Small bowel (small intestine)
Infectious disorders
Strongyloides stercoralis

Author: Hanni Gulwani, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 8 August 2018, last major update August 2012

Copyright: (c) 2002-2018,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Strongyloides stercoralis[TI] small bowel

Cite this page: Gulwani, H. Strongyloides stercoralis. website. Accessed October 19th, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Nematode with complex life cycle that alternates between free living and parasitic cycles, with potential for autoinfection and multiplication within host
Life cycle
  • Larvae burrow into mucosa of duodenum and jejunum, where they mature into adults
  • Females lay eggs, which develop into larvae that pass into stool, where they mature and become infective
  • Infective larvae in soil penetrate intact skin, usually through feet
  • Larvae enter circulatory system, are transported to lungs, enter alveolar spaces, are carried to trachea and pharynx, are swallowed and enter intestinal tract, where process is repeated
  • If larvae become infective before leaving body, they may invade intestinal mucosa or perianal skin, causing autoinfection
Diagrams / tables

Images hosted on other servers:

Life cycle

Clinical features
  • Symptoms: none, diarrhea, malabsorption
  • Severe / fatal infections in immunocompromised, due to worms moving from GI tract into other organs (WormBook 2007:1)
  • Larvae in stool
  • Adult female or eggs in small bowel mucosa, often with eosinophilic or granulomatous inflammation
Case reports
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on PathOut server:

Images contributed by Dr. Josehp Christopher Castillo, Institute of Anatomical Pathology Arias Stella, Peru:

Small intestine

Case of the Week #133:

Various images

Additional references