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Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2007 May;58(1):83-8. Epub 2007 Mar 21.

IgG avidity assay firms up the diagnosis of acute toxoplasmosis on the first serum sample in immunocompetent pregnant women.

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Institut de Parasitologie et de Pathologie Tropicale de l'Université Louis Pasteur, Laboratoire de Parasitologie et de Mycologie Médicale des Hôpitaux Universitaires de Strasbourg, 67000 Strasbourg, France.


Rapid diagnosis of acute toxoplasmosis during pregnancy permits timely treatment and prevents or attenuates congenital toxoplasmosis. Specific IgM antibodies to Toxoplasma as marker of acute infection are often poorly informative, meaning that a complementary technique is needed to reach a diagnosis on the first sample. Here we evaluated 2 commercial kits designed to assist with the diagnosis of acute toxoplasmosis: Platelia Toxo IgG Avidity Complementary Reagents and Platelia Toxo IgA, both from BIO-RAD (Marnes La Coquette, France). We tested 2 groups of subjects: 36 patients with acute toxoplasmosis and 55 patients with chronic toxoplasmosis. The IgG avidity test had a sensitivity of 100% (36/36), a specificity of 92.7% (51/55), a positive predictive value of 90%, and a negative predictive value of 100%. Among the immunocompetent women population, the avidity test had perfect sensitivity and specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of 100%. The IgA test had a sensitivity of 88.8% (32/36) and a specificity of 85.4% (47/55), and positive and negative predictive values of 80% and 92.1%, respectively. When the 2 tests were combined, there was only 1 case in which the diagnosis of chronic toxoplasmosis could not be confirmed. The IgG avidity test can therefore be used to rapidly distinguish between chronic and acute infection on the first sample from a pregnant woman, provided there is no underlying immunodepression and no ongoing antitoxoplasmic treatment. In these 2 situations, the results must be interpreted with care, and other serologic markers, including IgA, should be tested. Determination of a pregnant woman's status on a first serum sample allows therapeutic and preventive management to be started without delay.

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