Strongyloidiasis, a helminth infection caused by Strongyloides stercoralis, can be complicated by hyperinfection, especially in the setting of immunosuppression; however, many patients go undiagnosed. One clue to diagnosis is unexplained gram-negative bacteraemia or meningitis in patients who are immunosuppressed. Serology can be helpful but may be negative in these patients who are immunocompromised.
We present the case of a white cisgender man from Central America in his 40s, living with HIV, with a CD4 count of 77 cells/µL. He was diagnosed with Strongyloides hyperinfection after an increase in his steroid dose. He also had Escherichia coli meningitis and bacteraemia. Strongyloidiasis was diagnosed by stool microscopy despite a negative serology test.
This case highlights the challenges in diagnosing strongyloidiasis in the setting of immunosuppression. A high index of clinical suspicion is warranted for patients living with HIV on high-dose corticosteroids. Up to three stool microscopy studies for Strongyloides should be sent in addition to serology.
- HIV / AIDS
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Contributors The following authors were responsible for drafting of the text, sourcing and editing of clinical images, investigation results, drawing original diagrams and algorithms, and critical revision for important intellectual content: FA and CAS. The following authors gave final approval of the manuscript: NM, CAS, OA and FA.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.