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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1999 Feb;180(2 Pt 1):410-5.

Treatment of toxoplasmosis during pregnancy: a multicenter study of impact on fetal transmission and children's sequelae at age 1 year.

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  • 1Departments of Obstetrics, Academisch Ziekenhuis, Free University of Brussels, Belgium.



Toxoplasmosis during pregnancy can cause fetal infection, with unpredictable sequelae in later life. We measured the effects of prenatal antibiotic therapy on the fetomaternal transmission of Toxoplasma gondii and on the appearance of sequelae in the congenitally infected child at age 1 year.


In a multicenter study we investigated consecutive women with Toxoplasma seroconversion during pregnancy. Data were obtained from 144 women recruited in 5 different Toxoplasma reference centers. Through multivariate analysis we assessed the association between transmission and appearance of sequelae as a function of the following parameters: estimated gestational age at infection, administration of antibiotic therapy, duration of antibiotic therapy, and time lapse between infection and the start of antibiotic therapy.


Sixty-four of the 144 women (44%) gave birth to a congenitally infected infant. Multivariate analysis showed that transmission was predicted neither by whether antibiotics had been administered nor by the time lapse between infection and the start of antibiotic therapy, but only by the gestational age at which maternal infection occurred (P <.0001). Sequelae were found in 19 children (13%), 9 of whom (6%) had severe sequelae. Administration of antibiotics was predictive of the absence of sequelae (P =.026, odds ratio 0.30, 95% confidence interval 0.104-0.863), in particular the absence of severe sequelae (P =.007, odds ratio 0.14, 95% confidence interval 0.036-0.584). The sooner antibiotics were given after the infection, the less frequently sequelae were seen (P =. 021).


Prenatal antibiotic therapy after toxoplasmosis during pregnancy had no impact on the fetomaternal transmission rate but reduced the rate of sequelae among the infected infants. The early start of treatment resulted in a significant reduction in the number of severely affected infants.

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