Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii among pregnant women in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus


  • Rozhan Hoshyar Abdulla Baban College of Health Sciences, Hawler Medical University, Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq. Author
  • Kaya Süer Department of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Near East University, Near East Boulevard, 99138 Nicosia, Turkish Republic of North Cyprus Mersin 10, Turkey. Author
  • Hiewa Othman Dyary Department of Basic Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Sulaimani, New Sulaimani, Street 27, Sulaimaniyah 46001, Kurdistan Region, Iraq. Author



Avidity test, IgG, IgM, pregnancy, Seroprevalence, Toxoplasmosis


Toxoplasmosis is a zoonotic disease caused by Toxoplasma gondii and is generally asymptomatic, affecting almost all organs. Serological techniques are applicable for diagnosing T. gondii since it is challenging to demonstrate under the microscope or culture in the laboratory. This study aimed to determine Toxoplasma seroprevalence in pregnant women at Near East University Hospital in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) between 2016 and 2018. Antibodies of Toxoplasma Immunoglobulin M (Toxo IgM) and Toxoplasma Immunoglobulin G (Toxo IgG) were analyzed in pregnant women retrospectively by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Toxo IgG avidity was tested by ELISA in pregnant women to differentiate between acute and chronic infections. The pregnant women were between 17 and 51 years. Of the 1348 participants, 572 (42.43%) were from the TRNC, 746 (55.34%) were from Turkey, and 30 (2.23%) were from other countries. In this study, the prevalence rates were 1.4% and 12.7% for IgM and IgG among pregnant women. High Toxo IgG avidities were observed in 75% of the IgM seropositive women. The study demonstrated that Toxo IgG prevalence rates were low compared to many countries.


Shapiro K., Bahia-Oliveira L., Dixon B., Dumètre A., de Wit L.A., VanWormer E., et al. (2019) Environmental transmission of Toxoplasma gondii: Oocysts in water, soil and food. Food and Waterborne Parasitology. 15, e00049. DOI:

Ramakrishnan C., Maier S., Walker R.A., Rehrauer H., Joekel D.E., Winiger R.R., et al. (2019). An experimental genetically attenuated live vaccine to prevent transmission of Toxoplasma gondii by cats. Scientific Reports. 9(1), 1-14. DOI:

Almeria S. & Dubey J. (2021). Foodborne transmission of Toxoplasma gondii infection in the last decade: An overview. Research in Veterinary Science. 135, 371-385. DOI:

Jones E.J., Korcsmaros T. & Carding S.R. (2017). Mechanisms and pathways of Toxoplasma gondii transepithelial migration. Tissue Barriers. 5(1), e1273865. DOI:

Hill D.E. & Dubey J.P. (2018). Toxoplasma gondii. In: Foodborne Parasites. Springer. p. 119-138. DOI:

Sullivan Jr W.J., Smith A.T. & Joyce B.R. (2009). Understanding mechanisms and the role of differentiation in pathogenesis of Toxoplasma gondii: a review. Memorias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz. 104, 155-161. DOI:

Bhopale G. (2003). Pathogenesis of toxoplasmosis. Comparative Immunology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. 26(4): 213-222. DOI:

Shiferaw B.W. & Andrew W.T.-R. (2021). Toxoplasma gondii: Deeper understanding of epidemiology, virulence and pathophysiology enhances diagnosis and informs vaccine design. Journal of Infectious Diseases and Immunity. 13(1), 7-19. DOI:

Montazeri M., Mikaeili Galeh T., Moosazadeh M., Sarvi S., Dodangeh S., Javidnia J., et al. (2017). The global serological prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in felids during the last five decades (1967–2017): a systematic review and meta-analysis. Parasites & Vectors. 13(1), 1-10. DOI:

Al-Malki E.S. (2021). Toxoplasmosis: stages of the protozoan life cycle and risk assessment in humans and animals for an enhanced awareness and an improved socio-economic status. Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences. 28(1), 962-969. DOI:

Mose J.M., Kagira J.M., Kamau D.M., Maina N.W., Ngotho M. & Karanja S.M. (2020). A review on the present advances on studies of toxoplasmosis in eastern Africa. BioMed Research International. 2020, 7135268. DOI:

Bresciani K.D.S. & Da Costa A.J. (2018). Congenital toxoplasmosis in humans and domestic animals. Bentham Science Publishers.

Rostami A., Riahi S., Gamble H., Fakhri Y., Shiadeh M.N., Danesh M., et al. (2020). Global prevalence of latent toxoplasmosis in pregnant women: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical Microbiology and Infection. 26(6), 673-683. DOI:

Furtado J.M., Winthrop K.L., Butler N.J. & Smith J.R. (2013). Ocular toxoplasmosis I: parasitology, epidemiology and public health. Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology. 41(1), 82-94. DOI:

Fallahi S., Rostami A., Shiadeh M.N., Behniafar H. & Paktinat S. (2018). An updated literature review on maternal-fetal and reproductive disorders of Toxoplasma gondii infection. Journal of Gynecology Obstetrics and Human Reproduction. 47(3), 133-140. DOI:

Paquet C. & Yudin M.H. (2018). Toxoplasmosis in pregnancy: prevention, screening, and treatment. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada. 40(8), e687-e693. DOI:

Ahmed M., Sood A. & Gupta J. (2020). Toxoplasmosis in pregnancy. European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology. 255, 44-50. DOI:

Su Y.J., Ma Z.D., Qiao X., Wang P.T., Kang Y.T., Yang N.A., et al. (2022). Geospatial epidemiology of Toxoplasma gondii infection in livestock, pets, and humans in China, 1984–2020. Parasitology Research. 121(2), 743-750. DOI:

Durukan H. & Kıllı M.Ç. (2019). Retrospective evaluation of the seropositivity rate of toxoplasmosis and clinical results in pregnant women that were admitted to a tertiary health institution between 2012 and 2017 in Turkey. Türkiye Parazitolojii Dergisi. 43(3), 106. DOI:

Halici-Ozturk F., Yakut K., Öcal F.D., Erol A., Gökay S., Çağlar A.T., et al. (2021). Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infections in Syrian pregnant refugee women in Turkey. European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology. 256, 91-94. DOI:

Gülnur K. & Turan G. (2021). Comparison of Toxoplasma and Rubella seropositivity rates of Syrian and Turkish pregnant women. Cukurova Medical Journal. 46(3), 975-981.

Bigna J.J., Tochie J.N., Tounouga D.N., Bekolo A.O., Ymele N.S., Youda E.L., et al. (2020). Global, regional, and country seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in pregnant women: a systematic review, modelling and meta-analysis. Scientific Reports. 10(1), 1-10. DOI:

Nalbantoğlu S., Vatansever Z., Deniz A., Babür C., Çakmak A., Karaer K.Z., et al. (2002). Seroprevalance of Toxoplasma gondii by the sabin-feldman and indirect flourescent antibody tests in cattle in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Turkish Journal of Veterinary & Animal Sciences. 26(4), 825-828.

Kolören Z. & Dubey J. (2020). A review of toxoplasmosis in humans and animals in Turkey. Parasitology. 147(1), 12-28. DOI:

Ergene O., Celebi B. & Kucukaslan I. (2019). Seroprevalance of canine brucellosis and toxoplasmosis in female and male dogs and relationship to various factors as parity, abortion and pyometra. Indian Journal of Animal Research. 53(7), 954-958.

Bakacak M., Serin S., Aral M., Ercan Ö., Köstü B., Kireçci A., et al. (2015). Seroprevalance differences of toxoplasma between Syrian refugees pregnants and indigenous Turkish pregnants in Kahramanmaras. Türkiye Parazitolojii Dergisi. 39(2), 94-97. DOI:

El Deeb H.K., Salah-Eldin H., Khodeer S. & Allah A.A. (2012). Prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in antenatal population in Menoufia governorate, Egypt. Acta Tropica. 124(3), 185-191. DOI:

Abbas I., Villena I. & Dubey J. (2020). A review on toxoplasmosis in humans and animals from Egypt. Parasitology. 147(2), 135-159. DOI:



How to Cite

Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii among pregnant women in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. (2023). Journal of Zankoy Sulaimani - Part A, 25(1), 8.