Current World Status of Balantidium coli

California Department of Health, Viral and Rickettsial Disease Laboratory, Richmond, California 9480, USA.
Clinical microbiology reviews (Impact Factor: 17.41). 11/2008; 21(4):626-38. DOI: 10.1128/CMR.00021-08
Source: PubMed


Balantidium coli is a cosmopolitan parasitic-opportunistic pathogen that can be found throughout the world. Pigs are its reservoir hosts, and humans become infected through direct or indirect contact with pigs. In rural areas and in some developing countries where pig and human fecal matter contaminates the water supply, there is a greater likelihood that balantidiosis may develop in humans. The infection may be subclinical in humans, as it mostly is in pigs, or may develop as a fulminant infection with bloody and mucus-containing diarrhea; this can lead to perforation of the colon. The disease responds to treatment with tetracycline or metronidazole. Balantidiosis is a disease that need never exist given access to clean water and a public health infrastructure that monitors the water supply and tracks infections. Its spread can be limited by sanitary measures and personal hygiene, but it is a disease that will be around as long as there are pigs. Immunocompromised individuals have developed balantidiosis without any direct contact with pigs, perhaps with rats or contaminated produce as a possible source of infection. For the clinician, balanatidiosis should be included in the differential diagnosis for persistent diarrhea in travelers to or from Southeast Asia, the Western Pacific islands, rural South America, or communities where close contact with domestic swine occurs. Warming of the earth's surface may provide a more favorable environment, even in the now-temperate areas of the world, for survival of trophic and cystic stages of Balantidium, and its prevalence may increase. Effective sanitation and uncontaminated water are the most useful weapons against infection. Fortunately, balantidiosis responds to antimicrobial therapy, and there have been no reports of resistance to the drugs of choice.

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    • "In humans, B. coli infections are considered zoonotic and are generally associated with close proximity to swine. Nevertheless, NHPs are often infected with this ciliate showing large variations in the prevalence values (Nakauchi 1999; Schuster and Ramirez-Avila 2008; da Silva Barbosa et al. 2015). Recently, a broad genetic diversity of isolates of B. coli from several species of NHPs was found; however, the high risk for humans from these ciliates inhabiting the intestines of NHPs seems to be confirmed (Pomajbíkova et al. 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to examine helminths and protozoans in cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis) imported from registered breeding facilities in China and their relation to health risks for non-human primate handlers in biomedical research centers and in breeding facilities. Fresh fecal samples were collected from a total of 443 M. fascicularis and analyzed by copromicroscopical analysis, immunoenzymatic, or molecular assays. As to helminths, whose eggs were shed in 2.03% of the samples, Trichuris and Oesophagostomum were the only two taxa found, with low prevalence and low eggs per gram (EPG) values. Protozoans were more frequently detected (87.40%), with Entamoeba coli (85.19%) and Endolimax nana (79.26%) as the most prevalent species shed. Other parasites found by fecal smear examination were uninucleated-cyst-producing Entamoebas (78.52%), Iodamoeba bütschlii (42.96%), and Chilomastix mesnili (24.44%), while cysts of Balantidium coli (22.2%) were only observed by sedimentation. No coproantigens of Giardia duodenalis, Cryptosporidium spp., and Entamoeba histolytica complex were detected. Blastocystis sp. infection was noticed in 87.63% of macaques by PCR. These cynomolgus monkeys were infected with many subtypes (ST1, ST2, ST3, ST5, and ST7), where the predominant Blastocystis sp. subtypes were ST2 (77.5%), followed by ST1 (63.5%). Data collected confirmed the presence of potentially zoonotic parasites and a high parasite diversity, suggesting the need for appropriate and sensitive techniques to adequately control them and related health risks for handlers of non-human primates in biomedical research centers and in breeding facilities.
    Parasitology Research 09/2015; DOI:10.1007/s00436-015-4748-9 · 2.10 Impact Factor
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    • "(Blanc, 1912), Trypanoxyuris sp (Vevers, 1923), Necator americanus (Stiles, 1902; Stiles, 1906) y Prostenorchis spp. (Travassos, 1915) (Gómez et al., 1992; Gómez et al., 2000; González, 2004; Tachibana et al., 2001; Niichiro et al., 2002; Gracenea et al., 2002; Phillips et al., 2004; Appelbee et al., 2005; Parra et al., 2005; Orduz et al., 2005; Stoner et al., 2005; Schuster et al., 2008; Beltrán-Saavedra, 2009; Sprong et al., 2009; Barrera et al., 2010; Castañeda et al., 2010; Rasambainarivo & Junge, 2010; Lee et al., 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Zoos are places with a high diversity of animals, some of which may have acquired a particular parasite load in both their area of origin or during their captivity. The probability of animal keepers contracting zoonotic diseases increases due to constant contact with the animals in their daily work. This descriptive ecological study was performed in order to establish the presence of intestinal parasites with zoonotic potential in captive animals at the Cali Zoological garden. In february 2013, serial pools of stools from psittacids (3 species), cebids (2 species), atelids (2 species), caviids (1 species), and lemurids (1 species), were collected and analyzed using direct smear and concentration techniques. Convenience sampling taking 53 individuals including mammals and birds was performed, yielding parasitological prevalence of 89%, distributed as follows: 57.2 % for helminths (31.8% Trichurida, 6.35% Ascaridida, 6.35% Uncinarias and 12.7 % Strongyloides sp.) and 31.8% for protozoa (19.05% Entamoeba spp. and 12.70 % Giardia spp.). The presence of potential zoonotic parasites in the positive samples such as Giardia spp., Entamoeba spp. and Strongyloides spp. demands studies in larger populations of animals and species using molecular methods. Keywords: Animals in captivity-intestinal parasites-prevalence-zoo-zoonoses.
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    • "Although pigs and rats have been used to study Neobalantidium infections [17], [18], [19], captive African great apes offer a valuable model, which might help us to unravel the factors contributing to the development of clinical balantidiasis in humans, because both humans and African great apes are not natural hosts for N. coli [4] and unlike in pigs and rats clinical outcomes have been observed in apes [2], [6], [7], [8], [9]. The occurrence of N. coli in captive African great apes has been explained by (i) the presence of reservoir(s) in captive facilities or/and (ii) differences in the diet of wild and captive apes [4]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Infections caused by the intestinal ciliate Neobalantidium coli are asymptomatic in most hosts. In humans and captive African great apes clinical infections occasionally occur, manifested mainly by dysentery; however, factors responsible for development of clinical balantidiasis have not been fully clarified. We studied the effect of dietary starch on the intensities of infection by N. coli in two groups of captive chimpanzees. Adult chimpanzees infected by N. coli from the Hodonín Zoo and from the Brno Zoo, Czech Republic, were fed with a high starch diet (HSD) (average 14.7% of starch) for 14 days, followed by a five-day transition period and subsequently with a period of low starch diet (LoSD) (average 0.1% of starch) for another 14 days. We collected fecal samples during the last seven days of HSD and LoSD and fixed them in 10% formalin. We quantified trophozoites of N. coli using the FLOTAC method. The numbers of N. coli trophozoites were higher during the HSD (mean ± SD: 49.0±134.7) than during the LoSD (3.5±6.8). A generalized linear mixed-effects model revealed significantly lower numbers of the N. coli trophozoites in the feces during the LoSD period in comparison to the HSD period (treatment contrast LoSD vs. HSD: 2.7±0.06 (SE), z = 47.7; p<0.001). We conclude that our data provide a first indication that starch-rich diet might be responsible for high intensities of infection of N. coli in captive individuals and might predispose them for clinically manifested balantidiasis. We discuss the potential nutritional modifications to host diets that can be implemented in part to control N. coli infections.
    PLoS ONE 11/2013; 8(11):e81374. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0081374 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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