Sero-epidemiology of toxoplasmosis amongst pregnant women in the greater Accra region of Ghana

  • I Ayi
  • S Edu
  • K.A Apea-kubi
  • D Boamah
  • K.M Bosompem
  • D Edoh
Keywords: Toxoplasma, pregnancy, infection risk, seroprevalence, Ghana

Abstract

Objectives: To investigate Toxoplasma infection among pregnant women in relation to exposure to infection risk, age and pregnancy-related risk factors. Design and Methods: This cross-sectional study involved 294 pregnant women attending ante-natal clinic in Accra who consented to participate. Personal and Toxoplasma infection risk related data were obtained by questionnaire interviews. Venous blood was safely drawn from each participant and spun to obtain sera.
Each of the 159 randomly selected serum samples was tested for specific anti-Toxoplasma (anti-T. gondii) antibodies IgG, IgA and IgM using a commercial ELISA kit (Calbiotech Inc., CA). ELISA results were correlated with exposure to possible infection risk factors
as well as age and pregnancy-related risk factors. Results: The 159 women aged 15-40 years in their first, second and third trimesters, numbered 29, 70 and 60, respectively. An overall anti-T. gondii antibodies IgG, IgA and IgM seroprevalence of 92.5% (147/159)
was recorded, with 4.1% (6/147) of them having anti- IgG only. The remaining 88.7% (141/159) had anti- Toxoplasma antibodies IgG, IgA and IgM in various combinations and consisted of 17.7% (25/141) in their first, 44.0% (62/141) in their second, and 38.3% (54/141) in their third, trimesters. Twelve women (7.6%) were seronegative for all 3 antibodies Conclusions: Seroprevalence was high among the women and exposure to contact with cats’ faeces was found to be the major T. gondii infection risk factor. Age and pregnancy-related risk factors did not have association with T. gondii infection within the limitations
of this study.
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