What is the pathophysiology of stage 5 of the Strongyloides stercoralis life cycle in strongyloidiasis?

Updated: Jun 20, 2019
  • Author: Pranatharthi Haran Chandrasekar, MBBS, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Disseminated strongyloidiasis involves widespread dissemination of larvae to extraintestinal organs (eg, central nervous system [CNS], heart, urinary tract, endocrine organs), which are outside the realm of the parasite's ordinary life cycle (see the image below). All organs and tissues may be invaded, along with the small intestine. In these severe forms, translocation of enteric bacteria may occur, leading to polymicrobial bacteremia and occasionally meningitis with enteric pathogens. The enteric pathogens may be carried on the filariform larvae or may enter the circulation through intestinal ulcers. The CNS, liver, and lungs are the most common destinations of the autoinfectious larvae.

Fifth stage, life cycle of Strongyloides stercoral Fifth stage, life cycle of Strongyloides stercoralis. Illustration by Tessa Kalman.

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