Volume 33, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Fifty-two of 142 (37%) American ex-prisoners of war that worked on the Burma-Thailand Railroad during World War II were found to have previously unrecognized symptomatic infections. A characteristic urticarial creeping skin eruption on the abdomen, buttocks and thighs occurred in 92%. Infection was also associated with pruritus ani, abdominal pain, indigestion, heartburn, and diarrhea. Demonstration of larvae in ether-formalin stool concentrates in these chronic low density infections required 5 hours of microscopy per case to detect 90% of positive cases. Therapy with thiabendazole resulted in a clinical cure in 93% and a microscopic cure in 100%; but was associated with frequent side effects. Chronic strongyloidiasis should be considered in veterans of Far East conflicts and in others with intimate soil contact in rural -endemic areas who present with recurrent creeping skin eruption, abdominal pain, and eosinophilia.


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