This study investigated the seroprevalence of anti-Toxoplasma IgG and IgM antibodies as well as associated risk factors among pregnant women attending ante-natal care clinics in Ile Ife, Southwestern, Nigeria. A cross sectional hospital study was carried out in three major health care facilities within the study area between June and October, 2019. Three hundred and twenty pregnant women aged between 14-50 years were enrolled during the study period and their blood samples were screened for IgG and IgM antibodies against T. gondii using ELISA test. Structured questionnaires were also used to obtain participants’ socio-demographic data and some risk factors associated with the infection. Among the 320 pregnant women studied, overall seroprevalence of T. gondii was 34.68%, whereas 23.75% of the pregnant women were seropositive to IgG, 10.94% showed seropositivity to IgM antibodies. The analysis of the study also revealed that the seropositivity of T. gondii increased as the age of the pregnant women increased and decreases with increase in level of educational attainment. Significant associations were recorded among seropositivity of T. gondii infection and marital status, cat ownership, habit of tasting raw/undercooked meat and presence of rodents/cockroaches in the household (P? 0.05). The findings of this study show that the seropositivity to anti-toxoplasma antibodies is high in the study area. Therefore, there is a need to educate pregnant women about the risk factors that can lead to toxoplasma infection in order to reduce congenital toxoplasma cases among their offspring and newborns. It is also very important to include testing for toxoplasma antibodies as part of the ante-natal investigation that will be carried out on pregnant women.
Key words: Toxoplasma gondii, pregnant women, seroprevalence, infection, risk factors, marital status, cat ownership.
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