Seroprevalence and risk factors of Toxoplasma gondii infection in women with recurrent fetal loss from the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

Rehman, F., Shah, M.,* Ali, A., Rapisarda, A.M.C.,* Cianci, A. | JNPM 2021;


BACKGROUND:In women with a bad obstetric history (BOH), infection is an established cause of recurrent fetal loss. A common infecting agent is the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii). The aim of this study was to measure the prevalence of toxoplasmosis in women with recurrent fetal loss from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan.

METHODS:The study included 360 females aged 16–40 years, of which 180 had a bad obstetric history (study group) and the other 180 had no such history (control group). Blood serum samples were tested for toxoplasma IgM antibodies by Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay and for toxoplasma IgG antibodies using an Immunochromatographic technique.

RESULTS:The overall seroprevalence of toxoplasma infection in study group females was 40.6% and in control group females it was 7.2%. Specifically, IgM prevalence was 12.8% in the study group and 1.1% in the control group. IgG prevalence was 23.9% in the study group and 6.1% in the control group. IgM and IgG combined prevalence was 3.9% in the study group cases. There is a statistically significant association between BOH and seropositivity for T. gondii (p < 0.0001, Chi square test). Various risk factors associated with T. gondii seroprevalence in study and control groups were analyzed.

CONCLUSION:The seroprevalence of toxoplasmosis was significantly higher in women with a bad obstetric history compared to those with no such history. Associated risk factors had no significant effects on the results.

*Corresponding Author: 

Agnese Maria Chiara Rapisarda M.D. Department of General Surgery and Medical Surgical Specialties, University of Catania, Via Santa Sofia 78, 95123 Catania, Italy. E-mail:

Mohsin Shah, PhD., Department of Physiology, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Khyber Medical University, Peshawar, Pakistan. E-mail: