Classification system and case definitions ofToxoplasma gondii infection in immunocompetent pregnant women and their congenitally infected offspring

  • M. Lebech
  • D. H. M. Joynson
  • H. M. Seitz
  • P. Thulliez
  • R. E. Gilbert
  • G. N. Dutton
  • B. Øvlisen
  • E. Petersen
Special Article


Classification systems and case definitions provide the foundations upon which clinical and epidemiological studies are based. The European Research Network on Congenital Toxoplasmosis acknowledged the lack of such a system or definitions within its field of interest and established a working group to address the issue. CongenitalToxoplasma gondii infection was defined as occurring in four separate patient groups: pregnant women, fetuses, infants, and individuals > 1 year of age. The likelihood ofToxoplasma gondii infection was separated into five mutually exclusive categories: definite, probable, possible, unlikely, and not infected. Inclusion within a specific category is dependent upon the case definition, which is in turn derived from criteria based on serological, parasitological, and clinical information. Notes are included within the classification not only to clarify the definitions, but also to improve the reliability and quality of diagnosis. The goal is to construct a system that encompasses all aspects of congenital toxoplasmosis, which is applicable to different countries and health services, suitable for large epidemiological studies, aids the diagnosis and management of individual cases, and lends itself to computerisation.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Lebech
    • 1
  • D. H. M. Joynson
    • 2
  • H. M. Seitz
    • 3
  • P. Thulliez
    • 4
  • R. E. Gilbert
    • 5
  • G. N. Dutton
    • 6
  • B. Øvlisen
    • 7
  • E. Petersen
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of ParasitologyStatens SeruminstitutCopenhagen SDenmark
  2. 2.Toxoplasma Reference Laboratory, Public Health LaboratorySingleton HospitalSgetiUK
  3. 3.Institut für Medizinische ParasitologieUniversität BonnBonnGermany
  4. 4.Laboratoire de la ToxoplasmoseInstitut de PuericultureParisFrance
  5. 5.Department of Paediatric Epidemiology, Institute of Child HealthUniversity of LondonLondonUK
  6. 6.Western InfirmaryWest Glasgow Hospitals University NHS TrustGlasgowUK
  7. 7.Gynacologie/Obsteric DepartmentHillerod GygehusHillerodDenmark

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