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  • 1 Juárez University of Durango State, Avenida Universidad S/N, 34000 Durango, Durango, Mexico
  • 2 Juárez University of Durango State, Avenida Universidad S/N, 34000 Durango, Durango, Mexico
  • 3 Clinic for Sanitary Inspection, Durango, Mexico
  • 4 Secretary of Health, Avenida 5 de febrero 220, 34000 Durango, Mexico
  • 5 Charité Medical School, Hindenburgdamm 27, D-12203 Berlin, Germany
  • # Roche Molecular Systems, Pleasanton, CA 94588, USA
Open access

Through an age- and sex-matched case-control study, we sought to determine whether female sex workers have an increased risk of Toxoplasma gondii exposure and to determine the sociodemographic, work, clinical, and behavioral characteristics of these workers associated with T. gondii exposure. Female workers (n = 136) and controls (n = 272) were examined with enzyme-linked immunoassays (EIA) for the presence of anti-Toxoplasma IgG and IgM antibodies. IgM positive sera were additionally tested with enzyme linked-fluorescence immunoassay (ELFA). Anti-T. gondii IgG antibodies were found in 21 (15.44%) of 136 cases and in 10 (3.67%) of 272 controls (OR = 4.05; 95% CI: 1.84–8.89; P = 0.0001). Anti-T. gondii IgG levels higher than 150 IU/ml were found in 13 (9.6%) of 136 cases and in 8 (2.9%) of 272 controls (P = 0.007). Anti-T. gondii IgM antibodies were found in two cases and in six controls by EIA, but all were negative by ELFA. T. gondii seropositivity was associated with being born out of Durango State (OR = 10.47; 95% CI: 2.9–36.8; P < 0.01), injuries during sex work (OR = 6.30; 95% CI: 1.1–33.7; P = 0.03), and soil contact (OR = 4.11; 95% CI: 1.2–14.0; P = 0.02). This is the first report of an association of T. gondii infection and female sex workers.

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