Article

Toxoplasmosis among the pregnant women attending a Saudi maternity hospital: seroprevalence and possible risk factors.

Department of Medical Parasitology, King Faisal University, Al Ahsa, Saudi Arabia.
Annals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology (Impact Factor: 1.31). 09/2010; 104(6):493-504. DOI: 10.1179/136485910X12786389891443
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In a cross-sectional study to determine the seroprevalence of, and possible risk factors for, Toxoplasma gondii infection in the pregnant women of Saudi Arabia, all of the pregnant Saudi women attending the Al Ahsa Maternity Hospital over a 1-year period were invited to participate. In an interview with each subject, the relevant socio-demographic data and information on housing conditions, previous obstetric history and possible risk factors for Toxoplasma infection (e.g.frequency of consumption of undercooked meat, unwashed raw vegetables and/or unwashed raw fruit, contact with soil, and main sources of drinking water) were collected. Each subject was then checked for anti-Toxoplasma gondii IgG and IgM in commercial ELISA. Of the 554 expectant women investigated, 51.4% were found seropositive for anti-Toxoplasma IgG (indicating chronic infection) and 8.8% for anti-Toxoplasma IgM (indicating acute infection), with 6.1% of the women seropositive for Toxoplasma -specific IgM but seronegative for Toxoplasma-specific IgG. Acute infection was most common among the women who were relatively young, lived in rural areas and had relatively low incomes. The results of a multivariate logistic regression indicated that the significant positive predictors for chronic Toxoplasma infection were increasing age, rural residence, low family income, frequent consumption of undercooked meat, and previous obstetric problems (and/or multiparity). Although of questionable accuracy, the results of the present study revealed a relatively high seroprevalence of (possibly primary) acute Toxoplasma infection in the pregnant women, with the potential for transmission of the parasite to the foetuses.

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