Congenital toxoplasmosis: to screen or not to screen?

Public Health. 1990 Jan;104(1):9-20. doi: 10.1016/s0033-3506(05)80340-3.


We have reviewed the present day quantifiable cost to society of the 73 cases of congenital toxoplasmosis which are estimated to occur annually in Scotland with the cost of preventing the disease by screening and treatment. Our analysis includes advances in laboratory techniques. The cost of screening would depend on its scale and if in-house or commercial tests are used. If only 2 specimens were screened, at booking and at delivery, the screening costs are estimated to be between 0.5-0.9 times the preventable costs. If a third specimen were tested in the second trimester, to maximise scope for remedial action during pregnancy, the screening costs are 0.7-1.2 times preventable costs. As likely screening costs in most of the schemes we consider are now less than the preventable costs, a screening programme should be adopted.

MeSH terms

  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Health Education / economics
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Mass Screening / economics*
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Scotland
  • Toxoplasmosis, Congenital / diagnosis
  • Toxoplasmosis, Congenital / economics*
  • Toxoplasmosis, Congenital / prevention & control