European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

, Volume 20, Issue 7, pp 467–474

Multicenter Evaluation of Strategies for Serodiagnosis of Primary Infection with Toxoplasma gondii


  • A. Roberts
    • Faculté de Médecine, Université Catholique de Louvain, Clos Chapelle-aux-Champs 30, Brussels 1200, Belgium
  • K. Hedman
    • University of Helsinki, University Central Hospital, Department of Virology, Haartmaninkatu 3, 00290 Helsinki, Finland
  • V. Luyasu
    • Clinique Para-Universitaire Saint Pierre affilée a l'UCL, Service de Biologie Clinique, Avenue Fabiola No. 9, 1340 Ottignies, Belgium
  • J. Zufferey
    • CHUV, Laboratoire de Serologie, Institut de Microbiologie, 1011 Lausanne, Switzerland
  • M.-H. Bessières
    • University Paul Sabatier Toulouse III, Hôpital Rangueil, Toulouse, France
  • R.-M. Blatz
    • University of Leipzig, Laboratory of Parasitology and Mycology, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
  • E. Candolfi
    • Institut de Parasitologie, Faculté de Médecine, 3 rue Koeberle, 67000 Strasbourg, France
  • A. Decoster
    • C.H. St. Philibert, Laboratoire de Microbiologie, 115 rue du Grand But, 59462 Lomme, France
  • G. Enders
    • Gemeinschaftslabor, Rosenbergerstrasse 85, 70193 Stuttgart, Germany
  • U. Gross
    • University of Goetingen, Kreuzbergring 57, 37075 Goettingen, Germany
  • E. Guy
    • Singleton Hospital, Toxoplasma Reference Unit, Swansea, Wales, UK
  • M. Hayde
    • University Children's Hospital, Department of Neonatology and Intensive Care, Waehringer Guertel 18–20, A-1090 Vienna, Austria
  • D. Ho-Yen
    • Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, Perth Road, Inverness IV2 3UJ, Scotland, UK
  • J. Johnson
    • St. George's Hospital, Public Health Laboratory, Level 2 Jenner Wing, Blackshaw Road, SW17 OQT London, UK
  • B. Lécolier
    • Hôpital Notre-Dame de Bon-Secours, Service de Biologie, 66 rue des Plantes, 75674 Cedex 14 Paris, France
  • A. Naessens
    • Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Laarbeeklaan 101, 1090 Brussels, Belgium
  • H. Pelloux
    • Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Grenoble, BP 217, 38043 Grenoble Cedex 9, France
  • P. Thulliez
    • Institut de Puériculture, Laboratoire de la Toxoplasmose, 26 Boulevard Brune, 75014 Paris, France
  • E. Petersen
    • Department of Mycobacteria and Parasitology, Statens Serum Institut, Artillerivej 5, 2300 Copenhagen, Denmark e-mail: Tel.: +45-3268-3223 Fax: +45-3268-3033

DOI: 10.1007/PL00011289

Cite this article as:
Roberts, A., Hedman, K., Luyasu, V. et al. EJCMID (2001) 20: 467. doi:10.1007/PL00011289


 The diagnostic performance of single-serum assays for toxoplasma-specific immunoglobulin (Ig)M, IgA, IgG, and IgE antibodies and of different combinations of such antibody assays in 20 European reference centers was assessed. A panel of 276 sera, of which 73 came from patients who seroconverted within 3 months (acute infection), 49 from patients who had seroconverted 3–12 months earlier (convalescence), and 154 from subjects who had two IgG-positive samples obtained 12 months apart (past infection), was tested with 20 toxoplasma-antibody assays and 195 combinations. In general, every assay with high diagnostic sensitivity showed low diagnostic specificity, i.e. no assay performed alone could reliably distinguish acute from past infection. Furthermore, no single assay (or combination) could separate convalescence from the other stages of toxoplasma infection. However, excellent diagnostic performances were reached by sequential use of highly sensitive IgM assays and methods examining IgG avidity or stage specificity. IgA or IgM assays were less suitable for confirmation of toxoplasma-IgM positivity. This study documents the strength of test combinations in assessing the stage of toxoplasma infection.

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001