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1.  Treatment of strongyloidiasis in HTLV-1 and Strongyloides stercoralis coinfected patients is associated with increased TNFα and decreased soluble IL2 receptor levels 
Human T cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) infection has been associated with recurrent and disseminated strongyloidiasis and adult T cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL).
We compared immunological aspects and markers for ATLL in HTLV-1 patients with or without strongyloidiasis, and evaluated the influence of Strongyloides stercoralis treatment on the immune response and clinical outcomes of HTLV-1 infection.
Levels of TNFα and IFNγ were lower in patients coinfected with HTLV-1 and S. stercoralis than in patients with HTLV-1 only (p < 0.05), and there was an increase in TNFα levels after anthelmintic treatment. Levels of sIL-2R were higher in patients with HTLV-1 coinfected with S. stercoralis and anthelmintic treatment decreased sIL-2R levels (p < 0.05). The one patient who developed ATLL was coinfected with S. stercoralis.
These data show that helminthic infection has a modulatory role in HTLV-1 infection and that S. stercoralis may be a cofactor in the development of ATLL.
PMCID: PMC3735360  PMID: 23843560
HTLV-1; Strongyloides stercoralis; Leukemia; ATLL; Interleukin-2 receptor; sIL-2R
2.  Regulatory T Cell Expansion in HTLV-1 and Strongyloidiasis Co-infection Is Associated with Reduced IL-5 Responses to Strongyloides stercoralis Antigen 
Human strongyloidiasis varies from a chronic but limited infection in normal hosts to hyperinfection in patients treated with corticosteroids or with HTLV-1 co-infection. Regulatory T cells dampen immune responses to infections. How human strongyloidiasis is controlled and how HTLV-1 infection affects this control are not clear. We hypothesize that HTLV-1 leads to dissemination of Strongyloides stercoralis infection by augmenting regulatory T cell numbers, which in turn down regulate the immune response to the parasite.
To measure peripheral blood T regulatory cells and Strongyloides stercoralis larval antigen-specific cytokine responses in strongyloidiasis patients with or without HTLV-1 co-infection.
Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were isolated from newly diagnosed strongyloidiasis patients with or without HTLV-1 co-infection. Regulatory T cells were characterized by flow cytometry using intracellular staining for CD4, CD25 and FoxP3. PBMCs were also cultured with and without Strongyloides larval antigens. Supernatants were analyzed for IL-5 production.
Patients with HTLV-1 and Strongyloides co-infection had higher parasite burdens. Eosinophil counts were decreased in the HTLV-1 and Strongyloides co-infected subjects compared to strongyloidiasis-only patients (70.0 vs. 502.5 cells/mm3, p = 0.09, Mann-Whitney test). The proportion of regulatory T cells was increased in HTLV-1 positive subjects co-infected with strongyloidiasis compared to patients with only strongyloidiasis or asymptomatic HTLV-1 carriers (median = 17.9% vs. 4.3% vs. 5.9 p<0.05, One-way ANOVA). Strongyloides antigen-specific IL-5 responses were reduced in strongyloidiasis/HTLV-1 co-infected patients (5.0 vs. 187.5 pg/ml, p = 0.03, Mann-Whitney test). Reduced IL-5 responses and eosinophil counts were inversely correlated to the number of CD4+CD25+FoxP3+ cells.
Regulatory T cell counts are increased in patients with HTLV-1 and Strongyloides stercoralis co-infection and correlate with both low circulating eosinophil counts and reduced antigen-driven IL-5 production. These findings suggest a role for regulatory T cells in susceptibility to Strongyloides hyperinfection.
Author Summary
Human strongyloidiasis varies from a mild, controlled infection to a severe frequently fatal disseminated infection depending on the hosts. Patients infected with the retrovirus HTLV-1 have more frequent and more severe forms of strongyloidiasis. It is not clear how human strongyloidiasis is controlled by the immune system and how HTLV-1 infection affects this control. We hypothesize that HTLV-1 leads to dissemination of Strongyloides stercoralis by augmenting regulatory T cell numbers, which in turn down regulate the immune response to the parasite. In our study, patients with HTLV-1 and Strongyloides co-infection had higher parasite burdens than patients with only strongyloidiasis. Eosinophils play an essential role in control of strongyloidiasis in animal models, and eosinophil counts were decreased in the HTLV-1 and Strongyloides stercoralis co-infected subjects compared to patients with only strongyloidiasis. The proportion of T cells with a regulatory cell phenotype was increased in HTLV-1 positive subjects co-infected with strongyloidiasis compared to patients with only strongyloidiasis. IL-5 is a key host molecule in stimulating eosinophil production and activation, and Strongyloides stercoralis antigen-specific IL-5 responses were reduced in strongyloidiasis/HTLV-1 co-infected patients. Reduced IL-5 responses and eosinophil counts were inversely correlated to the number of regulatory T cells. These findings suggest a role for regulatory T cells in susceptibility to Strongyloides hyperinfection.
PMCID: PMC2686100  PMID: 19513105
3.  Efficacy and Safety of Single and Double Doses of Ivermectin versus 7-Day High Dose Albendazole for Chronic Strongyloidiasis 
Strongyloidiasis, caused by an intestinal helminth Strongyloides stercoralis, is common throughout the tropics. It remains an important health problem due to autoinfection, which may result in hyperinfection and disseminated infection in immunosuppressed patients, especially patients receiving chemotherapy or corticosteroid treatment. Ivermectin and albendazole are effective against strongyloidiasis. However, the efficacy and the most effective dosing regimen are to be determined.
A prospective, randomized, open study was conducted in which a 7-day course of oral albendazole 800 mg daily was compared with a single dose (200 microgram/kilogram body weight), or double doses, given 2 weeks apart, of ivermectin in Thai patients with chronic strongyloidiasis. Patients were followed-up with 2 weeks after initiation of treatment, then 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, and 1 year after treatment. Combination of direct microscopic examination of fecal smear, formol-ether concentration method, and modified Koga agar plate culture were used to detect strongyloides larvae in two consecutive fecal samples in each follow-up visit. The primary endpoint was clearance of strongyloides larvae from feces after treatment and at one year follow-up.
Ninety patients were included in the analysis (30, 31 and 29 patients in albendazole, single dose, and double doses ivermectin group, respectively). All except one patient in this study had at least one concomitant disease. Diabetes mellitus, systemic lupus erythrematosus, nephrotic syndrome, hematologic malignancy, solid tumor and human immunodeficiency virus infection were common concomitant diseases in these patients. The median (range) duration of follow-up were 19 (2–76) weeks in albendazole group, 39 (2–74) weeks in single dose ivermectin group, and 26 (2–74) weeks in double doses ivermectin group. Parasitological cure rate were 63.3%, 96.8% and 93.1% in albendazole, single dose oral ivermectin, and double doses of oral ivermectin respectively (P = 0.006) in modified intention to treat analysis. No serious adverse event associated with treatment was found in any of the groups.
This study confirms that both a single, and a double dose of oral ivermectin taken two weeks apart, is more effective than a 7-day course of high dose albendazole for patients with chronic infection due to S. stercoralis. Double dose of ivermectin, taken two weeks apart, might be more effective than a single dose in patients with concomitant illness.
Trial Registration NCT00765024
Author Summary
Strongyloidiasis, caused by an intestinal helminth Strongyloides stercoralis, is common throughout the tropics. We conducted a prospective, clinical study to compare the efficacy and safety of a 7-day course of oral albendazole with a single dose of oral ivermectin, or double doses, given 2 weeks apart, of ivermectin in Thai patients who developed this infection. Patients were regularly followed-up after initiation of treatment, until one year after treatment. Ninety patients were studied (30, 31 and 29 patients in albendazole, single dose, and double doses ivermectin group, respectively). The average duration of follow-up were 19 (range 2–76) weeks in albendazole group, 39 ( range 2–74) weeks in single dose ivermectin group, and 26 ( range 2–74) weeks in double doses ivermectin group. Parasitological cure rate were 63.3%, 96.8% and 93.1% in albendazole, single dose oral ivermectin, and double doses of oral ivermectin respectively. No serious adverse event associated with treatment was found in any of the groups. Therefore this study confirms that both a single, and a double dose of oral ivermectin taken two weeks apart, is more effective than a 7-day course of high dose albendazole for patients with chronic infection due to S. stercoralis.
PMCID: PMC3091835  PMID: 21572981
4.  Strongyloidiasis and Infective Dermatitis Alter Human T Lymphotropic Virus-1 Clonality in vivo 
PLoS Pathogens  2013;9(4):e1003263.
Human T-lymphotropic Virus-1 (HTLV-1) is a retrovirus that persists lifelong by driving clonal proliferation of infected T-cells. HTLV-1 causes a neuroinflammatory disease and adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma. Strongyloidiasis, a gastrointestinal infection by the helminth Strongyloides stercoralis, and Infective Dermatitis associated with HTLV-1 (IDH), appear to be risk factors for the development of HTLV-1 related diseases. We used high-throughput sequencing to map and quantify the insertion sites of the provirus in order to monitor the clonality of the HTLV-1-infected T-cell population (i.e. the number of distinct clones and abundance of each clone). A newly developed biodiversity estimator called “DivE” was used to estimate the total number of clones in the blood. We found that the major determinant of proviral load in all subjects without leukemia/lymphoma was the total number of HTLV-1-infected clones. Nevertheless, the significantly higher proviral load in patients with strongyloidiasis or IDH was due to an increase in the mean clone abundance, not to an increase in the number of infected clones. These patients appear to be less capable of restricting clone abundance than those with HTLV-1 alone. In patients co-infected with Strongyloides there was an increased degree of oligoclonal expansion and a higher rate of turnover (i.e. appearance and disappearance) of HTLV-1-infected clones. In Strongyloides co-infected patients and those with IDH, proliferation of the most abundant HTLV-1+ T-cell clones is independent of the genomic environment of the provirus, in sharp contrast to patients with HTLV-1 infection alone. This implies that new selection forces are driving oligoclonal proliferation in Strongyloides co-infection and IDH. We conclude that strongyloidiasis and IDH increase the risk of development of HTLV-1-associated diseases by increasing the rate of infection of new clones and the abundance of existing HTLV-1+ clones.
Author Summary
HTLV-1 is a human retrovirus estimated to infect 20 million people world-wide and is causing in a small proportion of the infected individuals an inflammatory disease or a leukemia/lymphoma. HTLV-1 persists lifelong by driving clonal proliferation of infected T-cells. Strongyloidiasis, a gastrointestinal infection by an helminth (Strongyloides stercoralis) and Infective Dermatitis associated with HTLV-1 (IDH), a skin inflammation with bacterial infection, appear to increase the risk of developing HTLV-1-related diseases. It is well known that the chance of developing HTLV-1-related diseases increases with the number of cells infected by the virus (also called proviral load). It is also known that HTLV-1-infected individuals co-infected by Strongyloides or affected by IDH have a higher proviral load, but the mechanism is still unclear. Consequently, the aim of this study was to test if co-infection increases the total number and/or the abundance (or size) of HTLV-1-infected T-cell clones. We have shown that the significantly increased proviral load in HTLV-1-infected individuals with IDH or strongyloidiasis is due to an increase in the mean clone abundance (bigger clones), not to an increase in the number of infected clones. These patients appear to be less capable of restricting clone abundance than those with HTLV-1 alone.
PMCID: PMC3617147  PMID: 23592987
5.  Strongyloides stercoralis hyperinfection in a patient with rheumatoid arthritis and bronchial asthma: a case report 
Strongyloides stercoralis is a soil-transmitted intestinal nematode that has been estimated to infect at least 60 million people, especially in tropical and subtropical regions. Strongyloides infection has been described in immunosupressed patients with lymphoma, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes mellitus etc. Our case who has rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and bronchial asthma was treated with low dose steroids and methotrexate.
A 68 year old woman has bronchial asthma for 55 years and also diagnosed RA 7 years ago. She received immunusupressive agents including methotrexate and steroids. On admission at hospital, she was on deflazacort 5 mg/day and methotrexate 15 mg/week. On her physical examination, she was afebrile, had rhonchi and mild epigastric tenderness. She had joint deformities at metacarpophalengeal joints and phalanges but no active arthritis finding.
Oesophagogastroduodenoscopy was performed and it showed hemorrhagic focus at bulbus. Gastric biopsy obtained and showed evidence of S.Stercoralis infection. Stool and sputum parasitological examinations were also all positive for S.stercoralis larvae. Chest radiography result had no pathologic finding. Albendazole 400 mg/day was started for 23 days. After the ivermectin was retrieved, patient was treated with oral ivermectin 200 μg once a day for 3 days. On her outpatient control at 15th day, stool and sputum samples were all negative for parasites.
S.stercoralis may cause mortal diseases in patients. Immunosupression frequently causes disseminated infections. Many infected patients are completely asymptomatic. Although it is important to detect latent S. stercoralis infections before administering chemotherapy or before the onset of immunosuppression in patients at risk, a specific and sensitive diagnostic test is lacking. In immunosupressed patients, to detect S.stercoralis might help to have the patient survived and constitute the exact therapy.
PMCID: PMC2949791  PMID: 20849666
6.  Strongyloides stercoralis: there but not seen 
Purpose of review
Diagnosis of S. stercoralis is often delayed due to patients presenting with non-specific gastrointestinal complaints, a low parasite load and irregular larval output. Although several diagnostic methods exist to detect the presence of S. stercoralis there is no gold standard. In immunocompromised hosts (patients with malignancy, organ transplantation or concurrent HTLV-1 infection or those on corticosteroid therapy), autoinfection can go unchecked where large numbers of invasive Strongyloides larvae disseminate widely and cause hyperinfection with dissemination, which can be fatal. This review will highlight current published research on improved diagnostic methods for S. stercoralis and the immune mechanisms thought to be responsible for hyperinfection syndrome.
Recent findings
Recent advances in diagnosis of Strongyloides stercoralis include a luciferase immunoprecipitation system that shows increased sensitivity and specificity to detect S. stercoralis specific antibodies and a real time quantitative PCR method to detect S. stercoralis in fecal samples. The severe clinical manifestations of S. stercoralis observed in HTLV-1 co-infected patients has been associated to an increased proportion of regulatory T cells that may be responsible for blunting otherwise effective granulocyte responses.
Strongyloidiasis is a major global health challenge that is underestimated in many countries. Novel diagnostic methods are expected to improve epidemiological studies and control efforts for prevention and treatment of strongyloidiasis. More studies are needed to unveil the mechanisms of severe clinical manifestations of human strongyloidiasis.
PMCID: PMC2948977  PMID: 20733481
Strongyloides stercoralis; strongyloidiasis; diagnosis; hyperinfection; immunology
7.  Strongyloides stercoralis Infection in the Immunocompromised Host 
Strongyloides stercoralis is an intestinal nematode acquired in the tropics or subtropics. Most often, it causes chronic, asymptomatic infection, but a change in immune status can increase parasite numbers, leading to hyperinfection syndrome, dissemination, and death if unrecognized. Corticosteroid use is most commonly associated with hyperinfection syndrome. Diagnosis of Strongyloides infection is based on serology and serial stool examinations for larvae. The treatment of choice for chronic, asymptomatic infection is oral ivermectin. Alternative pharmacologic agents include albendazole and thiabendazole. For hyperinfection syndrome, ivermectin remains the drug of choice, though therapy duration must be individualized with the end point being complete parasite eradication. Recurrent strongyloidiasis should prompt an evaluation for human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 coinfection. No test of cure is currently available, although immunoglobulin G antibody levels have been shown to decline within 6 months of successful treatment.
PMCID: PMC3401551  PMID: 18462583
8.  Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia with Eosinophilia and Strongyloides stercoralis Hyperinfection 
Iranian Journal of Pediatrics  2011;21(4):549-552.
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common malignancy in children. Bone pain is an important symptom that can be severe. Eosinophilia without any other abnormal laboratory findings is rare in ALL. Strongyloides stercoralis in ALL causes disseminated fatal disease.
Case Presentation
This 9-year-old girl presented with bone pain in lumbar region. Bone pain was the only symptom. The patient didn't have organomegaly. The BM samples were studied by flow cytometry, which showed pre-B cell ALL. Larva of Strongyloides stercoralis was found in fecal examination. Plain chest x ray showed bilateral para-cardiac infiltration. Strongyloidiasis was treated before starting chemotherapy. After two days treatment with Mebendazol the patient developed cough, dyspnea, respiratory distress and fever. The treatment changed to Ivermectin for 2 days. Chemotherapy started five days after diagnosis of leukemia.
The patient complained merely of bone pain in lumbar region without any other signs and symptoms. Peripheral blood smear showed eosinophilia without any other abnormality. Stool examination showed Strongyloides stercoralis larvae. We suggest that all patients diagnosed as ALL in tropical and subtropical regions should be evaluated for parasitic infection especially with Strongyloides stercoralis.
PMCID: PMC3446142  PMID: 23056848
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia; Eosinophilia; Strongyloidiasis
9.  Prevalence of Strongyloides stercoralis in an urban US AIDS cohort 
Pathogens and Global Health  2012;106(4):238-244.
We examined the prevalence of Strongyloides stercoralis (Ss) infection in a cohort of AIDS patients from a US urban centre. We monitored our cohort for possible cases of dissemination or immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome after antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation.
One hundred and three HIV-infected participants were prospectively sampled from a cohort observational study of ART-naive HIV-1-infected patients with CD4 ⩽100 T cells/μl. Clinical symptoms, corticosteroid therapy, eosinophilia, CD4 count, and plasma HIV-RNA were reviewed. Sera were tested by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (CrAg-ELISA) to crude Ss extract or to an Ss-specific recombinant protein (NIE) and by luciferase immunoprecipitation system assay (LIPS) for Ss-specific antibodies.
Twenty-five per cent of study participants were Strongyloides seropositive by CrAg-ELISA and 62% had emigrated from Strongyloides-endemic areas. The remaining 38% of the seropositives were US born and tested negative by NIE and LIPS. CrAg-ELISA-positive participants had a median CD4 count of 22 T cells/μl and a median HIV-RNA of 4.87 log10 copies/ml. They presented with diarrhea (27%), abdominal pain (23%), and skin manifestations (35%) that did not differ from seronegative patients. Peripheral blood eosinophilia was common among seropositive patients (prevalence of 62% compared to 29% in seronegatives, P = 0.004). Seropositive patients were treated with ivermectin. There were no cases of hyperinfection syndrome.
Strongyloidiasis may be prevalent in AIDS patients in the USA who emigrated from Ss-endemic countries, but serology can be inconclusive, suggesting that empiric ivermectin therapy is a reasonable approach in AIDS patients originating from Strongyloides endemic areas.
PMCID: PMC4001591  PMID: 23265425
AIDS; Strongyloidiasis; Antiretroviral therapy
10.  Fatal Strongyloides Hyperinfection Complicating a Gram-Negative Sepsis after Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation: A Case Report and Review of the Literature 
Case Reports in Hematology  2013;2013:860976.
Strongyloides stercoralis is an intestinal nematode that causes strongyloidiasis, which affects 30 to 100 million people worldwide. Risk factors for hyperinfection and disseminated disease include immunosuppressive drug therapy, human T-lymphotropic virus-1 (HTLV-1) infection, solid organ and bone marrow transplantation, hematologic malignant diseases, hypogammaglobulinemia, and severe malnutrition and associated conditions. The diagnosis can be difficult because a single stool examination fails to detect larvae in up to 70% of the cases, and the symptoms are nonspecific. Although eosinophilia is a common finding in patients with chronic Strongyloides infection, it is an unreliable predictor of hyperinfection. Furthermore, the lack of eosinophilia while receiving immunosuppressive therapy cannot reliably exclude the underlying chronic Strongyloides infection. We report here a fatal Strongyloides hyperinfection in a patient receiving allogeneic stem cell transplantation; risk factors and outcome in this clinical setting are discussed.
PMCID: PMC3722979  PMID: 23936693
11.  Diagnosis, Treatment and Risk Factors of Strongyloides stercoralis in Schoolchildren in Cambodia 
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%.
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.
Author Summary
The difficulty of diagnosing Strongyloides stercoralis infections is the reason why up to date, accurate information on its geographic distribution in endemic regions and the total global burden is lacking. We conducted a cross-sectional study among 458 schoolchildren, with the purpose of comparing two methods for diagnosing S. stercoralis infection (Koga agar plate ‘KAP’ culture and Baermann technique) on three stool samples from each individual and to assess the efficacy of ivermectin three weeks after treatment. About one quarter of the schoolchildren examined were infected with S. stercoralis. The sensitivity of KAP culture and Baermann technique was 88.4% and 75.0%, respectively. The prevalence of S. stercoralis infection increased considerably (from 18.6% to 24.4%) when three stool samples were examined. Almost three-quarters of the infections could have been avoided by proper sanitation. Ivermectin was highly efficacious against S. stercoralis infection, with a cure rate of 98.3%. In the absence of a “gold standard”, it is necessary to examine multiple stool samples using different diagnostic techniques in order to reach a “true” prevalence.
PMCID: PMC3566990  PMID: 23409200
12.  Ocular manifestations and pathology of adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma associated with human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 
Rare Tumors  2010;2(4):e63.
The human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1), endemic in defined geographical areas around the world, is recognized as the etiologic agent of adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL), or HTLV-1. ATL is a rare adult onset T-cell malignancy that is characterized by the presence of ATL flower cells with T-cell markers, HTLV-1 antibodies in the serum, and monoclonal integration of HTLV-1 provirus in affected cells. Ocular manifestations associated with HTLV-1 virus infection have been reported and include HTLV-1 uveitis and keratoconjunctivitis sicca, but reports of ocular involvement in ATL are exceedingly rare. This article describes the ocular manifestations and pathology of ATL. We also report for the first time a case of a 34-year-old male with systemic ATL and prominent atypical lymphoid cell infiltration in the choroid. To our knowledge, this is the first report defining prominent choroidal involvement as a distinct ocular manifestation of ATL. ATL may masquerade as a variety of other conditions, and molecular techniques involving microdissection and PCR have proven to be critical diagnostic tools. International collaboration will be needed to better understand the presentation and diagnosis of this rare malignancy.
PMCID: PMC3019598  PMID: 21234255
adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma; human T-lymphotrophic virus type 1; pathology; eye.
13.  Effect of treatment of Strongyloides infection on HTLV-1 expression in a patient with adult T-cell leukemia 
American journal of hematology  2007;82(10):929-931.
Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is associated with adult T-cell leukemia–lymphoma (ATLL) in about 5% of infected individuals. Coinfection by Strongyloides stercoralis has been suggested to be a cofactor for development of ATLL. We describe a patient who presented with HTLV-1-associated chronic ATLL and Strongyloides infection. Studies of this patient’s viral RNA levels demonstrated stimulation of HTLV-1 replication by Strongyloides, which resolved with anti-helminthic therapy. This case provides support for the hypothesis that Strongyloides is a cofactor for ATLL via T-cell stimulation.
PMCID: PMC2652703  PMID: 17617788
14.  Intestinal strongyloidiasis and hyperinfection syndrome 
In spite of recent advances with experiments on animal models, strongyloidiasis, an infection caused by the nematode parasite Strongyloides stercoralis, has still been an elusive disease. Though endemic in some developing countries, strongyloidiasis still poses a threat to the developed world. Due to the peculiar but characteristic features of autoinfection, hyperinfection syndrome involving only pulmonary and gastrointestinal systems, and disseminated infection with involvement of other organs, strongyloidiasis needs special attention by the physician, especially one serving patients in areas endemic for strongyloidiasis. Strongyloidiasis can occur without any symptoms, or as a potentially fatal hyperinfection or disseminated infection. Th2 cell-mediated immunity, humoral immunity and mucosal immunity have been shown to have protective effects against this parasitic infection especially in animal models. Any factors that suppress these mechanisms (such as intercurrent immune suppression or glucocorticoid therapy) could potentially trigger hyperinfection or disseminated infection which could be fatal. Even with the recent advances in laboratory tests, strongyloidiasis is still difficult to diagnose. But once diagnosed, the disease can be treated effectively with antihelminthic drugs like Ivermectin. This review article summarizes a case of strongyloidiasis and various aspects of strongyloidiasis, with emphasis on epidemiology, life cycle of Strongyloides stercoralis, clinical manifestations of the disease, corticosteroids and strongyloidiasis, diagnostic aspects of the disease, various host defense pathways against strongyloidiasis, and available treatment options.
PMCID: PMC1538622  PMID: 16734908
15.  Endoscopic and histopathological study on the duodenum of Strongyloides stercoralis hyperinfection 
AIM: To investigate endoscopic and histopathological findings in the duodenum of patients with Strongyloides stercoralis (S. stercoralis) hyperinfection.
METHODS: Over a period of 23 years (1984-2006), we investigated 25 patients with S. stercoralis hyperinfection who had had an esophagogastroduodenoscopy before undergoing treatment for strongyloidiasis. The clinical and endoscopic findings were analyzed retrospectively.
RESULTS: Twenty-four (96%) of the patients investigated were under immunocompromised condition which was mainly due to a human T lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) infection. The abnormal endoscopic findings, mainly edematous mucosa, white villi and erythematous mucosa, were observed in 23 (92%) patients. The degree of duodenitis including villous atrophy/destruction and inflammatory cell infiltration corresponded to the severity of the endoscopic findings. The histopathologic yield for identifying larvae was 71.4% by duodenal biopsy. The endoscopic findings of duodenitis were more severe in patients whose biopsies were positive for larvae than those whose biopsies were negative (Endoscopic severity score: 4.86 ± 2.47 vs 2.71 ± 1.38, P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: Our study clearly demonstrates that, in addition to stool analysis, endoscopic observation and biopsies are very important. We also emphasize that S. stercoralis and HTLV-1 infections should be ruled out before immunosuppressive therapy is administered in endemic regions.
PMCID: PMC2695917  PMID: 18350608
Strongyloides stercoralis; Strongyloidiasis; Hyperinfection; Endoscopy; Histopathology; Duodenum
16.  Strongyloidiasis associated with human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I infection in a nonendemic area. 
Western Journal of Medicine  1989;151(4):410-413.
Concomitant strongyloidiasis and human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-I) infection has been reported from areas in Japan where both organisms are endemic. We present four cases of concomitant infection with these organisms from an area that is not endemic for Strongyloides stercoralis. Three of the four patients had adult T-cell leukemia, an aggressive neoplasm resulting from HTLV-I infection, while the other was an asymptomatic carrier of HTLV-I. Three of the patients had spent their childhoods in an endemic location for both organisms, suggesting an initial infection at that time. Three patients were symptomatic from their parasitism. We conclude that strongyloidiasis may be found in nonendemic locations in patients with either adult T-cell leukemia or an asymptomatic HTLV-I carrier state. Whether infestation with this parasite contributes to the leukemogenesis of HTLV-I, as postulated by others, cannot at this time be determined.
PMCID: PMC1026828  PMID: 2588581
17.  Genetic Characterization of Human T-Cell Lymphotropic Virus Type 1 in Mozambique: Transcontinental Lineages Drive the HTLV-1 Endemic 
Human T-Cell Lymphotropic Virus Type 1 (HTLV-1) is the etiological agent of adult T-cell leukemia (ATL) and HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP). It has been estimated that 10–20 million people are infected worldwide, but no successful treatment is available. Recently, the epidemiology of this virus was addressed in blood donors from Maputo, showing rates from 0.9 to 1.2%. However, the origin and impact of HTLV endemic in this population is unknown.
To assess the HTLV-1 molecular epidemiology in Mozambique and to investigate their relationship with HTLV-1 lineages circulating worldwide.
Blood donors and HIV patients were screened for HTLV antibodies by using enzyme immunoassay, followed by Western Blot. PCR and sequencing of HTLV-1 LTR region were applied and genetic HTLV-1 subtypes were assigned by the neighbor-joining method. The mean genetic distance of Mozambican HTLV-1 lineages among the genetic clusters were determined. Human mitochondrial (mt) DNA analysis was performed and individuals classified in mtDNA haplogroups.
LTR HTLV-1 analysis demonstrated that all isolates belong to the Transcontinental subgroup of the Cosmopolitan subtype. Mozambican HTLV-1 sequences had a high inter-strain genetic distance, reflecting in three major clusters. One cluster is associated with the South Africa sequences, one is related with Middle East and India strains and the third is a specific Mozambican cluster. Interestingly, 83.3% of HIV/HTLV-1 co-infection was observed in the Mozambican cluster. The human mtDNA haplotypes revealed that all belong to the African macrohaplogroup L with frequencies representatives of the country.
The Mozambican HTLV-1 genetic diversity detected in this study reveals that although the strains belong to the most prevalent and worldwide distributed Transcontinental subgroup of the Cosmopolitan subtype, there is a high HTLV diversity that could be correlated with at least 3 different HTLV-1 introductions in the country. The significant rate of HTLV-1a/HIV-1C co-infection, particularly in the Mozambican cluster, has important implications for the controls programs of both viruses.
Author Summary
Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is the causative agent of Adult T-Cell Leukemia/Lymphoma (ATL), the Tropical Spastic Paraparesis/HTLV-1-associated Myelopathy (TSP/HAM) and other inflammatory diseases, including dermatitis, uveitis, and myositis. It is estimated that 2–8% of the infected persons will develop a HTLV-1-associated disease during their lifetimes, frequently TSP/HAM. Thus far, there is not a specific treatment to this progressive and chronic disease. HTLV-1 has means of three transmission: (i) from mother to child during prolonged breastfeeding, (ii) between sexual partners and (iii) through blood transfusion. HTLV-1 has been characterized in 7 subtypes and the geographical distribution and the clinical impact of this infection is not well known, mainly in African population. HTLV-1 is endemic in sub-Saharan Africa. Mozambique is a country of southeastern Africa where TSP/HAM cases were reported. Recently, our group estimated the HTLV prevalence among Mozambican blood donors as 0.9%. In this work we performed a genetic analysis of HTLV-1 in blood donors and HIV/HTLV co-infected patients from Maputo, Mozambique. Our results showed the presence of three HTLV-1 clusters within the Cosmopolitan/Transcontinental subtype/subgroup. The differential rates of HIV-1/HTLV-1 co-infection in the three HTLV-1 clusters demonstrated the dynamic of the two viruses and the need for implementation of control measures focusing on both retroviruses.
PMCID: PMC3075232  PMID: 21532745
18.  Alemtuzumab in chronic lymphocytic leukemia 
Current Oncology  2007;14(3):96-109.
With respect to outcomes such as survival, response rate, response duration, time to progression, and quality of life, is alemtuzumab a beneficial treatment option for patients with B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (cll)?
What toxicities are associated with the use of alemtuzumab?
Which patients are more likely—or less likely—to benefit from treatment with alemtuzumab?
Evidence was selected and reviewed by one member of the Hematology Disease Site Group (dsg) of Cancer Care Ontario’s Program in Evidence-Based Care (pebc) and by methodologists. The practice guideline report was reviewed and approved by the Hema-tology dsg, which comprises hematologists, medical and radiation oncologists, and a patient representative. As part of an external review process, the report was disseminated to obtain feedback from practitioners in Ontario.
Outcomes of interest were overall survival, quality of life, response rates and duration, and adverse event rates.
A systematic review of the medline, embase, HealthStar, cinahl, and Cochrane Library databases was conducted to search for primary articles and practice guidelines. The evidence informed the development of clinical practice recommendations. The evidence review and recommendations were appraised by a sample of practitioners from Ontario, Canada, and were modified in response to the feedback received. The systematic review and modified recommendations were approved by a review body within the pebc.
The literature review found no published randomized controlled trials (rcts) that evaluated alem-tuzumab alone or in combination with other chemotherapeutic agents for the treatment of relapsed or refractory cll.
One rct evaluated alemtuzumab administered to consolidate a complete or partial response to first-line fludarabine-containing chemotherapy. That study was stopped early because of excessive grades 3 and 4 infection-related toxicity in the alemtuzumab arm. Patients receiving alemtuzumab experienced significantly improved progression-free survival as compared with patients undergoing observation.
Six single-arm studies evaluated disease response with administration of alemtuzumab as a single agent in the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory cll post-fludarabine. The pooled overall response rate was 38% (complete response: 6%; partial response: 32%). Adverse events associated with the use of alemtuzumab were commonly reported and included serious infusion-related, hematologic, and infection-related toxicities.
This evidence-based recommendation applies to adult patients with B-cell cll.
Treatment with alemtuzumab is a reasonable option for patients with progressive and symptomatic cll that is refractory to both alkylator-based and fludarabine-based regimens.
Qualifying Statements
The evidence supporting treatment with alemtuzumab comes principally from case series that evaluated disease response as the primary outcome measure. Patients should be informed that any possible beneficial effect of alemtuzumab on other outcome measures such as duration of response, quality of life, and overall survival are not supported in evidence and currently remain speculative.
Treatment with alemtuzumab is associated with significant and potentially serious treatment-related toxicities. Patients must be carefully informed of the uncertain balance between potential risks of harm and the chance for benefit reported in studies. Given the current substantial uncertainty in this balance, patient preferences will likely play a large role in determining the appropriate treatment choice.
Given the potential toxicities associated with alemtuzumab, and given the limited nature of the agent’s testing in clinical trials in broad populations of patients with cll, the use of alemtuzumab in patients with important comorbidities may be associated with excessive risks.
PMCID: PMC1899355  PMID: 17593982
Alemtuzumab; Campath; chronic lymphocytic leukemia; systematic review; clinical practice guideline
19.  Dissemination of Strongyloides stercoralis in a patient with systemic lupus erythematosus after initiation of albendazole: a case report 
Strongyloides stercoralis infection affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide. As immigration rates and international travel increase, so does the number of cases of strongyloidiasis in the United States. Although described both in immigrant and in immunosuppressed populations, hyperinfection and dissemination of S. stercoralis following the initiation of antiparasitic medication is a previously unreported phenomenon.
Case presentation
Here we describe the case of a 38-year-old immunocompromised woman with systemic lupus erythematosus, who developed disseminated disease following treatment with albendazole (400 mg every 12 hours). Notably the patient was receiving oral prednisone (10 mg once daily), azathioprine (50 mg twice daily), and hydroxychloroquine (400 mg daily) at the time of hospitalization. The patient was subsequently treated successfully with ivermectin (200 mcg/kg daily).
The reader should be aware that dissemination of S. stercoralis can occur even after the initiation of antiparasitic medication.
PMCID: PMC2430972  PMID: 18479527
20.  Molecular Epidemiology of Endemic Human T-Lymphotropic Virus Type 1 in a Rural Community in Guinea-Bissau 
Human T-Lymphotropic Virus Type 1 (HTLV-1) infection causes lethal adult T-cell leukemia (ATL) and severely debilitating HTLV-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP) in up to 5% of infected adults. HTLV-1 is endemic in parts of Africa and the highest prevalence in West Africa (5%) has been reported in Caio, a rural area in the North-West of Guinea-Bissau. It is not known which HTLV-1 variants are present in this community. Sequence data can provide insights in the molecular epidemiology and help to understand the origin and spread of HTLV-1.
To gain insight into the molecular diversity of HTLV-1 in West Africa.
HTLV-1 infected individuals were identified in community surveys between 1990–2007. The complete Long Terminal Repeat (LTR) and p24 coding region of HTLV-1 was sequenced from infected subjects. Socio-demographic data were obtained from community census and from interviews performed by fieldworkers. Phylogenetic analyses were performed to characterize the relationship between the Caio HTLV-1 and HTLV-1 from other parts of the world.
LTR and p24 sequences were obtained from 72 individuals (36 LTR, 24 p24 only and 12 both). Consistent with the low evolutionary change of HTLV-1, many of the sequences from unrelated individuals showed 100% nucleotide identity. Most (45 of 46) of the LTR sequences clustered with the Cosmopolitan HTLV-1 subtype 1a, subgroup D (1aD). LTR and p24 sequences from two subjects were divergent and formed a significant cluster with HTLV-1 subtype 1g, and with the most divergent African Simian T-cell Lymphotropic Virus, Tan90.
The Cosmopolitan HTLV-1 1aD predominates in this rural West African community. However, HTLV-1 subtype 1g is also present. This subtype has not been described before in West Africa and may be more widespread than previously thought. These data are in line with the hypothesis that multiple monkey-to-man zoonotic events are contributing to HTLV-1 diversity.
Author Summary
Human T-Lymphotropic Virus type 1 (HTLV-1) affects millions of people worldwide. It is very similar to Simian T-Lymphotropic Virus, a virus that circulates in monkeys. HTLV-1 causes a lethal form of leukemia (Adult T-cell Leukemia) and a debilitating neurological syndrome (HTLV-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis) in approximately 5% of infected people. Based on sequence variation, HTLV-1 can be divided into 7 subtypes (1a–1g) with the Cosmopolitan subtype 1a further subdivided into subgroups (A–E). We examined HTLV-1 diversity in a rural area in Guinea-Bissau, a country in West Africa with a high HTLV-1 prevalence (5%). We found that most viruses belong to the Cosmopolitan subtype 1a, subgroup D, but 2 viruses belonged to subtype 1g. This subtype had thus far only been found in monkey hunters in Cameroon, who were probably recently infected by monkeys. Our findings indicate that this subtype has spread beyond Central Africa. An important, unresolved question is whether persons with this subtype were infected by monkeys or through human-to-human transmission.
PMCID: PMC3373628  PMID: 22720106
21.  Strongyloides Hyperinfection Presenting as Acute Respiratory Failure and Gram-Negative Sepsis 
Chest  2005;128(5):3681-3684.
Study objectives
Disseminated strongyloides is a rarely reported phenomenon and occurs in immuno-suppressed patients with chronic Strongyloides stercoralis infection. Typically, patients present with pulmonary symptoms but subsequently acquire Gram-negative sepsis. Several cases have been noted in Minnesota, and their presentation, diagnostic evaluation, and clinical outcomes were reviewed.
A retrospective chart review was conducted of complicated strongyloides infections from 1993 to 2002 in Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN. Cases were identified by reviewing hospital microbiology databases.
Metropolitan hospitals with large immigrant populations.
Nine patients, all of Southeast Asian heritage, were identified. Eight patients immigrated to the United States ≥ 3 years prior to acute presentation. All patients were receiving antecedent corticosteroids; in five patients, therapy was for presumed asthma. Absolute eosinophil counts > 500/μL occurred in only two patients prior to steroid initiation. Eight patients presented with respiratory distress, and Gram-negative sepsis developed in four patients. Four patients had evidence of right-heart strain on ECG or echocardiography at the time of presentation. Three patients died; all had eosinophil counts of < 400/μL.
Serious complications, including death, may occur in patients with chronic strongyloides infection treated with corticosteroids. Strongyloides hyperinfection usually presents as acute respiratory failure and may initially mimic an asthma exacerbation or pulmonary embolism. Southeast Asian patients presenting with new-onset “asthma,” acute respiratory distress, and/or Gram-negative sepsis should undergo evaluation to exclude strongyloides infection.
PMCID: PMC1941746  PMID: 16304332
acute respiratory failure; disseminated strongyloides; Gram-negative sepsis; Strongyloides stercoralis
22.  Microarray-Based Analysis of Differential Gene Expression between Infective and Noninfective Larvae of Strongyloides stercoralis 
Differences between noninfective first-stage (L1) and infective third-stage (L3i) larvae of parasitic nematode Strongyloides stercoralis at the molecular level are relatively uncharacterized. DNA microarrays were developed and utilized for this purpose.
Methods and Findings
Oligonucleotide hybridization probes for the array were designed to bind 3,571 putative mRNA transcripts predicted by analysis of 11,335 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) obtained as part of the Nematode EST project. RNA obtained from S. stercoralis L3i and L1 was co-hybridized to each array after labeling the individual samples with different fluorescent tags. Bioinformatic predictions of gene function were developed using a novel cDNA Annotation System software. We identified 935 differentially expressed genes (469 L3i-biased; 466 L1-biased) having two-fold expression differences or greater and microarray signals with a p value<0.01. Based on a functional analysis, L1 larvae have a larger number of genes putatively involved in transcription (p = 0.004), and L3i larvae have biased expression of putative heat shock proteins (such as hsp-90). Genes with products known to be immunoreactive in S. stercoralis-infected humans (such as SsIR and NIE) had L3i biased expression. Abundantly expressed L3i contigs of interest included S. stercoralis orthologs of cytochrome oxidase ucr 2.1 and hsp-90, which may be potential chemotherapeutic targets. The S. stercoralis ortholog of fatty acid and retinol binding protein-1, successfully used in a vaccine against Ancylostoma ceylanicum, was identified among the 25 most highly expressed L3i genes. The sperm-containing glycoprotein domain, utilized in a vaccine against the nematode Cooperia punctata, was exclusively found in L3i biased genes and may be a valuable S. stercoralis target of interest.
A new DNA microarray tool for the examination of S. stercoralis biology has been developed and provides new and valuable insights regarding differences between infective and noninfective S. stercoralis larvae. Potential therapeutic and vaccine targets were identified for further study.
Author Summary
Strongyloides stercoralis is a soil-transmitted helminth that affects an estimated 30–100 million people worldwide. Chronically infected persons who are exposed to corticosteroids can develop disseminated disease, which carries a high mortality (87–100%) if untreated. Despite this, little is known about the fundamental biology of this parasite, including the features that enable infection. We developed the first DNA microarray for this parasite and used it to compare infective third-stage larvae (L3i) with non-infective first stage larvae (L1). Using this method, we identified 935 differentially expressed genes. Functional characterization of these genes revealed L3i biased expression of heat shock proteins and genes with products that have previously been shown to be immunoreactive in infected humans. Genes putatively involved in transcription were found to have L1 biased expression. Potential chemotherapeutic and vaccine targets such as far-1, ucr 2.1 and hsp-90 were identified for further study.
PMCID: PMC3086827  PMID: 21572524
23.  Fatal Strongyloides stercoralis infection in a patient with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy 
Pathogens and Global Health  2012;106(4):249-251.
A 50-year-old villager with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy developed pain abdomen, diarrhea, and vomiting after 8 weeks of prednisolone (40 mg/day) therapy. After 10 weeks, he developed abdominal distension, leucocytosis, thrombocytopenia, liver dysfunction, coagulopathy, and respiratory failure. Stool examination showed larvae of Strongyloides stercoralis. He died in spite of antibiotics, metronidazole, ivermectin, vasopressor, and artificial ventilation. The patients on corticosteroid therapy are at risk of fatal septicemia due to Strongyloides stercoralis hyperinfection.
PMCID: PMC4001593  PMID: 23265427
Strongyloides stercoralis infection; CIDP; Ivermectin; Steroid; Outcome
24.  A Critical Role for IL-17RB Signaling in HTLV-1 Tax-Induced NF-κB Activation and T-Cell Transformation 
PLoS Pathogens  2014;10(10):e1004418.
Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) infection is linked to the development of adult T-cell leukemia (ATL) and the neuroinflammatory disease HTLV-1 associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP). The HTLV-1 Tax protein functions as a potent viral oncogene that constitutively activates the NF-κB transcription factor to transform T cells; however, the underlying mechanisms remain obscure. Here, using next-generation RNA sequencing we identified the IL-25 receptor subunit IL-17RB as an aberrantly overexpressed gene in HTLV-1 immortalized T cells. Tax induced the expression of IL-17RB in an IκB kinase (IKK) and NF-κB-dependent manner. Remarkably, Tax activation of the canonical NF-κB pathway in T cells was critically dependent on IL-17RB expression. IL-17RB and IL-25 were required for HTLV-1-induced immortalization of primary T cells, and the constitutive NF-κB activation and survival of HTLV-1 transformed T cells. IL-9 was identified as an important downstream target gene of the IL-17RB pathway that drives the proliferation of HTLV-1 transformed cells. Furthermore, IL-17RB was overexpressed in leukemic cells from a subset of ATL patients and also regulated NF-κB activation in some, but not all, Tax-negative ATL cell lines. Together, our results support a model whereby Tax instigates an IL-17RB-NF-κB feed-forward autocrine loop that is obligatory for HTLV-1 leukemogenesis.
Author Summary
The retrovirus HTLV-1 is the causative agent of an aggressive lymphoproliferative disorder known as adult T-cell leukemia (ATL). The HTLV-1 Tax regulatory protein constitutively activates the host NF-κB transcription factor to promote T-cell proliferation, survival and cell transformation. However, it remains unknown precisely how Tax persistently activates NF-κB in T cells. In this study, we used next-generation sequencing to identify genes that were differentially expressed upon HTLV-1 infection and immortalization of primary T cells. We found that IL-17RB, the receptor for the IL-25 cytokine, was highly induced in HTLV-1 transformed T cells and was required for NF-κB activation, cell proliferation and survival. Tax induced the expression of IL-17RB and established a positive feedback loop together with IL-25 that triggered persistent NF-κB activation and the upregulation of IL-9 and other genes critical for T-cell proliferation and survival. IL-17RB was also overexpressed in a subset of acute ATL patient specimens and therefore may potentially be targeted by monoclonal antibodies as a novel ATL therapy.
PMCID: PMC4207800  PMID: 25340344
25.  Tribendimidine and Albendazole for Treating Soil-Transmitted Helminths, Strongyloides stercoralis and Taenia spp.: Open-Label Randomized Trial 
Tribendimidine is an anthelminthic drug with a broad spectrum of activity. In 2004 the drug was approved by Chinese authorities for human use. The efficacy of tribendimidine against soil-transmitted helminths (Ascaris lumbricoides, hookworm, and Trichuris trichiura) has been established, and new laboratory investigations point to activity against cestodes and Strongyloides ratti.
Methodology/Principal Findings
In an open-label randomized trial, the safety and efficacy of a single oral dose of albendazole or tribendimidine (both drugs administered at 200 mg for 5- to 14-year-old children, and 400 mg for individuals ≥15 years) against soil-transmitted helminths, Strongyloides stercoralis, and Taenia spp. were assessed in a village in Yunnan province, People's Republic of China. The analysis was on a per-protocol basis and the trial is registered with (number ISRCTN01779485). Both albendazole and tribendimidine were highly efficacious against A. lumbricoides and, moderately, against hookworm. The efficacy against T. trichiura was low. Among 57 individuals who received tribendimidine, the prevalence of S. stercoralis was reduced from 19.3% to 8.8% (observed cure rate 54.5%, p = 0.107), and that of Taenia spp. from 26.3% to 8.8% (observed cure rate 66.7%, p = 0.014). Similar prevalence reductions were noted among the 66 albendazole recipients. Taking into account “new” infections discovered at treatment evaluation, which were most likely missed pre-treatment due to the lack of sensitivity of available diagnostic approaches, the difference between the drug-specific net Taenia spp. cure rates was highly significant in favor of tribendimidine (p = 0.001). No significant adverse events of either drug were observed.
Our results suggest that single-dose oral tribendimidine can be employed in settings with extensive intestinal polyparasitism, and its efficacy against A. lumbricoides and hookworm was confirmed. The promising results obtained with tribendimidine against S. stercoralis and Taenia spp. warrant further investigations. In a next step, multiple-dose schedules should be evaluated.
Author Summary
More than a billion people are infected with intestinal worms and, in the developing world, many individuals harbor several kinds of worms concurrently. There are only a handful of drugs available for treatment, and drug efficacy varies according to the worm species. We compared the efficacy of a single oral dose of tribendimidine, a new broad-spectrum worm drug from China, with the standard drug albendazole for the treatment of hookworm, large roundworm (Ascaris lumbricoides), whipworm (Trichuris trichiura) and, for the first time, Strongyloides stercoralis and tapeworm (Taenia spp.). Our single-blind randomized trial was conducted in a village in Yunnan province, southwest China. Both drugs showed high efficacy against A. lumbricoides and a moderate efficacy against hookworm. Among 57 tribendimidine recipients, the prevalence of S. stercoralis was reduced from 19.3% to 8.8%, and that of Taenia spp. from 26.3% to 8.8%. Similar prevalence reductions were noted among the 66 albendazole recipients. Taking into account additional infections only discovered at treatment evaluation, the difference between the drug-specific Taenia spp. net cure rates was highly significant in favor of tribendimidine. In view of our promising results, multiple-dose schedules with tribendimidine against S. stercoralis and Taenia spp. should be evaluated next.
PMCID: PMC2561005  PMID: 18923706

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