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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 78

of 'Strongyloidiasis'

Imported strongyloidosis: a longitudinal analysis of 31 cases.
Nuesch R, Zimmerli L, Stockli R, Gyr N, Christoph Hatz FR
J Travel Med. 2005;12(2):80.
BACKGROUND: Attention regarding imported tropical diseases is typically focused on malaria, although other parasitic diseases such as strongyloidosis may also cause serious health problems. The importance of assessing clinical features and of proper diagnosis and treatment is presented on the basis of 31 patients with imported strongyloidosis.
METHODS: A retrospective analysis was performed regarding patients treated for strongyloidosis in two referral centers in Switzerland from 1998 to 2002.
RESULTS: Imported strongyloidosis was investigated in 12 travelers and 19 immigrants. The reasons for diagnostic work-up were clinical symptoms in 84% and eosinophilia and screening in each of 22.5%. All patients had a history of travel or residence in endemic areas. Initial therapy was effective in 20 patients, and there was a tendency for a better response to ivermectin compared with the response to other drugs. A significant reduction in blood eosinophil count and serologic antibody titer was observed in patients responding to therapy after an average of 96 and 270 days, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: Strongyloidosis must be suspected in travelers and immigrants with skin or abdominal symptoms from regions where Strongyloides stercoralis is highly endemic. The results of this case series confirm that ivermectin is the drug of choice in treating imported strongyloidosis. Response to therapy can be assessed by serology and differential white blood count performed over 6 months after therapy.
Outpatient Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital Basel, Switzerland.