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Year : 2023  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 188-193

Facts and fictions about Toxoplasma gondii in women of Misan province

Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Misan, Misan, Iraq

Correspondence Address:
Rasha Khalil Abduljalil Alsaad
Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Misan, Misan 62001
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/MJBL.MJBL_334_22

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Background: Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) is one of the most common protozoa worldwide that infects human and animals. Because of lack of data about the facts and myths of T. gondii infection in human Iraq, this study was aimed to define and answered all the related questions in a scientific knowledge manner. Materials and Methods: A survey study was conducted among women to assess their knowledge about facts and myths of toxoplasmosis in the Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Misan, Misan, Iraq, from November 1, 2018 to July 30, 2022. All women answered all the questions. A total of 6055 women, aged from 18 to 68 years, were enrolled, only comprising women who lived in Misan. A questionnaire was constructed upon the objectives and involved questions correlated to personal, demographic, social, economic, and educational information. The questionnaire investigated facts and myths concerning T. gondii. Results: All women completed the survey lists with a response rate of 100%. The mean age was 41.53 ± 20.74 years. Most individuals (3133, 51.74%) were grouped to 18–40 years of age. In terms of the knowledge of toxoplasmosis, women who knew a person with toxoplasmosis (23.15%), though it affects men (47.46%), thought that it is an infectious disease (86.16%), thought that it can be prevented (68.22%), thought that it can be treated or cured (82.84%), thought that it is a hereditary condition (59.64%), thought that cats are a causative agent of toxoplasmosis (74.15%) and thought that it transmits by intersexual course (34.32%). Concerning risk knowledge, women who thought the risk of toxoplasmosis transport by eating unhealthy food are 70.45%, women who thought the risk is raised when wearing tight underwear are 42.25%, women who thought the risk was raised with old age are 49.58%, women who thought the risk could be raised when they use contraceptives are 31.11%, women who thought the risk increased with pregnancy are 84.23%, and women who thought the risk could be raised with smoking and alcohol intake are 45.70%. Of 6055 women, a total of 5578 (92.12%) women said that toxoplasmosis is a zoonotic disease. About 96.10% of the sample said that it transmits by cats. Almost always, 99.45% of women thought that it is a cause of abortion, stillbirth, and congenital anomalies. In addition, only 16.99% of women in this survey know that there are over two million new cases of toxoplasmosis in the world annually. About 11.33% of women thought that toxoplasmosis cases are asymptomatic whereas others thought that they have a fever, gastro intestinal tract symptoms, genito urinary tract symptoms, and ophthalmologic symptoms. Conclusions: Many facts and myths can affect the knowledge of women about toxoplasmosis. In kinds of literature, there are no real modes for studying myths about infectious diseases in particular toxoplasmosis which may be of benefit in preventing and managing processes.

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