Monday, September 28, 2015

Clustering of Toxoplasma gondii Infections Within Families of Congenitally Infected Infants

 2015 Sep 24. pii: civ721. [Epub ahead of print]



 Family clusters and epidemics of toxoplasmosis in North, Central, and South America led us to determine whether fathers of congenitally infected infants in the National Collaborative Chicago-Based Congenital Toxoplasmosis Study (NCCCTS) have a high incidence of Toxoplasma gondii infection.


 We analyzed serum samples collected from NCCCTS families between 1981 and 2013. Paternal serum samples were tested for T. gondii antibodies with immunoglobulin (Ig) G dye test and IgM enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Additional testing of paternal serum samples was performed with differential-agglutination and IgG avidity tests when T. gondii IgG and IgM results were positive and serum samples were collected by the 1-year visit of the congenitally infected child. Prevalence of paternal seropositivity and incidence of recent infection were calculated. We analyzed whether certain demographics, maternal parasite serotype, risk factors, or maternal/infant clinical manifestations were associated with paternal T. gondii infection status.


 Serologic testing revealed a high prevalence (29 of 81; 36%) of T. gondii infection in fathers, relative to the average seropositivity rate of 9.8% for boys and men aged 12-49 years in the United States between 1994 and 2004 (P < .001). Moreover, there was a higher-than-expected incidence of recent infections among fathers with serum samples collected by the 1-year visit of their child (6 of 45; 13%; P < .001). No demographic patterns or clinical manifestations in mothers or infants were associated with paternal infections, except for sandbox exposure.


 The high prevalence of chronic and incidence of recent T. gondii infections in fathers of congenitally infected children indicates that T. gondii infections cluster within families in North America. When a recently infected person is identified, family clustering and community risk factors should be investigated for appropriate clinical management.
© The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail:


Toxoplasma gondii; clusters; congenital infections; toxoplasmosis
[PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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