Toxoplasmosis - Awareness and knowledge among medical doctors in Nigeria

Toxoplasmosis - Awareness and knowledge among medical doctors in Nigeria

Author by Dr. Charles Elikwu

Journal/Publisher: Plos One

Volume/Edition: 12

Language: English

Pages: 1 - 9


Toxoplasma gondii is a zoonotic parasite causing high disease burden worldwide. A One
Health approach is needed to understand, prevent, and control toxoplasmosis, while knowledge
gaps in the One Health aspects have been identified among medical professionals in
earlier studies. As a One Health collaboration between veterinary and medical fields, we surveyed
the knowledge on toxoplasmosis among medical doctors in Nigeria. The knowledge
questions, which the participants answered without consulting literature and colleagues,
covered epidemiological One Health aspects as well as clinical interspecialty aspects of T.
gondii infections. Altogether 522 medical doctors from four tertiary hospitals completed the
questionnaire. The mean number of correct answers in the knowledge questions was 7.5,
and 8.4% of the participants selected at least 12 of the 17 correct answers. The proportion
of medical doctors scoring such a high score was significantly higher among those who
reported having seen a case of clinical toxoplasmosis than in those who did not. While 62%
of the medical doctors participating in our study knew that cats can shed T. gondii in their
feces, 36% incorrectly suggested that humans could do that too. That T. gondii infection can
be meatborne was known by 69%, but that it can be also waterborne only by 28% of the
medical doctors participating in our study. Most of the medical doctors, 78%, knew that clinical
toxoplasmosis may involve the central nervous system, while only 37% answered that it
can involve the eyes. Our results suggested knowledge gaps, which need to be addressed
in Continuous Medical Education. The identified gaps included both intersectoral One
Health aspects and interspecialty aspects: For prevention and management of toxoplasmosis,
knowing the main transmission routes and that the parasite can affect several organs is

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