Toxoplasma Gondii Infection in HIV/AIDS: Prevalence and Risk Factors
BACKGROUND: Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii. It is common in severely immunecompromised
OBJECTIVE: To determine the seroprevalence of T. gondii infection and the risk factors associated with the infection and to investigate the association between T. gondii infection and CD4 cell count.
METHODS: Sera collected from 242 HIV positive HAART- naive patients were tested for T. gondii specific immunoglobulin G antibodies. Information was obtained using a structured questionnaire. Baseline CD4 cell counts were obtained from patients case files. Data was managed using SPSS version 20 software and Microsoft Excel worksheet.
RESULTS: One hundred and sixty eight (69.4%) subjects were females while 74(30.6%) were males. One hundred (41.3%) of study participants were Toxoplasma IgG antibody positive. Thirty two(32) HIV positive pregnant women were among this group studied with 12( 37.5%) being Toxo IgG antibody positive. Toxoplasma seropositivity was higher in females (42.8%) than in males (39.2%), P= 0.60. CD4 cell count level of < 200 was negatively associated with Toxoplasma seropositivity than CD4 count . 200 by logistic regression (OR= 0.6; 95% CI 0.3- 1.0). Living in proximity with cat was positively associated with T. gondii infection (P= 0.01).
CONCLUSION: T. gondii infection is common in pregnant women indicating greater probability of congenital transmission of T. gondii. This could form a basis for recommending intensifying health education and prophylactic treatment for all HIV positive pregnant women. Measures should be taken to prevent stray cats from entering homes.
Keywords: Toxoplasma gondii , IgG, Seroprevalence, HIV positive, CD4 cells.