Strongyloides stercoralis

Strongyloides stercoralis is a minute nematode worm, pin worm, that causes strongyloidiasis, a neglected tropical disease that affects humans.

Severe strongyloidiasis is potentially fatal symptoms of include

  • Insidious and occasionally abrupt onset
  • Nausea, vomiting, and severe abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea, occasionally bloody
  • Cough, hemoptysis, dyspnea, and wheezing
  • Stiff neck, headache, and confusion (if CNS involvement)
  • Rash
  • Fever, chills

Severe strongyloidiasis can occur many decades after the initial infection occurs when patients become immunosuppressed as a result of other factors such as

  • HIV
  • lepromatous leprosy 
  • aplastic anemia
  • malnutrition
  • tuberculosis 

Species detail

Whilst worms are very small, infected people can have several thousands inside their intestine, and unlucky individuals can have even more widely dispersed throughout major organs of the body.

  • worldwide distribution of human strongyloidiasis.

    Discover the extent to which strongyloidiasis is spread throughout the world and why better methods for diagnosing the disease are needed.

  • Strongyloides stercoralis lifecycle

    Learn about the remarkable lifecycle of Strongyloides which can result in female worms developing into male worms.

  • Strongyloides stercoralis

    Find out how Strongyloides stercoralis infects and affects humans.

Global distribution

Worldwide distribution of human strongyloidiasis

A map showing the worldwide distribution of human strongyloidiasis. ©


Strongyloides stercoralisthis

The rhabditiform larvae form of the Strongyloides stercoralisthis parasite. This is the form of the parasite seen in the stools of infected patients. © R Stothard

Dagnostic lab

Strongyloidiasis diagnostic lab. © R Stothard

Strongyloides stercoralis lifecycle

The lifecycle of Strongyloides stercoralis © CDC

Strongyloides stercoralis

Strongyloides stercoralis © R Stothard


Dr Russel Stothard

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Museum research

Museum scientists are running projects in Uganda and Zanzibar 

  • to better map the distribution of the disease 
  • to promote control programmes 

The control programmes administer the de-worming drug ivermectin proven to be very effective against strongyloidiasis.