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    When traveling to endemic tropical countries, Balantidium coli infection can be prevented by following good hygiene practices. Wash all fruits and vegetables with clean water when preparing or eating them, even if they have a removable skin. Images: Left: Balantidium coli cyst. Right: B. coli trophozoite in a wet mount of feces. (Credit: DPDx)

  2. Balantidium coli has two developmental stages, a trophozoite stage and a cyst stage. In trophozoites, the two nuclei are visible. In trophozoites, the two nuclei are visible. The macronucleus is long and sausage-shaped, and the spherical micronucleus is nested next to it, often hidden by the macronucleus.

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    What are Balantidium coli trophozoites and cysts?

    Can Balantidium coli cysts be shed in stool?

    What is the reservoir of Balantidium cysts?

    Is Balantidium coli a ciliate?

    • Causal Agents
    • Life Cycle
    • Hosts
    • Geographic Distribution

    Balantidium (=Neobalantidium) (=Balantioides) coli, a large ciliated protozoan, is the only ciliate known to be capable of infecting humans. It is often associated with swine, the primary reservoir host. Recent molecular analyses have suggested the need for taxonomic revision, and it is now sometimes referred to as Neobalantidium coli or Balantioid...

    Cysts are the stage responsible for transmission of balantidiasis . The host most often acquires the cyst through ingestion of contaminated food or water . Following ingestion, excystation occurs in the small intestine, and the trophozoites colonize the large intestine . The trophozoites reside in the lumen of the large intestine and appendix of hu...

    Swine are the primary reservoir hosts. Humans can also be reservoirs, and other potential animal hosts include rodents and nonhuman primates.

    Balantidium coli occurs worldwide. Because pigs are the primary reservoir, human infections occur more frequently in areas where pigs are raised and sanitation is inadequate.

  4. This photomicrograph of an unstained wet mount fecal sample, depicts a Balantidium coli cyst, which was juxtaposed with a Trichuris sp. ovum in such a way, as to give the appearance that the ovum was inside the cyst. High Resolution: Click here for hi-resolution image (8.29 MB) Content Providers(s): CDC/ Dr. Mae Melvin: Creation Date: 1969 ...

  5. Balantidiasis - Image Library Page 1 [Balantidium coli] Both Balantidium coli trophozoites and cysts are found in stool. Trophozoites are characterized by: their large size (40 µm to 200 µm), the presence of cilia on the cell surface, a cytostome, and a bean shaped macronucleus which is often visible and a smaller, less conspicuous micronucleus.

  6. Details. PHIL Home. ID#: 21208. Description: Caption: Under a magnification of 500X, this photomicrograph of an unstained specimen, revealed some of the ultrastructural morphology exhibited, by what was a parasitic, Balantidium coli cyst. High Resolution: Click here for hi-resolution image (18.35 MB)

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