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. 2019 Aug;21(4):e13117.
doi: 10.1111/tid.13117. Epub 2019 May 30.

Serological and Molecular Screening of Umbilical Cord Blood for Toxoplasma Gondii Infection


Serological and Molecular Screening of Umbilical Cord Blood for Toxoplasma Gondii Infection

Eman F Botein et al. Transpl Infect Dis. .


Background: Human umbilical cord blood has proven to be a successful alternate source of hematopoietic stem cells for pediatric patients with major hematologic disorders. Toxoplasma gondii is a global opportunistic protozoan which cause fatal complications in immunocompromised individuals.

Aim: Our goal is to study the prevalence of toxoplasmosis in umbilical cord blood (UCB) and to assess the sensitivity of ELISA and PCR for Toxoplasma infection screening.

Material and methods: One hundred cord blood samples were collected immediately after delivery. Anti-Toxoplasma IgG and IgM antibodies were determined using ELISA method; Toxoplasma DNA was detected using nested PCR technique. Total nucleated cells (TNC) and HB were also determined. Demographic data and risk factors data related to the transmission of toxoplasmosis, were collected from mothers.

Results: Among 100 cord blood samples, 36 (36%) were positive for anti-Toxoplasma IgG antibodies and 6 (6%) were positive for anti-Toxoplasma IgM antibodies. The nested PCR showed 11 (11%) samples containing Toxoplasma DNA from which, 6 (55%) samples were IgM positive. There was no significant association between the risk of Toxoplasma transmission and cord blood positivity for toxoplasmosis.

Conclusion: Owing to the prevalence of toxoplasmosis, its rapid progression and its fatal outcome in immunocompromised patients, cord blood screening for toxoplasmosis with nested PCR should be incorporated into cord blood bank screening protocols.

Keywords: Toxoplasma; bank; cord blood; diagnosis; screening.

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