Toxoplasma gondii occurs worldwide, with a higher incidence in tropical areas. In the US, from 2009 to 2010 there was 10.1% seroprevalence in people 12 to 49 years old, a decrease from 1988 to 1994, at which it was 16%. Seroprevalence in southern Europe is as high as 54%, which is thought to be due to ingestion of undercooked meat and poor kitchen hygiene. Seroprevalence in South America is also high, ranging from 43% to 73%, probably because of the effect of waterborne transmission, in addition to ingestion of undercooked meat. Age-specific prevalence has been decreasing in Europe over the past 30 to 40 years. Seroprevalence is low in most Asian countries (1% in pregnant women in Korea, 10% in HIV-positive patients in Taiwan), although India (45%) and Malaysia (56%) have higher prevalence rates. Rates of seroconversion in non-immune pregnant women range from 2.4 to 16 per 1000 in Europe; in the UK the estimated rate is 2 per 1000. In the US about 5 per 1000 non-immune women may acquire Toxoplasma during pregnancy, and the prevalence of congenital disease ranges from 1 to 10 per 10,000 live births. Without treatment, infection during pregnancy results in congenital disease roughly 44% of the time, and appropriate treatment during pregnancy lowers the risk of congenital infection to 29%.
BMJ Best Practice is an evidence-based point of care tool for healthcare practitioners.
To continue reading and access all of BMJ Best Practice's pages you'll need to log in or start a free trial.
You can access through your institution if your hospital, university, trust or other institution provides access to BMJ Best Practice through either OpenAthens or Shibboleth.
Use of this content is subject to our disclaimer