Human strongyloidiasis is widely prevalent in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide but is not endemic in Hawaii. Subclinical, chronic infections may be lifelong; immunosuppressive therapy, particularly with glucocorticoids, may lead to serious or fatal disseminated disease, which is preventable. We performed a retrospective analysis of patients tested for Strongyloides immunoglobulin G antibody in an academic medical center in Honolulu, Hawaii, from 2005 to 2012. Of the 475 patients tested, 78 (16%) were seropositive. The largest proportion of seropositive cases was found among Micronesians (30%), Polynesians (26%), Filipinos (13%), and Southeast Asians (11%). Among the seropositive patients, the most likely reason for clinicians to order testing was blood eosinophilia. Stool parasite examination results were available for 58% of seropositive patients of which 11% were positive for Strongyloides stercoralis larvae. Anti-helminthic therapy, usually ivermectin, was ordered for 71% of patients. After treatment, blood eosinophilia and Strongyloides serology results were reassessed for 76% and 35% of patients, respectively; both tests tended to show improvement. Travelers and immigrants from Strongyloides-endemic areas, including Micronesia and Polynesia, should have serodiagnostic testing for latent strongyloidiasis, and if positive, treated empirically with ivermectin, particularly when corticosteroids or other immunosuppressive therapies are anticipated.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases