Prevalence of strongyloidiasis and schistosomiasis among migrants: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Archana Asundi, Alina Beliavsky, Xing Jian Liu, Arash Akaberi, Guido Schwarzer, Zeno Bisoffi, Ana Requena-Méndez, Ian Shrier, Christina Greenaway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Global migration from regions where strongyloidiasis and schistosomiasis are endemic to non-endemic countries has increased the potential individual and public health effect of these parasitic diseases. We aimed to estimate the prevalence of these infections among migrants to establish which groups are at highest risk and who could benefit from screening. Methods: We did a systematic review and meta-analysis of strongyloidiasis and schistosomiasis prevalence among migrants born in endemic countries. Original studies that included data for the prevalence of Strongyloides or Schistosoma antibodies in serum or the prevalence of larvae or eggs in stool or urine samples among migrants originating from countries endemic for these parasites and arriving or living in host countries with low endemicity—specifically the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, and 23 western European countries—were eligible for inclusion. Pooled estimates of the prevalence of strongyloidiasis and schistosomiasis by stool or urine microscopy for larvae or eggs or serum antibodies were calculated with a random-effects model. Heterogeneity was explored by stratification by age, region of origin, migrant class, period of study, and type of serological antigen used. Findings: 88 studies were included. Pooled strongyloidiasis seroprevalence was 12·2% (95% CI 9·0–15·9%; I2 96%) and stool-based prevalence was 1·8% (1·2–2·6%; 98%). Migrants from east Asia and the Pacific (17·3% [95% CI 4·1–37·0]), sub-Saharan Africa (14·6% [7·1–24·2]), and Latin America and the Caribbean (11·4% [7·8–15·7]) had the highest seroprevalence. Pooled schistosomiasis seroprevalence was 18·4% (95% CI 13·1–24·5; I2 97%) and stool-based prevalence was 0·9% (0·2–1·9; 99%). Sub-Saharan African migrants had the highest seroprevalence (24·1·% [95% CI 16·4–32·7]). Interpretation: Strongyloidiasis affects migrants from all global regions, whereas schistosomiasis is focused in specific regions and most common among sub-Saharan African migrants. Serological prevalence estimates were several times higher than stool estimates for both parasites. These data can be used to inform screening decisions for migrants and support the use of serological screening, which is more sensitive and easier than stool testing. Funding: None.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e236-e248
JournalThe Lancet Global Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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