Write a short note on Balantidium coli
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.
- Mostly asymptomatic
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
- 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