Submitted to: Journal of Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/28/2010
Publication Date: 2/1/2011
Citation: Alvarado-Esquivel, C., Pizarro-Villalobos, H., Arce-Quinones, M., Liesenfeld, O. 2011. Seroepidemiology of Toxoplasma gondii infection in general population in a Northern Mexican city. Journal of Parasitology. 97:40-43. 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 general population in Durango, and associated risk factors. The results will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, and veterinarians.
Technical Abstract: There is a lack of information about the seroepidemiology of T. gondii infection in the general population of Durango City, Mexico. Anti-T. gondii IgG and IgM antibodies were sought in 974 inhabitants in Durango City, Mexico using enzyme-linked immunoassays. In total, 59 (6.1%) of 974 participants (mean age 37±16.1 yr) had IgG anti-T. gondii antibodies. Twenty (2.1%) of them also had IgM anti-T. gondii antibodies. IgG levels of 13-99, 100-150, and >150 IU/ml were found in 14 (23.7%), 3 (5.1%), and 42 (71.2%) anti-T. gondii IgG positive participants, respectively. Prevalence of infection increased with age (P<0.05), and was significantly lower in participants born in Durango State than those born in other Mexican states (P<0.01). Toxoplasma gondii infection was significantly associated with consumption of boar meat (adjusted OR = 3.02; 95% CI: 1.49-6.13), and squirrel meat (adjusted OR = 2.18; 95% CI: 1.17-4.09). In addition, infection was negatively associated with travel abroad (adjusted OR = 0.42; 95% CI: 0.23-0.77), and salami consumption (adjusted OR = 0.57; 95% CI: 0.32-0.99). This is the first report of seroprevalence and contributing factors for T. gondii infection in general population in Durango City, and of an association of the consumption of boar meat with T. gondii infection. This study provides a basis for the design of successful preventive measures against T. gondii infection.