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.
Pathogens and Global Health (Impact Factor: 1.66). 09/2010; 104(6):493-504. DOI: 10.1179/136485910X12786389891443
Source: PubMed


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.

Download full-text


Available from: Tarek Tawfik Amin
  • Source
    • "High-quality water sources may be required only for drinking purposes, while the quality of water for other domestic uses can be quite variable. (Mohammad et al., 2010). Groundwater is consideredsafe and reliable source of drinking water. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: One of the major sources of drinking water in Al-Ahsa region of Saudi Arabia is the underground water, which is supplied to consumers through water vehicles. With increasing population and geographic nature of the eastern province and increasing industrialization, it is likely that underground water quality has been compromised and it may not meet the international standards set for drinking purpose. Although most coliform bacteria are harmless, the presence of any coliforms in drinking water suggests the possible presence of disease-causing bacteria, parasites, or viruses. According to US Environmental Protection Agency, the Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCL) for total coliforms in drinking water is zero, which means water is only considered safe for drinking when it is completely free of coliforms. We sampled 103 sources of drinking (48 samples) and tap water (55 samples) from rural (54) and urban (49) areas of Al-Ahsa region and tested for the presence of Coliforms using Blood Agar and EMB media. Out of 103 samples 59 (57%) showed growth on blood agar plates and 27 (26%) of these were positive for coliforms. Among 26 samples of drinking water collected from rural areas 11 (42%) showed coliform growth whereas, only 3 out of 22 drinking water samples were positive for Coliform in the urban areas. Our results show that drinking water in Al Hasa rural areas is not suitable for drinking as per standards published by US Environmental Protection Agency.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · Pollution Research
  • Source
    • "However, the variation of sero-prevalence within a given country is not a new phenomenon; in USA the seroprevalence was found to vary from 17.5% in the west to 20.5% and 29.2% in the south-midwest and north-east, respectively [9]. Also the sero-prevalence in this study was low compared to studies in Brazil [10], Saudi Arabia [11], Morocco [12] and Sudan [13]. This may be accounted for by differences in climatic conditions, as reported before, where higher sero-prevalence is associated with hotter and wetter areas, which is favourable for sporulation of oocysts compared to less humid areas [14,15]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Serological screening of pregnant women for Toxoplasma gondii-specific antibodies is not practiced as an antenatal care in Tanzania; and there is a limited data about sero-prevalence of T. gondii infection in developing countries. We therefore conducted this study to determine the sero-prevalence and factors associated with T. gondii infection among pregnant women attending antenatal care clinics in Mwanza, Tanzania. Between 1st November 2012 and 31st May 2013 a total of 350 pregnant women attending antenatal care clinics in Mwanza were enrolled and screened for IgG and IgM antibodies against T. gondii using the ELISA technique. Of 350 pregnant women, 108 (30.9%) were sero-positive for T. gondii-specific antibodies. The risk of contracting T. gondii infection increases by 7% with each yearly increase in a woman's age (OR=1.07, 95% CI: 1.02 - 1.11, p=0.002). The sero-positivity rate of T. gondii-specific antibodies was higher among pregnant women from the urban than those from rural communities (41.5% versus 22.0%); [OR=2.2, 95% CI; 1.4 - 3.7, p=0.001]. Likewise employed/business women were more likely to get T. gondii infection than peasants (40.0% versus 25.9%) [OR=1.9, 95% CI: 1.2 - 3.0, p=0.006]. Sero-prevalence of T. gondii-specific antibodies is high among pregnant women in Mwanza with a significant proportion of women at risk of contracting primary T. gondii infections. Screening of T. gondii infections during antenatal care should be considered in Tanzania as the main strategy to minimize congenital toxoplasmosis.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · Parasites & Vectors
  • Source
    • "Similarly, the IgG seroprevalence of T. gondii obtained in this study was higher than those reported from Palestine [11], Saudi Arabia [12], Brazil [13], Sudan [14], Morocco [15] and China [3]. In contrast, lower seroprevalence of T. gondii was reported in many European countries and the United States of America [2]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background Toxoplasmosis is a common parasitic infection caused by an obligate intracellular protozoan, Toxoplasma gondii. If primary toxoplasmosis occurs during pregnancy about one third of the cases could lead to congenital toxoplasmosis, with subsequent pathological effects. This study aimed at determining the seroprevalence of T. gondii among pregnant women in Jimma town, Southwest Ethiopia. Methods A community based cross-sectional study was conducted to assess the seroprevalence and associated factors in pregnant women from August to September, 2011. A total of 201 study participants were included in this study. Data on socio-demographic and predisposing factors were collected from each study participant. Moreover, venous blood specimens were collected following Standard Operating Procedures. All the collected specimens were tested for IgM and IgG anti-T. gondii antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Results The overall seroprevalence of T. gondii in the study area was 83.6%. One hundred and sixty three (81.1%) of the pregnant women were IgG seropositive, five (2.5%) were IgM seropositive. Three of the 5 pregnant women were positive for both IgG and IgM. Presence of domestic cat at home showed significant association with anti-T. gondii seropositivity (OR = 5.82, 95% CI: 1.61- 20.99; p < 0.05). Conclusion The seroprevalence of T. gondii antibodies was high among the pregnant women. Pregnant women having domestic cat at their home were at higher risk of T. gondii infection. Hence, health education and awareness on the disease and its transmission to women of reproductive age group in general and pregnant women in particular should be created during antenatal follow up to reduce the risk of T. gondii infection in pregnant women.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2012 · BMC Infectious Diseases
Show more