Balantidium infection can be spread or acquired through ingesting food or water that is contaminated by intestinal protozoan parasite, as well as by coming into contact with infected persons or animal feces. 

Intestinal protozoan parasite or also known as Balatidium coli is an uncommon parasite infection in the U.S. that infects people. Contaminated food and water can spread these parasites through the fecal-oral pathway. While most cases of balantidium coli infection are asymptomatic, those who also have other serious infections may endure ongoing diarrhea, severe abdominal discomfort, and occasionally a perforated colon. 

Balantidium coli infection can be avoided when visiting endemic tropical areas by practicing proper hygiene. Even if they have detachable skin, wash all fruits and vegetables in clean water before cooking or eating them.


The single-celled parasite Balantidium coli is the cause of the uncommon intestinal infection known as balantidium infection often referred to as balantidiasis. Balantidiasis symptoms can range greatly and may include the following:

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Rectal bleeding

Please call your doctor right away if you experience any of these symptoms.


The diagnosis of balantidium infection is usually made by finding the parasite in a stool sample. A new stool sample contains the parasite Balantidium coli, which may be observed under a microscope. Your doctor might ask you to get a sample of your stool at home and bring it to the lab for testing. As an alternative, they may gather a sample while you are there for an appointment. 

Further testing could be required in some circumstances to verify the diagnosis or rule out other illnesses. To assess the severity of the illness or to spot any problems, your healthcare practitioner might run blood tests or imaging examinations, such as an abdominal X-ray or CT scan.


Balantidium infection is often managed with medicines like metronidazole or tetracycline. In most situations, these drugs work well to eliminate the infection and reduce symptoms. Depending on the infection’s severity and the patient’s reaction to the drug, the course of treatment may vary. Your doctor will advise you on the proper dosage and course of treatment.

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