Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Prenatal treatment of congenital toxoplasmosis could reduce risk of brain damage

Date:
October 13, 2010
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Prenatal treatment of congenital toxoplasmosis with antibiotics might substantially reduce the proportion of infected fetuses that develop serious neurological sequelae (brain damage, epilepsy, deafness, blindness or developmental problems) or die, according to new research.

Prenatal treatment of congenital toxoplasmosis with antibiotics might substantially reduce the proportion of infected fetuses that develop serious neurological sequelae (brain damage, epilepsy, deafness, blindness, or developmental problems) or die, and could be particularly effective in fetuses whose mothers acquired Toxoplasma gondii, the parasite that causes toxoplasmosis, during the first third of pregnancy.

These are the findings of an observational study by Ruth Gilbert from the UCL Institute of Child Health, London, UK, and colleagues and published in PLoS Medicine.

Toxoplasmosis is a very common parasitic infection but most infected people never know they have the disease. However, about a quarter of women who are infected with toxoplasmosis during pregnancy transmit the parasite to their fetus. The authors followed 293 children in six European countries in whom congenital toxoplasmosis had been identified by prenatal screening (France, Austria, and Italy) or by neonatal screening (in Denmark, Sweden, and Poland). Two-thirds of the children received prenatal treatment for toxoplasmosis with the antibiotics spiramycin or pyrimethamine-sulfonamide.

23 (8% of the fetuses) developed serious neurological sequelae or died, nine of which were terminated during pregnancy. By comparing the number of children who had serious neurological sequelae who received prenatal treatment with the number among children who did not receive prenatal treatment, the authors estimated that prenatal treatment of congenital toxoplasmosis reduced the risk of serious neurological sequelae by three-quarters.

Furthermore, they found that to prevent one case of serious neurological sequelae after maternal infection at 10 weeks of pregnancy, it would be necessary to treat three fetuses with confirmed infection and to prevent one case of SNSD after maternal infection at 30 weeks of pregnancy, 18 infected fetuses would need to be treated. The authors also found that that the effectiveness of the antibiotics used, pyrimethamine-sulfonamide and the less toxic spiramycin, was similar.

The authors explain how these results should be interpreted. They conclude: "The finding that prenatal treatment reduced the risk of [serious neurological sequelae] in infected fetuses should be interpreted with caution because of the low number of [serious neurological sequelae] cases and uncertainty about the timing of maternal seroconversion."

The authors add: "As these are observational data, policy decisions about screening require further evidence from a randomized trial of prenatal screening and from cost-effectiveness analyses that take into account the incidence and prevalence of maternal infection."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Nicholas M. Fisk, Mario Cortina-Borja, Hooi Kuan Tan, Martine Wallon, Malgorzata Paul, Andrea Prusa, Wilma Buffolano, Gunilla Malm, Alison Salt, Katherine Freeman, Eskild Petersen, Ruth E. Gilbert. Prenatal Treatment for Serious Neurological Sequelae of Congenital Toxoplasmosis: An Observational Prospective Cohort Study. PLoS Medicine, 2010; 7 (10): e1000351 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1000351

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Prenatal treatment of congenital toxoplasmosis could reduce risk of brain damage." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101012173212.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2010, October 13). Prenatal treatment of congenital toxoplasmosis could reduce risk of brain damage. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101012173212.htm
Public Library of Science. "Prenatal treatment of congenital toxoplasmosis could reduce risk of brain damage." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101012173212.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 20, 2014) — A patient who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus is in isolation at the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — A 111-year-old Japanese was certified as the world's oldest man by Guinness World Records on Wednesday. Sakari Momoi, a native of Fukushima in northern Japan, was given a certificate at a hospital in Tokyo. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Residents of Sierra Leone's capital voice their fears as the Ebola virus sweeps through west Africa. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins