The transmission dynamics of Strongyloides stercoralis and the impact of mass drug administration

Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2024 Jan 15;379(1894):20220442. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2022.0442. Epub 2023 Nov 27.


The epidemiology of Strongyloides stercoralis is briefly reviewed with an emphasis on cross section and longitudinal studies of infection prevalence stratified by age, performance of different diagnostic tools, mass drug administration (MDA) impact and estimates of key population parameters within the complex life cycle of the parasite that determine transmission intensity and response to control measures. The paucity of studies is highlighted, and gaps in current knowledge identified about the population biology of this very prevalent infection in tropical and sub-tropical regions around the world. A stochastic individual based stochastic model is described in part to highlight gaps in knowledge. The impact of repeated MDA is simulated to illustrate some aspects of transmission dynamics of this helminth infection. Specifically, the impact and bounce back times in either the intervals between treatment rounds, or post the cessation of treatment, depend critically on the magnitude of two distinct components of the basic reproductive number R0. The absence of data on these key components is highlighted, as is the value of studies of longitudinal cohorts of people in regions of endemic infection post rounds of MDA to record how infection levels bounce back post treatment at individual and population levels of study. This article is part of the Theo Murphy meeting issue 'Strongyloides: omics to worm-free populations'.

Keywords: Strongyloides stercoralis; disease modelling; parasite.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Basic Reproduction Number
  • Humans
  • Mass Drug Administration
  • Prevalence
  • Strongyloides stercoralis*
  • Strongyloidiasis* / diagnosis
  • Strongyloidiasis* / drug therapy
  • Strongyloidiasis* / epidemiology