Epidemiological factors associated with seropositivity for toxoplasmosis in pregnant women from Gurupi, State of Tocantins, Brazil
Introduction Knowledge of the prevalence and risk factors for Toxoplasma gondii dissemination among pregnant women is relevant because the parasite can be spread from mother to infant. The objective of this study was to assess the epidemiology and risk factors of toxoplasmosis in pregnant women from Gurupi, State of Tocantins, Brazil, from February 2012 to June 2013. Methods The study population included 487 pregnant women. Sociodemographic, dietary and cultural data were collected using a standardized and validated form. Peripheral blood was collected for serologic testing using the ELISA test (IgM/IgG antibodies). The data were analyzed by comparing seropositivity with risk factors using crude and adjusted odds ratios. Results The prevalence rate for IgG and IgM antibodies was 68.7% and 5.7%, respectively. Sociodemographic characteristics associated with toxoplasmosis risk included the following: education level ≤ 8 years (OR: 6.612; CI: 1.450-30.144), age ≥ 30 years (OR: 5.273; CI: 1.166-23.844), working outside the home (OR: 1.604; CI: 1.015-2.536), and family income of two minimum wages or lower (OR: 2.700; CI: 1.891-8.182). Regarding dietary habits, there was a significant association of seropositivity with meat intake (OR: 1.78; CI: 1.149-4.080), cutting vegetables without washing the cutting board beforehand (OR: 2.051; CI: 1.165-3.614), frequent intake of vegetables (OR: 2.051; CI: 1.368-3.006) and in natura milk intake (OR: 2.422; CI: 1.014-5.785). Conclusions The high prevalence rates of toxoplasmosis in Gurupi are related to age, raw meat and in natura milk intake, as well as education level, working outside the home, and poor hygienic habits during meal preparation.