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Exp Parasitol. 2013 Dec;135(4):685-9. doi: 10.1016/j.exppara.2013.10.001. Epub 2013 Oct 18.

Toxoplasma gondii infection: What is the real situation?

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Songkhla 90110, Thailand.


The prevalence of chronic Toxoplasma infections reported in the literature varies enormously. We hypothesize that one factor could be due to the different methods used in the evaluation of infections. Serological evidence of Toxoplasma infections in 450 pregnant women (PW) and 300 HIV-infected patients (HIV) were investigated by the Sabin-Feldman dye test and two other commercial ELISA kits (kit1 and kit2). Anti-Toxoplasma IgG antibodies obtained from the Sabin-Feldman dye test, ELISA kit1 and ELISA kit2 in the PW subjects were 14.7%, 29.6% and 38.7%, and in the HIV subjects were 13%, 34.7% and 36.3%, respectively. So there were significant differences in the seroprevalences when different diagnostic tests were used (P<0.05). Regarding Sabin-Feldman dye test as the gold standard for anti-Toxoplasma antibodies detection, we found that the sensitivity and specificity of the ELISA kit1 and kit2 was in the range of their specification. However as the two ELISA kits used in our study identified a much higher prevalence of Toxoplasma infections which indicated that false positive cases were being reported. Based on results obtained, it is therefore highly recommended that research workers should be aware that the reports of serological studies in terms of high positive results should be treated with some skepticism until additional precise diagnostic tools are developed.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


ELISA test; Pregnant women and HIV-infected patients; Sabin–Feldman dye test; Seroprevalence; Toxoplasma gondii

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