Volume 71, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Primary maternal infection with toxoplasmosis during pregnancy is frequently associated with transplacental transmission to the fetus. This study was conducted to test the utility of a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay to detect recent infections with in pregnant women. One hundred forty-eight women with high-risk pregnancies who had abnormal pregnancy outcomes (cases) and 100 with normal pregnancies (controls) were tested for the presence of DNA in their blood by a nested PCR and specific antibodies to by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The IgG results of the cases differed significantly from those of the controls (54% and 12%, respectively; < 0.02). Four (2.7%) of the cases were IgM positive, but none of the controls were positive. Detection of DNA in 20 (8.1%) of the IgG-positive cases suggests a recent infection. The risk factors associated with the infection were eating raw meat and contact with soil. The diagnostic serology of recent infection in early pregnancy could be confirmed by a positive -specific PCR result in blood samples collected in the first half of pregnancy, even in the presence of serologic results difficult to interpret due to the lack of sequential follow-up during pregnancy.


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  • Received : 31 May 2004
  • Accepted : 28 Jun 2004

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