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Balantidiasis Clinical Presentation

  • Author: Valda M Chijide, MD; Chief Editor: Pranatharthi Haran Chandrasekar, MBBS, MD  more...
Updated: Oct 05, 2015


Potential symptoms of balantidiasis include the following:

  • Diarrhea (watery, bloody, mucoid)
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Anorexia
  • Weight loss
  • Mild colitis
  • Fever
  • Severe and marked fluid loss (resembling amebic dysentery)
  • Dysenteric syndrome[5, 6]


Patients with balantidiasis may present with abdominal tenderness, fever, and prolonged diarrhea, which may result in signs of dehydration.



Risk factors for balantidiasis include contact with pigs, handling fertilizer contaminated with pig excrement, and living in areas where the water supply may be contaminated by the excrement of infected animals. Poor nutrition, achlorhydria, alcoholism, and immunosuppression may also be contributing factors.

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Valda M Chijide, MD Clinical Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan; Consultant in Infectious Diseases, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

Valda M Chijide, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Physicians, HIV Medicine Association, Infectious Diseases Society of America

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Received salary from Medscape for employment. for: Medscape.

Chief Editor

Pranatharthi Haran Chandrasekar, MBBS, MD Professor, Chief of Infectious Disease, Program Director of Infectious Disease Fellowship, Department of Internal Medicine, Wayne State University School of Medicine

Pranatharthi Haran Chandrasekar, MBBS, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Physicians, American Society for Microbiology, International Immunocompromised Host Society, Infectious Diseases Society of America

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Jeffrey D Band, MD, FACP, FIDSA Professor of Medicine, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine; Health System Chair, Healthcare Epidemiology and International Medicine, Beaumont Health System; Former Chief of Infectious Diseases, Beaumont Hospital; Clinical Professor of Medicine, Wayne State University School of Medicine

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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Trophozoite of Balantidium coli in colon. This photograph shows the large macronucleus and the thin cell membrane covered with cilia (X820). Courtesy of Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP 75-9300).
Cyst of Balantidium coli in feces. This photograph demonstrates a thick cyst wall and a large macronucleus (X820). Courtesy Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP 75-9301).
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