Wednesday, January 10, 2018 by Zoey Sky
Balantidiasis is an infectious disease that is rare in western countries. It is caused by Balantidium coli, a single-celled parasite (or ciliate protozoan) that is often linked to intestinal infection in areas associated with pig rearing.
Symptoms of balantidiasis may be confused with those linked to other infections that cause intestinal inflammation, such as amoebic dysentery. The bacterium can even invade the lungs or other extra-intestinal organs, but this rarely happens. Balantidiasis is often treated with metronidazole.
Individuals diagnosed with balantidiasis may experience the following symptoms:
Some of these symptoms (e.g. prolonged diarrhea) can cause dehydration.
Risk factors for balantidiasis include contact with pigs, handling fertilizer contaminated with pig excrement, and living in areas where the water supply is contaminated with the excrement of infected animals. Poor nutrition, achlorhydria (the absence of hydrochloric acid in the gastric secretions), alcoholism, and immunosuppression are some of the contributing factors of the disease.
Balantidium coli infects the large intestine in humans. The parasite then produces infective microscopic cysts that are passed in the feces, which can eventually cause re-infection or the infection of others. People who are immune-compromised are the most susceptible to the signs and symptoms mentioned above. If left untreated, perforation of the colon can occur in individuals with balantidiasis.
The following foods and nutrients can kill parasites like Balantidium coli:
There are no existing immunization procedures or medications that can prevent balantidiasis. Take note that even people who have had the disease can become reinfected. Prevention requires effective personal and community hygiene. To prevent balantidiasis, follow the tips listed below:
Balantidiasis is an infectious disease caused by Balantidium coli, a single-celled parasite linked to intestinal infection in areas associated with pig rearing.
Patients with balantidiasis may experience abdominal tenderness, fever, and prolonged diarrhea.
Balantidium coli infects the large intestine in humans. The parasite then produces infective microscopic cysts that are passed in the feces, which can eventually cause re-infection or the infection of others.
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