Soil-Transmitted Helminths in the USA: a Review of Five Common Parasites and Future Directions for Avenues of Enhanced Epidemiologic Inquiry

AbstractPurpose of ReviewThe aim of this review is to present a comprehensive look at five intestinal soil-transmitted helminths (STHs) of global health importance that may continue to plague low-income and rural areas of the USA and argue the need for enhanced surveillance of these infections, which primarily affect the nation ’s most vulnerable groups.Recent FindingsHuman STH infections in middle- and high-income countries are at particular risk for being undiagnosed; as common symptoms are non-specific, differentials require a high index of clinical suspicion, and cases are concentrated in areas of poverty where access to care is limited. Although autochthonous STHs are thought to be rare in the USA, infections were once common in the American South and Appalachia and robust epidemiologic surveillance is limited post 1980s. However, recent community studies and case reports from small-scale farms and areas of high rural or inner-city poverty reveal the potential for persisting helminth infections in distinct populations of the country.SummarySTHs are among the most common neglected tropical diseases globally causing significant morbidity in underserved communities and contributing to the continuation of cycles of poverty within vulnerable populations. Due to possible severe disease sequalae and their ability to perpetuate poverty and poverty-associated health outcomes within already vulnerable groups, it is vital that surveillance for these infections is enhanced to ...
Source: Current Tropical Medicine Reports - Category: Tropical Medicine Source Type: research

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