BMC research notes 2016 08 159(1) 406 doi 10.1186/s13104-016-2206-0
Toxoplasmosis is a widely distributed zoonotic disease, caused by the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. T. Infections can result in stillbirths, abortions or congenital defects during pregnancy, as well as toxoplasmic encephalitis in HIV/AIDS patients. This study aimed to determine the seroprevalence and risk factors for T. gondii infection in women seeking antenatal and medical care in the locality of Njinikom, North West of Cameroon.
We conducted a cross-sectional study from August to December 2014 consecutively enrolling 178 consenting women aged 15 to 49 years attending antenatal care or medical check-ups at the hospital. A questionnaire survey was administered to study participants and potential risk factors for Toxoplasma exposure sought. Venous blood was collected and serum from each participant analysed for T. gondii infection as evidenced by the presence of anti-T. gondii IgG and IgM antibodies detected using the indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) technique. The proportion of anti-T. gondii antibody positivity calculated as the percentage of antibody seropositivity to T. gondii antigens. Predictors of T. gondii infection were analysed by univariate and multivariate regression and association with T. gondii seropositivity assessed. Epi-Info 3.5.4 was used for statistical analyses. A p < 0.05 was considered significant for all analyses. RESULTS
The seroprevalence of anti-T. gondii antibodies (IgM or IgG) were 54.5 % (97/178). Among seropositive women, 88.7 % (86/97), 30.9 % (30/97), and 19.6 % (19/97) were respectively seropositive for IgG antibody, IgM antibody and both IgM and IgG antibodies. Among the risk factors evaluated, only the consumption of raw or undercooked meat (p = 0.02) was observed to be an independent risk factor of T. gondii infection. The consumption of unwashed vegetables and fruits was significant (p = 0.01) only with simple logistic regression analysis.
Our findings suggest recent T. gondii exposure is high in our study population, and may constitute a significant risk factor for stillbirths, abortions or congenital defects during pregnancy in women attending antenatal care, or toxoplasmic encephalitis in those who are immunosuppressed such as in HIV/AIDS. Education and screening of HIV-positive individuals and pregnant women for T. gondii infection may be important primary prevention strategies in this population.