Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in the U.S. Evidence from a representative cross-sectional survey.

Ama Owusu-Dommey, Kristen Pogreba-Brown, Lorenzo Villa-Zapata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) evaluates the epidemiology in the U.S. population of certain infectious diseases, including Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii), a protozoan parasite. This study aims to evaluate the seroprevalence of T. gondii -IgG antibodies using NHANES data to identify risk factors related to T. gondii. Using NHANES 2009–10, 2011–12, and 2013–14 cycles, univariate analyses and logistic regression models were conducted to determine the relationship between T. gondii seropositivity and various risk factors. Across the three cycles, 13.3% of participants tested positive for T. gondii-IgG seroprevalence, with a significant decrease in seroprevalence from the earlier to later cycles. 53.4% of individuals with positive serology were male. The probability of testing positive for T. gondii -IgG significantly increases between four and five times from the 18–29 age group to 70–79 age group. Seroprevalence also differed by ethnicity, with Latinos of any race having two times higher odds of testing positive for T. gondii compared to other ethnicities. Other sociodemographic factors were associated with lower odds of T. gondii seropositivity, including college education, higher household income, and health insurance. Most clinical conditions were not significantly associated with T. gondii, excluding depression, which was observed in 25% of patients positive for T. gondii-IgG. Further research on the influence of this parasite on infected individuals, including predispositions for risk-taking, is needed to better understand the relationship between Toxoplasma gondii, depression, and other mental illnesses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102175
JournalParasitology International
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Seroepidemiologic study
  • Sociodemographic factors
  • Toxoplasma gondii

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases


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