Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Balantidium coli

Introduction

Classification

Taxonomy

  • Phylum: Ciliofora.
  • Class: Kinetofragminofera.
  • Genus:Balantidium.
  • Species:coli.

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Clinical Effects

Epidemiology

Habitat

  • Commensal in large intestine of pigs.

Lifecycle

  • Reproduces by binary fission.
  • Conjugation, a temporary attachment of 2 individuals during which nuclear material is exchanged, also occurs.
  • Cysts are formed which are passed in the feces.
  • New hosts are infected by ingestion of cysts.

Transmission

  • Contamination of fingers and food with pig feces.
  • Cysts usual source of infection but trophozoites possible source if contamination gross.

Pathological effects

  • Occasional disease in pigs. Invasion mucosa   →   ulceration, associated with mild to severe enteritis.
  • Dysentery, hemorrhage and death possible.
  • Zoonosis in man.
  • Invasion   →   ulceration associated with dysentery. Spread to other tissues, eg liver rare.
  • May cause infections in higher primates in zoos. Spreads between animals.
  • Occasionally cause infection in other animals.

Other Host Effects

  • Primary host pig, normally commensal.

Control

Control via chemotherapies

Control via environment

  • Hygiene precautions to avoid contamination of food, or direct contact, with pig feces.

Diagnosis

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Weiss L M & Keohane E M (1997) The uncommon gastrointestinal protozoa -MicrosporidiaBlastocystisIsosporaDientameba and BalantidiumCurr Clin Topics Infect Dis 17, 147-187 PubMed.
  • Varma S & Malik P D (1976) The feeding habits of Balantidium coliVet Rec 99 (13), 256 PubMed.

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