Clinical Rheumatology

, Volume 38, Issue 11, pp 3093–3098 | Cite as

Strongyloides stercoralis infection in a patient with rheumatoid arthritis and type 2 diabetes mellitus: a case-based review

  • Alireza Ashiri
  • Molouk BeiromvandEmail author
  • Abdollah Khanzadeh
Case Based Review


Strongyloides stercoralis (S. stercoralis), a human intestinal nematode, can lead to hyper/disseminated (HD) infection in patients treated with corticosteroids. Here, we report a case of strongyloidiasis in a 58-year-old female with a history of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The patient presented with abdominal pain and gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding. Stool was negative for parasitic agents in the first direct smear examination, and the patient with the probable diagnosis of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection or Crohn’s disease received antibiotics and corticosteroids. Parasitic agents were not detected in further direct stool examinations, and the patient with the diagnosis of pneumonia, chronic kidney disease (CKD), ulcerative colitis, sepsis, and candidiasis received fungal, antibiotic, and corticosteroids medications. Low sensitivity of direct smear and the lack of using two methods in diagnosing intestinal parasitic infections led to delayed detection. In the fourth direct stool examination, rhabditiform larva of S. stercoralis was reported. The treatment of corticosteroids was discontinued and albendazole was started. A literature review was conducted by searching Medline, Embase, Scopus, and Web of Science with the keywords S. stercoralis, strongyloidiasis, RA, and T2DM. Our case indicates that screening S. stercoralis infection in high-risk groups, especially those who are candidates for corticosteroids medications, must be implemented using at least two diagnostic techniques.


Iran Rheumatoid arthritis Strongyloides stercoralis Type 2 diabetes mellitus 


Author contributions

AA is an M. Sc. student of medical parasitology who made the diagnosis of strongyloidiasis. AKH is an internist who treated the patient. MB, who holds a Ph. D. in medical parasitology, analyzed the data and wrote the paper.

Compliance with ethical standards



Informed consent

Information concerning the manuscript was provided to the patient. Then, the written informed consent was obtained from the patient for publication of this case report and any accompanying images.


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Copyright information

© International League of Associations for Rheumatology (ILAR) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Parasitology, School of MedicineAhvaz Jundishapur University of Medical SciencesAhvazIran
  2. 2.Abadan School of Medical SciencesAbadanIran

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