Submitted to: Journal of Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 25, 2010
Publication Date: October 1, 2010
Citation: Rojas-Rivera, A., Estrada-Martinez, S., Sifuentes-Alvarez, A., Dubey, J.P. 2010. Seroepidemiology of Toxoplasma gondii infection in a mennonite community in Durango State, Mexico. Journal of Parasitology. 96:941-945.
Interpretive Summary: Toxoplasma gondii is a single-celled parasite of all warm-blooded hosts worldwide. It causes mental retardation and loss of vision in children, and abortion in livestock. Cats are the main reservoir of T. gondii because they are the only hosts that can excrete the resistant stage (oocyst) of the parasite in the feces. Humans become infected by eating undercooked meat from infected animals and food and water contaminated with oocysts. In the present study scientists document seroprevalences of Toxoplasma in Mennonites people in Durango, and associated risk factors. The results will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, and veterinarians.
There is a lack of information concerning the epidemiology of Toxoplasma gondii infection in Mennonites (an ethnic group of Mexican citizens of German descent living in rural communities). The prevalence of anti-T. gondii IgG and IgM antibodies was examined in 152 Mennonites in Durango State, Mexico, using enzyme-linked immunoassays. In total, 46 (30.3%) of 152 participants (mean age 38.4 ± 15.5 yr) had IgG T. gondii antibodies; 5 (3.3%) also had IgM T. gondii antibodies. Toxoplasma gondii infection was significantly associated with the presence of cats at home (adjusted OR = 3.93; 95% CI: 1.40-11.05), raising cattle (adjusted OR = 3.88; 95% CI: 1.24-12.11), consumption of pigeon meat (adjusted OR = 3.0; 95% CI: 1.36-6.63), and consumption of untreated water (adjusted OR = 2.42; 95% CI: 1.09-5.40). This is the first report of seroprevalence and contributing factors for T. gondii infection in Mennonites, and of an association of the consumption of pigeon meat with T. gondii infection. Results of this study should be useful to the design of optimal preventive measures against T. gondii infection.