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Frequency and Transmission Dynamics of Human Toxoplasmosis in Rural Areas of Iraq

Research Article                                         Vol:3,Issue:2

Mohammad Hassan, Raheem Hussein, Shatha Abrahem


Human Toxoplasmosis is one of the widespread of all the zoonoses. It is caused by the most successful obligate intracellular protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii.  The disease can result in encephalitis, abortion, fetal abnormalities or even prenatal death in immunocompromised individuals. Human acquire  infection by consumption of food,  raw or uncooked meat or water contaminated with infected cat feces. Vertical transmission from mother to fetus can also occur. Therefore,  there  is  a  need  to  identify  the   transmission patter  and to develop  strategies  for its control and prevention.  The aim of this study has been the understanding of underlying mechanisms of transmission of Toxoplasma from definitive host (cats) to women. In addition, to devise strategies for intervention to break the transmission mode/route at the environment/cellular/molecular level. Initially, a total of about 300  blood samples from rural married women belonging to different rural areas of Iraq were collected and were tested for the presence of anti-Toxoplasma antibodies using ELISA. Information about their life style, occupation, social status, food preference, personal hygiene, contact with cats, association with livestock etc. were also recorded. Out of 300 samples 105 (35%) were seropositive for Toxoplasma gondii. Among the 105 seropositive women 73 (69.5%) had one or more abortions. All 35% women were in close contact with goats and sheep, consuming unpasteurized milk and contaminated water, and with very poor personal hygiene practices. Data from the questionnaire was analyzed through SPSS 16, shows that the women having high rate of prevalence, have lack of health education and hygiene practice. They used milk mostly in raw form and do not pasteurize it properly.  Washing of milk pots before milking was not proper and the environment where milking was taken place, was the same where sheeps and gots were already standing (breading place). The study signals alarming situation for married women living in rural set up.  The analysis shows that close contact with sheep  and  goats and consuming unpasteurized milk are more severe risk for human toxoplasmosis than contact  with  cats  as commonly  considered    a    source  for  spread  of  disease.

Key Words: Toxoplasmosis, Zoonoses, Rural setup, Infection.

SAJMED.2018; 3(2):83-90                                                              PDF Download

For full-text Article please contact Dr. Raheem Hussein:

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