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Retortamonas intestinalis

[Retortamonas intestinalis]

Cysts of R. intestinalis in a stool specimen, stained with trichrome.

Cyst of R. intestinalis in a stool specimen, stained with trichrome.


 Trophozoites of R. intestinalis in a stool specimen, stained with trichrome.

Trophozoite of R. intestinalis in a stool specimen, stained with trichrome.

Causal Agents

Retortamonas intestinalis, a nonpathogenic flagellate.


Life Cycle

Life cycle of Retortomonas

Both cysts and trophozoites of Retortamonas intestinalis are shed in fecesThe number 1. Infection occurs after the ingestion of cysts in fecal-contaminated food or water, or on fomitesThe number 2. In the large (and possibly small) intestine, excystation releases trophozoites. Retortamonas resides in the large intestine, where it is regarded as a commensal and is not known to cause disease.

Geographic Distribution

Worldwide.

Clinical Presentation

Retortamonas intestinalis is considered nonpathogenic. The presence of trophozoites and/or cysts in stool specimens can however be an indicator of fecal contamination of a food or water source, and thus does not rule-out other parasitic infections.

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  • Page last reviewed November 29, 2013
  • Page last updated November 29, 2013
  • Content source: Global Health - Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria
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