Nav: Home

One third of Cambodians infected with threadworm, study finds

June 20, 2019

Strongyloides stercoralis is a soil-transmitted threadworm that is endemic in many tropical and subtropical areas of the world. Now, researchers reporting in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases have conducted a nation-wide parasitology survey of the Cambodian population and concluded that nearly a third of the studied population is infected with S. stercoralis.

The threadworm is transmitted through infected larvae in the soil and, like hookworms, infect humans through the skin. The worm can cause long-lasting and potentially fatal infections in people. Larvae are not detected by standard coprological diagnostics, so S. stercoralis has been under-detected and overlooked for decades. However, previous surveys in individual provinces of Cambodia have found high prevalence rates of the infection.

In the new work, Peter Odermatt, of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, and colleagues used a diagnostic test that detects S. stercoralis IgG antibodies in the urine. 7,246 enrolled study participants took the test and provided data on demography, hygiene, and knowledge about helminth infection.

Overall, 30.5% of participants were infected with threadworms. The rate in individual provinces ranged from 10.9% to 48.2%, with prevalence rates below 20% in only five south-eastern provinces. The risk of infection increased with age, and open defecation was associated with a higher risk while knowledge about helminth infections lowered a person's risk. In addition, S. stercoralis infection was positively associated with night temperatures, rainfall and distance to water, and negatively associated with land occupied by rice fields. Advanced spatial statistical modeling allowed predicting S. stercoralis in unsurveyed locations, which lead to a unique result, namely a country-wide risk profile for S. stercoralis infection in Cambodia.

"Our study represents a clear risk map of S. stercoralis of a highly endemic setting," the researchers say. "Based on these data the population at risk can be quantified and planning of concrete control approach become realistic." Subsidies to support the high cost of drugs, or affordable generics, are needed to start tackling the worm, they add.
-end-
In your coverage please use this URL to provide access to the freely available paper: http://journals.plos.org/plosntds/article?id=10.1371/journal.pntd.0006943

Citation: Forrer A, Khieu V, Vounatsou P, Sithithaworn P, Ruantip S, et al. (2019) Strongyloides stercoralis: Spatial distribution of a highly prevalent and ubiquitous soil-transmitted helminth in Cambodia. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases 13(6): e0006943. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0006943

Funding: The study was funded by the UBS Optimus Foundation (SM, PO). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

PLOS

Related Infection Articles:

Sensing infection, suppressing regeneration
UIC researchers describe an enzyme that blocks the ability of blood vessel cells to self-heal.
Boost to lung immunity following infection
The strength of the immune system in response to respiratory infections is constantly changing, depending on the history of previous, unrelated infections, according to new research from the Crick.
Is infection after surgery associated with increased long-term risk of infection, death?
Whether experiencing an infection within the first 30 days after surgery is associated with an increased risk of another infection and death within one year was the focus of this observational study that included about 660,000 veterans who underwent major surgery.
Revealed: How E. coli knows how to cause the worst possible infection
The discovery could one day let doctors prevent the infection by allowing E. coli to pass harmlessly through the body.
UK study shows most patients with suspected urinary tract infection and treated with antibiotics actually lack evidence of this infection
New research presented at this week's European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) in Amsterdam, Netherlands (April 13-16, 2019) shows that only one third of patients that enter the emergency department with suspected urinary tract infection (UTI) actually have evidence of this infection, yet almost all are treated with antibiotics, unnecessarily driving the emergence of antimicrobial resistance.
Bacteria in urine doesn't always indicate infection
Doctors should think carefully before testing patients for a urinary tract infection (UTI) to avoid over-diagnosis and unnecessary antibiotic treatment, according to updated asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB) guidelines released by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.
Subsidies for infection control to healthcare institutions help reduce infection levels
Researchers compared three types of infection control subsidies and found that under a limited budget, a dollar-for-dollar matching subsidy, in which policymakers match hospital spending for infection control measures, was the most effective at reducing the number of hospital-acquired infections.
Dengue virus infection may cause severe outcomes following Zika virus infection during pregnancy
This study is the first to report a possible mechanism for the enhancement of Zika virus progression during pregnancy in an animal model.
How common is Hepatitis C infection in each US state?
Hepatitis C virus infection is a major cause of illness and death in the United States and injection drug use is likely fueling many new cases.
The medicine of the future against infection and inflammation?
Researchers at Lund University in Sweden, have in collaboration with colleagues in Copenhagen and Singapore, mapped how the body's own peptides act to reduce infection and inflammation by deactivating the toxic substances formed in the process.
More Infection News and Infection Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Climate Mindset
In the past few months, human beings have come together to fight a global threat. This hour, TED speakers explore how our response can be the catalyst to fight another global crisis: climate change. Guests include political strategist Tom Rivett-Carnac, diplomat Christiana Figueres, climate justice activist Xiye Bastida, and writer, illustrator, and artist Oliver Jeffers.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Speedy Beet
There are few musical moments more well-worn than the first four notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. But in this short, we find out that Beethoven might have made a last-ditch effort to keep his music from ever feeling familiar, to keep pushing his listeners to a kind of psychological limit. Big thanks to our Brooklyn Philharmonic musicians: Deborah Buck and Suzy Perelman on violin, Arash Amini on cello, and Ah Ling Neu on viola. And check out The First Four Notes, Matthew Guerrieri's book on Beethoven's Fifth. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.