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Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical

Print version ISSN 0037-8682


MOURA, Fernanda Loureiro de et al. Prevalence and risk factors for Toxoplasma gondii infection among pregnant and postpartum women attended at public healthcare facilities in the City of Niterói, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Rev. Soc. Bras. Med. Trop. [online]. 2013, vol.46, n.2, pp.200-207.  Epub Apr 02, 2013. ISSN 0037-8682.


To determine the prevalence of immunoglobulin G (IgG) and immunoglobulin M (IgM) anti-Toxoplasma gondii antibodies among pregnant and postpartum women attended within the public healthcare system in Niterói, State of Rio de Janeiro, and to detect possible exposure factors associated with T. gondii infection in this population.


IgM and IgG anti-T. gondii antibodies were investigated in 276 pregnant and 124 postpartum women by using the indirect immunofluorescence (IFAT) and immunoenzymatic assay (ELISA) techniques. The participants were selected by convenience sampling. All these 400 patients filled out a free and informed consent statement, answered an epidemiological questionnaire and were informed about the disease.


Among the 400 samples analyzed, 234 (58.5%) were reactive to IgG anti-T. gondii antibodies, according to the IFAT and/or ELISA assay. One pregnant woman was found to be reactive to IgM anti-T. gondii antibodies, with an intermediate IgG avidity test. Risk factor analysis showed that seropositivity was significantly associated (p<0.05) with age, contact with cats and presence of rodents at home. Through a logistic regression model, these associations were confirmed for age and contact with cats, while education at least of the high school level was found to be a protective factor.


The prevalence rate of IgG anti-T. gondii antibodies in the City of Niterói was high and the risk factors for infection detected after multivariate analysis were: age over 30 years, contact with cats and education levels lower than university graduate level.

Keywords : Toxoplasma gondii; Pregnant women; Postpartum women; Seroprevalence.

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