Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii Infection and Related Risk Factors in Tabriz City, Iran, 2008

Rasool Jafari, Mohammad Sadaghian, Marzieh Safari


Background: Toxoplasma gondii is a worldwide obligate intercellular parasite. Felids are its definitive host and warm-blooded animals including humans are its intermediate host. The aim of this seroepidemiological study was to investigate the frequency of human infection using ELISA method and related risk factors in Tabriz City, northwestern Iran.

Methods: In this cross sectional study, 171 blood samples were collected randomly from clients referred to Alinasab Hospital diagnostic laboratory, Tabriz, Iran in 2008. Simultaneously data about risk factors such as having soil related jobs (for example: building construction workers and farmers), cat contact, eating raw vegetables at restaurants, the method of washing vegetables, eating undercooked game meat and the quantity of red meat consumption (undercooked) were collected by questionnaires. Anti-Toxoplasma IgG titers were determined in samples using ELISA method. Data were analyzed by Chi-square, One Way ANOVA and t-test using SPSS v.16 Software.

Results: Sixty (35.1%) out of 171 serum samples were anti-Toxoplasma IgG positive. There was statistically significant difference about seropositivity between soil related jobs and others (P=0.007, OR=2.43; 95% CI: 1.27, 4.66). In addition there was significant relationship between seropositivity and eating vegetables at restaurants (P=0.039, OR=1.94; 95% CI: 1.02, 1.68). No significant statistical differences were observed about seropositivity considering the other mentioned risk factors.

Conclusion: The prevalence rate of Toxoplasma chronic infection was relatively high in the studied people. However, having soil related jobs and eating vegetables at restaurants increases the probability of acquiring the infection.


Toxoplasma gondii; Risk factors; Human; ELISA; Iran

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