Does Strongyloides stercoralis infection protect against type 2 diabetes in humans? Evidence from Australian Aboriginal adults

Hays, Russell, Esterman, Adrian, Giacomin, Paul, Loukas, Alex, and McDermott, Robyn (2015) Does Strongyloides stercoralis infection protect against type 2 diabetes in humans? Evidence from Australian Aboriginal adults. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, 107 (3). pp. 355-361.

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Abstract

Objective: To explore the relationship between infection with Strongyloides stercoralis and the likelihood of having type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).

Methods: Cross-sectional survey of 259 Aboriginal adults living in a remote community in northern Australia during 2013. Prior infection with S. stercoralis was determined by ELISA testing on serum. Main outcomes were eosinophil count, T2DM diagnosis, HbA1c, BMI, fasting lipids, Hb, blood pressure.

Findings: Ninety two participants (36%) had prior infection with S. stercoralis and 131 (51%) had T2DM. Those with previous S. stercoralis infection (ELISA titre ≥0.3) were 61% less likely to have a diagnosis of T2DM than those uninfected, adjusted for age, triglycerides, blood pressure and BMI using propensity score (adjusted OR = 0.39, 0.23–0.67, P = 0.001).

Interpretation: In this remote community where prevalence of both S. stercoralis and T2DM is very high, infection with S. stercoralis appears to be associated with a significantly reduced risk of T2DM in adults. A plausible immunological mechanism has been identified in animal models. If confirmed, this result may have practical implications for the prevention of T2DM and associated metabolic disorders in humans. This finding should be explored further with larger longitudinal studies in transitional populations where the risk of both conditions is high.

Item ID: 39072
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: Strongyloides stercoralis, Helminth infection, type 2 diabetes mellitus, immunomodulation
Additional Information:

A version of this publication was included as Chapter 2 of the following PhD thesis: Hays, Russell John (2018) Helminth infection and metabolic disease: Strongyloides stercoralis infection and type 2 diabetes mellitus in an Aboriginal community. PhD thesis, James Cook University, which is available Open Access in ResearchOnline@JCU. Please see the Related URLs for access.

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ISSN: 1872-8227
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2015 03:00
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111701 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1108 Medical Microbiology > 110803 Medical Parasitology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920104 Diabetes @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920302 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - Health Status and Outcomes @ 50%
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