Congenital toxoplasmosis is considered a rare but potentially severe infection. Prenatal education about congenital toxoplasmosis could be the most efficient and least harmful intervention, yet its effectiveness is uncertain.
To assess the effects of prenatal education for preventing congenital toxoplasmosis.
We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group's Trials Register (15 January 2012), PubMed (1966 to 15 January 2012), EMBASE (1980 to 15 January 2012), CINAHL (1982 to 15 January 2012), LILACS (1982 to 15 January 2012), IMEMR (1984 to 15 January 2012), and reference lists of relevant papers, reviews and websites.
Randomized and quasi-randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of all types of prenatal education on toxoplasmosis infection during pregnancy. Cluster-randomized trials were included.
Two review authors independently assessed trials for inclusion and study quality. Two review authors extracted data. Data were checked for accuracy.
Two cluster-randomized controlled trials (involving a total of 5455 women) met the inclusion criteria. The two included trials measured the effectiveness of the intervention in different ways which meant that meta-analysis of the results was not possible One trial (432 women enrolled) conducted in Canada was judged of low methodological quality. The authors did not report measure of association but only provided P values (P less than 0.05) for all outcomes. Moreover, losses to follow-up were high (34%, 147 out of 432 women initially enrolled). The authors concluded that prenatal education can effectively change pregnant women's behavior as it increased pet, personal and food hygiene. The second trial conducted in France was also judged of low methodological quality. Losses to follow-up were high (44.5%, 2233 out of 5023 women initially enrolled) and differential (40% in the intervention group and 52% in the control group). The authors concluded that prenatal education for congenital toxoplasmoses has a significant effect on improving women's knowledge whereas it has no effect on changing women's behavior. In this trial 17/3949 pregnant women seroconverted for toxoplasmosis: 13/2591 (0.5%) in the intervention group and 4/1358 (0.3%) in the control group. The number of events was too small to reach conclusions about the effect of prenatal education on seroconversion rate during pregnancy.No other randomized trials on the effect of prenatal education on congenital toxoplasmosis rate, or toxoplasmosis seroconversion rate during pregnancy were detected.
Even though primary prevention of congenital toxoplasmosis is considered a desirable intervention, given the lack of related risks compared to secondary and tertiary prevention, its effectiveness has not been adequately evaluated. There is very little evidence from RCTs that prenatal education is effective in reducing congenital toxoplasmosis even though evidence from observational studies suggests it is. Given the lack of good evidence supporting prenatal education for congenital toxoplasmosis prevention, further RCTs are needed to confirm any potential benefits and to further quantify the impact of different sets of educational intervention.
"Although numerous studies have provided some evidence that education of pregnant women may be beneficial,68–72 one review of toxoplasmosis-related health education called for more rigorously designed research on prevention of toxoplasmosis through education, and questioned the validity of results from published studies.73 In addition, a recent Cochrane systematic review found very little rigorous scientific evidence that prenatal education is effective in reducing congenital toxoplasmosis and called for randomized controlled trials to confirm the potential benefits and quantify the impact of educational interventions.74 "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Toxoplasma gondii is a leading cause of severe foodborne illness in the United States. Population-based studies have found T. gondii infection to be more prevalent in racial/ethnic minority and socioeconomically disadvantaged groups. Soil contaminated with cat feces, undercooked meat, and congenital transmission are the principal sources of infection. Toxoplasmosis-associated illnesses include congenital neurologic and ocular disease; acquired illness in immunocompetent persons, most notably ocular disease; and encephalitis or disseminated disease in immunosuppressed persons. The association of T. gondii infection with risk for mental illness is intriguing and requires further research. Reduction of T. gondii in meat, improvements in hygiene and food preparation practices, and reduction of environmental contamination can prevent toxoplasmosis, but more research is needed on how to implement these measures. In addition, screening and treatment may help prevent toxoplasmosis or reduce the severity of disease in some settings.
The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 05/2014; 90(5):794-9. DOI:10.4269/ajtmh.13-0722 · 2.70 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The management of infection in pregnancy aims mainly at improving the diagnosis and prognosis of congenital infections. Over 400 publications have dealt with this issue over the last 2 years, taking advantage of progress made not only in the epidemiological knowledge of infections but also neonatal treatment and prenatal diagnosis and interventions. The focus remains largely on viral and parasitic infections, namely cytomegalovirus (CMV) and toxoplasmosis, with the appearance of influenza as part of recent and severe outbreaks.
The prevalence of CMV infection is stable. The prediction of foetal infection from primary maternal infection is becoming more accurate and therapeutic approaches are promising, including the development of a vaccine in the near future. The prevalence of toxoplasmosis is decreasing markedly in Europe weakening the effect of preventive measures and questioning the rationale for screening. In addition, the efficacy of prenatal treatment is still under scrutiny, although no appropriate randomized controlled trial (RCT) has been undertaken.
Accurate dating of maternal primary infection is key to prenatal management including foetal and perinatal surveillance and therapy. Heightened prenatal surveillance following influenza infection in early pregnancy is warranted by an apparent increased risk of nonchromosomal congenital malformations in large epidemiological studies, likely as an effect of maternal hyperthermia.
Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases 06/2014; 27(3):251-257. DOI:10.1097/QCO.0000000000000066 · 5.01 Impact Factor
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