Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-26-2017

Department

Economics

Abstract

Background

Congenital toxoplasmosis is a serious but preventable and treatable disease. Gestational screening facilitates early detection and treatment of primary acquisition. Thus, fetal infection can be promptly diagnosed and treated and outcomes can be improved.

Methods

We tested 180 sera with the Toxoplasma ICT IgG-IgM point-of-care (POC) test. Sera were from 116 chronically infected persons (48 serotype II; 14 serotype I-III; 25 serotype I-IIIa; 28 serotype Atypical, haplogroup 12; 1 not typed). These represent strains of parasites infecting mothers of congenitally infected children in the U.S. 51 seronegative samples and 13 samples from recently infected persons known to be IgG/IgM positive within the prior 2.7 months also were tested. Interpretation was confirmed by two blinded observers. A comparison of costs for POC vs. commercial laboratory testing methods was performed.

Results

We found that this new Toxoplasma ICT IgG-IgM POC test was highly sensitive (100%) and specific (100%) for distinguishing IgG/IgM-positive from negative sera. Use of such reliable POC tests can be cost-saving and benefit patients.

Conclusions

Our work demonstrates that the Toxoplasma ICT IgG-IgM test can function reliably as a point-of-care test to diagnose Toxoplasma gondii infection in the U.S. This provides an opportunity to improve maternal-fetal care by using approaches, diagnostic tools, and medicines already available. This infection has serious, lifelong consequences for infected persons and their families. From the present study, it appears a simple, low-cost POC test is now available to help prevent morbidity/disability, decrease cost, and make gestational screening feasible. It also offers new options for improved prenatal care in low- and middle-income countries.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Required Publisher's Statement

Original version available from the publisher at http://journals.plos.org/plosntds/article?id=10.1371/journal.pntd.0005670

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