Strongyloidiasis is a roundworm infection, and the roundworm of the genus Strongyloides is responsible for causing the issue. The same genus is known to cause the problem of Strongyloidiasis in different mammals, reptiles, and birds. If we talk about human beings, Strongyloides stercoralis is responsible for generating the infection. However, the same strain cannot cause disease in other categories of living organisms, the WHO still says that one should stay safe from all kinds of strains of this roundworm.
The infection enters the body of the person when in the larval stage. The maximum size of the larvae is 600 micrometers, making it impossible for the naked eye to see them. Due to this, they quickly enter the body of the person. After entering the person’s body, it reaches the intestine and lives there for years.
In 1876, a French physician named Louis Alexis Normand identified the infection for the first time in the world. He noticed that in the stools of patients, an adult worm is freely floating and driving nutrition from the body. They have sent the samples of worms to the Chief Health Inspector of France. After that, in 1883, German parasitologist Rudolf Leuckart started studying the life cycle of parasites and figured out that the worm enters our body from the skin.
After that, various other researchers and physicians started taking an interest in the subject matter of Strongyloidiasis. After the 1940s, the world became serious about the infection when some travelers acquired it abroad and took it to their home country. After that, the world started looking for a solution to the problem.
How do humans get Strongyloides infection?
By now, you must have figured out that Strongyloides stercoralis is a soil helminth that resides either in the soil or intestine of a human being. Soil is the primary mode of infection transmission which contains free-living larvae. When a person walks barefoot on the soil or comes in contact with soil in any way, the nematode will penetrate the skin and start moving inside your body. The worm’s final goal is to reach your small intestine, where it matures and starts laying eggs.
These eggs will hatch into your intestine itself and start increasing in number. Some will pass out through stools before maturity, and some mature and keep infecting your body. The infections start penetrating your anus also with time. This cycle will continue for a lifetime in your body if you don’t treat it. With time, physicians have discovered that in some rare chances, person-to-person transmission of the infection also happens. One such case is organ transplantation. When organ transplantation occurs from an infected person’s body to a normal person, the roundworm might also move with the organ.
Symptoms of Strongyloides
There are a few cases in which Strongyloidiasis happens in a person’s body without any symptoms. But it is not the case with every person out there, as a few people might develop symptoms due to the roundworm. Those symptoms are-
- Abdominal pain might happen in your body when suffering from an infection.
- You might notice bloating issues and heartburn due to the infection in your body.
- You will start noticing diarrhea and constipation in your body from time to time without any solid reason.
- The researchers have noticed an issue of dry cough and skin rashes in 70% of people suffering from an infection.
- You will notice some red hives developing near your anus.
- Weight loss might also happen in people who have Strongyloidiasis.
How to diagnose the issue of Strongyloidiasis?
There are different tests available in the world for diagnosing the issue of strongyloidiasis-
- The first test is sputum culture, in which the physician will take out fluids from your lungs and airways. After that, they will check it with the sputum culture to see whether the nematode is present in your body or not.
- If you notice the symptoms for a very long time, the physician can also perform CBC tests. It will help them confirm that no other issue in your body is causing such symptoms.
- The next test that the physician is going to perform will be a duodenal aspiration. In this test, the physician will take out fluid from duty num and examine it under a microscope. It is going to confirm whether a roundworm is present in your body or not.
- The doctor can also use stools to check whether larvae are present in them or not. If your body passes larvae through stools, the chances are high that you have live Strongyloides in your body.
How to treat the issue of Strongyloides?
The main goal of the treatment is to eliminate the worms from the body. For this task, Ivermectin is the best solution as it helps cure a wide range of infections. The drug will work slowly but effectively in your body by first achieving the task of stopping the reproduction of mature worms. After chewing the stars the next step that Ivermectin will take in your body is paralyzing the worms. Their inability to derive nutrition and perform normal body functions is going to lead them to their death eventually. To cure the issue, a person might need to consume Ivermectin medicine for months, but only if the physician provides you with the prescription.
Is there a way to prevent Strongyloidiasis?
Yes, there is a way of preventing the Strongyloidiasis infection from happening in your body by taking a few simple steps. They are-
- You should wear shoes whenever you are walking on soil. We suggest you not walk barefoot because doing so will provide a chance for roundworms to enter your body.
- It would help if you did not contact sewage or fecal matter directly. This is because such material has a high chance of containing roundworms that might infect.
- It will help if you properly dispose of your pets’ fecal matter so that no one comes in direct contact with the roundworms.