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Background: Strongyloides stercoralis is a nematode endemic to the tropical and subtropical regions. In the United States, it is mostly found at southeastern states. Most infections are asymptomatic but disseminated and fatal infections have been reported in immunocompromised patients. At our institution, universal screening through Strongyloides antibody detection in serum among solid-organ transplant candidates began since 2010 and all seropositive candidates are treated before transplantation. We previously determined our incidence to be about 5%. The aim of this study was to determine demographic characteristics and risk factors that can be used for more cost-effective targeted screening.
Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study of patients who underwent transplant evaluation from 2014 to 2016. A total of 228 charts were reviewed for Strongyloides serology status, eosinophilia, demographics and risk factors. Chi-square and Fisher exact tests were used to do a comparative analysis between Strongyloides seropositive and seronegative cohorts.
Results: We identified 113 seropositive (SP) patients and 115 seronegative (SN) patients. There were more males in the seropositive group (79%) compared with seronegative group (62%) (P = 0.005). Caucasians predominated in both groups (SP 71% vs. SN 57%; P = 0.286). No significant difference was found between both groups with regards to occupation with soil or water contact (SP 38% vs. SN 30%; P = 0.281), birthplace outside USA or travel outside of United States (SP 31% vs. SN 36%; P = 0.732). Eosinophilia occurred less in the seropositive group compared with the seronegative group (SP 16% vs. SN 30%; P = 0.030).
Conclusion: The study did not find any statistically significant difference in the demographic characteristics or risk factors that can be used for prediction of Strongyloides seropositivity among solid-organ transplant candidates. Hence, our institution will continue universal screening for Strongyloides stercoralis for all our transplant candidates. Our findings further question donor screening for Strongyloides that uses a similar questionnaire which may not be reliable to identify those infected with this parasite. This would put recipients at risk for a donor-transmitted infection.
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Citation / Publisher Attribution
Open Forum Infectious Diseases, v. 6, issue Supplement_2, p. S946
Scholar Commons Citation
Perez-Lopez, Carlos J.; Alrabaa, Sally; Aslam, Sadaf; E Teo, Greg Matthew; Kim, Teayoung; and Reljic, Tea, "Comparison of Demographics and Risk Factors Between Strongyloides stercoralis Seropositive and Seronegative Solid-Organ Transplant Candidates: Experience from a Tertiary Acute Care Center in Florida" (2019). Internal Medicine Faculty Publications. 176.