Retortamonas intestinalis, a nonpathogenic flagellate.
Both cysts and trophozoites of Retortamonas intestinalis are shed in feces. Infection occurs after the ingestion of cysts in fecal-contaminated food or water, or on fomites. 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.
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.
Retortamonas intestinalis, trophozoites.
Retortamonas intestinalis, cysts.
Retortamonas intestinalis is identified through the detection of trophozoites and/or cysts in stool specimens. Identification is best accomplished by direct wet mounts that reveal the characteristic, jerky movement of the organisms. They may also be identified in permanent stained smears, although their affinities for stain are inconsistent and with their small size are often overlooked.
DPDx is an educational resource designed for health professionals and laboratory scientists. For an overview including prevention, control, and treatment visit www.cdc.gov/parasites/.