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n. an infestation of the large intestine with the parasitic protozoan Balantidium coli. Humans usually become infected by ingesting food or drink contaminated with cysts from the faeces of a pig. The parasite invades and destroys the intestinal wall, causing ulceration and necrosis, and the patient may experience diarrhoea and dysentery. Balantidiasis is a rare cause of dysentery, mainly affecting farm workers; it is treated with various antibiotics.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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