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Seroprevalence of Toxoplasmosis, Leptospirosis and Brucellosis in Sugarcane Field-workers in Trinidad and Tobago



Sugarcane field-workers, like rice field-workers, livestock farmers and abattoir workers are known to be occupationally exposed to zoonotic agents. The study determined the seroprevalence of immunoglobulins to Toxoplasma gondii (IgM), Leptospira spp (IgM) and Brucella abortus (IgG) in sugarcane field-workers across weighing stations in the island of Trinidad. In addition, the association of risk factors to infections by the three zoonoses was investigated. Blood samples were collected from consenting apparently healthy sugarcane field-workers across the island of Trinidad. Current/acute infection in individuals was determined in the sera of individuals using the enzyme immunoassay (EIA) for T gondii IgM antibodies, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for Leptospira spp IgM immunoglobulins and both buffered plate agglutination test (BPAT) and competitive ELISA for B abortus IgG antibodies. The seroprevalence of IgM immunoglobulins to T gondii was 15.7% (64 of 407) and to Leptospira spp was 0.7% (5 of 704) and the difference was statistically significant (p 0 < 0.05; χ2). All 704 samples tested for B abortus IgG immunoglobulins were negative. All risk factors (age, gender, race and type of work done) were not statistically significantly (p > 0.05; χ2) associated with infections by T gondii and Leptospira spp. It was concluded that sugarcane field-workers in Trinidad were at high risk of acute toxoplasmosis and, to a lesser extent, to leptospirosis. The fact that the four risk factors studied were not significantly associated with T gondii and Leptospira spp infections suggests that they may not be important in the epidemiology of both diseases in the population studied.

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e-Published: 01 Oct, 2013
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