Sero-epidemiology of Toxoplasmosis among pregnant women in the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Nigeria

  • Ibinabo Laura Oboro
  • Orikomaba Korifama Obunge
  • Kennedy Tamunoimiegbam Wariso
Keywords: Toxoplasma gondii, Pregnancy, ELISA, Risk factors


Background: The objective of this study was to determine the sero-prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection and associated risk factors among pregnant women in the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Nigeria.

Methods: A cross-sectional study involving two hundred and eighty-eight (288) pregnant women who gave informed consent was done. Questionnaires were administered to determine their sociodemographic and risk factors. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was performed on all patients’ sera to detect anti-Toxoplasma Immunoglobulin G (IgG) and M (IgM). Data was analyzed using the statistical package Epi info version 6.04d.

Results: A total of one hundred and eighty-nine women (65.6 %) were sero-positive for IgM and/or IgG. Thirty-three (11.5%) were positive for IgM only, one hundredand twenty-three (42.4%) for IgG only and thirty-three (11.5%) for both. Consumption of beef was a statistically significant risk factor associated.

Conclusion: A significant proportion of pregnant women have been exposed to Toxoplasma gondii, with the risk factor significantly associated with infection being consumption of beef, which is a very common practice in Port Harcourt. It is therefore necessary to heighten enlightenment of the populace particularly women of child-bearing age and pregnant women on toxoplasmosis–specific preventive practices to reduce their exposure to the pathogen and its potential complications. Routine screening for Toxoplasmosis in pregnancy would be largely beneficial in its prevention and control.

Keywords: Toxoplasma gondii; Pregnancy; ELISA, Risk factors


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