High Toxoplasma Seroprevalence Associated with Meat Eating Habits of Locals in Nepal
AbstractA serosurvey of Toxoplasma gondii infection in apparently healthy subjects (n=404) living in Achham (n=215) and Dang (n=189) districts in western Nepal was carried out. An interview with 249 participants, each representing a household, was also conducted. This interview pertained to their meat eating habits and the keeping of cats in their houses. Toxoplasma antibodies were detected by using the microlatex agglutination test. The overall seroprevalence was 65.3% with no significant difference in the two districts (Achham: 66.9% and Dang: 63.5%) included ( p =0.546). Females and the Indo-Aryan ethnic-group showed marginally higher prevalence compared with their male ( p =0.545) and Tibeto-Burman ( p =0.075) counterparts. The majority of the infections was found to have occurred during childhood. The frequency of meat eating in western and eastern regions differed greatly ( p =0.000) with the people in the eastern region being frequent meat eaters than those in the western region. About one-third of the subjects, all Indo-Aryans, in the western region had the raw meat eating habit but none in the eastern region. Approximately 7.0% of households in both western and eastern regions kept cats. The present findings demonstrated a typical role of meat eating habits of people in the high Toxoplasma seroprevalence in Nepal.