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Clin Infect Dis. 2015 Dec 15;61(12):1815-24. doi: 10.1093/cid/civ721. Epub 2015 Sep 24.

Clustering of Toxoplasma gondii Infections Within Families of Congenitally Infected Infants.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, Division of Infectious Diseases Palo Alto Medical Foundation Toxoplasma Serology Laboratory, California.
2
Departments of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Toxoplasmosis Center, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Chicago.
3
Palo Alto Medical Foundation Toxoplasma Serology Laboratory, California.
4
Department of Pediatrics, Division of Infectious Diseases.
5
Departments of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Toxoplasmosis Center, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Chicago Department of Pediatrics, Rush University Medical Center.
6
Departments of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Toxoplasmosis Center, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Chicago Lurie Children's Hospital, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Northwestern University, Chicago.
7
Departments of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Toxoplasmosis Center, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Chicago North Shore University Hospital, Evanston, Illinois.
8
Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.
9
Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine Palo Alto Medical Foundation Toxoplasma Serology Laboratory, California.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Family clusters and epidemics of toxoplasmosis in North, Central, and South America led us to determine whether fathers of congenitally infected infants in the National Collaborative Chicago-Based Congenital Toxoplasmosis Study (NCCCTS) have a high incidence of Toxoplasma gondii infection.

METHODS:

We analyzed serum samples collected from NCCCTS families between 1981 and 2013. Paternal serum samples were tested for T. gondii antibodies with immunoglobulin (Ig) G dye test and IgM enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Additional testing of paternal serum samples was performed with differential-agglutination and IgG avidity tests when T. gondii IgG and IgM results were positive and serum samples were collected by the 1-year visit of the congenitally infected child. Prevalence of paternal seropositivity and incidence of recent infection were calculated. We analyzed whether certain demographics, maternal parasite serotype, risk factors, or maternal/infant clinical manifestations were associated with paternal T. gondii infection status.

RESULTS:

Serologic testing revealed a high prevalence (29 of 81; 36%) of T. gondii infection in fathers, relative to the average seropositivity rate of 9.8% for boys and men aged 12-49 years in the United States between 1994 and 2004 (P < .001). Moreover, there was a higher-than-expected incidence of recent infections among fathers with serum samples collected by the 1-year visit of their child (6 of 45; 13%; P < .001). No demographic patterns or clinical manifestations in mothers or infants were associated with paternal infections, except for sandbox exposure.

CONCLUSIONS:

The high prevalence of chronic and incidence of recent T. gondii infections in fathers of congenitally infected children indicates that T. gondii infections cluster within families in North America. When a recently infected person is identified, family clustering and community risk factors should be investigated for appropriate clinical management.

KEYWORDS:

Toxoplasma gondii; clusters; congenital infections; toxoplasmosis

PMID:
26405150
PMCID:
PMC4657536
DOI:
10.1093/cid/civ721
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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