Toxoplasmosis found more severe in Brazil compared to Europe

August 14, 2008

Newborns in Brazil are more susceptible to toxoplasmosis than those in Europe, according to a recent study. Researchers based in Austria, Brazil, Denmark, France, Italy, Poland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom studied the disease's ocular effects in children from birth to four years of age. Details are published August 13th in the open-access journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Toxoplasmosis, caused by Toxoplasma gondii, is the most common parasitic disease found in humans around the world. Infection can cause inflammatory lesions at the back of the eye that sometimes affect vision. Previous studies have suggested more severe complications when people acquire the disease in Brazil than in Europe or North America but have not compared patients directly.

For this study, headed by Ruth Gilbert at the Institute of Child Health, University College London, children with congenital toxoplasmosis were identified by routine screening of their mothers during pregnancy or of the newborn soon after birth. Gilbert's group found that Brazilian children had a five times higher risk than European children for developing eye lesions by four years old.

Furthermore, lesions in the retina occurred more frequently and were larger in the Brazilian children, and vision was predicted to be compromised in 87% of the Brazilian children, compared to only 29% in the European children.

The authors believe the more severe clinical symptoms in Brazil are due to infection with more virulent genotypes of the parasite that are predominant in Brazil but rarely found in Europe.

Citation: Gilbert RE, Freeman K, Lago EG, Bahia-Oliveira LMG, Tan HK, et al. (2008) Ocular Sequelae of Congenital Toxoplasmosis in Brazil Compared with Europe. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2(8): e277. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000277 dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0000277

Source: Public Library of Science

Explore further: US-Brazil teams seek mothers, babies for Zika research

Related Stories

US-Brazil teams seek mothers, babies for Zika research

February 23, 2016
U.S. and Brazilian health workers knocked on doors in the poorest neighborhoods of one of Brazil's poorest states Tuesday in a bid to enroll mothers in a study aimed at determining whether the Zika virus is really causing ...

Birth defect tied to zika virus can leave children with lifetime of health woes

February 10, 2016
(HealthDay)—The thousands of babies born in Brazil with abnormally small heads and brains—believed to be caused by infection in the womb with the Zika virus—typically face a lifetime of health challenges, doctors say.

World must ready for global microcephaly 'epidemic': study

September 15, 2016
The world should prepare for a "global epidemic" of microcephaly, a condition which restricts head growth in foetuses, as the Zika virus takes root in new countries, researchers said Friday.

Can scientists prove Zika virus is causing birth defects?

February 19, 2016
Scientists suspect an outbreak of the Zika virus is behind a surge in a rare birth defect in Brazil. But how are they going to prove it?

Zika spotlights rare birth defect with a variety of causes

February 4, 2016
The Zika virus is putting a spotlight on a potentially devastating birth defect that until now has gotten little public attention.

Scans confirm brain damage in babies born with microcephaly associated with Zika

April 13, 2016
Brain abnormalities in babies born with microcephaly and associated with the current Zika virus epidemic in Brazil are described by a team of doctors in a new study published in The BMJ today.

Recommended for you

Rainfall can indicate that mosquito-borne epidemics will occur weeks later

November 22, 2017
A new study demonstrates that outbreaks of mosquito-borne viruses Zika and Chikungunya generally occur about three weeks after heavy rainfall.Researchers also found that Chikungunya will predominate over Zika when both circulate ...

Alcohol consumption and metabolic factors act together to increase the risk of severe liver disease

November 22, 2017
A new study provides insights into the interaction between alcohol consumption and metabolic factors in predicting severe liver disease in the general population. The findings, which are published in Hepatology, indicate ...

Gastric acid suppressant lansoprazole may target tuberculosis

November 21, 2017
A cheap and widely used drug, used to treat conditions such as heartburn, gastritis and ulcers, could work against the bacteria that cause tuberculosis (TB), according to new research from UCL and the London School of Hygiene ...

Improving prediction accuracy of Crohn's disease based on repeated fecal sampling

November 21, 2017
Researchers at the University of California San Diego Center for Microbiome Innovation (CMI) have found that sampling the gut microbiome over time can provide insights that are not available with a single time point. The ...

Anti-malaria drug shows promise as Zika virus treatment

November 17, 2017
A new collaborative study led by researchers at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) and UC San Diego School of Medicine has found that a medication used to prevent and treat malaria may also be effective ...

Decrease in sunshine, increase in Rickets

November 17, 2017
A University of Toronto student and professor have teamed up to discover that Britain's increasing cloudiness during the summer could be an important reason for the mysterious increase in Rickets among British children over ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.