Epidemiology and Infection

Review Article

A review of toxoplasmosis in humans and animals in Ethiopia

J. P. DUBEYa1 c1, N. TIAOa2, W. A. GEBREYESa2 and J. L. JONESa3

a1 United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Animal and Natural Resources Institute, Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory, Beltsville, MD, USA

a2 Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA

a3 Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA


Toxoplasmosis caused by the protozoan parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, is a worldwide zoonosis. In this paper published information on toxoplasmosis in humans and other animals in Ethiopia is reviewed. Limited data indicate that the prevalence of T. gondii in humans in Ethiopia is very high, up to 41% of children aged 1–5 years were reported to be seropositive. There is little information on seroprevalence data in pregnant women and no data on congenital toxoplasmosis in children. About 1 million adults in Ethiopia are considered to be infected with HIV with less than one-third likely receive highly active antiviral therapy. Based on a conservative T. gondii seroprevalence of 50%, thousands might die of concurrent opportunistic infections, including toxoplasmosis. However, exact figures are not available, and most serological surveys are not current. Serological surveys indicate up to 79% of goats and sheep have T. gondii antibodies. However, there is no information on losses due to toxoplasmosis in livestock or the presence of viable T. gondii in any host in Ethiopia.

(Received April 04 2012)

(Accepted June 01 2012)

(Online publication July 06 2012)


c1 Author for correspondence: Dr. J. P. Dubey, APDL, ANRI, BARC, Building 1001, USDA, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA. (Email: jitender.dubey@ars.usda.gov)