Coinfection with Strongyloides and SARS-CoV-2: A Systematic Review
Rosca EC., Heneghan C., Spencer EA., Plüddemann A., Maltoni S., Gandini S., Onakpoya IJ., Evans D., Conly JM., Jefferson T.
Background: Treatments for COVID-19, including steroids, might exacerbate Strongyloides disease in patients with coinfection. We aimed to systematically review clinical and laboratory features of SARS-CoV-2 and Strongyloides coinfection, investigate possible interventions, assess outcomes, and identify research gaps requiring further attention. Methods: We searched two electronic databases, LitCOVID and WHO, up to August 2022, including SARS-CoV-2 and Strongyloides coinfection studies. We adapted the World Health Organization—Uppsala Monitoring Centre (WHO-UMC) system for standardized case causality assessment to evaluate if using corticosteroids or other immunosuppressive drugs in COVID-19 patients determined acute manifestations of strongyloidiasis. Results: We included 16 studies reporting 25 cases of Strongyloides and SARS-CoV-2 coinfection: 4 with hyperinfection syndrome; 2 with disseminated strongyloidiasis; 3 with cutaneous reactivation of strongyloidiasis; 3 with isolated digestive symptoms; and 2 with solely eosinophilia, without clinical manifestations. Eleven patients were asymptomatic regarding strongyloidiasis. Eosinopenia or normal eosinophil count was reported in 58.3% of patients with Strongyloides reactivation. Steroids were given to 18/21 (85.7%) cases. A total of 4 patients (19.1%) received tocilizumab and/or Anakirna in addition to steroids. Moreover, 2 patients (9.5%) did not receive any COVID-19 treatment. The causal relationship between Strongyloides reactivation and COVID-19 treatments was considered certain (4% of cases), probable (20% of patients), and possible (20% of patients). For 8% of cases, it was considered unlikely that COVID-19 treatment was associated with strongyloidiasis reactivations; the relationship between the Strongyloides infection and administration of COVID-19 treatment was unassessable/unclassifiable in 48% of cases. Of 13 assessable cases, 11 (84.6%) were considered to be causally associated with Strongyloides, ranging from certain to possible. Conclusions: Further research is needed to assess the frequency and risk of Strongyloides reactivation in SARS-CoV-2 infection. Our limited data using causality assessment supports recommendations that clinicians should screen and treat for Strongyloides infection in patients with coinfection who receive immunosuppressive COVID-19 therapies. In addition, the male gender and older age (over 50 years) may be predisposing factors for Strongyloides reactivation. Standardized guidelines should be developed for reporting future research.