Strongyloidiasis is a helminth infection that remains under-researched despite its ability to cause significant illness. Women and children may be at particular risk of health consequences from this parasite. This systematic literature review aims to examine research on the long-term health effects that strongyloidiasis has in pregnant women and children. We conducted a structured search using multiple databases to collect all primary studies discussing health effects of strongyloidiasis in the aforementioned groups. The review included 20 results: 16 primary studies and four case reports. The methodological quality of studies was substandard, and there was substantial heterogeneity to the statistical analysis and outcomes assessed in the literature. Statistically significant associations were found between strongyloidiasis and low birth weight, as well as wasting. No links were found between strongyloidiasis and anaemia. Due to testing methods used in the studies, the prevalence of Strongyloides stercoralis
in these studies was probably under-estimated. Current research is suggestive that strongyloidiasis has long-term adverse health effects on the offspring of infected mothers and in chronically-infected children. Data analysis was hindered by both methodological and statistical flaws, and as such, reliable conclusions regarding the health impacts could not be formed.
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