Submitted to: Journal of Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/24/2010
Publication Date: 11/1/2010
Citation: Alvarado-Esquivel, C., Liesenfeld, O., Marquez-Conde, J.A., Estrada-Martinez, S., Dubey, J.P. 2010. Seroepidemiology of infection with Toxoplasma gondii in workers occupationally exposed to water, sewage, and soil in Durango, Mexico. 96:847-850. 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 people in Durango, and associated risk factors. The results will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, and veterinarians.
Technical Abstract: Water, sewage, and soil are potential sources of infection for Toxoplasma gondii. Therefore, we sought to determine the prevalence of T. gondii infection and associated characteristics in 61 plumbers, 203 construction workers, and 168 gardeners in Durango City, Mexico. Participants were tested for T. gondii IgG and IgM antibodies using enzyme-linked immunoassays. In addition, socio-demographic, clinical, and behavioral characteristics from each participant were obtained. IgG T. gondii antibodies were found in 4 (6.6%) plumbers, 17 (8.4%) construction workers, and 10 (6.0%) gardeners; T. gondii IgM antibodies were found in 3 (1.5%) construction workers, 4 (2.4%) of gardeners, but in none of plumbers. In the total population, the prevalence of T. gondii infection was significantly higher in workers living in suburban areas, without education, workers that consumed chorizo, and those who suffered from any disease (p<0.05). In gardeners, prevalence of infection was significantly high in those with blood transfusion, and memory impairment (p<0.05). Multivariate analysis showed that T. gondii infection was positively associated with consumption of unwashed fruits (adjusted OR = 2.41; 95% CI: 1.13-5.13) and, with raising animals (adjusted OR = 2.53; 95% CI: 1.00-6.37) Results confirm earlier studies that seroprevalence of T. gondii in Durango, Mexico is low including workers occupationally exposed to water, sewage and soil.