Strongyloides stercoralis Infection in Humans: A Narrative Review of the Most Neglected Parasitic Disease

by | Nov 13, 2023 | Publications

Cureus. 2023 Oct 12;15(10):e46908. doi: 10.7759/cureus.46908. eCollection 2023 Oct.


Strongyloidiasis is a helminth infection affecting 613.9 million people annually, mainly in the tropics and subtropics. The reported seroprevalence in the United States is 4% with most of the cases reported in immigrants. Human T-lympho-tropic virus 1 (HTLV-1) infections, hypogammaglobulinemia, immunosuppressant use – particularly steroid use, alcoholism, and malnutrition have been associated with an increased risk of strongyloidiasis. Recently, cases of strongyloidiasis hyperinfection syndrome have been described in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients treated with steroids as well. This brief review discusses the epidemiology, clinical features, management, and prevention of strongyloidiasis including some facts about the infection in pregnancy, transplant recipients, and COVID-19 patients. We conducted an online search using the PubMed, Scopus, and Google Scholar databases. Strongyloidiasis can be asymptomatic or present with mild symptoms. Strongyloides stercoralis is known to cause autoinfection. In immunocompromised individuals, it can present with severe symptoms, hyperinfection, or disseminated disease. Reported mortality in cases of disseminated Strongyloidiasis is 87.1%. Serology and detection of larvae in stool by direct microscopy are the most commonly used methods to diagnose strongyloidiasis. The drug of choice for the treatment is ivermectin. However, the use of ivermectin in human pregnancy is not well studied, and its teratogenic risks are unknown. Proactive screening of strongyloidiasis is necessary in immunocompromised individuals to prevent severe disease.

PMID:37954715 | PMC:PMC10639005 | DOI:10.7759/cureus.46908

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