Infection with Toxoplasma gondii during pregnancy represents a risk of congenital infection. Simple hygienic practices due to adequate knowledge about the parasite is one of the major keys to avoiding this preventable infection among pregnant women and women of child bearing age. The present cross sectional study was carried out to investigate the seroprevalence of anti-Toxoplasma Immunoglobulin G (IgG) and Immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies, associated risk factors of infection and knowledge about T. gondii, its transmission, treatment and prevention among pregnant women in Osogbo, Southwestern Nigeria. A total of 391 serum samples were collected from consenting pregnant women aged 16-50 years attending ante-natal clinic in four major hospitals within Osogbo between October and December, 2015. The samples were screen for toxoplasmosis using specific Toxo IgG and IgM Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) kits. Information on sociodemographic data, associated risk factors and knowledge about the T. gondii were obtained from the women using a structured questionnaire. The results indicated that 30.44% and 17.14% of the women had anti-Toxoplasma IgG and IgM antibodies respectively. Seropositivity of Toxoplasma infection was found to increase positively with the age of the pregnant women and decreases with increase in level of education. Logistic regression analysis showed a significant association between participant’s age, habit of tasting meat while cooking and cat ownership. A generally low knowledge of T. gondii was observed in this study whereby majority (90.76%) of the pregnant women claimed not to have any knowledge about toxoplasmosis while none of the participant admitted to been previously tested for the disease.
Key words: Seroprevalence, Infection, pregnant women, IgG and IgM antibodies, Toxoplasma gondii