An inverse relationship between autoimmune liver diseases and Strongyloides stercoralis infection

Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2007 May;76(5):972-6.


A case-control study was undertaken to describe the prevalence of Strongyloides stercoralis infection among patients with autoimmune liver diseases, such as primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), autoimmune hepatitis (AIH), and primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC). This study covered 4,117 patients who were admitted to hospitals in Okinawa, Japan, between 1988 and 2006. During this period, 538 patients had the following chronic liver diseases: PBC, AIH, PSC, chronic viral hepatitis group, and alcoholic liver disease. The other 3,579 patients who were hospitalized and underwent parasitologic tests served as controls. The frequency of S. stercoralis infection in the autoimmune liver diseases group (1.0%) was lower than that found in the control group (7.0%; P = 0.0063). None of the female patients with PBC born before 1955 had S. stercoralis infection, which was also statistically significant (P = 0.045). We hypothesized that immunomodulation by S. stercoralis infection may lower the incidence of autoimmune liver disease.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Autoimmune Diseases / complications
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / parasitology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Eosinophils / cytology
  • Feces / parasitology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Biliary / complications
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Biliary / immunology
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Biliary / parasitology
  • Liver Diseases / complications
  • Liver Diseases / immunology*
  • Liver Diseases / parasitology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Strongyloides stercoralis*
  • Strongyloidiasis / complications*
  • Strongyloidiasis / epidemiology*
  • Strongyloidiasis / physiopathology