Pathogens. 2023 Mar 29;12(4):530. doi: 10.3390/pathogens12040530.
Severe cases of strongyloidiasis are most often associated with multiple causes of immune suppression, such as corticoid treatment and HTLV (human T-lymphotropic virus) coinfection. Diabetes is not traditionally considered a risk factor for the development of severe strongyloidiasis. We report a rare case of autochthonous severe strongyloidiasis in Romania, a European country with a temperate climate. A 71-year-old patient with no prior travel history was admitted with multiple gastrointestinal complaints and recent weight loss. CT (computed tomography) scans indicated duodenal wall thickening, and duodenal endoscopy evidenced mucosal inflammation, ulcerations and partial duodenal obstruction at D4. Microscopic examination of stool samples and biopsy specimens from the gastric and duodenal mucosa revealed an increased larval burden characteristic of Strongyloides stercoralis hyperinfection. Sequential treatment with albendazole and ivermectin achieved parasitological cure and complete recovery. The novelty of our case stems from the scarcity of severe strongyloidiasis cases reported in Europe and especially in Romania, the absence of other risk factors in our patient aside from diabetes, the involvement of the gastric mucosa and the rare presentation as partial duodenal obstruction. This case highlights the importance of considering strongyloidiasis as a differential diagnosis, even in temperate climates where cases are sporadic, in cases in which immune suppression is not evident and in the absence of eosinophilia. The case is presented in the context of the first literature review examining the relationship between severe strongyloidiasis and diabetes, emphasizing diabetes as a possible risk factor for severe strongyloidiasis.