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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Fiocruz
ISSN: 1678-8060
EISSN: 1678-8060
Vol. 110, No. 7, 2015, pp. 929-935
Bioline Code: oc15127
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Vol. 110, No. 7, 2015, pp. 929-935

 en Waterborne toxoplasmosis investigated and analysed under hydrogeological assessment: new data and perspectives for further research
Pereira Vieira, Flávia; da Glória Alves, Maria; Mattos Martins, Livia; Lucínia Peixoto Rangel, Alba; Prakash Dubey, Jitender; Hill, Dolores & Maria Garcia Bahia-Oliveira, Lilian


We present a set of data on human and chicken Toxoplasma gondii seroprevalence that was investigated and analysed in light of groundwater vulnerability information in an area endemic for waterborne toxoplasmosis in Brazil. Hydrogeological assessment was undertaken to select sites for water collection from wells for T. gondii oocyst testing and for collecting blood from free-range chickens and humans for anti-T. gondii serologic testing. Serologic testing of human specimens was done using conventional commercial tests and a sporozoite-specific embryogenesisrelated protein (TgERP), which is able to differentiate whether infection resulted from tissue cysts or oocysts. Water specimens were negative for the presence of viable T. gondii oocysts. However, seroprevalence in free-range chickens was significantly associated with vulnerability of groundwater to surface contamination (p < 0.0001; odds ratio: 4.73, 95% confidence interval: 2.18-10.2). Surprisingly, a high prevalence of antibodies against TgERP was detected in human specimens, suggesting the possibility of a continuous contamination of drinking water with T. gondii oocysts in this endemic setting. These findings and the new proposed approach to investigate and analyse endemic toxoplasmosis in light of groundwater vulnerability information associated with prevalence in humans estimated by oocyst antigens recognition have implications for the potential role of hydrogeological assessment in researching waterborne toxoplasmosis at a global scale.

Toxoplasma gondii; groundwater contamination; oocysts; hydrogeology; TgERP; geomedicine

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