Strongyloides stercoralis hyperinfection in a carrier of HTLV-I virus with evidence of selective immunosuppression

Am J Med. 1992 Feb;92(2):202-8. doi: 10.1016/0002-9343(92)90113-p.


A patient with near fatal Strongyloides hyperinfection syndrome is briefly described. Investigation for possible risk factors for this parasitic infection disclosed that he was a carrier of human T-cell leukemia virus type I (HTLV-I), but without evidence of disease due to this retrovirus. Over the next few years, the patient's serum antibody levels of IgG to S. stercoralis larvae declined and became undetectable despite continued infection with the parasite. Repeated courses of appropriate treatment cleared the parasitic infection only temporarily. The patient was also found to have undetectable total serum IgE and a negative immediate hypersensitivity skin test to S. stercoralis antigens. Five of six other patients with HTLV-I-associated disease and with or without strongyloidiasis were also found to have very low total serum IgE levels. It is postulated that HTLV-I infection in certain individuals may selectively impair immune responses that are critical in controlling strongyloidiasis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Helminth / blood
  • HTLV-I Infections / complications*
  • HTLV-I Infections / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Opportunistic Infections / complications*
  • Opportunistic Infections / immunology
  • Strongyloidiasis / complications*
  • Strongyloidiasis / immunology


  • Antibodies, Helminth
  • Immunoglobulin E