Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in children with central nervous system disorders in Mansoura, Egypt: a case-control study
El-Beshbishi,S. N. , El-Tantawy,N. L, Elzeky, S. M., Abdalaziz , K. F. ,Atia, R. A.
Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 2018;112: 555-560
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Background: Toxoplasma gondii is a global infection with a crucial role in the development of neurological diseases. Data concerning the association between T. gondii and neurological illnesses in Egyptian children is scarce. Methods: A case-control study was conducted on 60 patients divided into children suffering from central nervous system manifestations without apparent chromosomal anomalies (n=30) and children with Down syndrome (n=30) recruited from Mansoura University Children's Hospital, Mansoura, Egypt. A total of 30 healthy children were included as controls. Demographics and clinical data were collected from all cases and Toxoplasma immunoglobulin (Ig) M and G antibodies were assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results: Anti-T. gondii IgG was the most frequent antibody detected and the highest seropositivity rates were ranked for the neurologically disabled non-syndromic children, followed by Down syndrome, compared with controls (p <= 0.001). Statistically significant (p=0.05) associations were found between Toxoplasma IgG seropositivity and hydrocephalus and between Toxoplasma IgM and a history of contact with farm animals, soil and cats in children with Down syndrome. Conclusions: The association between Toxoplasma infection and neurological disorders in children should be kept in mind by paediatricians and assessment of T. gondii antibodies in early childhood is needed for timely management of afflicted patients.