Toxoplasmosis Among HIV Patients and Healthy Volunteers in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria

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Background: Toxoplasmosis is a serious infection, especially among the immune-compromised people such as HIV/AIDS patients. Objectives: This study assessed the seroprevalence and associated risk factors of toxoplasmosis among HIV patients and healthy volunteers or immuno-competent persons (IP) in Port Harcourt. Methods: A total of 400 (200 per group) randomly-selected sera were tested for IgG and IgM T. gondii antibodies using ELISA technique. CD4 cell counts were also determined. Demographic and risk factors were determined using a well-structured questionnaire. Results: Overall seroprevalence for HIV and IP using IgG and IgM toxoplasma antibodies was 36.0%, 21.5%, and 1.5%, 7.0%, respectively. The age group f 40 years and above had the highest seroprevalence of 25.3% among the HIV positive persons, while the age groups 25 - 29 years had the highest seroprevalence of 20.0% among the IP. Traders’ positive with HIV had the highest seroprevalence of 30.0% and 0.9% for IgG and IgM toxoplasma antibodies, respectively. HIV subjects with a secondary education showed the highest seroprevalence of 20.0%. More HIV positive females were infected with toxoplasmosis 18.5%. In all, 6.7% (P > 0.05) of the seropositive patients had CD4 cell counts of less than 200 cells/µL, indicating no correlation between seroprevalence and CD4 cell counts of HIV/AIDS patients. Risk factors in this study included the history of living with pets, farming and eating improperly-washed fruits and vegetables. Conclusions: Seroprevalence of Toxoplasmosis was high among HIV patients in Port Harcourt. It is suggested that the institutions included the Toxoplasmosis test as one of the routine tests for HIV patients.