The Prevalence of Toxoplasma IgG Antibody in a Selected Population of Northern Italian Region
Toxoplasmosis is a common zoonosis in humans and is still a serious problem for pregnant women also in western industrialized countries. The infection may be acquired or congenital and in pregnant women, may be transferred to the fetus causing miscarriage or congenital malformations. In Italy, a nationwide epidemiological surveillance system for Toxoplasmosis is still lacking. Aim of the present study is an assessment of the prevalence of anti-Toxoplasma gondii antibodies IgG in a Northern Italian region. We have performed a retrospective study in which we analyzed 16937 samples (16.118 female, 819 male all in fertile period). All samples were analyzed using Toxo IgG Architect®, for the quantitative determination of IgG antibodies in human serum or plasma. The data were classified following manufacturer’s guide (<1.6 IU/mL negative; ≥ 1.6 <6 IU/mL as doubt immunity; and ≥ 6.0 IU/mL immunity). Using these cut-offs we reported 14967 women (93%) and 455 men (55.6%) susceptible to Toxoplasma gondii infection for a total of 15422 persons (90.2%). Our data showed that the level of attention for the possible infection in pregnant women should not be lowered, to avoid possible malformations of the foetus. An active screening for Toxoplasma gondii during pregnancy should be introduced, but we also suggest introducing pre-pregnancy controls to closely assess the susceptibility and to exclude the immune women in further retest.