The treatment includes antibiotics and general supporting therapy. Prevention involves prompt detection and mandatory treatment of carriers of balantidia and patients.


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The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
neodebliecki oocysts, 4 (6.2 percent) for Trichuris suis eggs and 3 (4.6 percent) for Balantidium coli cysts.
Grenouillet, "Dysenteric syndrome due to Balantidium coli: a case report," New Microbiologica, vol.
Balantidium coli y coccidias sobreviven mejor en un ambiente humedo protegido de la luz directa del sol [13, 46].
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Current world status of Balantidium coli. Clin Microbiol Rev 2008; 21: 626-638.
dispar 65 34,03 Endolimax nana 46 24,08 Iodamoeba butschlii 26 13,61 Giardia lamblia 25 13,09 Chilomastix mesnili 18 9,42 Pentatrichomonas hominis 10 5,24 Balantidium coli 1 0,52 Entamoeba hartmanni 1 0,52 Helmintos Ancylostomideos 59 30,89 Ascaris lumbricoides 19 9,95 Hymenolepis nana 8 4,19 Trichuris trichiura 5 2,62 * Incluidas las asociaciones parasitarias.
and Balantidium coli, as well as the mites Dermacentor halli, Dermacentor latus, Amblyomma cajannense, Amblyomma coelebs, Amblyomma ovale, Anocentor nitens and Ixodes bicornis.
We discuss means to differentiate this entity from the pathogenic-ciliated protozoa Balantidium coli. It is important that clinical virologists, who now examine the cytologic contents of some specimens, are familiar with ciliocytophthoria and are able to avoid this potential diagnostic pitfall.