Toxoplasma gondii seroprevalence at a tertiary care hospital in Makkah, Saudi Arabia
Human toxoplasmosis is a cosmopolitan infection with a wide-ranging prevalence. The prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection is variable and depends on different eco-epidemiological factors. Both, active serological screenings and retrospective analytical methods are usually used for the investigation of toxoplasmosis seroprevalence in different populations. We conducted a two-year retrospective database search at a major tertiary care hospital to determine the prevalence of toxoplasmosis and its distribution in relation to gender and age among Makkah's population. In total, 806 females and 118 males with 33.1±9.1 years mean age (±SD) were tested for anti-T. gondii antibodies in the last two years. Laboratory results revealed 229 seropositive subjects indicating 24.8% overall toxoplasmosis seroprevalence. Infection rate was significantly higher among male subjects (33.9%) than female subjects (23.4%). Seroprevalence increased considerably with age; from 9.7% in children less than 10 years old to 37.4% and 40.5% among adults between 40 and 49 and over 50 years, respectively. Only two anti-T. gondii IgM seropositive cases were recorded along this period, indicating possible active infection. In conclusion, overall T. gondii seropositivity rate is relatively low among Makkah's population, but moderate in adult males. Further investigations are required to determine the risk factors associated with toxoplasmosis transmission in the area. Also, adequate screening for anti-T. gondii specific antibodies are recommended, especially for immunocompromised patients and during pregnancy, in order to minimize prospective complications.
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