A Maternal Screening Program for Congenital Toxoplasmosis in Quindio, Colombia and Application of Mathematical Models to Estimate Incidences Using Age-Stratified Data

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  • Centro de Investigaciones Manuel Elkin Patarroyo, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad del Quindio, Armenia, Colombia

We studied 937 pregnant women from Quindio, Colombia for the presence of specific anti-Toxoplasma gondii IgG antibodies using the indirect immunofluorescence antibody technique (IFAT-IgG). Specific anti-T. gondii IgM antibodies detected using the immunosorbent agglutination assay (ISAgA-IgM) were investigated in patients with high titers in the IFAT-IgG (dilutions ≥ 1:1,024). We used mathematical models based on the age prevalence results of the IFAT-IgG to estimate the number of seroconversions and these were compared with the results predicted by the IgM based-incidence results. We found 15 positive cases by ISAgA-IgM and we were able to follow the children of six mothers from this group in which we found one case of congenital toxoplasmosis with the development of a retinal scar despite prenatal and postnatal treatment. The estimation of new cases for the annual total of pregnancies (approximately 8,000) in the Quindio region was 30–120 according to the ISAgA-IgM results and 57–85 using mathematical models. Thus, mathematical models based on age prevalence can give useful estimations of the magnitude of the problem.