Ir Med J. 2008 Jul-Aug;101(7):220-1
Susceptibility of pregnant women to toxoplasma infection--potential benefits for newborn screening
Ferguson W, Mayne PD, Lennon B, Butler K, Cafferkey M.
The Rotunda Hospital, Parnell Street, Dublin. firstname.lastname@example.org
Congenital toxoplasmosis (CT) arises as a result of new acquisition of Toxoplasma infection by a susceptible woman during pregnancy. Early detection of CT through neonatal screening programmes could optimize management and improve infant outcome. This study sought to estimate the prevalence of Toxoplasma susceptibility in pregnant women. As detection of Toxoplasma antibodies in neonatal blood reflects maternal exposure history, maternal antibody seroprevalence was determined using anonymized residual blood from newborn screening cards. A total of 20,252 cards were tested in 1 year. 4,991 (24.6%) cards tested positive for Toxoplasma antibody. Results were stratified by county. Toxoplasma antibody seroprevalence rates of 25% indicated that Toxoplasma infection is common in Ireland and that up to 75% of women remain susceptible to primary infection during pregnancy. This study aimed to a) determine the seroprevalence of Toxoplasma antibody in pregnant women, and hence b) estimate the risk for acquisition of primary toxoplasmosis in pregnancy in order to support an application to fund a pilot newborn screening programme.
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
PMID: 18807815 [PubMed - in process]