Toxoplasma gondii is an opportunistic, zoonotic pathogen with a worldwide distribution. There are large variations in the seroprevalence of T. gondii infection in different regions of the world. Although toxoplasmosis became a notifiable communicable disease in Taiwan in 2007, little is known about its epidemiology among the general population. This cross-sectional study aimed to survey the seroprevalence of T. gondii infection and its risk factors among healthy blood donors in Taiwan. Through collaborating with the Taiwan Blood Services Foundation, a total of 1,783 healthy blood donors from all six-branch blood service centers participated in this study. The blood samples were tested for the presence of T. gondii antibodies and DNA using enzyme immunoassays and real-time PCR, respectively. Structured questionnaires were used to gather information on risk factors for T. gondii infection. Of the 1,783 participants, 166 (9.3%) tested positive for anti-Toxoplasma IgG, while 5 (0.28%) tested positive for anti-Toxoplasma IgM. The five IgM positive donors had high avidity antibodies suggestive of past infection. No active parasitemia was detected by real-time PCR assays. Multivariate logistic regression showed that undercooked pork meat consumption (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 2.9; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.3-6.5), raw mussels consumption (adjusted OR = 5.3; 95% CI: 1.5-19.1), having a cat in the household (adjusted OR = 2.0; 95% CI: 1.2-3.2), a lower education level (adjusted OR = 1.6; 95% CI: 1.1-2.3), and donation place in eastern Taiwan (adjusted OR = 2.5; 95% CI: 1.6-3.9) were independent risk factors for Toxoplasma seropositivity. These findings provide information on the seroprevalence and epidemiology of T. gondii infection among healthy blood donors in Taiwan.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)