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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(3), 408; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15030408

Exposure to Toxoplasma gondii in the Roma and Non-Roma Inhabitants of Slovakia: A Cross-Sectional Seroprevalence Study

1
Department of Parasitic Diseases, Institute of Parasitology SAS, Hlinkova 3, 040 01 Košice, Slovakia
2
Faculty of Medicine, P. J. Šafárik University in Košice, Trieda SNP 1, 040 11 Košice, Slovakia
HepaMeta Team members are listed in Appendix A
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 December 2017 / Revised: 19 February 2018 / Accepted: 20 February 2018 / Published: 27 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Roma Health)
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Abstract

The lifestyle, health and social status of the Roma are generally below the standards characteristic for the non-Roma population. This study aimed to find out the seropositivity to Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) in the population of Roma living in segregated settlements and to compare it with the prevalence of antibodies in the non-Roma population from the catchment area of eastern Slovakia. The seroprevalence of antibodies to T. gondii was significantly higher in the Roma group (45.0%) than in non-Roma inhabitants (24.1%). A statistically significant difference was also recorded between the two non-Roma groups in the study, 30.4% of those from the catchment area and 19.7% from the non-catchment area were seropositive. Univariate logistic regression confirmed poverty and higher age to be significant risk factors influencing the seropositivity to T. gondii. Of the clinical symptoms analyzed in the study, only muscle and back pain were associated with seropositivity to T. gondii. The close contact of Roma with an environment contaminated by different infectious agents and the insufficient hygiene, lower level of education, poverty, lack of water and household equipment and high number of domestic animals increase the risk of infectious diseases in the Roma settlements and subsequently the spread of communicable diseases at the national or even international level. View Full-Text
Keywords: Toxoplasma gondii; Toxoplasmosis; seroprevalence; Roma people; Slovakia Toxoplasma gondii; Toxoplasmosis; seroprevalence; Roma people; Slovakia
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Antolová, D.; Janičko, M.; Halánová, M.; Jarčuška, P.; Gecková, A.M.; Babinská, I.; Kalinová, Z.; Pella, D.; Mareková, M.; Veseliny, E.; HepaMeta Team. Exposure to Toxoplasma gondii in the Roma and Non-Roma Inhabitants of Slovakia: A Cross-Sectional Seroprevalence Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 408.

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