Seroepidemiology of Toxoplasma gondii Infection among Healthy Blood Donors in Taiwan

Ting Yi Chiang, Hwei Ho Hsieh, Ming Chu Kuo, Kai Tse Chiu, Wei Chen Lin, Chia Kwung Fan, Chi Tai Fang, Dar Der Ji

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Abstract

Toxoplasma gondii is an opportunistic, zoonotic pathogen with a worldwide distribution. There are large variations in the seroprevalence of T. gondii infection in different regions of the world. Although toxoplasmosis became a notifiable communicable disease in Taiwan in 2007, little is known about its epidemiology among the general population. This cross-sectional study aimed to survey the seroprevalence of T. gondii infection and its risk factors among healthy blood donors in Taiwan. Through collaborating with the Taiwan Blood Services Foundation, a total of 1,783 healthy blood donors from all six-branch blood service centers participated in this study. The blood samples were tested for the presence of T. gondii antibodies and DNA using enzyme immunoassays and real-time PCR, respectively. Structured questionnaires were used to gather information on risk factors for T. gondii infection. Of the 1,783 participants, 166 (9.3%) tested positive for anti-Toxoplasma IgG, while 5 (0.28%) tested positive for anti-Toxoplasma IgM. The five IgM positive donors had high avidity antibodies suggestive of past infection. No active parasitemia was detected by real-time PCR assays. Multivariate logistic regression showed that undercooked pork meat consumption (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 2.9; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.3-6.5), raw mussels consumption (adjusted OR = 5.3; 95% CI: 1.5-19.1), having a cat in the household (adjusted OR = 2.0; 95% CI: 1.2-3.2), a lower education level (adjusted OR = 1.6; 95% CI: 1.1-2.3), and donation place in eastern Taiwan (adjusted OR = 2.5; 95% CI: 1.6-3.9) were independent risk factors for Toxoplasma seropositivity. These findings provide information on the seroprevalence and epidemiology of T. gondii infection among healthy blood donors in Taiwan.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere48139
JournalPloS one
Volume7
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Oct 25

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

Cite this

Chiang, T. Y., Hsieh, H. H., Kuo, M. C., Chiu, K. T., Lin, W. C., Fan, C. K., Fang, C. T., & Ji, D. D. (2012). Seroepidemiology of Toxoplasma gondii Infection among Healthy Blood Donors in Taiwan. PloS one, 7(10), [e48139]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0048139