Toxoplasma gondii infection: Relationship between seroprevalence and risk factors among primary schoolchildren in the capital areas of Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe, West Africa

Chia-Kwung Fan, Ling-Wen Lee, Chien-Wei Liao, Y. C. Huang, Yueh-Lun Lee, Yu Tai Chang, Ngela Dos Santos Ramos José Da Costa, Vilfrido Gil, Li Hsing Chi, Takeshi Nara, Akiko Tsubouchi, Olaoluwa Pheabian Akinwale

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Abstract

Background: The status of Toxoplasma gondii infection among primary schoolchildren (PSC) of the Democratic Republic of So Tom and Prncipe (DRSTP), West Africa, remains unknown to date. Methods: A serologic survey and risk factors associated T. gondii infection among PSC in the DRSTP was assessed by the latex agglutination (LA) test and a questionnaire interview including parents occupation, various uncomfortable symptoms, histories of eating raw or undercooked food, drinking unboiled water, and raising pets, was conducted in October 2010. Schoolchildren from 4 primary schools located in the capital areas were selected, in total 255 serum samples were obtained by venipuncture, of which 123 serum samples were obtained from boys (9.8 1.4 yrs) and 132 serum samples were obtained from girls (9.7 1.3 yrs). Results: The overall seroprevalence of T. gondii infection was 63.1% (161/255). No significant gender difference in seroprevalence was found between boys (62.6%, 77/123) and girls (63.6%, 84/132) (p = 0.9). The older age group of 10 years had insignificantly higher seroprevalence (69.9%, 58/83) than that of the younger age group of 8 year olds (67.7%, 21/31) (p = 0.8). It was noteworthy that the majority of seropositive PSC (75.8%, 122/161) had high LA titers of ?1: 1024, indirectly indicating acute or repeated Toxoplasma infection. Parents whose jobs were non-skilled workers (73.1%) showed significantly higher seroprevalence than that of semiskilled- (53.9%) or skilled workers (48.8%) (p0.05). Conclusions: Parents' educational level and cats kept indoors seemed to be the high risk factors for PSC in acquisition of T. gondii infection. While, ocular manifestation and/or headache of PSC should be checked for the possibility of being T. gondii elicited. Measures such as improving environmental hygiene and intensive educational intervention to both PSC and their parents should be performed immediately so as to reduce T. gondii infection of DRSTP inhabitants including PSC and adults.

Original languageEnglish
Article number141
JournalParasites and Vectors
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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Keywords

  • Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe
  • Primary schoolchildren
  • Seroepidemiology
  • Toxoplasma gondii
  • West Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases

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