Volume 60, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Despite its widespread prevalence, uncertainties remain about the relative contribution of various routes of transmission to the overall rate of infection with Toxoplasma gondii, particularly in developed countries. To explore the hypothesis that meat consumption is an important risk factor for infection, a cross-sectional seroprevalence study was performed on healthy adults in one region in the state of Maryland. The population included Seventh Day Adventists who as a group follow a diet containing no meat, and control community volunteers who were not Seventh Day Adventists. Thirty-one percent of the population had serologic evidence of T. gondii infection. People with T. gondii infection were older (49 versus 42 years old; P < 0.01, by t-test) and less likely to be Seventh Day Adventists (24% versus 50%; P < 0.01, by chi-square test) than people without T. gondii infection. When adjustments were made for age and gender through multiple logistic regression, Seventh Day Adventists had a significantly decreased risk of T. gondii infection (odds ratio = 0.21, 95% confidence interval = 0.09-0.46, P = 0.0001) compared with the controls. While the basis for this effect remains to be determined, one possible protective factor is the general adherence of Seventh Day Adventists to a diet that does not contain meat.


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