Human strongyloidiasis: complexities and pathways forward

Clin Microbiol Rev. 2023 Dec 20;36(4):e0003323. doi: 10.1128/cmr.00033-23. Epub 2023 Nov 8.


Strongyloidiasis is a World Health Organization neglected tropical disease usually caused by Strongyloides stercoralis, a parasitic worm with a complex life cycle. Globally, 300-600 million people are infected through contact with fecally contaminated soil. An autoinfective component of the life cycle can lead to chronic infection that may be asymptomatic or cause long-term symptoms, including malnourishment in children. Low larval output can limit the sensitivity of detection in stool, with serology being effective but less sensitive in immunocompromise. Host immunosuppression can trigger catastrophic, fatal hyperinfection/dissemination, where large numbers of larvae pierce the bowel wall and disseminate throughout the organs. Stable disease is effectively treated by single-dose ivermectin, with disease in immunocompromised patients treated with multiple doses. Strategies for management include raising awareness, clarifying zoonotic potential, the development and use of effective diagnostic tests for epidemiological studies and individual diagnosis, and the implementation of treatment programs with research into therapeutic alternatives and medication safety.

Keywords: Strongyloides; neglected tropical diseases; soil-transmitted helminth; strongyloidiasis.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Immunosuppression Therapy
  • Ivermectin / pharmacology
  • Ivermectin / therapeutic use
  • Strongyloides stercoralis*
  • Strongyloidiasis* / diagnosis
  • Strongyloidiasis* / drug therapy
  • Strongyloidiasis* / parasitology


  • Ivermectin