Open Access Research article

Seroepidemiology of infection with Toxoplasma gondii in healthy blood donors of Durango, Mexico

Cosme Alvarado-Esquivel1*, Miguel Francisco Mercado-Suarez2, Alfredo Rodríguez-Briones3, Laura Fallad-Torres1, Julio Octavio Ayala-Ayala2, Luis Jorge Nevarez-Piedra3, Ehecatl Duran-Morales3, Sergio Estrada-Martínez4, Oliver Liesenfeld5, José Ángel Márquez-Conde1 and Sergio Arturo Martínez-García1

Author Affiliations

1 Faculty of Medicine, Juárez University of Durango State (UJED). Durango, Mexico

2 Mexican Institute of Social Insurance (IMSS), Durango, Mexico

3 State Center for Blood Transfusion, Secretary of Health. Durango, Mexico

4 Institute for Scientific Research, UJED. Durango, Mexico

5 Institute for Microbiology and Hygiene, Campus Benjamin Franklin, Charité Medical School Berlin, Germany

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2007, 7:75  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-7-75

Published: 13 July 2007

Abstract

Background

Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) infection in blood donors could represent a risk for transmission in blood recipients. There is scarce information about the epidemiology of T. gondii infection in blood donors in Mexico. Therefore, we sought to determine the prevalence of T. gondii infection and associated socio-demographic and behavioral characteristics in a population of healthy blood donors of Durango City, Mexico.

Methods

Four hundred and thirty two blood donors in two public blood banks of Durango City, Mexico were examined for T. gondii infection between August to September 2006. Blood donors were tested for anti-T. gondii IgG and IgM antibodies by using enzyme-linked immunoassays (Diagnostic Automation Inc., Calabasas, CA, USA). Socio-demographic and behavioral characteristics from each participant were also obtained.

Results

Thirty two (7.4%) of 432 blood donors had IgG anti-T. gondii antibodies. Eight (1.9%) of them had also IgM anti-T. gondii antibodies. Multivariate analysis using logic regression showed that T. gondii infection was associated with the presence of cats at home (adjusted OR = 3.81; 95% CI: 1.45–10.01). The age group of 45–60 years showed a significantly higher frequency of T. gondii infection than the group of 25–34 years (p = 0.02). Blood donors without education had a significantly higher frequency of infection (15.8%) than those with 13–19 years of education (4.5%) (p = 0.04). Other characteristics of blood donors including male gender, consumption of undercooked meat or blood transfusion did not show an association with infection.

Conclusion

The prevalence of T. gondii infection in healthy blood donors of Durango City, Mexico is lower than those reported in blood donors of south and central Mexico, and is one of the lowest reported in blood donors worldwide. T. gondii infection in our blood donors was most likely acquired by contact with cats. Prevalence of infection increased with age and decreased with educational level.