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Title

SEROLOGICAL STUDY OF TOXOPLASMOSIS IN PREGNANT WOMEN IN THE CITY OF BABOL, NORTHERN IRAN, 2012-2013

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 Start Page 102 | End Page 108

Abstract

 Introduction: TOXOPLASMOSIS is one of the most common infectious diseases in the world which is caused by an intracellular protozoan called TOXOPLASMA GONDII. This parasitic infection is usually asymptomatic in adults, but it becomes complicated if fetus infection occurs during PREGNANCY from the mother. This study aimed to determine the prevalence and incidence of TOXOPLASMOSIS in pregnant women in the city of Babol, northern Iran. Materials & Methods: 175 pregnant women in their first PREGNANCY trimester participated in this cross-sectional study during the years 2012-2013. Two ml blood was obtained from each participant and serum was separated. Then, anti-Toxoplasma antibodies were measured using ELISA method. Participants' demographic information and the risk factors were collected by questionnaire. A number of participants referred back in in the next trimesters of PREGNANCY and Anti-Toxoplasma antibodies were measured again.Findings: The mean age of the participants was 27.4±9.5 years. Among the participants, 106 cases (60.6%) had anti- TOXOPLASMA GONDII antibodies (IgG) and 64 women (36.6%) had no specific antibody. The prevalence of infection was different in relation with age and location, but the difference was not statistically significant (p>0.05). Also, there was not a statistically significant difference between the prevalence of infection and other risk factors such as abortion. No case of acute Toxoplasma infection was reported in the mother or congenital TOXOPLASMOSIS. Discussion & Conclusion: This study showed that over fifty percent of Toxoplasma infection in the city of Babol occurs below the age of 25. Meanwhile, since 36.6% of the studied population (pregnant women) did not have anti-Toxoplasma antibodies, Toxoplasma infection should be screened in pregnant women in the first trimester of PREGNANCY in order to perform preventative measures for congenital TOXOPLASMOSIS.

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