Parasitology

Review Article

Epidemiological aspects of strongyloidiasis in Brazil

F. M. PAULAa1 and J. M. COSTA-CRUZa2 c1

a1 Laboratório de Investigação Médica – LIM/06, Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

a2 Laboratório de Diagnóstico de Parasitoses, Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas, Universidade Federal de Uberlândia, Uberlândia, Minas Gerais, Brazil

SUMMARY

The objective of this review was to outline an epidemiological profile of Strongyloides stercoralis by parasitological and serological diagnosis in inhabitants, and to associate this profile with different immunosupression situations, in Brazil, over 20 years (1990–2009). The occurrence of S. stercoralis using parasitological methods was 5·5%, being 4·8% in rural and 5·0% in urban areas, characterizing the country as hyperendemic. There was a diversity of techniques used as a diagnostic tool and only 39·1% of the studies presented results based on at least 1 specific method. The occurrence increased with age, being 12·1%, for those over 60 that suggests an epidemiological condition of concern for the elderly population. Of the seroepidemiological studies in the general population the mean positivity in serum samples was 21·7% and 29·2%, using an immunofluorescence antibody test and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), respectively. The occurrence of strongyloidiasis in immunosuppressed individuals was 11·8% by parasitological methods and 19·5% using immunological methods. Considering that Brazil is a tropical country and that the character of chronicity and autoinfection of the parasite that can result in severe forms of hyperinfection or dissemination makes strongyloidiasis an important medically and socially neglected problem.

(Received June 06 2011)

(Revised June 16 2011)

(Accepted June 19 2011)

(Online publication August 03 2011)

Correspondence:

c1 Corresponding author: Laboratório de Diagnóstico de Parasitoses, Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas, Universidade Federal de Uberlândia, Uberlândia, MG, Brasil. Av. Pará, 1720, 38400-902, Uberlândia, MG, Brazil. Tel: +55 34 3218 2187. Fax. +55 34 3218 2333. E-mail: costacruz@ufu.br

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