Clinical Characteristics of Patients Diagnosed with Strongyloidiasis in a United States Urban Outpatient Dermatology Department: A Case Series
Background: Although considered a tropical disease, strongyloidiasis may be encountered in non-endemic regions, primarily amongst immigrants and travelers from endemic areas. Chronic strongyloides infection may be under-detected owing to its non-specific cutaneous presentation and the low sensitivity of commonly used screening tools.
Methods: 18 consecutive patients with serologic evidence of strongyloides infestation who presented to a single urban, academic dermatology clinic between September 2013 and October 2016 were retrospectively included. Patient age, sex, country of origin, strongyloides serology titer, absolute eosinophil count, presenting cutaneous manifestations, and patient reported subjective outcome of pruritus after treatment were obtained via chart review.
Results: Of the 18 patients, all had non-specific pruritic dermatoses, 36% had documented eosinophila and none were originally from the United States. A majority reported subjective improvement in their symptoms after treatment.
Conclusion: Strongyloides infection and serologic testing should be considered in patients living in non-endemic regions presenting with pruritic dermatoses and with a history of exposure to an endemic area.
- Chronic strongyloidiasis can be encountered in non-endemic areas and clinical manifestations are variable
- Eosinophilia was not a reliable indicator of chronic infection in this case series
- Dermatologists should consider serologic testing for strongyloidiasis in patients with a history of exposure and unexplained pruritus
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