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TOXOPLASMA GONDII INFECTION IN RURAL GUATEMALAN CHILDREN

JEFFREY L. JONESDivision of Parasitic Diseases, and Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; Medical Entomology Research and Training Unit, University de Valle de Guatemala, Guatemala City, Guatemala

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BEATRIZ LOPEZDivision of Parasitic Diseases, and Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; Medical Entomology Research and Training Unit, University de Valle de Guatemala, Guatemala City, Guatemala

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MARICRUZ ALVAREZ MURYDivision of Parasitic Diseases, and Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; Medical Entomology Research and Training Unit, University de Valle de Guatemala, Guatemala City, Guatemala

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MARIANNA WILSONDivision of Parasitic Diseases, and Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; Medical Entomology Research and Training Unit, University de Valle de Guatemala, Guatemala City, Guatemala

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ROBERT KLEINDivision of Parasitic Diseases, and Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; Medical Entomology Research and Training Unit, University de Valle de Guatemala, Guatemala City, Guatemala

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STEPHEN LUBYDivision of Parasitic Diseases, and Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; Medical Entomology Research and Training Unit, University de Valle de Guatemala, Guatemala City, Guatemala

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JAMES H. MAGUIREDivision of Parasitic Diseases, and Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; Medical Entomology Research and Training Unit, University de Valle de Guatemala, Guatemala City, Guatemala

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To determine the prevalence and risk factors for Toxoplasma gondii infection in Guatemalan children, in 1999 and 2003 we surveyed caretakers and serologically tested children in the San Juan Sacatepequez area using Platelia Toxo IgG TMB enzyme immunoassay kits. In 1999, of 532 children six months to two years old, 66 (12.4%) were antibody positive. In 2003, in 500 children 3–10 years old antibody prevalence increased from 24% to 43% at age five years then leveled off. By multivariate analysis, drinking well water (relative risk [RR] = 1.78, 95% confidence limit [CL] = 1.00, 3.17, P = 0.05) and not cleaning up cat feces (RR = 2.06, 95% CL = 1.00, 4.28, P = 0.05) increased the risk of T. gondii seropositivity. Most T. gondii infections in children from these villages occurred by age five, but half were still not infected by adolescence. Therefore, it is important to educate girls entering child-bearing age about the risks of acute T. gondii infection and the local risk factors for infection.

Author Notes

Reprint requests: Jeffrey L. Jones, Division of Parasitic Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mailstop F-22, 4770 Buford Highway NE, Atlanta, GA 30341-3724.
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