Toxoplasmosis acquired during pregnancy: improved serodiagnosis based on avidity of IgG

J Infect Dis. 1993 Mar;167(3):691-7. doi: 10.1093/infdis/167.3.691.


Serodiagnostic methods were evaluated in prenatal screening for primary Toxoplasma infections acquired during pregnancy in the Helsinki area. Altogether 44,181 sera were obtained consecutively during each trimester from 16,733 mothers. All IgG-containing samples were first examined by a sensitive mu-capture (IgM) ELISA, and positive results were reassessed by IgM immunoblotting and indirect IgM ELISA. An assay measuring the avidity of toxoplasma IgG was used for the first time under screening conditions. Patients suspected to have recent toxoplasmosis were reexamined by IgA ELISA and selectively by the differential agglutination assay (HS/AC test) and IgE ELISA; 16 women with diagnostic increases in IgG titer, 36 with IgM fulfilling strict specificity criteria, and 25 with IgG of low avidity were identified. The measurement of IgG avidity was a highly specific and sensitive method suitable for verification of acute primary Toxoplasma infections during pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Agglutination Tests
  • Antibody Affinity
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A / blood
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood*
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin M / blood
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Parasitic / diagnosis*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Serologic Tests
  • Toxoplasmosis / diagnosis*
  • Toxoplasmosis / immunology


  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M