Balantidiasis Clinical Presentation

Updated: Nov 28, 2018
  • Author: Valda M Chijide, MD; Chief Editor: Pranatharthi Haran Chandrasekar, MBBS, MD  more...
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Presentation

History

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]

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Physical

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

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Causes

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.

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Complications

Intestinal perforation and extraintestinal spread to liver and mesenteric lymph nodes are rare.

Pulmonary involvement has been reported and appears to be more common in patients with underlying illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, or impaired lymphocyte function.

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