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Toxoplasma gondii seroprevalence among two selected groups of women

Authors:

SDLP Subasinghe,

Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, LK
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ND Karunaweera,

Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, LK
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A Kaluarachchi,

Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, LK
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CA Abayaweera,

Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, LK
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MH Gunatilake,

Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, LK
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J Ranawaka,

Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, LK
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DMCS Jayasundara,

Obstetrics and Gynaecology Professorial Unit, De Soyza Maternity Hospital for Women, Colombo, LK
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GSA Gunawardena

Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, LK
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Abstract

Toxoplasma gondii is an intracellular parasite able to cross the placental barrier and known to infect the foetal tissues leading to abortions and congenital deformities. This was a case control study conducted between April 2009 and 2010 that compared the seroprevalence of T. gondii and the frequency of association to known risk factors for infection between 100 healthy pregnant women within 28 weeks of pregnancy having no medical complications and 100 women having undergone a spontaneous miscarriage in the past 6 months attending the Antenatal and  Gynaecology clinics of the Professorial Obstetrics & Gynaecology Unit of the De Soyza Maternity Hospital for Women in Colombo. Two milliliters of venous blood was collected and tested for T. gondii antibodies at the Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Colombo, using OnSite Toxo IgG/IgM Rapid Test-Dip Strip®. Personal details and data regarding the known risk factors for the infection were obtained using an interviewer administered questionnaire. The participants were aged between 15 and 46 years (median 29); 38% of women in each group were primigravidae. All participants were sero-negative for anti-T. gondii IgM antibodies. However, 22.5% (n=45) of all study subjects were sero-positive for anti-T. gondii IgG antibodies, which included 62.2% (n=28) from the healthy group and 37.8% (n=17) from those with a recent past history of a spontaneous miscarriage. The difference in seropositivity for Toxoplasma gondii between the two selected groups was not statistically significant (X2=3.47; p=0.063). There were no significant associations between sero-positivity and known risk factors either (p>0.05). Although our study did not reveal any evidence for association between exposure to Toxoplasma gondii infection and spontaneous miscarriage, the presence of more than 75% non-immune women of child bearing age is a cause for concern considering the potential risks posed by this parasite, emphasizing the importance of an organized educational programme targeting this high risk group to prevent infection during pregnancy.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4038/sljid.v1i1.3091

Sri Lankan Journal of Infectious Diseases Vol.1(1) 2011: 9-17

How to Cite: Subasinghe, S. et al., (2011). Toxoplasma gondii seroprevalence among two selected groups of women. Sri Lankan Journal of Infectious Diseases. 1(1), pp.9–17. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljid.v1i1.3091
Published on 28 Jul 2011.
Peer Reviewed

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