Toxoplasmosis found more severe in Brazil compared to Europe

Aug 14, 2008

Newborns in Brazil are more susceptible to toxoplasmosis than those in Europe, according to a recent study. Researchers based in Austria, Brazil, Denmark, France, Italy, Poland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom studied the disease's ocular effects in children from birth to four years of age. Details are published August 13th in the open-access journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Toxoplasmosis, caused by Toxoplasma gondii, is the most common parasitic disease found in humans around the world. Infection can cause inflammatory lesions at the back of the eye that sometimes affect vision. Previous studies have suggested more severe complications when people acquire the disease in Brazil than in Europe or North America but have not compared patients directly.

For this study, headed by Ruth Gilbert at the Institute of Child Health, University College London, children with congenital toxoplasmosis were identified by routine screening of their mothers during pregnancy or of the newborn soon after birth. Gilbert's group found that Brazilian children had a five times higher risk than European children for developing eye lesions by four years old.

Furthermore, lesions in the retina occurred more frequently and were larger in the Brazilian children, and vision was predicted to be compromised in 87% of the Brazilian children, compared to only 29% in the European children.

The authors believe the more severe clinical symptoms in Brazil are due to infection with more virulent genotypes of the parasite that are predominant in Brazil but rarely found in Europe.

Citation: Gilbert RE, Freeman K, Lago EG, Bahia-Oliveira LMG, Tan HK, et al. (2008) Ocular Sequelae of Congenital Toxoplasmosis in Brazil Compared with Europe. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2(8): e277. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000277 dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0000277

Source: Public Library of Science

Explore further: Presence of peers ups health workers' hand hygiene

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Team improves solar-cell efficiency

3 hours ago

New light has been shed on solar power generation using devices made with polymers, thanks to a collaboration between scientists in the University of Chicago's chemistry department, the Institute for Molecular ...

Calif. teachers fund to boost clean energy bets

3 hours ago

The California State Teachers' Retirement System says it plans to increase its investments in clean energy and technology to $3.7 billion, from $1.4 billion, over the next five years.

Alibaba surges in Wall Street debut

3 hours ago

A buying frenzy sent Alibaba shares sharply higher Friday as the Chinese online giant made its historic Wall Street trading debut.

Dwindling wind may tip predator-prey balance

3 hours ago

Bent and tossed by the wind, a field of soybean plants presents a challenge for an Asian lady beetle on the hunt for aphids. But what if the air—and the soybeans—were still?

Recommended for you

Presence of peers ups health workers' hand hygiene

3 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The presence of other health care workers improves hand hygiene adherence, according to a study published in the October issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

Sierra Leone streets deserted as shutdown begins

11 hours ago

Sierra Leone's normally chaotic capital resembled a ghost town on Friday as residents were confined to their homes for the start of a three-day lockdown aimed at halting the deadly Ebola epidemic.

Sierra Leone launches controversial Ebola shutdown

12 hours ago

Sierra Leone on Friday launched a controversial three-day shutdown to contain the deadly spread of the Ebola virus, as the UN Security Council declared the deadly outbreak a threat to world peace.

User comments : 0