Epidemiology of Toxoplasma and CMV serology and of GBS colonization in pregnancy and neonatal outcome in a Sicilian population

Giovanni Corsello, Mario Giuffre, Maria Gabriella Schimmenti, Amelia Romano

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Abstract

Background: Aim of our study is to analyze the immunological status in pregnancy for two main TORCH agents, Toxoplasma and Cytomegalovirus (CMV), and the results of group B streptococcus (GBS) screening, assessing the risk for congenital infection in a population from Palermo, Italy. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the medical records of all inborn live newborns who were born in our division during 2012, gathering information about the mother, the pregnancy and neonatal hospitalization at birth. Whenever data were available, we categorized the serologic status of the mothers for Toxoplasma and CMV. We also considered the results of rectal and vaginal swabs for GBS. We compared the results in Italian and immigrant mothers. The neonatal outcome was evaluated in all cases at risk. Results: Prevalence of anti-Toxo IgG antibodies was 17.97%, and was significantly higher in immigrant women (30% vs 16.4% in Italian women; p = 0.0008). Prevalence of anti-CMV IgG antibodies was 65.87%. Again, it was significantly higher in immigrant women (91.4% vs 62.5%, p = 3.31e-08). We compared those data with a previous study performed in our hospital in 2005-2006, and found that the prevalence of anti-Toxoplasma and anti-CMV antibodies in our population has remained stable, both in the immigrant and in the local population. Seroconversion rates and neonatal infections were rare: no seroconversions were observed for Toxoplasma, 4 seroconversions for CMV. One neonatal Toxoplasma infection and two neonatal CMV infections were documented. In some cases with dubious patterns or probable persistence of IgM, we performed additional tests and follow-up. Vaginal and rectal swabs were positive for GBS in 7.98% of cases, with no significant difference between the Italian and the immigrant population. No GBS neonatal sepsis was documented. Conclusions: The prevalence of Toxoplasma IgG antibodies in pregnant women was low in our population, if compared with European countries and with other parts of Italy, and is significantly higher in immigrant women. The prevalence of CMV IgG antibodies was intermediate if compared to other countries, and it was higher in immigrant women. GBS positivity was low, and comparable in Italian and immigrant mothers. Neonatal infection was rare for all these agents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-
Number of pages8
JournalTHE ITALIAN JOURNAL OF PEDIATRICS
Volume40
Publication statusPublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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