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Year : 2007  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 431--432

Prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection amongst pregnant women in Assam, India

BJ Borkakoty1, AK Borthakur2, M Gohain3,  
1 Regional Medical Research Centre, Northeast Region (Indian Council of Medical Research), Dibrugarh - 786 001, Assam, India
2 Department of Microbiology, Assam Medical College and Hospital, Dibrugarh - 786 001, Assam, India
3 Department of Microbiology, Brahmaputra Diagnostic and Hospital Ltd., Dibrugarh - 786 001, Assam, India

Correspondence Address:
B J Borkakoty
Regional Medical Research Centre, Northeast Region (Indian Council of Medical Research), Dibrugarh - 786 001, Assam
India

How to cite this article:
Borkakoty B J, Borthakur A K, Gohain M. Prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection amongst pregnant women in Assam, India.Indian J Med Microbiol 2007;25:431-432

How to cite this URL:
Borkakoty B J, Borthakur A K, Gohain M. Prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection amongst pregnant women in Assam, India. Indian J Med Microbiol [serial online] 2007 [cited 2019 Nov 21 ];25:431-432
Available from: http://www.ijmm.org/text.asp?2007/25/4/431/37365

Full Text

Dear Editor,

Toxoplasma gondii infection during pregnancy is a causative factor for foetal loss and congenital infection of the newborn. [1] Reports of prevalence of this parasitic infection among pregnant women from northeast India are scanty. Therefore, a seroprevalence study covering 180 pregnant women attending Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Assam Medical College and Hospital (AMCH), Dibrugarh, was conducted during 2003-2004. After written informed consent and approval from the Institutions ethical committee, 180 antenatal cases (17-40 years with a median age of 24.5 years) were enrolled with or without history of pregnancy wastage and screened for IgG and IgM antibody against T. gondii using EIA kits (Pathozyme Toxo IgG and IgM kits).

The seroprevalence of T. gondii infection was 44.6 and 36.8% among the pregnant women with (n=112) and without (n=68) history of pregnancy wastage, respectively, which was statistically insignificant ( P = 0.37, 95% CI: 0.7-2.5). In addition, the IgM seroprevalence was also statistically insignificant ( P = 0.65, 95% CI: 0.47-5.2) with (8.9%) and without (5.9%) pregnancy wastage group, respectively. It was observed that higher prevalence of T. gondii infection was associated with increase in age ( P = 0.012) shown in [Figure 1], subjects residing in rural areas ( P = 0.047, 95% CI: 1.01-3.4) and low socioeconomic status ( P = 0.014, 95% CI: 1.2-4.0). Increasing numbers of pregnancy wastage also did not had any significant association ( P = 0.28) with T. gondii infection. No significant difference in prevalence was observed among vegetarians and non-vegetarians as also with contact with cats.

The prevalence of this infection from India shows a wide variation and one study has reported as high as 77% in women of reproductive age group. [2] Our study reported similar prevalence rate with one recent study from New Delhi, which found an overall anti-toxoplasma IgG seroprevalence of 45% among pregnant women. [3] Despite the favourable climatic condition of the Northeast, the study did not detect the highest prevalence rate. However, other important factors like consumption of raw or undercooked meat which are regarded as important risk factors, [4] is not rampant in the study region; otherwise there was a probability that we might have observed an even higher prevalence of T. gondii infection in this region. Although, Toxoplasma infection does not cause repeated foetal losses, this is the most common indication for investigation of toxoplasmosis in India. [5] In our study, we also did not find significantly higher prevalence of T. gondii infection with increase in pregnancy losses.

In conclusion, we detected a moderately high prevalence of T. gondii infection among pregnant women from Dibrugarh region of Assam, which needs to be reckoned by the practicing physicians from this region when investigating foetal losses or congenital infection typical of toxoplasmosis.

References

1Hingorani V, Prakash O, Chowdhry P, Kamalam TS. Toxoplasmosis: Abortions and stillbirths. Indian J Med Res 1970; 58 :967-74.
2Singh S, Nautiyal BL. Seroprevalence of toxoplasmosis in Kumaon region of Uttar Pradesh. Indian J Med Res 1991; 93 :247-9.
3Singh S, Pandit AJ. Incidence and prevalence of toxoplasmosis in Indian pregnant women: A prospective study. Am J Reprod Immunol 2004; 52 :276-83.
4Dubey JP. Sources of Toxoplasma gondii infection in pregnancy. BMJ 2000; 321 :127-8.
5Singh S. Mother-to-child transmission and diagnosis of Toxoplasma gondii infection during pregnancy. Indian J Med Microbiol 2003 ; 21 :69-76.