Strongyloides stercoralis infects human hosts mainly through skin contact with contaminated soil. The result is strongyloidiasis, a parasitic disease, with a unique cycle of auto-infection causing a variety of symptoms and signs, with possible fatality from hyper-infection. Australian Indigenous community members, often living in rural and remote settings, are exposed to and infected with S. stercoralis. The aim of this review is to determine barriers to control of strongyloidiasis. The purpose is to contribute to the development of initiatives for prevention, early detection and effective treatment of strongyloidiasis.
Systematic search reviewing research published 2012 and earlier was conducted. Research articles discussing aspects of strongyloidiasis, context of infection and overall health in Indigenous Australians were reviewed. Based on the PRISMA statement, the systematic search of health databases, Academic Search Premier, Informit, Medline, PubMed, AMED, CINAHL, Health Source Nursing and Academic was conducted. Key search terms included strongyloidiasis, Indigenous, Australia, health, and community. 340 articles were retrieved with 16 original research articles published between 1969 and 2006 meeting criteria. Review found barriers to control defined across three key themes, (1) health status, (2) socioeconomic status, and (3) health care literacy and procedures.
This study identifies five points of intervention: (1) develop reporting protocols between health care system and communities; (2) test all Indigenous Australian patients, immunocompromised patients and those exposed to areas with S. stercoralis; (3) health professionals require detailed information on strongyloidiasis and potential for exposure to Indigenous Australian people; (4) to establish testing and treatment initiatives within communities; and (5) to measure and report prevalence rates specific to communities and to act with initiatives based on these results. By defining barriers to control of strongyloidiasis in Australian Indigenous people, improved outcomes of prevention, treatment of strongyloidiasis and increased health overall are attainable.
Strongyloides stercoralis, a nematode parasite, has a well-documented history of infecting human hosts in tropic and subtropic regions mainly through skin contact with inhabited soil. The result is strongyloidiasis, a human parasitic disease, with a unique cycle of auto-infection contributing to a variety of symptoms, of which, hyper-infection causing fatality may occur. In Australia, Indigenous community members often located in rural and remote settings, are exposed to and infected with strongyloides. Previous researchers report strongyloidiasis as a recurrent health issue for Indigenous Australians. This is a systematic review to determine the barriers to control for this pernicious pathogen. Barriers to control can be defined across three key themes: (1) health status, (2) socioeconomic status, and (3) health care literacy and procedure. By conceptualizing these barriers and addressing steps to control as outlined in this study, there is potential for improvement in prevention and treatment outcomes of strongyloidiasis and subsequently, overall health for Australian Indigenous people. This study contributes to furthering prevention and treatment of strongyloidiasis, increasing exposure to the issue of strongyloidiasis in Australian Indigenous people. It is the intent of this paper to express the need to have continued research and further health policy directed specifically to eradicate strongyloidiasis in Australian Indigenous communities.