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      Prevalence of Strongyloides stercoralis and Other Intestinal Parasites among Institutionalized Mentally Disabled Individuals in Rasht, Northern Iran

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          We aimed to determine the status of strongyloidiasis in mentally disabled population in the institutional places in Rasht City, the capital of Guilan Province, northern Iran.


          This cross-sectional study was conducted in 8 institutions for mentally retarded population in Rasht in 2013. Before collecting the samples, a questionnaire was filled out for each participant by an expert person. A single stool sample was obtained from each of the 173 subjects and examined using direct wet mount, formalin-ether concentration technique and agar plate culture method.


          A total of 173 mentally disabled individuals aged 2–57 (25.69±11.56) yr old were studied. Stool examination showed that 51 (29.5%) cases were infected with at least one parasite. Of 173 studied cases only 10 (5.8%) individuals were infected with pathogenic parasites, of which 2 (1.2%) cases were infected with Strongyloides stercoralis and 8 (4.6%) with Giardia lamblia. On the other hand, 42 (24.3%) of the studied population were infected with non-pathogenic intestinal protozoa such as Blastocystis hominis (n=29, 16.8%), Entamoeba coli (n=16, 9.2%) and Endolimax nana (n=4, 2.3%). Mixed protozoal infections were observed in 8 (4.6%) individuals.


          The prevalence rate of S. stercoralis in mentally disabled individuals in Rasht was somewhat higher than those of normal population of the province. The same picture was seen when the prevalence of G. lamblia and non-pathogenic protozoa in normal and mentally disabled populations were compared.

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          Most cited references 30

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          The present status of human helminthic diseases in Iran.

           M Rokni (2008)
          Over the last few decades there have been several marked changes in the human helminthiases found in Iran. Fascioliasis is emerging as an important chronic disease of humans, especially in the northern province of Gilan (where outbreaks in 1989 and 1999 involved >7000 and >10,000 cases, respectively) and, more recently, in the western province of Kermanshah. In contrast, no cases of urinary schistosomiasis, a disease that once affected thousands of individuals in south-western Khuzestan province, have been reported in Iran in recent years, and no cases of dracunculiasis have been seen in the country since the mid-1970s. Approximately 1% of all admissions to surgical wards are attributable to cystic echinococcosis, which is still considered endemic, but only a few cases of alveolar echinococcosis have been recorded. Over the last decade, there appears to have been a generally downward trend in the incidence of intestinal helminthiases in Iran. Recent estimates of the prevalences of ascariasis and strongyloidiasis, for example, lie between just 0.1% and 0.3%, and <1% of the population now appears to be infected with hookworm. In contrast, human infection with Hymenolepis and Enterobius remains relatively common. There have been a few case reports of toxocariasis and a few sero-epidemiological investigations of this disease but problems in accurate diagnosis have prevented good estimates of the general prevalence of this nematode infection. Just nine cases of pentastomiasis (all caused by Linguatula), 12 of dirofilariasis, one of gongylonemiasis, and three of moniliformiasis have been formally recorded in Iran.
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            Strongyloides hyperinfection syndrome: an emerging global infectious disease.

            The hyperinfection syndrome (HS) caused by Strongyloides stercoralis has a high mortality rate (15% to 87%). A variety of risk factors and predisposing conditions have been described, including new immunosuppressive therapies; HTLV-1 infection; cadaveric transplantation; immune reconstitution syndrome; haematological malignancies (especially lymphoma); tuberculosis; malnutrition secondary to chronic Strongyloides diarrhoea; international travel and immigration. Inhibition of Th2 cell-mediated, humoral or mucosal immunity is associated with HS. HS is more frequently seen in HTLV-1 than HIV patients. In AIDS, there is an increase in Th2 cytokines, while in HTLV-1 infection there is a decrease in the Th2 response, leading to an increased risk of autoinfection. Corticosteroid use remains the most frequent risk factor for HS. A number of ELISAs are useful for diagnosis and post-treatment evaluation. Once diagnosed, the disease may be managed effectively with anthelminthic drugs, including ivermectin. HS causes diverse symptoms and signs, with unusual manifestations leading to misdiagnosis and medical errors related to healthcare providers' lack of familiarity with the condition. HS is an example of an emerging tropical infection migrating to developed countries and requiring greater clinician awareness.
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              Strongyloidiasis and other intestinal nematode infections.

               Kevin Weller,  L. Liu (1993)
              In contrast to other helminthic parasites, Strongyloides stercoralis can replicate within humans, causing a chronic persistent infection that can be severe and fatal in compromised hosts. This article reviews new developments to help meet the clinical challenges of this infection, including clinical clues to the diagnosis, new diagnostic methods, including stool culture and serological assays, new drugs such as albendazole and ivermectin, and difficult treatment issues. The other major intestinal nematode parasites, including Ascaris, hookworm, and Trichuris, are extremely common worldwide, but in North America their clinical presentation is often more subtly related to low-grade worm burdens or allergic manifestations. Special consideration is given to difficult management issues, including the patient with unexplained eosinophilia, the pregnant patient, and the patient who passes a worm.

                Author and article information

                Iran J Parasitol
                Iran J Parasitol
                Iranian Journal of Parasitology
                Tehran University of Medical Sciences
                Oct-Dec 2016
                : 11
                : 4
                : 527-533
                [1. ] Student Research Committee, School of Medicine, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran
                [2. ] Department of Social Medicine, School of Medicine, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran
                [3. ] Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran
                [4. ] Research Center for Fascioliasis and Parasitic Diseases, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran
                Author notes
                Copyright© Iranian Society of Parasitology & Tehran University of Medical Sciences

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License which allows users to read, copy, distribute and make derivative works for non-commercial purposes from the material, as long as the author of the original work is cited properly.

                Original Article


                iran, mentally disabled individuals, strongyloides stercoralis, intestinal parasites


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