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      Prevalence of toxoplasmosis in pregnant women and vertical transmission of Toxoplasma gondii in patients from basic units of health from Gurupi, Tocantins, Brazil, from 2012 to 2014

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          Toxoplasmosis is a parasitary disease that presents high rates of gestational and congenital infection worldwide being therefore considered a public health problem and a neglected disease.


          To determine the prevalence of toxoplasmosis amongst pregnant women and vertical transmission of Toxoplasma gondii in their newborns attended in the Basic Units of Health (BUH) from the city of Gurupi, state of Tocantins, Brazil.


          A prevalence study was performed, including 487 pregnant women and their newborns attended in the BUH of the urban zone of the city of Gurupi, state of Tocantins, Brazil, during the period from February 2012 to February 2014. The selection of the pregnant women occurred by convenience. In the antenatal admission they were invited to participate in this study. Three samples of peripheral blood were collected for the detection of specific anti- T. gondii IgG, IgM and IgA through ELISA, for the polimerase chain reaction (PCR) and IgG avidity during pregnancy. When IgM antibodies were detected the fetal and newborn infection investigation took place. The newborn was investigated right after birth and after one year of age through serology and PCR to confirm/exclude the vertical transmission. The analyses were performed in the Studies of the Host-Parasite Relationship Laboratory (LAERPH, IPTSP-UFG), Goiania, state of Goias, Brazil. The results were inserted in a data bank in Epi-Info 3.3.2 statistic software in which the analysis was performed with p≤5%.


          The toxoplasmosis infection was detected in 68.37% (333/487, CI95%: 64.62–72.86). The toxoplasmosis chronic infection prevalence was of 63.03% (307/487, CI95%: 58.74–67.32). The prevalence of maternal acute infection was of 5.33% (26/487; CI95%: 3.3–7.3) suspected by IgM antibodies detection in the peripheral blood. The prevalence of confirmed vertical transmission was of 28% (7/25; CI95%: 10.4–45.6).


          These results show an elevated prevalence of toxoplasmosis in pregnant women and vertical transmission of T. gondii in the city of Gurupi, state of Tocantins, Brazil.

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          Risk factors for Toxoplasma gondii infection in the United States.

          Toxoplasmosis can cause severe ocular and neurological disease. We sought to determine risk factors for Toxoplasma gondii infection in the United States. We conducted a case-control study of adults recently infected with T. gondii. Case patients were selected from the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Toxoplasma Serology Laboratory from August 2002 through May 2007; control patients were randomly selected from among T. gondii-seronegative persons. Data were obtained from serological testing and patient questionnaires. We evaluated 148 case patients with recent T. gondii infection and 413 control patients. In multivariate analysis, an elevated risk of recent T. gondii infection was associated with the following factors: eating raw ground beef (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 6.67; 95% confidence limits [CLs], 2.09, 21.24; attributable risk [AR], 7%); eating rare lamb (aOR, 8.39; 95% CLs, 3.68, 19.16; AR, 20%); eating locally produced cured, dried, or smoked meat (aOR, 1.97; 95% CLs, 1.18, 3.28; AR, 22%); working with meat (aOR, 3.15; 95% CLs, 1.09, 9.10; AR, 5%); drinking unpasteurized goat's milk (aOR, 5.09; 95% CLs, 1.45, 17.80; AR, 4%); and having 3 or more kittens (aOR, 27.89; 95% CLs, 5.72, 135.86; AR, 10%). Eating raw oysters, clams, or mussels (aOR, 2.22; 95% CLs, 1.07, 4.61; AR, 16%) was significant in a separate model among persons asked this question. Subgroup results are also provided for women and for pregnant women. In the United States, exposure to certain raw or undercooked foods and exposure to kittens are risk factors for T. gondii infection. Knowledge of these risk factors will help to target prevention efforts.
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            Congenital toxoplasmosis in southeastern Brazil: results of early ophthalmologic examination of a large cohort of neonates.

            To report results of early ophthalmologic examinations in a large cohort of newborns with congenital toxoplasmosis (CT) after neonatal screening. Cross-sectional analysis of a cohort. A total of 178 newborns with confirmed CT from 146,307 screened babies (95% of live births) from Minas Gerais state, southeastern Brazil. From November 2006 to May 2007, newborns underwent neonatal screening by immunoglobulin (Ig)M capture of dried blood samples. On all positive or suspected cases, confirmative serology was performed on babies and their mothers. Congenital toxoplasmosis was confirmed in newborns who had IgM and/or IgA and IgG, or IgG associated with suggestive ocular lesions (with IgM and IgG in the mother). Ophthalmologic evaluation consisted of indirect ophthalmoscopy with a lid speculum. Pediatric examination and radiologic studies of the central nervous system were also performed. In selected cases, biomicroscopy of the anterior segment, fundus photographs, or ultrasonography (B-scan) was performed. Prevalence of retinochoroidal lesions, either cicatricial or active, and their location and associated findings, such as vascular sheathing, hemorrhage, vitreous opacities, and retinal detachment, were evaluated. The occurrence of cataract, microphthalmia, microcephaly, intracranial calcification, and hydrocephalus was also recorded. Of 146,307 neonates screened, 190 had CT, yielding a prevalence of 1 in 770 live births, of whom 178 (93.7%) underwent standardized ophthalmologic examination at an average age of 55.6+/-16.6 days. Of these 178 infants, 142 (79.8%) had retinochoroidal lesions consistent with CT in at least 1 eye. Bilateral involvement was noted in 113 patients (63.5%). Macular involvement was seen in 165 eyes (46.3%) of 111 patients (62.4%). Active lesions were observed in 142 eyes (39.9%) of 85 patients (47.8%). These lesions were located in the macula of 75 eyes (21.1%) and were associated with retinal vascular sheathing in 44 eyes (12.4%). A high prevalence of CT was encountered (1/770) with high rates of early retinochoroidal involvement ( approximately 80%) and many active lesions (in approximately 50%), indicating a possibly more severe ocular involvement by CT in Brazil than in other parts of the world. The hypotheses of higher parasite virulence and increased individual susceptibility are being currently investigated.
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              The Global Burden of Disease Assessments—WHO Is Responsible?

              The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) concept has been used by the World Health Organization (WHO) for its reporting on health information for nearly 10 years. The GBD approach results in a single summary measure of morbidity, disability, and mortality, the so-called disability-adjusted life year (DALY). To ensure transparency and objectivity in the derivation of health information, WHO has been urged to use reference groups of external experts to estimate burden of disease. Under the leadership and coordination of WHO, expert groups have been appraising and abstracting burden of disease information. Examples include the Child Health Epidemiology Reference Group (CHERG), the Malaria Monitoring and Evaluation Reference Group (MERG), and the recently established Foodborne Disease Burden Epidemiology Reference Group (FERG). The structure and functioning of and lessons learnt by these groups are described in this paper. External WHO expert groups have provided independent scientific health information while operating under considerable differences in structure and functioning. Although it is not appropriate to devise a single “best practice” model, the common thread described by all groups is the necessity of WHO's leadership and coordination to ensure the provision and dissemination of health information that is to be globally accepted and valued.

                Author and article information

                Role: Editor
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                11 November 2015
                : 10
                : 11
                [1 ]University Center UNIRG, Parasitology Laboratory, Av. Rio de Janeiro entre ruas 9 e 10, Centro, Gurupi—TO, Brazil
                [2 ]Federal University of Goias (UFG), Tropical Medicine and Public Health Institute (IPTSP), Tropical Medicine and Public Health Post-Graduation Programme, Studies of the Host-Parasite Relationship Laboratory (LAERPH), Rua 235 esq. 1a. Av. s/n Setor Leste Universitário, CEP 74605–050, Goiânia, Brazil
                University at Buffalo, UNITED STATES
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Conceived and designed the experiments: MGS AMC. Performed the experiments: MGS AMC. Analyzed the data: MGS MCV. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: AMC. Wrote the paper: MGS MCV AMC.


                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited

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                This work received financimento the Research Foundation of the State of Goiás (FAPEG) Call N °. 001/2012, Case N °. 201200141120254. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
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