Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma Gondii among Pregnant Women in Kirkuk / Iraq


Toxoplasma gondii is an intracellular parasite of many types of tissues, including muscles and intestinal epithelium. The infection may be acquired or congenital, the congenital form is most severe when maternal infection occurs early in pregnancy. Toxoplasma serological tests have been used successfully to determine whether the infection acquired in the recent or more distant past.The aim of this study was to detect Toxoplasma gondii antibodies among pregnant women in Kirkuk city by using different serological tests. The study was carried out in Kirkuk Hospitals, and Primary Health Care Centers to detect Toxoplasma antibodies among 319 pregnant women aged from less than 18 to more than 35 years old. The period of study was from beginning of November 2003 to end of May 2004. The study showed that (117) cases out of (319) were positive for Toxoplasma gondii (36.6%) by using LAT, and 54 case positive for IgM- ELISA (16.9%).The highest rate of Toxoplasma seropositivity was among the age group 19-35 years (38.3%) by LAT and (18.75%) by IgM-ELISA. The distribution of Toxoplasma seropositivity was higher in housewives than officials and was higher in rural area than urban area by both methods.The pregnant women who were in contact with animals showed higher rate of seropositivity than those not in contact with animals. There was no relationship between number of abortions and Toxoplasma seropositivity.