Strongyloides stercoralis is a parasitic worm that is of considerable clinical relevance. Indeed, it may persist asymptomatically for many years, but can lead to potentially fatal dissemination when the host's immune status is impaired. As commonly employed stool microscopy techniques (e.g. Kato-Katz thick smear) fail to detect S. stercoralis, the epidemiology is poorly understood. In 2013, we conducted a cross-sectional household survey in the district of Mimika in Papua, Indonesia. A total of 331 individuals, aged 1 month to 44 years, had a single stool sample subjected to real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for S. stercoralis diagnosis. The prevalence of S. stercoralis infection was 32.0% (106/331 individuals); higher than any of the three main soil-transmitted helminths (Ascaris lumbricoides, 23.9%; Trichuris trichiura, 18.4%; and hookworm, 17.2%). Amongst the S. stercoralis-infected individuals, 73.6% were concurrently infected with another helminth, with hookworm being the most frequent co-infection (27.4%). Fourteen percent of the S. stercoralis infections had low cycle threshold values on real-time PCR, which may indicate a higher infection intensity. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that age ≥5 years (adjusted odds ratio (OR) 5.8, 95% confidence interval (CI): 3.1-10.8) was significantly associated with S. stercoralis infection. There is a need for in-depth clinical and diagnostic studies to elucidate the public health impact of S. stercoralis infection in Indonesia.
Keywords: Diagnosis Indonesia Neglected tropical diseases Polymerase chain reaction Soil-transmitted helminths Strongyloides stercoralis