Necrotizing Lung Infection Caused by the Protozoan Balantidium coli
Balantidium coli, a ciliated protozoan, is well known to cause intestinal infection in humans. Extraintestinal spread to the peritoneal cavity and genitourinary tract has rarely been reported. There have also been a few cases of lung involvement from this parasite. A case of B coli causing a thick-walled right upper lobe cavity in an organic farmer who had contact with aerosolized pig manure is reported. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid examined for ova and parasite revealed trophozoites of B coli in large numbers. Treatment with doxycycline hyclate led to marked improvement. Necrotizing lung infection caused by the protozoan B coli should be considered in individuals who report contact with pigs.
Sat Sharma and Godfrey Harding, “Necrotizing Lung Infection Caused by the Protozoan Balantidium coli,” Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases, vol. 14, no. 3, pp. 163-166, 2003. doi:10.1155/2003/829860