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PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2013;7(2):e2035. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0002035. Epub 2013 Feb 7.

Diagnosis, treatment and risk factors of Strongyloides stercoralis in schoolchildren in Cambodia.

Author information

1
National Centre for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control, Ministry of Health, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Worldwide, an estimated 30 to 100 million people are infected with Strongyloides stercoralis, a soil-transmitted helminth. Information on the parasite is scarce in most settings. In semi-rural Cambodia, we determined infection rates and risk factors; compared two diagnostic methods (Koga agar plate [KAP] culture and Baermann technique) for detecting S. stercoralis infections, using a multiple stool examination approach; and assessed efficacy of ivermectin treatment.

METHODS/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

We performed a cross-sectional study in 458 children from four primary schools in semi-rural villages in Kandal province, using three diagnostic procedures (Kato-Katz, KAP culture and Baermann technique) on three stool samples. Infected children were treated with ivermectin (100 µg/kg/day for two days) and re-examined three weeks after treatment. Hookworm, S. stercoralis, Trichuris trichiura, and small trematode eggs were most prevalent, with 24.4% of children being infected with S. stercoralis. The sensitivity of KAP culture and Baermann technique was 88.4% and 75.0%, respectively and their negative predictive values were 96.4% and 92.5%, respectively. The cumulative prevalence of S. stercoralis increased from 18.6% to 24.4%, after analyzing three stool samples, which was close to the modeled 'true' prevalence of 24.8%. Children who reported defecating in latrines were significantly less infected with S. stercoralis than those who did not use latrines (p<0.001). Itchy skin and diarrhea were significantly associated with S. stercoralis infection. The cure rate of ivermectin was 98.3%.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:

S. stercoralis infection is highly prevalent among semi-rural Cambodian schoolchildren. The sensitivity of KAP culture is higher than that of the Baermann technique. In the absence of a "gold standard", analysis of multiple stool samples by different diagnostic methods is required to achieve a satisfactory level of sensitivity. Almost three-quarters of the infections could have been avoided by proper sanitation. Ivermectin is highly efficacious against S. stercoralis but prohibitive costs render the drug inaccessible to most Cambodians.

PMID:
23409200
PMCID:
PMC3566990
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pntd.0002035
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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