High seroprevalence of Toxocara antibodies in pregnant women attending an antenatal clinic at a university hospital in Ile-Ife, Nigeria

Kemisola Ikotun, Oluyomi Sowemimo, Chia Mei Chou, Kayode Ajenifuja, Ting Wu Chuang, Samuel Asaolu, Olaoluwa Akinwale, Vincent Gyang, Timothy Nwafor, Emmanuel Henry, Chia Kwung Fan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Human toxocariasis is a neglected zoonotic disease and its impact on human health is underestimated. Studies investigating the occurrence of toxocariasis in pregnancy are very scarce in Nigeria. This study investigated the seroprevalence of Toxocara spp. antibodies as well as the possible risk factors in pregnant women who routinely attended an antenatal clinic in a university hospital in Ile-Ife, Osun state. Methods: Blood samples were collected from 413 participating pregnant women between October 2017 and February 2018. Epidemiological data were obtained through a structured questionnaire. The sera were screened for anti-Toxocara IgG antibodies by western blot technique based on Toxocara canis larval excretory-secretory antigens, targeting low molecular weight bands of 24-35 kDa, specifically for T. canis infection. Results: The overall seroprevalence was 92.49% (382/413). There was no significant difference in the seroprevalence rate of Toxocara spp. infection between pregnant women aged ≤30 y and those aged >30 y (91.63 vs 93.33%; OR 1.28, 95% CI 0.61 to 2.67, p=0.511). The seroprevalence rate increased with the number of miscarriages but there was no statistical significance (p>0.05). Moreover, no significant associations were found between Toxocara spp. seropositivity and other studied risk factors (p>0.05). Conclusion: The high seroprevalence of Toxocara spp. in pregnant Nigerian women needs comprehensive health education regarding personal hygiene and how to avoid exposure to this parasite infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-307
Number of pages7
JournalTransactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 8 2020


  • Nigeria
  • pregnant women
  • seroprevalence
  • toxocariasis
  • western blot

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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