Epidemiology and Infection



Population-based Toxoplasma seroprevalence study in The Netherlands


L. M. KORTBEEK a1c1, H. E. De MELKER a2, I. K. VELDHUIJZEN a2 and M. A. E. CONYN-VAN SPAENDONCK a2
a1 Diagnostic Laboratory for Infectious Diseases and Perinatal Screening, National Institute of Public Health and the Environment, PO Box 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands
a2 Department of Infectious Diseases Epidemiology, National Institute of Public Health and the Environment, PO Box 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands

Article author query
kortbeek lm   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
de melker he   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
veldhuijzen ik   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
conyn-van spaendonck ma   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 

Abstract

During 1995–1996 a population-based seroprevalence study was conducted in The Netherlands. Risk factors were established for postnatally acquired toxoplasmosis. The results were compared with a study conducted during 1987–1988 in pregnant women in the Southwest of The Netherlands in order to estimate the change in seroprevalence. In total, 7521 sera were tested and the national seroprevalence was 40·5% (95% CI 37·5–43·4). Living in the Northwest, having professional contact with animals, living in a moderately urbanized area, being divorced or widowed, being born outside The Netherlands, frequent gardening and owning a cat were independently associated with Toxoplasma seropositivity. Risk factors like eating undercooked meat could not be studied. The seroprevalence among women aged 15–49 years was 10% lower (35·2%, 95% CI 32·9–38·6) in the study of 1995–1996, compared to the Toxoplasma study of 1987–1988 (45·8%, 95% CI 45·2–46·3). The steepest rise in seroprevalence still occurred among the subjects aged 25–44 years.

(Accepted February 23 2004)


Correspondence:
c1 Author for correspondence. (Email: LM.Kortbeek@rivm.nl)


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