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Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 2009 Mar;104(2):389-92.

Diagnosis of congenital toxoplasmosis: prenatal and neonatal evaluation of methods used in Toulouse University Hospital and incidence of congenital toxoplasmosis.

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Department of Parasitology and Mycology, Hôpital de Rangueil, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Toulouse, 1 Avenue Jean Poulhès, 31059 Toulouse, France.


The aim of this study was to determine the incidence of congenital toxoplasmosis (CT) and to assess the performances of prenatal and neonatal diagnoses. From 1994-2005, in Toulouse University Hospital, France, amniocentesis was performed on 352 pregnant women who were infected during pregnancy. All women were treated with spiramycin and pyrimethamine-sulfadoxine when prenatal diagnosis was positive. Among the 275 foetuses with follow-up, 66 (24%) were infected. The transmission rates of Toxoplasma gondii were 7%, 24% and 59% in the first, second and third trimesters, respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of PCR on amniotic fluid (AF) were 91% and 99.5%, respectively. One case was diagnosed by mouse inoculation with AF and six cases were diagnosed by neonatal or postnatal screening. The sensitivity and specificity of PCR on placentas were 52% and 99%, respectively. The sensitivity of tests for the detection of specific IgA and IgM in cord blood was 53% and 64%, respectively, and specificity values were 91% and 92%. In conclusion, PCR performed on AF had the highest levels of sensitivity and specificity for the diagnosis of CT. This permits an early diagnosis of most cases and should be recommended.

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