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Year : 2002  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 57-58

Prevalence of torch infections in Indian pregnant women

Clinical Microbiology Division, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, P.O. Box No. 4938, New Delhi - 110 029, India

Correspondence Address:
Clinical Microbiology Division, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, P.O. Box No. 4938, New Delhi - 110 029, India

How to cite this article:
Singh S. Prevalence of torch infections in Indian pregnant women. Indian J Med Microbiol 2002;20:57-8

How to cite this URL:
Singh S. Prevalence of torch infections in Indian pregnant women. Indian J Med Microbiol [serial online] 2002 [cited 2021 Mar 8];20:57-8. Available from:

Dear Editor,
This is regarding the recently published article by Dr. P. Yashodhara et al in the recent issue of Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology [2001, 19(2) page 79-82]. The authors have shown very high positivity of IgM against Chlamydia trachomatis, Toxoplasma gondii, Rubella and Cytomegalovirus. The study raises some basic and fundamental issues as far as the methodology of the study and the kits used are concerned.
In Table:1, the number of seropositives and seronegatives, the total number of samples tested and the percentage should have been calculated according to that distribution only. Also, the figures in Table:2, the total number according to the materials and methods should be 422 for all the etiological agents.
The authors should have included Indian work. The study carried out by Singh and Nautiyal1 in 1991 in Kumaon region (now Uttaranchal) and later on by Singh et al [2] in 1994 in Maharashtra states indicate that Indian population, particularly the women, are highly exposed to Toxoplasma gondii and Rubella infections. The seroprevalence rate in these studies was directly proportional to the age of population tested, with highest prevalence of 77% by the age of marriage (17-20 years). These studies also indicated that prevalence and incidence (that is measured by detection of specific IgM antibodies) of any of these infections are inversely correlated i.e with the advancement in age while the prevalence increases the incidence decreases. Our yet to be published data (Indian Journal of Paediatrics, in press) on more than 12000 women, as well as studies from other centers also show that seroprevalence of Rubella and CMV in Indian pregnant women of northern India is as high as 90-95%. This means that in case of Rubella only 5-10% women are non-immune and susceptible to fresh infection during pregnancy. Since the authors have used a different diagnostic kit,3 their results should be reviewed in the light of other National data.
The authors have not shown the result of adverse outcome of pregnancy in terms of neonatal follow-up. They have not shown the findings of patient data that how many patients of category with “adverse outcome” were primigravida and how many were multigravida with multiple abortions- commonly classified by obstetricians as “bad obstetric history (BOH).”4 However, findings of these authors about incidence of Chlamydia trachomatis match with our findings, published recently.[5]
Author's reply
Dear Editor,
We thank Dr. S.Singh for his keen interest and critical evaluation of our article entitled “Prevalence of TORCH infections in Indian pregnant women”. However, we would like to draw attention to the following:
With regard to the Indian studies on CMV and Rubella, a study from our own Institute on Rubella seropositivity shows that 90 - 95% of the population are seroimmune and so do other studies from different parts of India. However, 5 - 10 % are still serosusceptible. Our present study shows 5.8% and 6.8 % IgM positivity for CMV and Rubella respectively. It may be mentioned that most of the published studies from India have used the Diamedix kits to detect antibody levels of all these agents. 

 ~ References Top

1.Singh S. Nautiyal BL. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasmosis in Kumaon region of Uttar Pradesh. Indian J Med Res 1991; 93: 47-49.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Singh S, Singh N. Padav R, Pandav CS, Karmarkar MG, Toxoplasma gondii infection & its association with Iodine deficiency in a residential school in a tribal area of Maharashtra. Indian J Med Res 1994; 99: 27-31.  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Singh S, Singh N, Dwivedi SN. Evaluation of seven commercially available kits for the serodiagnosis of Toxoplasmosis. Indian J Med Res 1997;105: 103-7.  Back to cited text no. 3  [PUBMED]  
4.Singh S. Toxoplasmosis in India: before and after AIDS epidemic. Ann National Acad Med Sc (India) 1997;33: 15-24.  Back to cited text no. 4    
5.Singh S, Singh N, Singh C. Seroprevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis antibodies in school going girls vis-a-vis women with BOH and secondary infertility. Indian J Med Microbiol 1999; 18: 26-30  Back to cited text no. 5    
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