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Seroprevalence of toxoplasmosis in Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil

Soroprevalência da toxoplasmose em Fortaleza, Ceará, Brasil

Luís C. REY Isabel L.C. RAMALHO About the authors

A serological survey of Toxoplasma gondii infection in population groups in Fortaleza, Brazil, was conducted, in order to identify seroprevalence rates according to age and risk factors associated with acquired infection. A Toxoplasma IgG-antibody enzyme immunoassay (Sanofi Pasteur Diagnostics, Marnes la Coquette, France) was employed to assess the immunity. Public day-care centers and schools were randomly selected, while three large antenatal clinics and maternity units were choosen by its importance. Population groups and results of 997 blood tests were: 227 children (mean age 3.8 years), 22.8% seropositives; 584 students (mean 11.4 years), 58.4%, and pregnant and postpartum women (mean 24 years), 71.5% seropositives (p < 0.001). Of 256 participants reporting close contact with cats, 59.8% were seropositive, in contrast with 51% seropositives without contact (relative risk 1.17; 95% confidence interval 1.04-1.33; p = 0.01). Having three or more siblings at home was related to higher seroprevalence in children and students (relative risk 1.39; 95% confidence interval 1.21-1.60; p < 0.01). In conclusion, toxoplasmosis seroprevalence showed a rapid increase during the first ten years of life, in association with close contact with cats and larger households, probably related to inappropriate hygiene and child-care practices.

Toxoplasmosis; Seroepidemiology; Human; Brazil

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