Prevalence and risk factors for human toxoplasmosis in a rural community

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Toxoplasma gondii infection may lead to important pathological questions, especially in rural areas, where several sources of infection exist. Therefore, it is important to determine risk factors in order to establish adequate prophylactic measures. The present study aimed to assess the prevalence and risk factors involved in human toxoplasmosis infection in a rural community, in Eldorado, Mato Grosso do Sul State, Brazil. This community was composed of 185 farms - with 671 inhabitants - from which 20 were randomly chosen. In these farms, blood samples were collected from rural workers, who also answered a risk factor questionnaire. Serum samples were analyzed by means of direct agglutination test for the detection of anti-Toxoplasma gondii antibodies. From 73 samples collected, 79.45% were positive. None of the studied variables was significantly associated with the prevalence of the infection. However, among the individuals who reported eyesight impairments, 94.4% had anti-T. gondii antibodies, compared with 74.0% who did not report eyesight changes (p = 0.0594). Moreover, most individuals in the study (68.20%) were older than 18 years and presented 84.44% positivity, compared with 66.67% of positive individuals younger than 18 years old. We were able to conclude that a high prevalence of antibodies did not imply significant associations with the risk factors studied.



Prevalence, Risk factors, Rural community, Toxoplasma gondii

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Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins Including Tropical Diseases, v. 14, n. 4, p. 673-684, 2008.