Seroprevalence and risk factors of Toxoplasma gondii infection in pregnant women following antenatal care at Mizan Aman General Hospital, Bench Maji Zone (BMZ), Ethiopia

Fira Abamecha, Hasen Awel
BMC Infectious Diseases 2016 September 1, 16: 460

BACKGROUND: The intracellular parasite, Toxoplasma gondii (T.gondii) is found worldwide. Infection with T. gondii during pregnancy can result in fetal and neonatal death or various congenital defects. A serological survey during pregnancy represents a valuable tool for the effective diagnosis and treatment of infected neonates. The aim of this study was to assess the sero-prevalence and risk factors of T.gondii in pregnant women following ante natal care (ANC) services at Mizan Aman General Hospital, Bench Maji zone (BMZ), Ethiopia.

METHODS: An institution based cross-sectional study was conducted enrolling a sample of 232 pregnant women attending antenatal care at Mizan Aman General Hospital during 01 December, 2014 to 18 February, 2015. Systematic random sampling technique was used to obtain the required sample. About 5 ml of blood sample was collected aseptically by using properly labeled plain tube with the necessary information. The blood samples centrifuged at 3000 rpm for 10 min to separate serum. The serum was stored at a temperature of 20 °C below zero until the serological analysis was done for the presence of anti T.gondii antibodies (i.e. Immune globulin 'M' (IgM) and Immune globulin 'G' (IgG)) using enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Exit interview was conducted with eligible mothers to obtain socio-demographic and behavioral data using structured questionnaires. Multivariate logistic regression modeling was employed to identify the potential predictor variables for T.gondii infection. P-value less than 5 % was considered to declare a sound significant association.

RESULTS: The response rate of the study was 100 %. The overall sero-prevalence for T.gondii infection was 85.3 % (198/232). About 191 (82.3 %) of the pregnant women were reactive only for IgG anti-bodies. While about 7 (3.0 %) of them were seropositive for both IgG and IgM anti-bodies. None of the mothers were positive for IgM anti-bodies exclusively. On multivariate logistic regression analysis, contact with cat and gardening soil were significantly associated with T.gondii infection (AOR =2.37, 95 % CI = [1.16, 3.57] and AOR = 2.49, 95 % CI = [1.53, 3.86] respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: Sero-prevalence of T. gondii antibodies for IgM was relatively high among pregnant women. Contact with cat and soil were risk factors for T.gondii case. Creating awareness on the source of infection, modes of transmission and prevention of T. gondii should be given for pregnant women. Routine screening services for T. gondii infection should be integrated with other ANC services to identify potential infections of the parasite.

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