Nat Rev Dis Primers. 2024 Jan 25;10(1):6. doi: 10.1038/s41572-023-00490-x.


Strongyloidiasis is a neglected tropical disease caused primarily by the roundworm Strongyloides stercoralis. Strongyloidiasis is most prevalent in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific. Although cases have been documented worldwide, global prevalence is largely unknown due to limited surveillance. Infection of the definitive human host occurs via direct skin penetration of the infective filariform larvae. Parasitic females reside in the small intestine and reproduce via parthenogenesis, where eggs hatch inside the host before rhabditiform larvae are excreted in faeces to begin the single generation free-living life cycle. Rhabditiform larvae can also develop directly into infectious filariform larvae in the gut and cause autoinfection. Although many are asymptomatic, infected individuals may report a range of non-specific gastrointestinal, respiratory or skin symptoms. Autoinfection may cause hyperinfection and disseminated strongyloidiasis in immunocompromised individuals, which is often fatal. Diagnosis requires direct examination of larvae in clinical specimens, positive serology or nucleic acid detection. However, there is a lack of standardization of techniques for all diagnostic types. Ivermectin is the treatment of choice. Control and elimination of strongyloidiasis will require a multifaceted, integrated approach, including highly sensitive and standardized diagnostics, active surveillance, health information, education and communication strategies, improved water, sanitation and hygiene, access to efficacious treatment, vaccine development and better integration and acknowledgement in current helminth control programmes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Feces / parasitology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Ivermectin / therapeutic use
  • Strongyloides stercoralis*
  • Strongyloidiasis* / diagnosis
  • Strongyloidiasis* / drug therapy
  • Strongyloidiasis* / epidemiology


  • Ivermectin