Seroprevalence of Toxoplasmosis and associated risk factors in pregnant women at the Protestant Hospital, Mbouo-Bandjoun, Cameroon
Background: Toxoplasmosis is a common worldwide infection caused by the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii. In Cameroon, several recent studies have reported high seroprevalence of this parasitosis in various hospitals (Douala, Limbe, Njinikom and Yaoundé). The aim of this study was to determine whether this high prevalence of toxoplasmosis might occur in other regions of the country.
Methodology: Serological tests by the indirect Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) for IgG and IgM were carried out on 200 pregnant women (36 HIV-positive and 164 HIV-negative) at the Protestant Hospital of Mbouo-Bandjoun in western Cameroon to determine the presence of Toxoplasma gondii infection and to identify the risk factors associated with seropositivity of the subjects.
Results: The overall seroprevalence of anti-Toxoplasma antibodies was 45.5%. The prevalence rate was 80.5% in the HIV-positive group (47.2% IgG, 22.2% IgM and 11.1% IgG + IgM) and 37.8% in the HIV-negative group (25.6%, 9.7% and 2.4% respectively). Using a multivariate logistic regression analysis, the secondary level of educational, presence of HIV infection, and frequency of close contacts with cats were significantly associated with the prevalence of IgG and/or IgM antibodies.
Conclusion: Compared with previous reports of human toxoplasmosis in Cameroon, the prevalence in our study showed a decrease in the disease occurrence. Further studies are needed to determine whether this decrease is localised to our study or a general phenomenon currently affecting the country.
Keywords: Cameroon, IgG, IgM, pregnant women, seroprevalence, Toxoplasma gondii