An immunology survey of toxoplasmosis in a rural Kenyan population
This study extended over a period of 9 months from August • 1990 to April 1991 454 patients were recruited at random for this study from 4 health facilities in Kiambu. The patients were grouped by both age and sex into defined groups: 1. Non-pregnant adult females of reproductive age (15 years-to 50 years. 2. Adult males (15 to 50 years) 3. Elderly females (over 50 years) 4. Elderly males (over 50 years) 5. Blood donor females (16 - 22 years) 6. Blood donor males (16 - 22 years) 7. Antenatal females 8. Children (males) 3 - 15 years 9. Children (females) 3 - 15 years Blood was collected from each patient from who, demographic and epidemiological information was also recorded on a questionnaire. Serum was separated and each sample was subjected to the following tests: 1. Toxoplasma ELISA test. 2. Toxoplasma Immunofluorescence test. 3. HIV-ELISA test. Analysis of the serological data revealed that there was a ELISA serology. The sero-prevalence was slightly higher in high agreement in results of Toxoplasma IFAT and Toxoplasma males than females and was observed to increase with age in both sexes. The titre of antibody was estimated to decline PAGE 70 with age. Dr. Rubina Cocker As demonstrated in this study, there is a likelihood of some tox...oplasma sero-positives (immunes) losing their antibody with time and reverting to sero-negatives. It was also evident that in Kiambu the most likely mode of transmission is through oocysts, although other possibilities could not be entirely ruled out. The study demonstrated that the risk of meterno-fetal transmission of toxoplasmosis was highest in the young antenatals of age 15 to 19 years and the risk decreases with age of the antenatal. It was also shown that HIV-AIDS seroprevalence was high in the study area.The possibility of a reactivated toxoplasma infection in some HIV sero-positive patients, who were also toxoplasma antibody sero-positive, should be considered seriously. It was demonstrated that screening of patients in Kiambu for toxoplasma antibody by either IFAT or ELISA is a medically important procedure. This is especially applicable to young antenatals and HIV sero-positive patients, in whom, the risk of materno-fetal transmission and reactivation of latent toxoplasma infection respectively, is high. A toxoplasma control centre which not only screens the population in Kiambu for the infection, but also illlplementsstray cat control is proposed, in order to combat the grave consequences of this clinically rare though important disease.