Strongyloides stercoralis is a nematode that infects up to 100 million people worldwide. This nematode infects various mammals including humans, dogs, and cats and the adult typically resides in the grooves of the epithelial cells in the small intestine. The virulence of Strongyloides stercoralis can range anywhere from being relatively asymptomatic to being lethal in immunocompromised hosts. Typical symptoms associated with infection of this nematode include abdominal discomfort, throat irritation, rash at the point of entry, and potentially hyperinfection syndrome.
Strongyloides stercoralis can be found worldwide due to its tough body cavity, variety of mammalian hosts, habitat preference, and life cycle. This nematode is primarily found in tropical and sub-tropical environments, but can be found on all continents. Strongyloides stercoralis’ ability to transition between parasitic and free-living lifecycles is also unique to this nematode, ultimately penetrating the skin of its mammalian host to develop into its adult form.