Tsegaye Yohanes, Zerihun Zerdo, Nega Chufamo and Ashenafi Abossie
Background: Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) is a ubiquitous, coccidian intracellular protozoan parasite that causes toxoplasmosis. T. gondii infection acquired during pregnancy may result in severe damage or death of the fetus and long-term sequelae in offspring. So far, no documented data concerning the seroprevalence of T. gondii infection among pregnant women is available in the study area. Therefore, this study was aimed at determining of T. gondii sero-prevalence and associated factors among pregnant women attending in ante natal clinic (ANC) of Arba Minch hospital, southern Ethiopia.
Methods: A facility based cross sectional study design was employed. A total of 232 pregnant women visiting Arba Minch hospital ANC from February to April, 2015 were enrolled by using systematic sampling technique. Data regarding Socio-demographic and associated factors were gathered using pretest questionnaire. Approximately 2 milliliters of blood specimen was collected and serum samples were tested for anti-T. gondii IgG and IgM antibody using Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 20.
Results: Out of the total 232 pregnant women tested, 184 were found to be seropositive, giving overall seroprevalence rate of T. gondii infection 79.3% (95%CI; 73.7-84.5). On multivariate analysis showed that consumption of raw meat (AOR=3.211; 95% CI: 1.592-6.477) and habit of eating raw vegetables or fruit (AOR=2.669; 95% CI: 1.264-5.639) were significantly associated with T. gondi infection.
Conclusion: The overall seroprevalence of T. gondii infection among pregnant women was high and serological evidence of primary infection was observed. Therefore, screening of Toxoplasma infection should be considered during ANC follow up. Moreover, health information about ways to minimize exposure to the risk factors should be provided with main focus on not eats raw meat and raw vegetables.