2016-03-03Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.1038/srep22551
Prevalence, incidence estimations, and risk factors of Toxoplasma gondii infection in Germany: a representative, cross-sectional, serological study
Representative data on the extent of endemicity, burden, and risk of human toxoplasmosis are scarce. We assessed the prevalence and determinants of seropositivity of Toxoplasma gondii among adult participants of a nationwide representative cross-sectional survey in Germany. Sera collected from a representative cohort of adults (age 18–79; n = 6,663) in Germany were tested for anti-T. gondii IgG antibodies. Interview-derived data were used to evaluate associated factors. Multivariable logistic regression was applied using sampling weights and accounting for survey design cluster effects. Seroprevalence increased from 20% (95%-CI:17–23%) in the 18–29 age group to 77% (95%-CI:73–81%) in the 70–79 age group. Male gender, keeping cats and BMI ≥30 were independent risk factors for seropositivity, while being vegetarian and high socio-economic status were negatively associated. Based on these data, we estimate 1.1% of adults and 1.3% of women aged 18–49 to seroconvert each year. This implies 6,393 seroconversions annually during pregnancies. We conclude that T. gondii infection in Germany is highly prevalent and that eating habits (consuming raw meat) appear to be of high epidemiological relevance. High numbers of seroconversions during pregnancies pose substantial risks for unborn children. Efforts to raise awareness of toxoplasmosis in public health programs targeting to T. gondii transmission control are therefore strongly advocated.
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