Volume 59, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


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 carriers. 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.


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