Seroprevalence Of Toxoplasma gondii In Nazaret Town, Ethiopia
Objective: To determine the seroprevalence of toxoplasmosis, assess its zoonotic importance and identify factors associated with seroprevalence. Methods: Questionnaire survey was conducted on 65 serum samples collected from male and female urban and peri-urban residents aged between 15 days and 65 years. Main outcome measures were feeding habits, purpose of keeping cats and association with family members. Serologic evidence of toxoplasmosis was conducted by the Modified Direct Agglutination Test (MDA T) and determination of HIV status using the HIV - Spot Test. Results: Over 50% of the interviewed people had a history of consumption of raw or undercooked mutton and had close contact with cats. 60% of the serum samples analyzed by the MDA T had serologic evidence of Toxoplasma infection. Significantly higher MDA T tiers were encountered both in pregnant and immunocompromised individuals. The risk factors associated to Toxoplasma infection, i.e. raw or undercooked mutton consumption and presence of cats appeared significant. Conclusion and recommendations: The significance of toxoplasmosis as a disease of zoonotic importance was demonstrated. Close contact between family members and the consumption of raw or undercooked mutton were the major risk factors in the transmission of the disease. Considering the relatively high prevalence as revealed by this study it would be important to conduct studies on a wider scale. It would also be important to increase public awareness and upgrade the knowledge on congenital toxoplasmosis.
East African Journal of Public Health Vol. 5 (3) 2008: pp. 211-214