Trends in Strongyloides stercoralis Faecal Larvae Detections in the Northern Territory, Australia: 2002 to 2012

Johanna K. Mayer-Coverdale, Amy Crowe, Pamela Smith, Robert W. Baird

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Strongyloides stercoralis is a soil-transmitted helminth (STH) endemic to tropical and subtropical areas. We reviewed the temporal detection trends in patients with S. stercoralis larvae present in faecal samples, in Northern Territory (NT) Government Health facilities, between 2002 and 2012. This was a retrospective observational study of consecutive patients with microbiologically confirmed detection of S. stercoralis in faeces. The presence of anaemia, eosinophilia, polyparasitism, and geographic and demographic data, were included in the assessment. S. stercoralis larvae were present in 389 of 22,892 faecal samples (1.7%) collected across the NT over 11 years, examined by microscopy after formol ethyl acetate concentration. 97.7% of detections were in Indigenous patients. Detections, by number, occurred in a biphasic age distribution. Detections per number of faecal samples collected, were highest in the 0–5 year age group. Anaemia was present in 44.8%, and eosinophilia in 49.9% of patients. Eosinophilia was present in 65.5% of the ≤5 age group, compared to 40.8% of >5 year age (p < 0.0001). Polyparasitism was present in 31.4% of patients. There was an overall downward trend in larvae detections from 2.64% to 0.99% detections/number of faecal samples year between 2002 and 2012, consistent with the trends observed for other local STHs. S. stercoralis remains an important NT-wide pathogen.

Original languageEnglish
Article number18
Number of pages9
JournalTropical Medicine and Infectious Disease
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Anaemia
  • Australia
  • Eosinophilia
  • Indigenous
  • Northern Territory
  • Polyparasitism
  • Strongyloides


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