Environmental risk factors for Toxoplasma gondii infections and the impact of latent infections on allostatic load in residents of Central North Carolina

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jo Klein, Geospatial and Data Visualization Librarian and Assistant Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Background: Toxoplasma gondii infection can be acquired through ingestion of infectious tissue cysts in undercooked meat or environmental oocysts excreted by cats. This cross-sectional study assessed environmental risk factors for T. gondii infections and an association between latent infections and a measure of physiologic dysregulation known as allostatic load. Methods: Serum samples from 206 adults in the Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina area were tested for immunoglobulin (IgG) responses to T. gondii using commercial ELISA kits. Allostatic load was estimated as a sum of 15 serum biomarkers of metabolic, neuroendocrine and immune functions dichotomized at distribution-based cutoffs. Vegetated land cover within 500 m of residences was estimated using 1 m resolution data from US EPA’s EnviroAtlas. Results: Handling soil with bare hands at least weekly and currently owning a cat were associated with 5.3 (95% confidence limits 1.4; 20.7) and 10.0 (2.0; 50.6) adjusted odds ratios (aOR) of T. gondii seropositivity, respectively. There was also a significant positive interaction effect of handling soil and owning cats on seropositivity. An interquartile range increase in weighted mean vegetated land cover within 500 m of residence was associated with 3.7 (1.5; 9.1) aOR of T. gondii seropositivity. Greater age and consumption of undercooked pork were other significant predictors of seropositivity. In turn, T. gondii seropositivity was associated with 61% (13%; 130%) greater adjusted mean allostatic load compared to seronegative individuals. In contrast, greater vegetated land cover around residence was associated with significantly reduced allostatic load in both seronegative (p

Additional Information

BMC Infectious Diseases 18: 421
Language: English
Date: 2018
Toxoplasma gondii, Seroprevalence, Vegetated land cover, Biomarkers, Allostatic load

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