Journal Article

Diagnosis of <i>Strongyloides stercoralis</i> Infection

Charles D. Ericsson, Robert Steffen, Afzal A. Siddiqui and Steven L. Berk

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 33, issue 7, pages 1040-1047
Published in print October 2001 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online October 2001 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI:
Diagnosis of Strongyloides stercoralis Infection

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Strongyloides stercoralis infects 30 million people in 70 countries. Infection usually results in asymptomatic chronic disease of the gut, which can remain undetected for decades. However, in patients receiving long-term corticosteroid therapy, hyperinfection can occur, resulting in high mortality rates (up to 87%). Strongyloidiasis is difficult to diagnose because the parasite load is low and the larval output is irregular. Results of a single stool examination by use of conventional techniques fail to detect larvae in up to 70% of cases. Several immunodiagnostic assays have been found ineffective in detecting disseminated infections and show extensive cross-reactivity with hookworms, filariae, and schistosomes. Although it is important to detect latent S. stercoralis infections before administering chemotherapy or before the onset of immunosuppression in patients at risk, a specific and sensitive diagnostic test is lacking. This review describes the clinical manifestations of strongyloidiasis, as well as various diagnostic tests and treatment strategies.

Journal Article.  5541 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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