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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 12  |  Page : 1662-1669

Seroprevalence of anti-Toxoplasma gondii IgG antibody and risk factors among abattoir workers in Uyo, Southern Nigeria

1 Department of Community Health, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria
2 Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria
3 Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria
4 Department of Ophthalmology, University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. U S Ekanem
Department of Community Health, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, University of Uyo, Uyo
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/njcp.njcp_44_18

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Context: The asymptomatic nature of toxoplasmosis with its severe consequences, especially in populations with high HIV infection rate, makes it a disease of public health importance. Being a zoonosis, Toxoplasma gondii infection may be high among people who work with animals. Thus, there is the need to determine the prevalence of the infection among abattoir workers in Uyo, where HIV prevalence rate is in double digits, which could lead to reactivation of toxoplasmosis in those with immunosuppression. Aim: To determine the prevalence and associated risk factors of T. gondii infection in abattoir workers in Uyo. Settings and Design: A descriptive cross-sectional study that was conducted among persons who work with livestock and birds, in Uyo and its environs. Methodology: The study was conducted among 339 workers in abattoirs in Uyo and its environs. Data were collected using interviewer-administered questionnaire and detection of IgG antibodies to T. gondii using ELISA technique and HIV testing using the national algorithm. Data were analyzed using STATA statistical software version 20, and statistically significant level was set at P < 0.05. Results: The seroprevalence of T. gondii IgG antibodies among the study participants was 55.8%. At a univariate level, many factors were associated with T. gondii seropositivity; they were age, sex, level of education, ethnicity, occupation in the abattoir, type of animal exposure, always washing hands before eating in the workplace, and taking of raw/unpasteurized milk. However, after multivariate analysis, participants exposed to poultry, butchers/raw meat sellers, and those who had worked for more than 5 years in abattoirs were at a greater risk of being T. gondii IgG seropositive; odds ratio (OR) 5.46 [confidence interval (CI) 1.88, 15.86]; OR 1.89 (CI 1.14, 3.14), and OR 1.25 (CI 1.25, 6.42), respectively. Conclusion: T. gondii IgG seroprevalence is high among abattoir workers in Uyo, and there is a need for Akwa Ibom State government to establish enlightenment and prevention programs for these occupationally exposed and other populations at risk of infection.

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