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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1020-4989

Abstract

GARCIA, João Luis et al. Seroprevalence, epidemiology, and ocular evaluation of human toxoplasmosis in a rural area in Jaguapitã, Paraná, Brazil. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 1999, vol.6, n.3, pp. 157-163. ISSN 1020-4989.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49891999000800002.

Toxoplasmosis is a protozoal zoonosis common among a great variety of species worldwide. The objective of this study was to assess the presence of toxoplasmosis among 345 residents in a rural area in Jaguapitã municipality, Paraná state, Brazil. The frequency of titers in human serum samples was compared with the frequency of titers found in 1 420 samples obtained from various animal species with which local residents came into contact. Titers ³16 were considered positive. The highest titer found was 65 536 (1%), and the most frequent titer levels were 256 (29%) and 1 024 (19%). The comparisons between humans and animals revealed a positive and significant correlation between humans and felines (r = 0.78; P = 0.01) and humans and canines (r = 0.64; P = 0.05) in terms of titer distribution. Study participants were also tested with the Amsler grid. Seventy-five of the 345 people (22%) reported some type of ocular degradation. Of these 75, 58 of them (77%) were seropositive for toxoplasmosis. Forty-one of these 58 people underwent an ophthalmologic exam. Of these 41, 9 of them, who were between 34 and 78 years old, presented lesions characteristic of healed chorioretinitis, suggesting ocular toxoplasmosis. None of the 9 had ocular inflammation. Six of the 9 patients (67%) had unilateral lesions; 4 of these 6 presented a titer level of 256. The epidemiological survey showed that the probability of presenting ocular problems was 2.06 times as great for reactive patients as for nonreactive ones. No significant differences were observed in terms of sex, contact with felines or other animals, consumption of raw or rare meat and raw milk, and slaughtering of animals for personal consumption. Our results suggest that toxoplasmosis is common in the region, with a significant incidence of ocular lesions caused by Toxoplasma gondii. Health authorities should increase their monitoring and control activities in order to decrease the risk of toxoplasmic infections, especially among pregnant women.

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