Epidemiology and Infection



Low incidence of toxoplasma infection during pregnancy and in newborns in Sweden


B.  EVENGÅRD  a1 c1, K.  PETERSSON  a2, M-L.  ENGMAN  a3, S.  WIKLUND  a4, S. A.  IVARSSON  a4, K.  TEÄR-FAHNEHJELM  a5, M.  FORSGREN  a6, R.  GILBERT  a7 and G.  MALM  a3
a1 Divisions of Clinical Bacteriology, Unit of Parasitology at Dept Immunology, Microbiology and Pathology, Karolinska Institutet at Huddinge University Hospital S-141 86 Stockholm, Sweden
a2 Depts of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Karolinska Institutet at Huddinge University Hospital S-141 86 Stockholm, Sweden
a3 Pediatrics, Karolinska Institutet at Huddinge University Hospital S-141 86 Stockholm, Sweden
a4 Dept of Pediatrics, Malmö University Hospital, Sweden
a5 Ophthalmology, Karolinska Institutet at Huddinge University Hospital S-141 86 Stockholm, Sweden
a6 Virology at Dept Immunology, Microbiology and Pathology, Karolinska Institutet at Huddinge University Hospital S-141 86 Stockholm, Sweden
a7 Dept of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Institute of Child Health, London, United Kingdom

Abstract

To estimate the burden of disease due to congenital toxoplasmosis in Sweden the incidence of primary infections during pregnancy and birth prevalence of congenital toxoplasmosis in 40978 children born in two regions in Sweden was determined. Women possibly infected during pregnancy were identified based on: 1, detection of specific IgG based on neonatal screening of the phenylketonuria (PKU) card blood spot followed by retrospective testing of stored prenatal samples to detect women who acquired infection during pregnancy and follow up of their children to 12 months; 2, detection of specific IgM on the PKU blood spot.

The birth prevalence of congenital toxoplasmosis was 0·73/10000 (95% CI 0·15–2·14) (3/40978).

The incidence of primary infection during pregnancy was 5·1/10000 (95% CI 2·6–8·9) susceptible pregnant women. The seroprevalence in the southern part was 25·7% and in the Stockholm area 14·0%.

The incidence of infection during pregnancy was low, as the birth prevalence of congenital toxoplasmosis. Neonatal screening warrants consideration in view of the low cost and feasibility.

(Accepted March 23 2001)


Correspondence:
c1 Author for correspondence.


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