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Journal of Medical Sciences
Year: 2015  |  Volume: 15  |  Issue: 3  |  Page No.: 147 - 154

Prevalence and Associated Risk Factors of Toxoplasma gondii Antibodies among Pregnant Women Attending Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Nigeria

Idris Abdullahi Nasir, Adekola Hafeez Aderinsayo, Hadiza Umar Mele and Maryam Muhammad Aliyu    

Abstract: Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) is one of the few known zoonotic parasites that have the ability to induce miscarriage and congenital transmission. This study sought to determine and update the prevalence of anti-toxoplasma IgM and IgG antibodies in pregnant women and their associated risks at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Maiduguri, Nigeria. Blood samples from 360 pregnant women aged 19-42 years were analyzed for anti-toxoplasma IgM, IgG antibodies and IgG avidity using Euroimmun® ELISA kits. Structured questionnaires were used to obtain participants’ sociodemographic data. Out of the 360 pregnant women studied, 32 (8.9%) and 144 (40.0%) were seropositive for T. gondii specific IgM and IgG antibodies, respectively. Of those with IgM seropositivity, 26 (7.2%) had primary infection (i.e., IgM+IgG-low IgG avidity) while 6 (1.7%) had reactivated infection (IgG+IgM+high IgG avidity). The IgM seropositivity was statistically significant among women who kept cat pets than those that don’t (75 vs. 25%, p = 0.025). The IgG seropositivity rate was significantly higher among pregnant women from urban than those from rural residential areas (48.4 vs. 19.2%, p = 0.001). Likewise employed women were more likely to contract primary toxoplasmosis than the unemployed (82.2 vs. 31.6%, p = 0.0025). Serological evidence of primary toxoplasmosis was significantly high among pregnant women studied while a significant proportion of other women were at risk of contracting primary toxoplasmosis. Screening for toxoplasmosis during antenatal care should be encouraged in order to detect infected women so that appropriate clinical modalities can be instituted.

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