Treatment of Balantidiasis


Balantidium coli infection can be treated effectively with antibiotics.  Three drugs are commonly used and administered orally.  They are listed below in order of recommendation.



(1) Tetracyclines

500 mg four times daily for 10 days


(Contraindicated in pregnant women and children younger than 8 years of age)


(2) Metronidazole

750 mg three times daily for 5 days


(3) Iodoquinol

640 mg three times daily for 20 days



Note: these drugs are approved by the FDA but are considered investigational for the treatment of Balantidiasis.


Most cases of Balantidium coli infection are asymptomatic.  If possible, asymptomatic individuals should still be treated in order to halt further transmission of the disease.


Many people clear the infection spontaneously without treatment.  Infected individuals usually respond well to treatment using one of the aforementioned regimens.


If left untreated, Balantidiasis can become chronic.  Persistent diarrhea can lead to high fluid loss and dehydration.  Abdominal bleeding can lead to death.




The Parasite


Life Cycle


Animal Reservoirs

Clinical Presentation





Public Health Interventions


Glossary of terms

References and links