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Strongyloidiasis in Papua New Guinea (PNG) is poorly understood. There have been limited surveys describing the levels of endemicity in some regions of PNG, but in the Western Province, its occurrence and level of burden are unknown. This study aimed to determine the seroepidemiology of Strongyloides spp. seropositivity within a community located in the Balimo region of the Western Province. Plasma samples were collected from 120 adult participants and were subjected to anti-IgG Strongyloides spp. serological testing. Logistical regression analyses were performed to identify relationships between strongyloidiasis and attributes of sociodemography. In this cross-sectional cohort study, 22.5% (27/120; 95% CI: 15.9–30.8%) of participants were seropositive for strongyloidiasis. Participants with higher body mass indices were less likely to be seropositive for Strongyloides spp. infection (odds ratio [OR] = 0.85, P value = 0.008), and in the multivariable analysis, increasing units of age (adjusted OR [aOR] = 0.93, P value = 0.048) and participants ≤ 40 years old were associated with a decreased likelihood of Strongyloides spp. seropositivity (aOR = 0.07, P value = 0.034). The results from this study indicate that the occurrence of strongyloidiasis is high in the Western Province, PNG, and age is a determining factor of seroreactivity. This study provides evidence of endemic strongyloidiasis in this community and raises questions as to the impact of this neglected disease and other intestinal parasites on disease burden and comorbidities.
Financial support: This study was funded through research grants awarded by HOT NORTH, Research Australia, and James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia.
Authors’ addresses: Jessica Scott, Jeffrey Warner, and Catherine Rush, College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia, and Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia, E-mails: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, and firstname.lastname@example.org. Theophilus Emeto, College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia, Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia, and World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Vector-Borne and Neglected Tropical Diseases, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia, E-mail: email@example.com. Wayne Melrose, College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.