Latent Toxoplasmosis in Patients With Different Malignancy: A Hospital Based Study

Amal Nimir, Amizah Othman, Soon Ee, Zohdy Musa, Iffah Abd Majid, Zalikha Kamarudin, Chee Xian, Noor Hayati Isa


Background: Seroprevalence of toxoplasmosis in different populations may vary according to different environments, social customs and habits. This study was designed to measure the seroprevalence of toxoplasmosis among patients with different malignancies and to ascertain the association between common risk factors and disease transmission.

Methods: This Cross-sectional study was from January to April of 2009. Four Oncology wards in Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (HUKM) were selected as the site for undertaking the present study. The survey involved 129 patients with different malignancies. Information was gathered by using study subject information sheet and a standardized structured questionnaire. Toxoplasma was screened by a standerd ELISA commercial kit in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and performed at the Department of Microbiology, HUKM Kuala Lumpur. A result of > 51 IU/ml of anti-Toxoplasma (IgG) antibody was regarded as positive, indicating latent or pre-existing Toxoplasma infection. A result of > 51 IU/ml of anti-Toxoplasma (IgM) antibody was regarded as positive, indicating recently acquired Toxoplasma infection.

Results: Total number of seropositive patients was 54 (67.6%), the mean age was 51 years (range15 - 88 years). Toxoplasma IgG positivity was highest among Malaysian (32%). Male to female ratio was almost equal. There was a statistically significant difference in seropositivity between patients living in rural areas compared to those living in urban areas, positive history of consumption of undercooked meat and/or blood transfusion (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: These findings give some support to Toxoplasma screening program and health education, including promotion of a healthy lifestyle exclusively in seronegative patients in order to prevent seroconversion and the incidence of clinically evident opportunistic infection.



Toxoplasma gondii; Risk factors; Immunocompromised; seroconversion; Seroprevalence

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