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. 2018 Jul 5;18(1):307.
doi: 10.1186/s12879-018-3228-0.

The Relation of Secondary Sex Ratio and Miscarriage History With Toxoplasma Gondii Infection

Free PMC article

The Relation of Secondary Sex Ratio and Miscarriage History With Toxoplasma Gondii Infection

Saeedeh Shojaee et al. BMC Infect Dis. .
Free PMC article


Background: Toxoplasma gondii is a protozoan parasite with worldwide distribution, infecting a broad-range of humans and warm-blooded animals. In the current study, role of this parasite on secondary sex ratio and risk of miscarriage was investigated.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 850 cord blood samples were collected in Tehran, Iran, 2014-2015. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to assess anti-Toxoplasma IgG in samples. Information such as sex of the neonates and age, number of previous pregnancies and history of miscarriage of the mothers were recorded in questionnaires. Logistic regression analysis was used to assess the possible relationship between the latent toxoplasmosis and the highlighted parameters.

Results: Logistic regression analysis showed that the odds of having a male neonate in seropositive women is nearly 64% higher than that in seronegative women (OR = 1.64, CI95 = 1.16-2.33, P = 0.005). The odds ratio of having male neonate increased to 2.10 (CI95 = 1.24-3.57, P = 0.006) in high-titer seropositive women, compared to that in seronegative control group. The odds of having a miscarriage history was approximately two and a half times greater in seropositive women than in seronegative ones (OR = 2.45, CI95 = 1.56-3.87, P < 0.001). The odds ratio of having miscarriage increased to 2.76 (CI95 = 1.61-4.73, P < < .001) in low-titer seropositive women, compared to that in seronegative control group.

Conclusion: Results of the current study have shown that T. gondii infection affects secondary sex ratio in human offspring and can be addressed as one of the major miscarriage causes in women.

Keywords: Cord blood serum; ELISA; Miscarriage; Secondary sex ratio; Toxoplasma gondii.

Conflict of interest statement

Ethics approval and consent to participate

The current study was approved by the Ethical Committee of Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. Informed written consent was obtained from all participants before being involved in the study. All participants signed an informed consent and received a complete copy of the signed consent form.

Consent for publication

Not applicable (no individual person’s data).

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.


Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Prevalence of anti-Toxoplasma IgG in 850 cord blood serum samples in particular age groups of participants using ELISA
Fig. 2
Fig. 2
Prevalence of miscarriage in particular age groups of 166 Toxoplasma-positive and 684 Toxoplasma-negative subjects using ELISA

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