Balantidium is a genus of ciliates. It contains the parasitic species Balantidium coli, the only known cause of balantidiasis.[2]

Balantidium trophB.JPG
Balantidium coli trophozoite
Scientific classification

Claparède & Lachmann, 1858[1]
Type species
Balantidium entozoon[1]
  • Balantidiopsis Bütschli, 1889
  • Balantioides Alexeieff, 1931
  • Bolantidium
  • Parabursaria Ghosh, 1921
  • Paranyctotherus Sandon, 1941


The first-described species of Balantidium, B. entozoon, was described in 1838 by Ehrenberg as a member of the genus Bursaria. Balantidium coli observed in patients with dysentery was originally described as Paramecium coli by Malmstein in 1857. In 1858, Edouard Claparède and Johannes Lachmann created the genus Balantidium and reclassified B. entozoon as its type species.[3] Stein in 1863 reclassified Paramecium coli into the genus Balantidium.


Transcriptome data for Balantidium ctenopharyngodoni, from single-cell transcriptome sequencing, were published in 2017 and were the first omics data within the subclass Trichostomatia.[4]


A separate genus – Neobalantidium – has been created for several of these species.[5] Balantidium coli is one of the species that has been reclassified. It has also been proposed that it is a junior synonym of genus Balantioides which has B. coli as the type species.[6]

The closest known relative of this genus is Buxtonella sulcata, a parasite of cattle.


There are 72 species in the genus.[7]


  1. ^ a b Aescht, E. (2001) Denisia 01: Catalogue of the Generic Names of Ciliates (Protozoa, Ciliophora)
  2. ^ "The Parasite: Balantidium coli". Retrieved 20 December 2015.
  3. ^ Grim, J. Norman; Buonanno, Federico (2009). "A re-description of the ciliate genus and type species, Balantidium entozoon". European Journal of Protistology. 45 (3): 174. doi:10.1016/j.ejop.2008.10.001. PMID 19251405.
  4. ^ Sun, Zongyi; Jiang, Chuanqi; Feng, Jinmei; Yang, Wentao; Li, Ming; Miao, Wei (2017). "Phylogenomic analysis of Balantidium ctenopharyngodoni (Ciliophora, Litostomatea) based on single-cell transcriptome sequencing". Parasite. 24: 43. doi:10.1051/parasite/2017043. PMC 5684829.
  5. ^ {{cite journal|last1=Pomajbíková|first1=K.|last2=Oborník|first2=M.|last3=Horák|first3=A.|last4=Petrželková|first4=K. J.|last5=Grim|first5=J. N.|last6=Levecke|first6=B.|last7=Todd|first7=A.|last8=Mulama|first8=M.|last9=Kiyang|first9=J.|last10=Modrý|first10=D.|date=28 March 2013|title=Novel insights into the genetic diversity of Balantidium and Balantidium-like cyst-forming ciliates|journal=PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases|volume=7|issue=3|page=e2140|doi=10.1371/journal.pntd.0002140|url=
  6. ^ Chistyakova, L. V.; Kostygov, A. Y.; Kornilova, O. A.; Yurchenko, V. (4 September 2014). "Reisolation and redescription of Balantidium duodeni Stein, 1867 (Litostomatea, Trichostomatia)". Parasitology Research. 113 (11): 4207–4215. doi:10.1007/s00436-014-4096-1.
  7. ^ Y. Roskov; L. Abucay; T. Orrell; D. Nicolson; T. Kunze; A. Culham; N. Bailly; P. Kirk; T. Bourgoin; R. E. DeWalt; W. Decock; A. De Wever (eds.). "Catalogue of Life - 2015 Annual Checklist". Retrieved 20 December 2015.
  8. ^ Zhao, Weishan; Li, Can; Zhang, Dong; Wang, Runqiu; Zheng, Yingzhen; Zou, Hong; Li, Wenxiang; Wu, Shangong; Wang, Guitang; Li, Ming (2018). "Balantidium grimi n. sp. (Ciliophora, Litostomatea), a new species inhabiting the rectum of the frog Quasipaa spinosa from Lishui, China". Parasite. 25: 29. doi:10.1051/parasite/2018031. ISSN 1776-1042. PMC 5971665.