Tropical Parasitology

: 2017  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 61-

Intestinal helminths – An old foe revisited

Subhash Chandra Parija 
 Director, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Subhash Chandra Parija
Director, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry

How to cite this article:
Parija SC. Intestinal helminths – An old foe revisited.Trop Parasitol 2017;7:61-61

How to cite this URL:
Parija SC. Intestinal helminths – An old foe revisited. Trop Parasitol [serial online] 2017 [cited 2020 Aug 13 ];7:61-61
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First, I extend my warm wishes to all our patrons.

As we come out with the current issue, we hope that this will be a reader's delight and provide a feast to all. This issue focuses mainly on the various intestinal helminths, especially soil-transmitted helminths (STHs). It is estimated that STHs and Strongyloides stercoralis account for more than a quarter of risk of infections.[1] STHs are a major problem worldwide. It mainly includes Ascaris lumbricoides, hookworms (Ancylostoma duodenale, Necator americanus) and Trichuris trichiura. They are responsible for a major morbidity in school-going children including growth and cognitive stunting.[2] Accurate and timely diagnosis is important for such patients. Newer species of hook worm like A. ceylanicum, a zoonotic hookworm, has been found to be the second most commonly prevalent hookworm in Asia with the advent of better molecular methods.[3]

Besides the STHs, we also bring to you updates regarding the coccidian parasites, S. stercoralis and also Echinococcus spp. S. stercoralis forms an upcoming intestinal helminth, especially in the compromised population. It has the ability to cause autoinfection and hyperinfection, thereby compounding the problem and the parasitic load. In such group of patients, silent infection is very common too. It was seen that serology has a role in the nonendemic regions whereas agar plate coproculture and molecular diagnostic methods has role as confirmatory tests.[4]

This issue also throws light on other intestinal protozoans which are lesser known but upcoming such as Entamoeba dispar and Blastocystis. Coccidian parasites also form one of the important pathogens of the human intestinal tract with a spectrum of clinical manifestations. Of these pathogens, Cryptosporidium spp. is also considered to be a major pathogen. Various facts and other details are explored in a mini review in this issue.

E. dispar is similar to Entamoeba histolytica morphologically and believed to be nonpathogenic until recently. It also shows intra/interspecies genetic variations. Such variations have been found to have profound implication in the invasiveness of the disease. Thus, studying polymorphism in E. dispar aids to improve our perspective related to the variability in the genome of the parasite. All these facts and findings are explored in detail in an interesting article.

The face-to-face section offers very useful information regarding various enteric parasites in an interview with Dr. Gagandeep Kang, who is a stalwart among intestinal pathogens experts from India. Besides these, an array of enlightening articles on STHs and blood pathogens offers new insights to us along with various interesting reports on Blastocystis spp. and S. stercoralis. With all these, hope this issue will be a treat for the readers both of and out of this field.


1Jourdan PM, Lamberton PHL, Fenwick A, Addiss DG. Soil-transmitted helminth infections. Lancet 2017. pii: S0140-6736(17)31930-X.
2Weatherhead JE, Hotez PJ, Mejia R. The global state of helminth control and elimination in children. Pediatr Clin North Am 2017;64:867-77.
3Papaiakovou M, Pilotte N, Grant JR, Traub RJ, Llewellyn S, McCarthy JS, et al. A novel, species-specific, real-time PCR assay for the detection of the emerging zoonotic parasite Ancylostoma ceylanicum in human stool. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2017;11:e0005734.
4Buonfrate D, Perandin F, Formenti F, Bisoffi Z. A retrospective study comparing agar plate culture, indirect immunofluorescence and real-time PCR for the diagnosis of Strongyloides stercoralis infection. Parasitology 2017;144:812-6.