Strongyloidiasis is primarily an infection of the small bowel by the filarial worm Strongyloides stercoralis (and rarely S. fülleborni) (1).
- it is endemic in the tropics and subtropics but also seen in countries with temperate climates, people who have lived or travelled to these areas are also at risk
- infection can be either acute or chronic in nature (2)
Transmission of the infection may occur through:
- direct penetration of human skin by infective larvae when in contact with soil e.g. - walking barefoot
- oro-anal contact - seen in homosexual men
- solid organ transplants - there have been reports of transmission of the infection derived from the donor organ
- faecal-oral route - may be possible when larvae contaminated water is used to wash vegetables in endemic areas (2)
Most infections are asymptomatic however immunosuppressed individuals may suffer gross infection.