Abstract: Infection with Strongyloides stercoralis can cause life-threatening disease in immunocompromised patients. Strongyloidiasis is thought to be hyper-endemic in tropical Australia, but there are limited contemporary seroprevalence data to inform local elimination strategies. To define the temporospatial epidemiology of strongyloidiasis in Far North Queensland, tropical Australia, the serology results of 2,429 individuals tested for the infection between 2000 and 2018 were examined. The proportion of positive tests fell from 36/69 (52.2%) in 2000 to 18/222 (8.1%) in 2018 (P < 0.001). Indigenous patients were more likely to have a positive result (Odds Ratio [OR]: 3.9, 95% CI: 3.0–5.0); however, by the end of the study period, residence in a rural or remote location (OR 3.9 (95% CI: 1.2–13.0), P = 0.03) was a more important risk factor for seropositivity than Indigenous status (OR 1.1 (95% CI: 0.4–3.1) P = 0.91). Ivermectin prescription data were available for the period 2004–2018, with annual prescriptions increasing from 100 to 185 boxes (P = 0.01). The volume of ivermectin dispensed correlated negatively with seropositivity (Spearman’s rho = −0.62, P = 0.02). An expanded environmental health program was implemented during the study period and likely contributed to the declining seroprevalence; however, the relative contributions of the individual components of this program are difficult to quantify. The seroprevalence of strongyloidiasis has declined markedly in this region of tropical Australia despite there being no targeted campaign to address the disease. Expanded prescription of ivermectin and public health interventions targeting the few remaining high-prevalence communities would be expected to expedite disease elimination.
Paltridge, Matthew, Smith, Simon, Traves, Aileen, McDermott, Robyn, Fang, Xin, Blake, Chris, Milligan, Brad, D’Addona, Andrew, Hanson, Josh, 2019, Rapid progress toward elimination of Strongyloidiasis in north Queensland, tropical Australia, 2000–2018, Journal Article, viewed 04 April 2020, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=16463.