Urinary balantidiasis: Diagnosis at a glance by urine sediment examination

Alberto Maino, Giuseppe Garigali, Romualdo Grande, Piergiorgio Messa, Giovanni B. Fogazzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A 56-year-old Caucasian man with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, who had previously been treated with prolonged intensive chemotherapy, was hospitalized for an acute and reversible kidney injury of multifactorial origin. The urinary sediment examination, performed daily, demonstrated the presence of renal tubular cells and renal tubular cell casts. Surprisingly, it also showed the presence of trophozoites of the protozoan Balantidium coli, which were identified on the basis of its characteristic morphology and rapid movements across the slide, and transient leukocyturia. The patient was asymptomatic, his medical history was negative for gastrointestinal disease, and no Balantidium coli was found in the feces. In spite of this, due to the previous chemotherapy, the patient was treated with oral metrodinazole. Only one other case with Balantidium coli in the urine sediment has been described so far and this paper stresses the importance of the examination of the urinary sediment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)732-737
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nephrology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010


  • Balantidium coli
  • Protozoan
  • Trichomonas vaginalis
  • Urinary balantidiasis
  • Urinary sediment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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