Novel approaches to the diagnosis of Strongyloides stercoralis infection

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Strongyloides stercoralis differs from the other soil-transmitted helminths because it puts infected subjects at risk of a fatal syndrome (in cases of immunosuppression for medical conditions, immunosuppressant therapies, or both). Chronic strongyloidiasis is often a non-severe condition, or is sometimes even asymptomatic, but diagnosis and effective therapy are essential in order to eradicate the infection and the life-long risk involved. Therefore, diagnostic methods need to be highly sensitive. Stool microscopy and the Kato-Katz technique are commonly used in prevalence studies, but they are inadequate for S.stercoralis detection. This is probably the main reason why the global prevalence has long been underestimated. Concentration methods, the Baermann technique and Koga agar plate culture have better, but still unsatisfactory, sensitivity. Serological tests have demonstrated higher sensitivity; although some authors have concerns about their specificity, it is possible to define cut-off values over which infection is almost certain. In particular, the luciferase immunoprecipitation system technique combined with a recombinant antigen (NIE) demonstrated a specificity of almost 100%. ELISA coproantigen detection has also shown promising results, but still needs full evaluation. Molecular diagnostic methods are currently available in a few referral centres as in-house techniques. In this review, on the basis of the performance of the different diagnostic methods, we outline diagnostic strategies that could be proposed for different purposes, such as: prevalence studies in endemic areas; individual diagnosis and screening; and monitoring of cure in clinical care and clinical trials.




Buonfrate, D., Formenti, F., Perandin, F., & Bisoffi, Z. (2015, June 1). Novel approaches to the diagnosis of Strongyloides stercoralis infection. Clinical Microbiology and Infection. Elsevier B.V.

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