Lab Med Online.  2011 Oct;1(4):190-194. 10.3343/lmo.2011.1.4.4.

Seroprevalence of Toxoplasmosis in Pregnant Women in Daejeon, Korea

  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine, College of Medicine, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Korea.
  • 2Departments of Obsterics and Gynecology, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Korea.
  • 3Department of Laboratory Medicine, Daejeon St. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea.


Toxoplasma gondii can cause devastating disease in the fetus and newborn infant. Serologic testing of pregnant women for Toxoplasma-specific antibodies can be used to identify those women at risk of transmitting Toxoplasma gondii infection. In Korea, despite a few reports on the seroprevalence of Toxoplasma (Toxo) antibody, the incidence of acute or chronic toxoplasma infection during pregnancy has not been well established. We performed a prospective screening for Toxoplasma antibodies to obtain a basic epidemiological data on the seroprevalence of acute and chronic toxoplasma infection.
During a 6-month period, 787 pregnant women at various weeks of gestation were enrolled in the prospective study. Toxo IgG and IgM antibodies were determined by the Abbott AxSYM Toxo IgG and IgM assays. Serum specimens showing positive results of both IgG and IgM antibodies were further tested using the Abbott ARCHITECT Toxo IgG Avidity test.
The seropositivities of Toxo-specific IgG and IgM antibodies in this cohort were 2.3% (18/787) and 0.1% (1/787), respectively. No woman showed positive results for both Toxoplasma IgG and IgM antibodies. One specimen showing IgG positive and IgM grayzone results was tested by Toxo IgG avidity test and a low avidity test result (9%) was obtained, suggesting a possible acute primary infection.
This study was the first trial on the investigation of the seroprevalence of both IgG and IgM antibodies in Korea, and we found that the seroprevalence of the antibodies was lower than that previously reported.


Toxoplasma; Toxo-IgG avidity; Pregnancy; Seroprevalence
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