Seroprevalence and Risk Factors for Toxoplasmosis in Pregnant Yemeni Women

Salah A. Al-Qobati1*, Abdul-Basit Al-Ghoury2, and Mohamed T. Al-Maktari1

1Department of Medical Parasitology; Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sana'a University, 2Emran University - Yemen


Toxoplasmosis is a cosmopolitan disease, arising from infection with the cat-borne coccidian protozoan, Toxoplasma gondii. It is an obligate intracellular organism that forms cysts in mammalian tissues throughout the body.1 Approximately one third of the world's human populations is infected by such protozoan.2 The parasite infects most genera of warm-blooded animals, including humans. It rarely causes any symptoms in otherwise healthy adults. However, among those with a weakened immune system, as AIDS patients, it may cause fatal disease.3 The infection is acquired by ingestion of mature oocysts in water and / or food contaminated with cat feces, and by eating raw or undercooked animal's meat

containing infective tissue cysts. Infection may also happen congenitally from pregnant acquired primary infection to her fetus through transplacental transmission.4-6 Maternal toxoplasmosis is usually asymptomatic; but, if the diagnosis is delayed, irreversible fetal infection may take place, leading to spontaneous abortion, still birth; or serious fetal damage such as, encephalitis, hydrocephalus, and chorioretinitis.7
Serological testing is the mainstay for the diagnosis of toxoplasmosis. The analysis is based on the positivity of anti T. gondii specific immunoglobulin G (IgG),"evidence of earlier infection, peaking at 4 months after infection and persisting at low levels for life"; and on anti T. gondii specific immunoglobulin M (IgM),"evidence of current or

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