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Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2012 Nov;19(11):1859-63. doi: 10.1128/CVI.00489-12. Epub 2012 Sep 26.

Evaluation of the liaison automated testing system for diagnosis of congenital toxoplasmosis.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Division of Pediatric Neonatology, Intensive Care and Neuropediatrics, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.


Congenital toxoplasmosis is a worldwide health problem, and different screening strategies exist. Testing of toxoplasma-specific antibodies in infants identifies congenital toxoplasmosis during the first year of life. However, experience with commercial available immunoassays is limited. The aim of this study was to evaluate both the performance and analytical characteristics of the Liaison diagnostic system in infants. In a retrospective study, serum Toxoplasma gondii antibodies were measured in samples from 333 infants, including 212 noninfected infants and 121 infants with congenital toxoplasmosis. A total of 1,157 umbilical cord blood and peripheral serum samples were analyzed. Liaison toxoplasma-specific IgG and IgM antibodies and the IgG avidity index were compared to the infection status of the infant, determined by the Sabin-Feldman dye test and immunosorbent agglutination assay--IgM. All noninfected infants were seronegative by Liaison IgG within the first year of life. The Liaison system showed a sensitivity of 81.8%, a specificity of 100.0%, a positive predictive value of 100.0%, a negative predictive value of 90.6%, and overall agreement of 84.4% by comparison with the dye test. Overall agreement of both IgM test systems was 96.0%. In this study cohort, avidity did not show a potential diagnostic benefit for the detection of congenital infection. In conclusion, the Liaison system is a valuable tool to monitor the serologic course of infants at risk. A final serologic confirmatory test is recommended to improve the rate of detection of congenital toxoplasmosis at 1 year of life. Protocols of routine follow-up testing in infants and accurate diagnostic tools after acute gestational infections are needed to improve medical care.

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