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Seroprevalence and Sources of Toxoplasmosis among Orang Asli (Indigenous) Communities in Peninsular Malaysia

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  • Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

This study aims to evaluate the current seroprevalence of toxoplasmosis among indigenous communities in Peninsular Malaysia and relate its association with epidemiological data. Overall seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii was 37.0% with 31.0% immunoglobulin (Ig) G, 1.8% IgM, and 4.2% seropositivity for both anti-Toxoplasma antibodies. Multivariate analysis showed that age above 12 years (odds ratio [OR] = 2.70, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.75–4.04, P < 0.001), using untreated river and mountain water supplies (OR = 1.50, 95% CI = 1.01–2.40, P = 0.050), and close proximity with cats (OR = 1.40, 95% CI = 1.10–1.76, P = 0.010) were factors associated with toxoplasmosis. Given the high seroprevalence of toxoplasmosis among these communities who live in poor socioeconomic conditions, a comprehensive health surveillance program and screening should be initiated among women of childbearing age and pregnant women during the antenatal period for early diagnosis and treatment. The role of domestic cats and environmental contamination with oocyst in soil and water has to be highlighted and addressed in future prevention strategies for these communities.

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Author Notes

*Address correspondence to Rohela Mahmud, Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. E-mail: rohela@ummc.edu.my

Financial support: This research work was funded by E-Science Grant 16-02-03-6011 from the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovative (MOSTI), University of Malaya Research Grant UMRG094/09HTM and High Impact Research (HIR) Grant J-00000-73587 from University of Malaya.

Authors' addresses: Romano Ngui, Yvonne A. L. Lim, Noor Farah Hani Amir, Veeranoot Nissapatorn, and Rohela Mahmud, Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, E-mails: skyromano@gmail.com, limailian@um.edu.my, hunny2309@gmail.com, veeran@ummc.edu.my, and rohela@ummc.edu.my.

Reprint requests: Rohela Mahmud, Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, E-mail: rohela@ummc.edu.my.

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