Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii antibodies and associated risk factors among children in Shandong and Jilin provinces, China.

International journal of infectious diseases : IJID : official publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases

PubMedID: 25461653

Meng Q, You H, Zhou N, Dong W, Wang W, Wang W, Cong W. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii antibodies and associated risk factors among children in Shandong and Jilin provinces, China. Int J Infect Dis. 2014;.
OBJECTIVE
Infection by the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii is generally prevalent in animals and humans worldwide. However, little is known about T. gondii infection among children in China. Thus, the present study was conducted to detect the seroprevalence of T. gondii infection and estimate associated risk factors among children in eastern China.

METHODS
A cross-sectional study of 1500 children from three cities (Changchun, Qingdao, Weihai) was conducted between May 2013 and July 2014 to estimate the seroprevalence and potential risk factors associated with acquiring T. gondii infection in children in China. Demographic and blood samples were collected, and anti-T. gondii IgG and IgM antibodies were measured by ELISA method.

RESULTS
The mean age of the 1500 children participating in the study was 9.03 years (range 1-18). The overall seroprevalence of Toxoplasma infection was 15.13%, of which 13.13% were positive for only anti-Toxoplasma IgG antibodies, 3.13% were positive for both anti-Toxoplasma IgG and IgM antibodies and 2.00% were IgM positive and IgG negative. Moreover, raising cats at home (OR=1.94, 95% CI=1.288-2.912, P=0.002) and hand washing habit (OR=0.38, 95% CI=0.230-0.635, P<0.001) were estimated to be risk and protective factors associated with Toxoplasma seroprevalence.

CONCLUSIONS
The present study revealed for the first time that children infection with T. gondii is common in eastern China and the present data indicates a need to implement methods of prevention and control measures against Toxoplasma infection in China.