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Aims: The study was aimed at determining the seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii and associated risk factors among school children in parts of Kaduna state.
Study Design: Cross-sectional community-based study.
Place and Duration of Study: Kaduna state from February to September 2016.
Methodology: A total of 300 blood samples were collected from school children in three Local Governments Areas (LGA) of Kaduna state namely: Soba, Kauru and Giwa LGA. The sera were screened for Toxoplasma gondii IgM and IgG antibodies by Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA).
Results: Of 300 blood samples screened, seropositivity for Toxoplasma IgM antibody was 108 (36.0%). Fifty (16.67%) of the tested seropositive for the Toxoplasma IgG antibody and 24 (8.0%) tested seropositive for Toxoplasma IgG+IgM antibodies. Children in Soba Local Government Area had the highest seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii IgM (72%), followed by Giwa LGA (27%). The least seroprevalence was recorded in Kauru LGA (9%). The highest seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii IgG was found among children in Kauru 21 (21%), followed by Soba 15 (15%) and finally Giwa 14 (14%). IgM seroprevalence of 63.44%, 29.79%, and 10.61% were recorded among school children between the age groups 7-10, 11-14 and 15-18 years respectively, whereas T. gondii IgG seroprevalence was recorded in 29.03%, 13.48% and 6.06% children between the age groups 7-10, 11-14 and 15-18years respectively. A lower seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii antibodies was recorded among the female children (IgM = 34.9% and IgG = 16%) compared to the male (IgM = 37.4% and IgG = 17.6%) the difference observed was not statistically significant. In this study, the presence of cats at home, contact with cat and contact with cat litter were estimated to be risk factors associated with T. gondii infection.
Conclusion: Hand washing before eating, hand washing after playing and drinking of treated water (not well water) were estimated to be protective factors associated with T. gondii infection.