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PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2011;5(5):e1195. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0001195. Epub 2011 May 31.

First Colombian multicentric newborn screening for congenital toxoplasmosis.

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Grupo GEPAMOL, Centro de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Universidad del Quindio, Armenia, Colombia.



To determine the incidence of congenital toxoplasmosis in Colombian newborns from 19 hospital or maternal child health services from seven different cities of five natural geographic regions (Caribbean, Central, Andean, Amazonia and Eastern).


We collected 15,333 samples from umbilical cord blood between the period of March 2009 to May 2010 in 19 different hospitals and maternal-child health services from seven different cities. We applied an IgM ELISA assay (Vircell, Spain) to determine the frequency of IgM anti Toxoplasma. The results in blood cord samples were confirmed either by western blot and repeated ELISA IgM assay. In a sub-sample of 1,613 children that were negative by the anti-Toxoplasma IgM assay, the frequency of specific anti-Toxoplasma IgA by the ISAGA assay was determined. All children with positive samples by IgM, IgA, clinical diagnosis or treatment during pregnancy were recalled for confirmatory tests after day 10 of life.


61 positive samples for specific IgM (0.39%) and 9 positives for IgA (0.5%) were found. 143 questionnaires were positive for a clinical diagnosis or treatment for toxoplasmosis during pregnancy. 109 out of the 218 children that had some of the criteria for postnatal confirmatory tests were followed. Congenital toxoplasmosis infection was confirmed in 15 children: 7 were symptomatic, and three of them died before the first month of life (20% of lethality). A significant correlation was found between a high incidence of markers for congenital toxoplasmosis and higher mean annual rainfall for the city.


Incidence for congenital toxoplasmosis is significantly different between hospitals or maternal child health services from different cities in Colombia. Mean annual rainfall was correlated with incidence of congenital toxoplasmosis.

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