Zanco Journal of Medical Sciences
Skip Navigation Links
Available Issues
Editorial Board
Information for Authors
Review Process
Links and Contacts
  Zanko J Med Sci:  Dec. 2016; 20 (3): 1476-1484

Serological tests and polymerase chain reaction for detection of Toxoplasma gondii infection in women attending for premarital examination


Background and objective: Human infection with toxoplasmosis is common and is usually asymptomatic, and congenital form is one of the most important clinical aspects of this disease. This study aimed to determine anti-toxoplasma antibodies, and Toxoplasma DNA in premarital women referred to Mammon Dabax health centers and to design prevention policies after marriage and during their pregnancy.

Methods: One hundred fifty premarital women who were examined for pre-marriage laboratory testing were enrolled in this cross-sectional study. Blood samples were tested for specific anti-toxoplasma IgM and IgG antibodies using an enzyme-linked immuno-sorbent assay (ELISA) and detection of B1 gene of T. gondii by PCR.

Results: Of 150 sera examined of premarital female 35 (23.3%) were seropositive for anti-toxoplasma antibodies by latex agglutination test. Using ELISA test, 8 (5.3%) of the sera examined were seropositive for anti-toxoplasma IgM; meanwhile, 23 (15.3%) sera were positive for anti-toxoplasma IgG. The ELISA test finding for anti-toxoplasma IgM and IgG of the total sera examined were subsequently subjected to PCR. Thus, PCR analysis for detecting T. gondii DNA in the blood of premarital female was positive in 15 (10%) of the total DNA samples. Of these 15 positive PCR when correlated with positive ELISA finding 7 (46.6%) and 4 (26.6%) blood samples were positive for anti-toxoplasma IgM and anti-toxoplasma IgG, respectively.

Conclusion: PCR assay has an advantage in the detection of recent and active infections as reflection or marker for T.gondii parasitemia. ELISA can be used as a highly sensitive screening test while IgM anti-toxoplasma antibody positive is not enough to confirm recent infection as the false negative is high.

Keywords: Toxoplasma gondii; Premarital female ELISA; PCR; toxoplasmosis.


1. Sanad MM, Al-Ghabban AJ. Serological survey of Toxoplasmosis among sheep and goats in Tabouk, Saudi Arabia. J Egypt Soc Parasitol. 2007; 37:329-40.

2. Sabry MA, Reda WW. Infection by cyst producing protozoa among human and food producing animal in Egypt. J Boil Sci 2008; 8:889-95.

3. Dubey JP. Toxoplasma gondii in the model Apicomplexan- perspective and method, Weiss, L. D. and Kim, K. (Eds) Elsevier, London; 2007.

4. Petersen E, Pollak A, Reiter-Owona I. Recent trends in research on congenital toxoplasmosis. Int J Parasitol, 2001; 31:115-44.

5. Holland GN, O'Connors GR, Belfort JR, Remington JS. Toxoplasmosis. In: Peprose, JS Holland, GN, Wilhelmus KR. editors. Ocular infection and immunity. Mosby Yearbook, St. Louis; 1996. P. 1183-223.

6. Espinoza LA. Toxoplasmosis. Caribbean AIDS education and training center. HIV primary care guide. 2005:1-4.

7. Montoya JG, Remington JS. Management of Toxoplasma gondii infection during pregnancy. Clinical practice. Cyto Inc Dis 2008; 47:554-66.

8. Gagne SS. Toxoplasmosis. Primary Care Update Ob Gyns 2001; 8:122–6.

9. Sahwi SY, Zaki MS, Haiba NY, Elsaid OK, Anwar MY, AbdRabbo SA. Toxoplasmosis as a cause of repeated abortion. J Obs Gyn 1995; 21:145-8.

10. Singh S. Mother-to-child transmission and diagnosis of Toxoplasma gondii infection during pregnancy. Indian J Med Microbiol 2003; 21: 69-76.

11. Mohamma M, Ahmed S, Hussain A. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii between couples in Ramadi city using enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Int J Med Sci 2012; 4:55-9.

12. Kaul R, Chen P, Binder SR. Detection of immunoglobulin M antibodies specific for Toxoplasma gondii with increased selectivity for recently acquired infections. J Clin Microbiol 2004; 42:5705-9.

13. Guy EC, Joynson DHM. Potential of the polymerase chain reaction in the diagnosis of active Toxoplasma infection by detection of parasite in blood. J Infect Dis 1995; 172: 319-22.

14. Romand S, Wallon M, Franck J, Thulliez P, Peyron F, Dumon H. Prenatal diagnosis using polymerase chain reaction on amniotic fluid for congenital toxoplasmosis. Obs Gyn 2001; l97: 296-00.

15. Nimri L, Pelloux H, Elkhatib L. Detection of Toxoplasma gondii DNA and specific antibodies in high-risk pregnant women. Am J Trop Med Hyg 2004, 71:831-35.

16. Gagne SS,. Toxoplasmosis. Prim Care Update Obs Gyn; 2001 8:122-26.

17. Iqbal J, Khalid N. Detection of acute Toxoplasma gondii infection in early pregnancy by IgG avidity and PCR analysis. J Med Microbiol. 2007; 56:1495-9.

18. Costa JM, Munoz C, Kruger D, Martino R, Held TK, Drade ML, Cordonnier et al. Quality control for the diagnosis of Toxoplasma gondii reactivation in SCT patients using PCR assays. Bone Marrow Transplant. 2001; 28(5):527-8.

19. Colombo FA, Vidal JE, De Oliveira AC P, Hernandez AV, Bonasser-Filho F Nogueira RS, et al. Diagnosis of cerebral Toxoplasmosis in AIDS patients in Brazil: Importance of molecular and immunological methods using peripheral blood samples. J Clin Microbiol. 2005; 43(10):5044-7.

20. Jones CD, Okhravi N, Adamson P, Tasker S , Linghtman S. Comparison of PCR detection methods for B1, P30, and 18S rDNA genes of T.gondii in aqueous humor. Invest Opthalmol Vis Sci 2000; 41:634-44

21. Burg JL, Grover CM, Pouletty P , Boothroyd J. Direct and sensitive detection of a pathogenic protozoan, Toxoplasma gondii, by polymerase chain reaction. J Clin Microbio 1989; 27(8): 1787-92.

22. Voller A, Bidwell DE,   Bartlett A, Fleck AD, Perkins M, Oladehin, BA. Micro plat enzyme-immunoassay for   Toxoplasma   antibody. J Clin Pathol 1976; 29:150-3.

23. Hatam GR, Shamseddin A, Nikouee F. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasmosis in high school girls in Fasa district, Iran. Iranian J Immunol 2005; 3:177-81.

24. Jones J, Lopez A, Wilson M. Congenital toxoplasmosis. Am Fam Phys, 2003; 10:2131-8.

25. Neto EC, Rubin R, Schulte J, Giugliani R. Newborn screening for congenital infectious diseases. Emerg. Infect Dis 2004; 10:1068-73.

26. ELfadaly HA. Epidemiological studies on toxoplasmosis in at risk sheep, goats and women. Master Degree of Vet Scib (zoonosis), Faculty of Vet Med; 2002 Cairo University.

27. AL-Mousawi GN, Shani WS. Seroepidemiological screening for toxoplasmosis within unmarried women In Basrah Province. J Thi-Qar Sci 2011; 2:34-0. 

 28. Manji ZF, Ahmed K Al-H. Sero-epidemiological and Molecular Study of Toxoplasmosis in the Blood Donors and Applicants for Marriage peoples in the Babylon Province, Iraq. RJPBCS 2015; 6: P. 1106

29. Khazaei HA , Behzad N , Mohammed B , Agheel M . Evaluation of IgM against Toxoplasma gondii in under marriage women and its pathogenicity relation with demographic factors, Afr J Microbiol Res ,2011; 5: pp. 5221-225.

30. Ghorbani1 A ,Abolghasem HN, GhamarTaj K, Reza M, Janmohammad Ma, Kanaan G, Abdoul A M, et al. Determining seroprevelence of Toxoplasma gondii in girls referring to counseling centers before marriage in the city of Yasuj in the year 1391. Life Sci J 2013; 10:859-63.

31. Fouladvand M, Afshin B, Behrouz N, Keivan Z, Saeed T.Seroprevalence of toxoplasmosis in high school girls in Bushehr city, South-west of Iran, 2009 Af. J. of Micro Res 2010; 4 :pp. 1117-121.

32. Obaid M H. Serological and microscopical detection of Toxoplasma gondii in Kirkuk city. Diyala J Pure Sci; 2014

33. Dubey JP, Jones JL. Toxoplasma gondii infection in humans and animals in the United States. Int J Parasitol 2008; 38:1257-78. 

34. Remington JS, McLeod R, Thulliez P, Desmonts G. Toxoplasmosis, infectious diseases of the fetus and newborn infant. Remington JS, Klein J (5thed.). W. B. Saunders, Philadelphia, 2001; Pa. pp205.

35. Dupouy-Camet J, Gavinet MF, Paugam A, Tourte-Schaeffer C.Transmission, incidence and prevalence of toxoplasmosis. Med Mal Infect 2003; 23: 139.

36. Macpherson CN. Human behavior and the epidemiology of parasitic zoonoses. Int J Parasitol 2005; 35:1319-31.

37. Abdulla HE, Al-bashier NM ,Al-kawaz, U, Al-Shuwaikh AMA, Abood AS. Cross- sectional study of infertile males with toxoplasmosis in Baghdad province .Internationa .J Sci Eng Research . 2015; 6:254-59

38. Saleh MA. Determination of Antibodies IgG, IgM against Toxoplasma gondii in Some Iraqi individuals by using ELISA technique. College of Science University of Diyala. 2011; P 940-6.

39. Al-Maamuri SDH. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasmosis in a Sample of Iraqi Schizophrenic Patients. M.Sc. Thesis College of Science. University of Baghdad 2014; 118 p

40. Al-Mosawi AMA. Immunoepidemiological Study of Toxoplasmosis among Women in Babylon Province .Ph. D. Thesis. College of Science. University of Babylon; 2012.

41. Mahmood S, Al-Qadhi BN, Zghair KH. Prevalence of Toxoplasmosis of Males blood donors in Baghdad .Iraqi J Sci 2013; 4:832-41.

42. Al-Saadii SHM. The effect of toxoplasmosis on the level of some male sex hormones In Samples from National Blood Transfusion Center/Baghdad. M.Sc.Thesis .College of Science. University of Baghdad. 2013; P 130

43. Al-Gharrgholi NAS. Seroepidemiological and Molecular Study for Toxoplasma gondii Among Diabetic Mellitus Patientes in Babylon Province M.Sc.Thesis. College of Science. University of Babylon. 2014; p125

44. Remington JS, McLeod R, Thulliez P. Toxoplasmosis, Infectious diseases of the fetus and newborn infant; in Remington JS, Klein J (5thed.). W. B. Saunders, Philadelphia, Pa 2001; pp 205.

45. Suzuki Y, John K. Effect of the strain of Toxoplasma gondii on the development of toxoplasmosis encephalitis in mice treated with antibody by interferon-gamma. Parasitol Res 1994; 80:125-30.

46. Spalding SM , Amendoeira MRR , Klein CH , Ribeiro LC. Serological screening and toxoplasmosis exposure factors among pregnant women in south of Brazil. Rev Soc Bras Med Trop ,. 2005;38:173-7.

47. Talabani H, Asseraf M, Yera H, Delair E, Ancelle T, Thulliez P, Brezin, AP, et al. Contributions of immunoblotting, real-time PCR, and the Goldmann-Witmercoefficient to diagnosis of atypical toxoplasma retinochoroiditis. J Clin Microbiol 2009; 7:2131-5. 

48. Al-Sanjary RA, Hussein TH. Using species-specific PCR technique to detect Toxoplasma gondii in broiler chickens. Iraqi J Vet Sci 2012; 26:53-6.

49. Maha HE. Seroprevalence by IgG and IgM and Molecular charactriziation of Toxoplasmosis during pregnancy in Central Sudan. Department of Pathology. Universty of Gazira. 2006

50. Elfakahani AF, Abdel-Mabound AL, Elgarhy MF, Eraky, MA. Comparative study between ELISA IgG, IgM, and PCR in diagnosing and studying toxoplasmosis in Qualyobia Governorate, Egypt. Egypt Soc Parasitol J 2002; 2: 475-86.

51. Savva D, Morris JC, Johnson JD, Holliman RE. Polymerase chain reaction for detection of Toxoplasma gondii. J Med Microbiol. 1990; 32: 25-1.

52. Bou G, Figueroa MS, MartÌ-Belda P, Navas E, Guerrero A.. Value of PCR for detection of Toxoplasma gondii in aqueous humor and blood samples from immunocompetent patients with ocular toxoplasmosis. J Clin Microbiol. 1999; 37: 3465-468.

53. Kompalic-Cristo A, Frotta C, Suárez-Mutis M, Fernandes O, Britto C.. Evaluation of a real-time PCR assay based on the repetitive B1 gene for the detection of Toxoplasma gondii in human peripheral blood. Parasitol Res 2007; 101: 619-25.

54. Ellis JT. Polymerase chain reaction approaches for the detection of Neospora caninum and Toxoplasma gondii. Int J Parasitol 1998; 28: 1053-60.

55. Abbas, HH, Yassir DAL, Manal BAL. Detection Toxoplasma gondii by real-time PCR in abortive and pregnant women in AL-MUTHANNA province. J Inter Acad Res Mult 2014;2: 310-7.

56. Mahmood, S.H, Hayfa, HH, Khawla HZ. Detection of B1gene of Toxoplasma gondii in blood of pregnant and abortive women infected with this parasite. IRAQI J Med Sci 2009; 8:42-8.

57. Bastien P. Molecular diagnosis of toxoplasmosis. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2002; 96:205-15.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.