, Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 303–315 | Cite as

Advances in serological, imaging techniques and molecular diagnosis of Toxoplasma gondii infection

  • Ali Rostami
  • Panagiotis Karanis
  • Shirzad FallahiEmail author



Toxoplasmosis is worldwide distributed zoonotic infection disease with medical importance in immunocompromised patients, pregnant women and congenitally infected newborns. Having basic information on the traditional and new developed methods is essential for general physicians and infectious disease specialists for choosing a suitable diagnostic approach for rapid and accurate diagnosis of the disease and, consequently, timely and effective treatment.


We conducted English literature searches in PubMed from 1989 to 2016 using relevant keywords and summarized the recent advances in diagnosis of toxoplasmosis.


Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was most used method in past century. Recently advanced ELISA-based methods including chemiluminescence assays (CLIA), enzyme-linked fluorescence assay (ELFA), immunochromatographic test (ICT), serum IgG avidity test and immunosorbent agglutination assays (ISAGA) have shown high sensitivity and specificity. Recent studies using recombinant or chimeric antigens and multiepitope peptides method demonstrated very promising results to development of new strategies capable of discriminating recently acquired infections from chronic infection. Real-time PCR and loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) are two recently developed PCR-based methods with high sensitivity and specificity and could be useful to early diagnosis of infection. Computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, nuclear imaging and ultrasonography could be useful, although their results might be not specific alone.


This review provides a summary of recent developed methods and also attempts to improve their sensitivity for diagnosis of toxoplasmosis. Serology, molecular and imaging technologies each has their own advantages and limitations which can certainly achieve definitive diagnosis of toxoplasmosis by combining these diagnostic techniques.


Advances Diagnosis Toxoplasma gondii infection Toxoplasmosis 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine Research Center, Health Research InstituteBabol University of Medical SciencesBabolIran
  2. 2.Qinghai Academy of Animal Science and Veterinary MedicineQinghai UniversityXiningChina
  3. 3.Razi Herbal Medicines Research CenterLorestan University of Medical SciencesKhorramabadIran
  4. 4.Department of Medical Parasitology and Mycology, School of MedicineLorestan University of Medical SciencesKhorramabadIran

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