Purpose: The seroprevalence of infection with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii and the association with risk factors has not been determined in inmates. Through a case-control study, 166 inmates from a state correctional facility in Durango City, Mexico and 166 age- and gender-matched non-incarcerated subjects were examined for the presence of anti-T. gondii IgG and IgM antibodies using enzyme-linked immunoassays.
Results: Seroprevalence of anti-T. gondii IgG antibodies was higher in inmates (35, 21.1%) than in controls (14, 8.4%) (OR = 2.90; 95% CI: 1.43-5.94; P = 0.001). Anti-T. gondii IgM antibodies were detected in two (1.2%) inmates and in seven (4.2%) controls (P = 0.17). Multivariate analysis of socio-demographic, incarceration, and behavioral characteristics of inmates revealed that T. gondii seropositivity was associated with being born out of Durango State (OR = 3.91; 95% CI: 1.29-11.79; P = 0.01). In addition, T. gondii seroprevalence was higher (P = 0.03) in inmates that had suffered from injuries (17/56: 30.4%) than those without such history (18/110: 16.4%).
Conclusions: The seroprevalence of T. gondii infection in inmates in Durango City is higher than the seroprevalences found in the general population in the same city, indicating that inmates may represent a new risk group for T. gondii infection. Further research on T. gondii infection in inmates is needed.
Keywords: Mexico; Toxoplasma gondii; epidemiology; infection; inmates; seroprevalence.