Toxoplasmosis among pregnant women attending antenatal clinic in a health facility in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria

  • G.N. Wokem
  • E Onosakponome
  • F.O.I. Arene
Keywords: Toxoplasma antibodies, seropositivity, pregnant women, Port Harcourt, Nigeria


Toxoplasmosis is a neglected tropical protozoan disease of public health importance. This study estimated the seroprevalence of toxoplasmosis and the associated risk factors among pregnant women attending the antenatal clinic in the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Rivers State, Nigeria. Two hundred and thirteen (213) pregnant women antenatal clinic attendees were tested for IgG and IgM toxoplasma antibodies using conventional ELISA technique after ethical clearance and informed consent were obtained. Demographic data were collected using well-structured questionnaires. Out of the 213 subjects examined, 58 (27.2%) were positive consisting of 48 (24%) and 10(5%) positive for IgG and IgM toxoplasma antibodies respectively. The age-groups 25-29 and 30-34 years had higher prevalence rates of 19 (8.9%) and 16 (7.5%) respectively for IgG whereas age-group 35-40 years had the highest 4 (1.9%) for IgM antibodies. The age-group >40 years had the least prevalence for IgG 2 (0.9%) and IgM (0.0%) antibodies. It was observed that toxoplasma antibody IgG, increases with increase in trimesters while the IgM decreases simultaneously. Traders had the highest prevalence for IgG and IgM antibodies for occupation related seroprevalence. The two way anova and mean separation showed that the overall prevalence for IgG was statistically significant (p<0.05) while that of IgM was not (p>0.05). It also showed that there was no association between the age-group, trimester, occupation and seropositive subjects. Demographic data analysis showed that history of living with pets, eating improperly or unwashed fruits and engagement in gardening and farming were some of the risk factors associated with seropositivity to toxoplasmosis. The inclusion of Toxoplasma gondii test as one of the routine tests carried out in antenatal clinics, and awareness campaign of toxoplasmosis by government and NGOs were advocated.

Keywords: Toxoplasma antibodies; seropositivity; pregnant women; Port Harcourt; Nigeria


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eISSN: 1117-4145