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Indian J Med Microbiol. 2003 Apr-Jun;21(2):69-76.

Mother-to-child transmission and diagnosis of Toxoplasma gondii infection during pregnancy.

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Department of Laboratory Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi -110019, India.


Toxoplasmosis is caused by a coccidian parasite Toxoplasma gondii. It is world-wide in distribution and infects most of the vertebrates. The cat family animals (Felides) are its definitive host. The humans are infected either through contaminated food, water, transfusion of infected blood, organ transplantation or from mother-to-foetus through placenta. The prevalence of toxoplasmosis in Indian pregnant women is variably reported. However, the knowledge about this infection, its diagnosis and interpretation of test results is a major problem in the Indian context. Though Toxoplasma infection does not cause repeated fetal losses, this is the most common indication for investigation of toxoplasmosis in India. There are several diagnostic test kits available in Indian market, however, their quality is not assessed by most of the laboratories before they are procured. There is also no baseline data on the antibody titres in various subpopulations of India. This review is focused on various modes of transmission, prevalence data and its significance and interpretation of various antibody tests in pregnant mothers and in babies.

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