Intestinal Balantidium - Symptoms And How To Get Rid Of The Parasite

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Intestinal Balantidium - Symptoms And How To Get Rid Of The Parasite
Intestinal Balantidium - Symptoms And How To Get Rid Of The Parasite

Video: Intestinal Balantidium - Symptoms And How To Get Rid Of The Parasite

Video: Intestinal Balantidium - Symptoms And How To Get Rid Of The Parasite
Video: Do I have a parasite? 2023, December

What is intestinal balantidiasis, what are the symptoms of the disease?


  • 1 How does balantidiosis develop
  • 2 Life cycle of balantidia
  • 3 Symptoms of the disease
  • 4 Diagnostic methods
  • 5 Balantidiosis - how is treatment carried out
  • 6 Implementation of prevention

Intestinal balantidium is known as the largest known protozoan. It takes up residence in the human intestine and causes a disease called balantidiosis, or so-called ciliated dysentery.

Balantidium is a unicellular microorganism that stands out in size among its own kind. This ciliate can cause a number of unpleasant symptoms. If it is present in the body, it is required to seek help from a medical clinic as soon as possible to diagnose the condition and prescribe treatment. At the very beginning, treatment will not be very difficult, and if you seek help in the later stages, the treatment process will take much more time and effort.


In the absence of medical care, the patient's condition will steadily deteriorate. If balantidium remains in the body for a long time, a lethal outcome is not excluded.

How does balantidiosis develop

Infusoria balantidia can cause parasitic disease. Balantidium has a simple structure, like other varieties of ciliates. Balantidia has an oval body covered with cilia, its size can be 30-150 by 40-70 microns. Its reproduction occurs by the method of transverse division - as a result of the process, cysts surrounded by a double shell are formed, the diameter of which is 45-65 microns.

The forms can be as follows:

  1. Cyst;
  2. Vegetative stage.


This type of protozoa is very common, since pigs are the main carriers. These animals are bred in all regions, so it is not difficult to find parasites. One infected animal, when defecating at a time, secretes about two million cysts.

Sometimes people also act as additional sources of infection. The disease can often be found in pig breeders, those who like to engage in agriculture.

Balantidia provoke the formation of cysts in the intestines of pigs, then they are excreted outside along with feces. Then they can be swallowed - with contaminated food or drinking, basically all problems of this nature begin from unwashed hands.

The ingress of cysts on the surface of the skin can occur during the slaughter of livestock, in the process of fertilizing the backyard with manure. Infection with the parasite "balantidia coli" may occur due to improper adherence to the rules of personal hygiene.

Another equally dangerous disease caused by protozoa is called leishmaniasis. You can get sick with it due to a mosquito bite, this can happen in underdeveloped countries. Insects often carry cysts, settle on food and various surfaces, and leave them there. Cysts are able to remain viable in the external environment for three or four weeks, in the ground they can live up to 250 days.


Balantidia life cycle

The life cycle of balantidia is divided into several different stages:

  • The asexual stage includes the formation of cysts separately from the host's body, the transverse division of individuals.
  • The sexual stage includes the introduction and reproduction in the tissues of the human body, the exchange of nuclei of worms of different sexes.

After entering the large intestine, cysts are released from the membrane. Parasites from them appear in the vegetation stage - these are trophozoites that can multiply in the lumen.

After reproduction, the cilia disappear, the parasites pupate, become cysts and pass into a new life cycle. The rectum, blind, sigmoid colon are mainly affected. Sometimes from the intestines, the parasite enters the stomach and lungs, the bladder and other systems and organs of the human body. In the lower part of the intestine, the process of binary division takes place, the formation of cysts, then they are excreted together with feces into the environment.

After balantidia leave their carrier, they can live in conditions favorable for them for another couple of months. But for bacteria, everything can turn out favorably - after a short time they can enter the human body, and the invasive stage of their life will begin.

The bacteria, after a short journey through the digestive organs, end up in the acidic colon of the colon. The cyst is corroded and the parasites are free. They harden on the intestinal mucosa and move on to the next life cycle.


The main ulcerative lesions that balantidiosis can cause are localized in the bends of the rectum, blind, sigmatic intestines. In some cases, the heart, appendix, and other parts of the body may be affected.

A couple of weeks after the introduction of the parasite into the body, the first signs of illness, fever, chills can be noted.

Gradually, the waste products of bacteria poison the host's body more and more, its condition is steadily deteriorating. After the transition of the disease to the acute stage, it rarely lasts more than 8 weeks - it is fatal or becomes chronic.

Infusoria has a very simple structure, and that is why treatment performed at an early stage does not pose a particular problem. You can fight at a fairly late stage - etiotropic medications are used to destroy the pathogen. But if the state of the intestine is already seriously neglected, it will have to be restored long and difficult. Many areas will have abscesses and ulcers that need to be treated.


Symptoms of the disease

Sometimes a disease such as balantidia can be asymptomatic. A person does not know about his illness, while actually being a carrier of cysts. Problems in the body caused by protozoa can remind of other diseases. The most common symptoms are:

  • Diarrhea, feces can be yellowish-green, have blood and mucus impurities;
  • Problems with the central nervous system - disturbances in taste and smell, severe headaches;
  • Vomiting or nausea, heartburn;
  • Frequent abdominal pain
  • Temperature rise for no apparent reason;
  • Weakness, problems with appetite;
  • In the most severe cases, convulsions and even coma.


In balantidiasis, the symptoms can be explained by the fact that parasites begin to have a strong negative effect on body functions. The intestinal mucosa is damaged, which leads to the appearance of rather deep ulcers. The waste products of balantidia are distinguished by a strong carcinogenic effect, which gradually poisons the body, and the carrier of parasites is deprived of a considerable dose of nutrients supplied to it.

The products obtained as a result of the metabolism of balantidium coli can penetrate into the liver or portal vein, due to which the accumulation of adipose tissue begins, and granular formations occur in the cellular cytoplasm. With such changes, there is a violation of carbohydrate metabolism, problems with protein synthesis, and mineral substances are no longer processed properly.

The disease often proceeds in a more complex form - then perforation of ulcers begins, peritonitis, liver abscess, pneumonia may begin, other inflammatory diseases are not excluded. Both adults and children can be affected by the disease.

In a child, the course of the disease most often occurs in an acute form, while transitions to a state of chronic relapse are constantly noted. But this is quite rare - basically the course of the disease depends on the immunity and the general condition of the body.


The course of the disease is divided into different forms:

  1. Subclinical, which is characterized by a course without special symptoms, but vitamin deficiency and ulcerative lesions are noted.
  2. The acute form, its severity can be different, it is not uncommon for severe intoxication with very noticeable symptoms. Such a disease can last for about a couple of months without weakening its course.
  3. Chronic form in a relapsing form - exacerbations occur after about 3 or 4 months and can last from a week to a month. The course of the disease can be characterized as mild. The disease, if untreated, can slowly last for several years.
  4. Continuous flow - with this form, you can observe the gradual development of signs of the disease with noticeable manifestations of toxic effects and problems with the work of the excretory system.

It is worth noting that the life cycle of balantidia also has certain features among similar ones. Despite the fact that in their structure, the forms in which the parasite exists, the ways of infecting balantidia are similar to other parasites, they are not able to disperse through the body along with the bloodstream. Their activity occurs exclusively in the intestines.

The disease can be determined based on a comprehensive study of symptoms, the results of tests performed in a laboratory, as well as the patient's condition. With such a disease, a clinical blood test shows an increased level of eosinophils, which reaches a level that makes it possible to put forward unambiguous assumptions about the patient's condition.

If a child is sick, problems such as an enlargement of the spleen and liver may be noted, at an elevated temperature, arrhythmia and tachycardia may also begin, blood pressure rises (but not to a critical level).


Diagnostic methods

Balantidia is easy to identify by looking at it with a microscope - this is facilitated by the characteristic shape and structure, rather large size, mobility of ciliates, a contractile vacuole, which is an organ of the simplest microorganisms.

Also, in order to identify the disease, methods can be used in which the cultivation of bacteria on a specially prepared nutrient medium is practiced - this can be serum.

The most effective way is to use Rice's medium - it is made up of a certain amount of mesopatamia broth, isotonic solution, bovine or horse serum, properly prepared. With frequent human contacts with pigs (for example, for workers of a pig farm), diagnostics using this method is performed with repetitions - it will take two or three times.

In human feces, the concentration of balantidia is small. If there is a suspicion of a parasite infection, research should be carried out not once, but several times.

Balantidiosis - how is the treatment carried out

To effectively treat the disease, quiniophone is used - an antiprotozoal medication. According to the standard scheme, the patient is prescribed it for use three times a day, 0.5 g, for 10 days. The course of monomycin will be the same in duration - when this drug is prescribed, prim is continued for five days, then a weekly break is taken.


If the course of the disease is severe, the course may be required not once, but three times. Oxytetracycline is also prescribed. It is sometimes considered appropriate to include in the treatment regimen the intake of ampicillin, metronidazole.

After 10 days, the doctor can re-prescribe a course of treatment. With a mild form of the disease, there is no particular danger to the body. After the treatment is considered completed, it is recommended to carry out restorative measures, consult a doctor and try cleansing methods

Taking folk remedies, even ordinary kefir, can help remove toxins from body tissues, improve digestion, and help restore microflora.


After the patient has managed to get rid of balantidiosis, he should undergo dispensary observation for a year. It consists in the fact that once a quarter a person makes an appointment with an infectious disease specialist to receive a consultation.

It is also necessary to be tested periodically. Microscopic examination of feces is regularly carried out, sometimes it is required to conduct it for the contents of the lumen of the colon. A blood test is performed using a serological technique.

To reduce a person's chances of contracting intestinal balantidia, animals should be monitored regularly. Flies should not be allowed to breed, for which thorough cleaning should be carried out and cleanliness should be maintained in every possible way.

It is necessary to be treated for balantidiosis - the disease has an extremely negative effect on the human body. Despite the fact that it is caused by protozoan parasites, it is not uncommon for it to develop erosions, dysfunctions of internal organs, problems with metabolism, and ulcers of the large intestine develop.

If the course of the disease is delayed, dystrophic changes in the central nervous system, myocardium and kidneys may begin, and general intoxication of the body begins.

Implementation of prevention

There are standard measures to help prevent infection with balantidiosis:

  • Washing hands with soap after being in public places, visiting toilets.
  • Thorough rinsing of food products under running water - for example vegetables, fruits, herbs.
  • With the symptomatology characteristic of balantidiosis - temperature and fever, diarrhea, and so on - you should immediately consult a doctor.

It is worth remembering that folk methods are ineffective for this disease. At the first signs of intestinal infections, it is necessary to quickly consult a doctor for an examination. Carefully fulfilling the appointment of a specialist, you can get rid of the parasite without damaging health consequences.