Epidemiology and Infection



Duration of the IgM response in women acquiring Toxoplasma gondii during pregnancy: implications for clinical practice and cross-sectional incidence studies


L. GRAS a1, R. E. GILBERT a1c1, M. WALLON a2, F. PEYRON a2 and M. CORTINA-BORJA a1
a1 Centre for Paediatric Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Institute of Child Health, University College London, London, UK
a2 Laboratoire de Parasitologie et de Pathologie Exotique, Hôpital de la Croix Rousse, Lyon, France

Article author query
gras l   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
gilbert r   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
wallon m   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
peyron f   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
cortina-borja m   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 

Abstract

We followed up a cohort of 446 toxoplasma-infected pregnant women to determine the median and variability of the duration of positive toxoplasma–IgM (immunoglobulin M) results measured by an immunofluorescence test (IFT) and an immunosorbent agglutination assay (ISAGA). IgM antibodies were detected for longer using the ISAGA test [median 12·8 months, interquartile range (IQR) 6·9–24·9] than the IFT (median 10·4, IQR 7·1–14·4), but the variability between individuals in the duration of IgM positivity was greatest for the ISAGA test. IgM-positive results persisted beyond 2 years in a substantial minority of women (27·1% ISAGA, 9·1% IFT). Variation in the duration of the IgM response measured by ISAGA and IFT limit their usefulness for predicting the timing of infection in pregnant women. However, measurement of IgM and IgG antibodies in a cross-sectional serosurvey offers an efficient method for estimating the incidence of toxoplasma infection.

(Accepted November 25 2003)


Correspondence:
c1 Dr R. Gilbert, Centre for Paediatric Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Institute of Child Health, University College London, 30 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1EH, UK.


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