Molecular Evaluation and Seroprevalence of Toxoplasmosis in Pregnant Women in Fars province, Southern Iran
Background: Importance of Toxoplasma gondii for humans refers mainly to primary infection in pregnant women and also infection in immunocompromised individuals. Aim: The current study aimed to determine the seroprevalence of toxoplasmosis in pregnant women in Fars province, southern Iran, and to find out the chronic and acute cases of toxoplasmosis in this population with molecular and serological methods.
Subjects and Methods: Blood samples were taken from 2000 pregnant women, admitted to Shiraz university-affiliated hospitals in 2014 and serum and buffy coat were separated. Data such as age, number of pregnancy, pregnancy age and place of resident were recorded for each participant. Sera samples were evaluated for anti-Toxoplasma IgG and IgM, using a commercial ELISA kit. Moreover, the seropositive cases were evaluated by PCR to amplify a 529bp gene of Toxoplasma gondii.
Results: Anti-Toxoplasma antibodies were detected in sera of 177 (8.9%) of cases. From these, 172 (8.6%) were seropositive only for IgG, 4 (0.2%) were seropositive only for IgM and 1 (0.05%) were positive for both IgG and IgM. PCR detected Toxoplasma DNA in buffy coat of 15 out of 177 (8.5%) of the seropositive subjects, two of them were IgM positive and the remaining 13 were among IgG seropositive cases.
Conclusion: Findings of this study demonstrated a relatively low rate of seropositivity for toxoplasmosis in pregnant women in the area. This means that a high percentage of pregnant women are at risk of acquiring toxoplasmosis during their pregnancy and subsequently, transmission of the infection to their fetus.
Keywords: Seroprevalence, Molecular evaluation, Toxoplasmosis, Pregnant women, Southern Iran