Click for abstract
Toxoplasmosis is the fourth most common cause of hospitalization and the second cause of death due to food-borne infections. We conducted a cross-sectional study to determine the prevalence, disease awareness and risk factors associated with toxoplasmosis among rural communities in Northern Iran. Data were obtained from serological testing and from participant's questionnaires and were analyzed using a logistic regression. Of the 630 participants, 465 (73.8%), and 12 (1.9%) had IgG and both IgG and IgM anti-Toxoplasma gondii antibodies, respectively. In the logistic regression analysis, T. gondii seropositivity was associated with the following factors: age, occupation, consumption of undercooked meat, and of unwashed raw vegetables or fruits (p < 0.001). Our study showed a high prevalence of T. gondii infection in the general population of Northern Iran. A health program is needed to increase the public awareness of toxoplasmosis, and its associated risk factors.