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: Reported link between early life exposure to paracetamol and asthma 'overstated'

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Britain urges Russia to shut down webcam spying site

2 hours ago

A Russian website offering thousands of live feeds peering into bedrooms and offices around the world by accessing poorly secured webcams should be taken down immediately, British officials said on Thursday.

Geologists discover ancient buried canyon in South Tibet

2 hours ago

A team of researchers from Caltech and the China Earthquake Administration has discovered an ancient, deep canyon buried along the Yarlung Tsangpo River in south Tibet, north of the eastern end of the Himalayas. ...

Recommended for you

Ebola isolation at US base 'pretty much vacation'

8 hours ago

With plenty of flat screen TVs, game nights and even an outdoor fire pit, life in isolation for members of the U.S. military who have returned from the Ebola mission in West Africa can look a lot like summer camp.

Chinese-built Ebola center dedicated in Liberia

12 hours ago

China, one of the first countries to send aid to battle Ebola in West Africa, ramped up the assistance significantly Tuesday by opening a 100-bed treatment center in Liberia as rows of uniformed Chinese army ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.