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The probability of acquiring primaryToxoplasma infection in HIV-infected patients: Results of an 8-year retrospective study

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There is much hope that HIV-infected patients and AIDS patients can reckon with a prolonged survival in future. The increased survival of AIDS patients with positiveToxoplasma serology is not necessarily associated with an increased risk of developingToxoplasma encephalitis. For HIV-infected patients with negativeToxoplasma serology, the probability of acquiring a primaryToxoplasma infection in highly endemic areas such as Germany had not been studied to date. One hundred eighty-three HIV-infected patients were followed up between 1987 and 1995 in a retrospective study. Within the cohort, 95% of the patients were male and 83% haemophiliacs. The initial (1987) and final (1995) prevalence rate ofToxoplasma antibodies was 33.3% and 36.6%, respectively. The annual rise of the primary infection rate was calculated as 0.41%. The dye test was used for the detection ofToxoplasma-specific antibodies. This assay proved to be reliable and stable during long-term observation. The rate of primary toxoplasmosis found in this long-term study was not higher than that of pregnant women in Germany. Chemoprophylactic measurements for seronegative HIV-infected patients are therefore not recommended, but regular serological screening to detect seroconverters is.

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Reiter-Owona, I., Bialek, R., Rockstroh, J.K. et al. The probability of acquiring primaryToxoplasma infection in HIV-infected patients: Results of an 8-year retrospective study. Infection 26, 20–25 (1998).

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