Toxoplasma gondii Seroprevalence in the United States 2009–2010 and Comparison with the Past Two Decades

Jeffrey L. Jones Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; Division of Health and Nutrition Examination Statistics, National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hyattsville, Maryland

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Deanna Kruszon-Moran Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; Division of Health and Nutrition Examination Statistics, National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hyattsville, Maryland

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Hilda N. Rivera Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; Division of Health and Nutrition Examination Statistics, National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hyattsville, Maryland

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Courtney Price Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; Division of Health and Nutrition Examination Statistics, National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hyattsville, Maryland

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Patricia P. Wilkins Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; Division of Health and Nutrition Examination Statistics, National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hyattsville, Maryland

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Toxoplasma gondii is a ubiquitous parasite that can cause neurologic and ocular disease. We tested sera from 7,072 people ≥ 6 years of age in the 2009–2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) for immunoglobulin G antibodies and compared these results with two previous NHANES studies. The overall T. gondii antibody seroprevalence among persons ≥ 6 years of age in 2009–2010 was 13.2% (95% confidence limit [CL] 11.8%, 14.5%) and age-adjusted seroprevalence was 12.4% (95% CL 11.1%, 13.7%); age-adjusted seroprevalence among women 15–44 years of age was 9.1% (95% CL 7.2%, 11.1%). In U.S. born persons 12–49 years of age, the age-adjusted T. gondii seroprevalence decreased from 14.1% (95% CL 12.7%, 15.5%) in NHANES III (1988–1994) to 9.0% (95% CL 7.6%, 10.5%) in NHANES 1999–2004 to 6.7% (95% CL 5.3%, 8.2%) in NHANES 2009–2010 (P < 0.001 linear trend). Although T. gondii antibody presence is still relatively common, the prevalence in the United States has continued to decline.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Jeffrey L. Jones, Parasitic Diseases Branch, Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Bld. 24, 1600 Clifton Road, NE, Mailstop A-06, Atlanta, GA 30333. E-mail: jlj1@cdc.gov

Authors' addresses: Jeffrey L. Jones, Hilda Rivera, Courtney Price, and Patricia P. Wilkins, Parasitic Diseases Branch, Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, E-mails: jlj1@cdc.gov, igi2@cdc.gov, www4@cdc.gov, and pma1@cdc.gov. Deanna Kruszon-Moran, Division of Health and Nutrition Examination Statistics, National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hyattsville, MD, E-mail: ddko@cdc.gov.

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