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Clin Microbiol Infect. 2008 Mar;14(3):242-9. Epub 2007 Dec 7.

A technique for dating toxoplasmosis in pregnancy and comparison with the Vidas anti-toxoplasma IgG avidity test.

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Pôle de Biologie-Pathologie, Laboratoire de Parasitologie et Mycologie, Hôpital Nord, CHU de Saint Etienne, France.


A comparative evaluation of 384 selected sera was performed using the Beckman Coulter Access and Abbott Axsym Toxo-IgG assays. The Axsym assay yields positive early results following infection, while the Access assay gives higher titres during chronic infection. The ratio between the two complementary tests, Axsym Toxo-IgG/Access Toxo-IgG (Ax/Ac), was compared with the Vidas anti-Toxoplasma IgG avidity index (AI). The Ax/Ac ratio decreased progressively as the time between infection and sampling increased. The mean Ax/Ac values (+/-SE) were 2.50 (+/-0.26), 2.14 (+/-0.13), 2.33 (+/-0.22), 1.34 (+/-0.09), 1.32 (+/-0.10), 0.92 (+/-0.08) and 0.74 (+/-0.07) for groups of sera sampled at 1, 2, 3, 4-5, 6-8, 9-12 and 13-24 months, respectively, after infection in pregnant women. These values were much smaller for cases with chronic infection (>24 months), i.e., 0.56 (+/-0.03), 0.44 (+/-0.04) and 0.53 (+/-0.04), respectively, for pregnant women and immunodepressed patients with and without reactivation. Taking a ratio of 1 as a threshold for recent infection, the patients in the groups sampled at 1, 2 and 3 months had Ax/Ac ratios >1 in 49/50 (98%), 53/55 (96.4%) and 36/36 (100%) cases, respectively. Thus, an Ax/Ac ratio of <1 in serum from a pregnant woman allows a recent infection (<3 months) to be excluded. This technique has the advantage of yielding positive results that develop much more rapidly than the AI, thereby helping to reassure large numbers of pregnant women and avoiding costly and unnecessary prophylactic treatment and follow-up.

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