Balantidiasis in Aymara children from the northern Bolivian Altiplano

José Guillermo Esteban, Carlos Aguirre, René Anglés Rivero, Lawrence R. Ash, Santiago Mas-Coma

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Balantidium coli infection was coprologically studied in 2,124 Aymara children 5-19 years of age from the schools of 22 communities of the northern Bolivian Altiplano over a five-year period. Infection with B. coli was found in 11 of the communities surveyed, with prevalences of 1.0-5.3% (overall prevalence = 1.2%). The prevalences observed are some of the highest reported and did not differ significantly among the various age groups or between boys and girls. These prevalences, the apparent absence of symptoms or signs of illness due to this parasite in the schoolchildren surveyed at the time of stool sampling, and the consistency of stool samples of the infected students suggest that they are apparently asymptomatic carders. Infection with B. coli must be considered as an endemic anthropozoonosis in the area studied. A relationship between B. coli infection and Altiplanic pigs is suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)922-927
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


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