Rubella virus, Toxoplasma gondii and Treponema pallidum congenital infections among full term delivered women in an urban area of Tanzania: a call for improved antenatal care

  • Mariam M Mirambo
  • Stephen E Mshana
  • Uwe Groβ
Keywords: Congenital infections, Mwanza, Tanzania.


Background: A significant proportion of newborns in the developing countries are born with congenital anomalies.

Objective: This study investigated congenital infections due to Rubella virus, Toxoplasma gondii, Treponema pallidum among presumed normal neonates from full term pregnant women in Mwanza, Tanzania.
Methods: Sera from mothers were tested for Treponema pallidum and Toxoplasma gondii infection while newborns from mothers with acute infections were tested for T. pallidum and T. gondii, and all newborns were tested for Rubella IgM antibodies.
Results: A total of 13/300 (4.3 %) mothers had T. pallidum antibodies with 3 of them having acute infection. Two (0.7 %) of the newborns from mothers with acute infection were confirmed to have congenital syphilis. Regarding toxoplasmosis, 92/300 (30.7 %) mothers were IgG seropositive and 7 had borderline positivity, with only 1/99 (1%) being IgM seropositive who delivered IgM seronegative neonate. Only 1/300 (0.3 %) newborn had rubella IgM antibodies indicating congenital rubella infection.
Conclusion: Based on these results, it is estimated that in Mwanza city in every 100,000 live births about 300 and 600 newborns have congenital rubella and syphilis infections, respectively. Rubella virus and T. pallidum are likely to be among common causes of congenital infections in developing countries.

Keywords: Congenital infections, Mwanza, Tanzania.


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eISSN: 1680-6905