Diagnosis of Strongyloides stercoralis infection.Clin Infect Dis. 2001 Oct 01; 33(7):1040-7.CI
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.