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Neuros

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January 12 2015

Balantidium coli

Write a short note on Balantidium coli

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Neuros
Neuros
January 12 2015 #

It is an intestinal parasite that causes balantidiasis.

Source of infection: fecal-oral route, contaminated food or water

Infective form: Cysts

Pathogenesis/Life cycle: The infected cyst form enters the human body through contaminated food or water. Once in the digestive tract, excystation occurs in the large intestines. The trophozoites then invade the mucosal layer to cause symptoms. Those that get trapped in the stools undergo encystation due to dehydration and later become source of infection in others. 

CLINICAL FEATURES: 

  • Mostly asymptomatic
  • Dysentry
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss

LABORATORY DIAGNOSIS: 

  • Microscopic stool examination for cysts or trophozoites

TREATMENT: The infection can be treated with Tetracycline, the other drugs that can be used are metronidazole and iodoquinol

References:

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Balantidium coli infection FAQs (Accessed 12 Jan 2015)
  2. Stanford University: Life cycle of Balantidium coli (Accessed 12 Jan 2015)

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