Diagnosis of soil-transmitted helminth infections. An unsolved problemin the omics era

Gema Fernández-Rivas, Belén Rivaya, Nona Romaní, Jun Hao Wang, Mireya Alcaide, Lurdes Matas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

2 Citations (Scopus)


© 2019 Elsevier España, S.L.U. Infections caused by Strongyloides stercoralis and other soil-transmitted worms such as hookworms (Necator americanus and Ancylostoma duodenale) represent a major problem worldwide, especially in developing areas. They are difficult to suspect clinically since they produce non-specific and often overlapping signs and symptoms. Likewise, their long prepatent periods hamper the detection of parasitic structures. Microscopic diagnosis is still the most commonly used tool in healthcare laboratories but it is still far from being the ideal technique to detect these infections due to its low sensitivity. In addition, these nematodes have strong morphologic similarities and consequently microbiological diagnosis remains a challenge. Serology has made progress in the diagnosis of S. stercoralis infection but this option is not yet available for hookworms. Molecular biology techniques have been shown to slightly increase this lack of sensitivity, but as with other parasitic infections, they are not currently available for use in clinical microbiology laboratories. Supplement information: This article is part of a supplement entitled «SEIMC External Quality Control Programme. Year 2016», which is sponsored by Roche, Vircell Microbiologists, Abbott Molecular and Francisco Soria Melguizo, S.A. © 2019 Elsevier España, S.L.U. and Sociedad Española de Enfermedades Infecciosasy Microbiología Clínica. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-25
JournalEnfermedades Infecciosas y Microbiologia Clinica
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019


  • Hookworms
  • Microbiologic diagnosis
  • Serology
  • Strongiloidiasis


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