Human strongyloidiasis is an important health problem in the southeast region of Peruvian Amazon, due to its prevalence and long term morbidity. An epidemiological study was conducted in the Peruvian Amazon area of Puerto Maldonado to determine the prevalence of strongyloidiasis in the population. Stool samples were collected from 1,133 patients at the outpatient department of our clinic. Strongyloidiasis affected 221 examined patients (20%). Prevalence was highest in males, mostly in children and elderly men. People living in urban and marginal urban areas, those coming from outside the region, and Andean people, showed the highest prevalences. Pre-school children were more likely to be parasitized than older children. The most common symptoms were diarrhea (55%), abdominal pain (32%) and cough (53%). One in 7 (13%) affected patients presented with moderate or severe symptoms, including life-threatening complications. Other intestinal parasites were found frequently in patients diagnosed with strongyloidiasis. Improved human waste disposal services are considered to be the main requirement to reduce the high prevalence of this disease.
Strongyloides stercoralis; epidemiology; enteropathy; Peruvian Amazon