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Am J Epidemiol. 1996 Aug 15;144(4):405-12.

Risk factors for Toxoplasma gondii infection in pregnancy. Results of a prospective case-control study in Norway.

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1
Department of Bacteriology, National Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway.

Abstract

From 1992 to 1994, a prospective case-control study designed to identify preventable risk factors for Toxoplasma gondii infection in pregnancy was conducted in Norway. Case-patients were identified through a serologic screening program encompassing 37,000 pregnant women and through sporadic antenatal testing for Toxoplasma infection. A total of 63 pregnant women with serologic evidence of recent primary T. gondii infection and 128 seronegative control women matched by age, stage of pregnancy, expected date of delivery, and geographic area were enrolled. The following factors were found to be independently associated with an increased risk of maternal infection in conditional logistic regression analysis (in order of decreasing attributable fractions): 1) eating raw or undercooked minced meat products (odds ratio (OR) = 4.1, p = 0.007); 2) eating unwashed raw vegetables or fruits (OR = 2.4, p = 0.03); 3) eating raw or undercooked mutton (OR = 11.4, p = 0.005); 4) eating raw or undercooked pork (OR = 3.4, p = 0.03); 5) cleaning the cat litter box (OR = 5.5, p = 0.02); and 6) washing the kitchen knives infrequently after preparation of raw meat, prior to handling another food item (OR = 7.3, p = 0.04). In univariate analysis, travelling to countries outside of Scandinavia was identified as a significant risk factor, but this variable was not independently associated with infection after data were controlled for factors more directly related to the modes of infection.

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