The seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection among pregnant women in the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe (DRSTP) from November 2003 to March 2004 was determined by detection of serum anti-T. gondii antibodies. A short questionnaire interview for pregnant women was performed to investigate risk factors associated with T. gondii infection, including consumption of raw meat or unwashed vegetables, drinking unboiled water and keeping pets (cats and dogs). The overall seroprevalence of T. gondii infection was high (75.2%; 375/499). The older age group of ≥35 years had a significantly higher seroprevalence (85.7%; 54/63) than that of the younger age group of 15-25 years (70.4%; 178/253) (odds ratio 2.5, 95% CI 1.2-5.4; P = 0.01). No significant difference in the seroprevalence of T. gondii infection was found between the pregnant women with and without exposure to the risk factors studied. However, among pregnant women with high antibody titers of ≥1:1024, it seemed likely that continual contact with pets and consumption of oocyst-contaminated water or raw unwashed vegetables rather than tissue cysts in meat was the primary route of infection. The incidence of congenital toxoplasmosis in unborn babies should be intensively monitored in the DRSTP.
- Canis familiaris
- Toxoplasma gondii