Volume 77, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


can cause congenital, neurologic, ocular, and mild or asymptomatic infection. To determine the U.S. prevalence of infection, we tested sera collected from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999–2004 for immunoglobulin G antibodies in persons 6–49 years old and contrasted the results to those comparable in NHANES III (1988–1994) (ages 12–49 years). Of the 17,672 persons examined in NHANES 1999–2004, 15,960 (90%) were tested. The age-adjusted seroprevalence among persons 6–49 years old was 10.8% (95% confidence limits [CL] 9.6%, 11.9%), and among women 15–44 years old, 11.0% (95% CL 9.5%, 12.4%). seroprevalence declined from 14.1% to 9.0% ( < 0.001) from NHANES III to NHANES 1999–2004 among U.S.-born persons ages 12–49 years. Although infects many persons in the U.S., the prevalence has declined in the past decade.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Holland GM, 2003. Ocular toxoplasmosis: a global reassessment, part 1: epidemiology and course of disease. Am J Ophthalmol 136 : 973–988.
  2. Havlíc ek J, Gašová Z, Smith AP, Zvára K, Flegr J, 2001. Decrease of psychomotor performance in subjects with latent “asymptomatic” toxoplasmosis. Parasitology 122 : 515–520.
  3. Flegr J, Havlicek J, Kodym P, Maly M, Smahel Z, 2002. Increased risk of traffic accidents in subjects with latent toxoplasmosis: a retrospective case-control study. BMC Infect Dis 2 : 11.
  4. Flegr J, Zitkova S, Kodym P, Frynta D, 1996. Induction of changes in human behaviour by the parasitic protozoan Toxoplasma gondii. Parasitology 113 : 49–54.
  5. Flegr J, Kodym P, Tolarova V, 2000. Correlation of duration of latent Toxoplasma gondii infection with personality changes in women. Biol Psychol 53 : 57–68.
  6. Lafferty KD, 2005. Look what the cat dragged in: do parasites contribute to human cultural diversity? Behav Process 68 : 279–282.
  7. Lafferty KD, 2006. Can the common brain parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, influence human culture? Proc Biol Sci 273 : 2749–2755.
  8. Yolken RH, Brachmann S, Rouslanova I, Lillehoj E, Ford G, Torrey EF, Schroeder J, 2001. Antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii in individuals with first-episode schizophrenia. Clin Infect Dis 32 : 842–844.
  9. Flegr J, Preiss M, Klose J, Havlicek J, Vitakova M, Kodym P, 2003. Decreased level of psychobiological factor novelty seeking and lower intelligence in men latently infected with the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii Dopamine, a missing link between schizophrenia and toxoplasmosis? Biol Psychol 63 : 253–268.
  10. Brown AS, Schaefer CA, Quesenberry CP Jr, Liu L, Babulas VP, Susser ES, 2005. Maternal exposure to toxoplasmosis and risk of schizophrenia in adult offspring. Am J Psychiatry 162 : 767–773.
  11. Brachmann S, Schroder J, Bottmer C, Torrey EF, Yolken RH, 2005. Psychopathology in first-episode schizophrenia and antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii. Psychopathology 38 : 87–90.
  12. Dubey JP, 1994. Toxoplasmosis. J Am Vet Med Assoc 205 : 1593–1598.
  13. Weigel RM, Dubey JP, Seigel AM, Heofling D, Reynolds D, Herr L, Kitron UD, Shen SK, Thulliez P, Fayer R, Todd KS, 1995. Prevalence of antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii in swine in Illinois in 1992. J Am Vet Med Assoc 206 : 1747–1751.
  14. Bowie WR, King AS, Werker DH, Isaac-Renton JL, Bell A, Eng SB, Marion SA, 1997. Outbreak of toxoplasmosis associated with municipal drinking water. Lancet 350 : 173–177.
  15. Bahia-Oliveira LM, Jones JL, Azevedo-Silva J, Vlves CCF, Orefice F, Addiss DG, 2003. Highly endemic, waterborne toxoplasmosis in North Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil. Emerg Infect Dis 9 : 55–62.
  16. Cook AJ, Gilbert RE, Buffolano W, 2000. Sources of Toxoplasma infection in pregnant women: European multicentre case-control study. European Research Network on Congenital Toxoplasmosis. BMJ 321 : 142–147.
  17. Roghmann MC, Faulkner CT, Lefkowitz A, Patton S, Zimmerman J, Morris JG Jr, 1999. Decreased seroprevalence for Toxoplasma gondii in Seventh Day Adventists in Maryland. Am J Trop Med Hyg 60 : 790–792.
  18. Dubey JP, Beattie CP, 1988. Toxoplasmosis in man (Homo sapiens). Dubey JP, Beattie CP, eds. Toxoplasmosis of Animals and Man. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, Inc., 41–60.
  19. Walton BC, Arjona I, Benchoff BM, 1966. Relationship of Toxoplasma antibodies to altitude. Am J Trop Med Hyg 15 : 492–495.
  20. Lopez A, Dietz V, Wilson M, Navin TR, Jones JL, 2000. Preventing congenital toxoplasmosis. MMWR Recomm Rep 49(RR-2): 37–75.
  21. National Center for Health Statistics, 1994. Plan and operation of the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988–94. Series 1: programs and collection procedures. Vital Health Stat 1(32): 1–407.
  22. National Center for Health Statistics, 2004. NHANES 1999–2002. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/about/major/nhanes/datalink.htm. Accessed November 1, 2006.
  23. Tenter AM, Heckeroth AR, Weiss LM, 2000. Toxoplasma gondii: from animals to humans. Int J Parasitol 30 : 1217–1258.
  24. Jones JL, Kruszon-Moran D, Wilson M, McQuillan G, Navin T, McAuley JB, 2001. Toxoplasma gondii infection in the United States: seroprevalence and risk factors. Am J Epidemiol 154 : 357–365.
  25. Mohadjer L, Montaquila J, Waksberg J, 1996. National Health and Nurtition Examination Survey III: Weighting and Examination Methodology. Prepared for National Center for Health Statistics, Hyattsville, MD. Washington, DC: Westat Inc.
  26. Shah BV, Barnwell BG, Bieler GS, LaVange LM, 1996. SUDAAN Users’ Manual, Release 7.0. Research Triangle Park, NC: Research Triangle Institute.
  27. National Center for Health Statistics, 2004. NHANES 1999–2002. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhanes/nhanes_general_guidelines_june_04.pdf. Accessed November 1, 2006.
  28. Dubey JP, Hill DE, Jones JL, Hightower AW, Kirkland E, Roberts JM, Marcet PL, Lehmann T, Vianna MCB, Miska K, Sreekumar C, Kwok OCH, Shen SK, Gamble HR, 2005. Prevalence of viable Toxoplasma gondii in beef, chicken, and pork from retail meat stores in the United States: risk assessment to consumers. J Parasitol 91 : 1082–1093.
  29. The Wildlife Society, 2006. Wildlife Policy Statement—Feral and Free-Ranging Domestic Cats. http://www.wildlife.org/policy/index.cfm?tname=policystatements&statement=ps28. Accessed November 1, 2006.
  30. Coleman JS, Temple SA, Craven SR, 1997. Cats and Wildlife: A Conservation Dilemma. University of Wisconsin Extension, Madison, WI. http://wildlife.wisc.edu/extension/catfly3.htm. Accessed November 1, 2006.
  31. American Frozen Food Institute. Frozen food trends. http://www.affi.com/factstat-trends.asp. Accessed May 11, Cats and Wildlife: A Conservation Dilemma. University of Wisconsin Extension, Madison, WI. http://wildlife.wisc.edu/extension/catfly3.htm. Accessed November 1 2007.
  32. Dubey JP. 1974. Effect of freezing on the infectivity of Toxoplasma cysts to cats. J Am Vet Med Assoc 165 : 534–536.
  33. Kotula AW, Dubey JP, Sharar AK, Andrews CD, Shen SK, Lindsay DS, 1991. Effect of freezing on infectivity of Toxoplasma gondii tissue cysts in pork. J Food Prot 54 : 687–690.
  34. Hill DE, Sreekumar C, Gamble HR, Dubey JP, 2004. Effect of commonly used enhancement solutions on the viability of Toxoplasma gondii tissue cysts in pork loin. J Food Prot 67 : 2230–2233.
  35. Dubey JP, 2004. Toxoplasmosis—a waterborne zoonosis. Vet Parasitol 126 : 57–72.
  36. United States Environmental Protection Agency, 1990. Drinking Water Standards for Regulated Contaminants. Surface Water Treatment Rule (1990, effective date). http://www.epa.gov/safewater/therule.html#Surface. Accessed May 25, 2007.
  37. United States Environmental Protection Agency, 1998. Interim Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule, EPA 815-F-98-009, December 1998. http://www.epa.gov/safewater/mdbp/ieswtr.html. Accessed May 25, 2007.
  38. U.S. Census Bureau, 2001. Hispanic Population Census Brief, May 2001. Washington, DC: U.S. Census Bureau.
  39. Grigg ME, Ganatra J, Boothroyd JC, Margolis TP, 2001. Unusual abundance of atypical strains associated with human ocular toxoplasmosis. J Infect Dis 184 : 633–639.
  40. Darde ML, 2004. Genetic analysis of the diversity in Toxoplasma gondii. Ann Ist Super Sanita 40 : 57–63.

Data & Media loading...

  • Received : 10 Apr 2007
  • Accepted : 07 Jun 2007

Most Cited This Month

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error