Date of Award

1995

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Environmental Science

First Advisor

Prof. F. K. Dar

Second Advisor

Dr. Abd EI-Kader Shalabi

Third Advisor

Dr. Mohamed Elwasila

Abstract

There being no published data on the seroprevalence of toxoplasmosis in the UAE, a base -line study was carried out on a randomly selected population of healthy adults drawn from subjects presenting themselves for a health certificate at the Department of Preventive Medicine, Al Ain, or presenting for blood donation at the two main hospitals in Al Ain, the Tawam Hospital and Al Ain Hospital. Commercially available VIDAS IgG and IgM kits were used to test for seropositivity. A validated questionnaire was used to record personal data and blood was drawn from each donor after informed consent. All raw data and test results were fed into a computer for a statistical analysis of results.

The overall IgG seropositivity rate was 33.6% and the IgM seropositivity rate 2.7 %, the former on a sample size of 941 and the latter on a smaller sample of 75 owing to limitation of research funds.

No significant difference of IgG seropositivity was found between samples drawn from Preventive Medicine department and two Blood Banks, or between the sexes, and although rural dwellers showed lower seropositivity (25%) compared to urban dwellers (35.1%), the difference was not significant. IgG seropositivity increased with every successive decade of life, with 19% for <20 years old to 42.2% for >50 year old.

Statistically significant association was found between IgG seropositivity and both nationality groups (Higher amongst the Jordanians, Palestinians, Lebanese and Syrians at 56.4% and lowest amongst Far East Asians at 21.9%) and occupation (surprisingly highest amongst professional groups at 48.3% and lowest amongst farm labourers at 22.4%).

These findings are clearly related to the different environmental and behavioral factors such as different culinary habits and varying risk factors associated with occupation.

An imp0l1ant finding was the seropositivity of IgM antibodies against Toxoplasma gondii amongst blood donors. Even at the low rate of 2.7% a transmission risk has been identified.

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