Balantidium coli (B. coli) is an emerging ciliated protozoan parasite of zoonotic importance which causes a disease balantidiasis in a variety of host species including pigs, camels, ruminants, equines and even human. This disease has a cosmopolitan distribution with high prevalence rates in tropical and sub-tropical areas of the world due to favorable geo-climatic conditions for the development and survival of the parasite in these regions. Main reservoir hosts for this pathogen are pigs and animals; acquire infection mainly by the ingestion of the food or water contaminated with the porcine feces. The infected animal manifests clinical signs of anorexia, dehydration, profuse watery diarrhea and retarded growth. Wet mount slide prepared from intestinal scrapings and fecal material is used for the identification of trophozoites and cysts stages of this parasite. PCR can also be used to confirm the parasite. Secnidazole, oxytetracycline and metronidazole have varying efficacy against B. coli infection in various domestic animal species. There is no comprehensive literature available on the occurrence and distribution of the infection at international level. Therefore, the published data between 1989 and 2019 regarding this disease is critically analyzed to provide a detailed overview on this pathogen with special emphasis on geographical distribution of B. coli in domestic animals and different therapeutic agents used to treat this infection. This review will pinpoint the endemic regions which may be a source of potential disease outbreaks and will also help in application of more effectual control strategies against balantidiasis.
Keywords: Balantidium coli; Domestic animals; Geographic distribution; Prevalence; Therapeutic agents.
Copyright © 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Conflict of interest statement
Declaration of Competing Interest The revision of review article entitled “Balaritidium coli in domestic animals: An emerging protozoan pathogen of zoonotic significance” is being submitted to “Acta Tropica”. The comments have been analyzed critically and the revision is submitted by the consent of all the co-authors
Current world status of Balantidium coli.Clin Microbiol Rev. 2008 Oct;21(4):626-38. doi: 10.1128/CMR.00021-08. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2008. PMID: 18854484 Free PMC article. Review.
Prevalence of Balantidium coli infection in sows in Hunan province, subtropical China.Trop Anim Health Prod. 2015 Dec;47(8):1637-40. doi: 10.1007/s11250-015-0904-6. Epub 2015 Aug 30. Trop Anim Health Prod. 2015. PMID: 26318061
Dysenteric syndrome due to Balantidium coli: a case report.New Microbiol. 2013 Apr;36(2):203-5. Epub 2013 Mar 31. New Microbiol. 2013. PMID: 23686128
Novel insights into the genetic diversity of Balantidium and Balantidium-like cyst-forming ciliates.PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2013;7(3):e2140. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0002140. Epub 2013 Mar 28. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2013. PMID: 23556024 Free PMC article.
Flagellates and ciliates.Clin Lab Med. 1999 Sep;19(3):621-38, vii. Clin Lab Med. 1999. PMID: 10549429 Review.