Revista de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 0124-0064
OCAMPO, Lina M and DUARTE-GANDICA, Irene. A model of congenital toxoplasmosis transmission dynamics. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2010, vol.12, n.2, pp. 317-326. ISSN 0124-0064. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0124-00642010000200015.
Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic zoonosis having worldwide distribution; it infects many human and animal populations and is produced by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, this being of great importance in contagion of pregnant women since this zoonosis causes illness in the fetus through transplacental infection. A constant mother-foetus infection rate has traditionally been used. Nevertheless, there is evidence of a strong relationship between a mother's gestation week and the moment when a foetus becomes infected. This work describes congenital toxoplasmosis transmission dynamics by using an age-structured model taking a mother's gestational week into account. The model was adapted to a space-time model describing T. gondii dispersion through cats; this provided the amount of parasites in the environment depending on which a pregnant woman would become infected. Simulations were done, varying the amount of parasites and the pregnant mother-inoculum distance. Some parameters related to possible control measures were also varied. Important changes were found when comparing infected pregnant female population patterns, when a constant mother-fetus infection rate was used and when a dependent pregnancy week rate was used. This led to concluding that the gestation week in which the mothers became infected is fundamental in infection being transmitted to their fetuses.
Keywords : Toxoplasmosis; congenital; infectious disease transmission; vertical; epidemiology; zoonosis; computer simulation.