Risk factors for acute toxoplasmosis in England and Wales

B. Said, K. D. Halsby*, C. M. O'Connor, J. Francis, K. Hewitt, Neville Verlander, E. Guy, Dilys Morgan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


SUMMARY Over 300 cases of acute toxoplasmosis are confirmed by reference testing in England and Wales annually. We conducted a case-control study to identify risk factors for Toxoplasma gondii infection to inform prevention strategies. Twenty-eight cases and 27 seronegative controls participated. We compared their food history and environmental exposures using logistic regression to calculate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals in a model controlling for age and sex. Univariable analysis showed that the odds of eating beef (OR 10·7, P < 0·001), poultry (OR 6·4, P = 0·01) or lamb/mutton (OR 4·9, P = 0·01) was higher for cases than controls. After adjustment for potential confounders a strong association between beef and infection remained (OR 5·6, P = 0·01). The small sample size was a significant limitation and larger studies are needed to fully investigate potential risk factors. The study findings emphasize the need to ensure food is thoroughly cooked and handled hygienically, especially for those in vulnerable groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-29
Number of pages7
JournalEpidemiology and Infection
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

Bibliographical note

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Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2016Â.


  • Key words Epidemiology
  • toxoplasmosis


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