You are here:
Environmental Exposures Are Important Risk Factors for Infection Toxoplasma gondii and Helicobacter pylori
Converse, R. AND Tim Wade. Environmental Exposures Are Important Risk Factors for Infection Toxoplasma gondii and Helicobacter pylori. Presented at International Society for Environmental Epidemiology Annual Conference, Seattle, WA, August 24 - 28, 2014.
Investgate environmental associations for common the infections, Helicobacter pylori and Toxoplasma gondii
Background: An estimated 70% of Americans suffer chronic infections. Helicobacter pylori and Toxoplasma gondii affect an estimated 35% and 15% of Americans, respectively. Despite their heavy burden, environmental transmission of these infections is not well understood. Objective: We examined the relationships between several environmental exposures and T. gondii and H. pylori infections. Methods: Blood was collected from 703 study participants in North Carolina. Seropositivity to T. gondii and H. pylori was measured using serum-based ELISAs. Participants completed questionnaires about drinking water source, domestic animal contact and care, international travel, meat consumption, and soil contact. Logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) adjusting for age and race. Results: The prevalence of T. gondii and H. pylori seropositivity was 9% and 15%, respectively. Cat ownership was a risk factor for T. gondii seropositivity. Five percent of participants who did not currently own cats were seropositive for T. gondii, compared to 13% of participants who currently owned 2 or more cats. Not providing veterinary treatment for pet cats was an additional risk factor for T. gondii seropositivity (OR=2.67, 95% CI: 0.71 - 10.06), as was living on a farm (OR=2.04, 95% CI: 1.07 – 3.88). Drinking municipal water had a protective association with H. pylori seropositivity (OR=0.623, 95% CI: 0.35 – 1.10). There was evidence of an unequal sociodemographic burden of these infections. Fifteen percent of participants with a high school education or less were seropositive for T. gondii, compared to only 6% of participants with some college education. Seropositivity for H. pylori was higher among black participants (25%) than white participants (5%). Conclusions: Environmental and sociodemographic characteristics were important predictors of T. gondii and H.pylori infection. This abstract does not represent EPA policy.