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Strongyloides stercoralis: current perspectives

Authors Varatharajalu R, Kakuturu R

Received 19 October 2015

Accepted for publication 13 January 2016

Published 23 May 2016 Volume 2016:5 Pages 23—33


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Manuel Rodriguez Valle

Ravi Varatharajalu,1 Kakuturu V Rao2

1The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, The George Washington University, VA Medical Center, Washington, DC, 2American Molecular Laboratories, Vernon Hills, IL, USA

Abstract: Strongyloides stercoralis is an intestinal nematode parasite with a global distribution. Most infected individuals have few or no symptoms. Strongyloidiasis is of primary medical importance, and fatal disease can occur in infected people who become immunosuppressed/immunocompromised through the administration of steroids or because of coinfection with human T-lymphotropic virus I. Often, misdiagnoses of strongyloidiasis in patients leads to expensive, nonspecific, invasive diagnostic techniques, including endoscopy, barium swallow, cancer biopsies, chest X-rays, and computerized tomography (CT) scans. Delayed treatment for strongyloidiasis brings in medical complications, such as vomiting, diarrhea, anemia, weight loss, pulmonary abnormalities, and septicemia. Chronic infection is difficult to diagnose by standard stool examination; hence, a reliable recombinant antigen-based serodiagnosis is important. Though albendazole and thiabendazole reduce the burden of the disease, they are not effective in an immunocompromised host. Ivermectin has the advantage of eradicating the disease, even in an immunocompromised host, with fewer side effects compared to albendazole. However, drug treatment is a temporary solution since reinfection can often occur. Thus, developing effective vaccine candidate antigens is imperative to stop the disease.

Keywords: strongyloidiasis, hyperautoinfection, albendazole, thiabendazole septicemia, immunocompromised host, HTLV-1, ivermectin, gastrointestinal

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