Differences in some developmental features between Toxoplasma gondii-seropositive and seronegative school children
Mizgajska-Wiktor, H., Jarosz, W., Andrzejewska, I., Krzykala, M., Janowski, J., Kozlowska, M.
Folia Parasitologica 2013; 60: 416-424
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Knowledge about the influence of latent toxoplasmosis on development and general biological condition of children is scant and thus the aim of the present study was to investigate these aspects in some detail. We compare school children in rural area seropositive and seronegative to the apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii (Nicolle et Manceaux, 1908) in terms of their developmental age, body mass and body height, physical fitness and end-of-term grades. Additionally, we evaluated the risk factors of infection with T gondii such as the presence of cats in the household and eating raw meat products. With IFAT and ELISA tests, the prevalence of anti-Toxoplasma antibodies was 41% (190 children examined) and the rate of infection was higher in girls (44%) than in boys (36%). No significant differences were observed in morphological features and physical fitness of examined children. In girls the level of developmental age measured with electrophoretical mobility of nuclei method was significantly higher and school performance significantly lower for those infected with Toxoplasma than for uninfected; this finding was particularly intriguing. Only boys who ate raw meat products were more likely to be seropositive. The study provides some new information on gender differences in reaction to Toxoplasma infection.