Evaluation of Alpha- fetoprotein as a Marker for Toxoplasmosis


Toxoplasmosis is one of the causative agents in women abortion and congenital deformity outcomes. Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) is a glycoprotein elevated in some carcinoma cases. The obejective of this study was to evaluate AFP as a marker for toxoplasmosis and screening test for a subsequence development of abnormalities. Ninty six blood samples from 15-46 yeas old aborted Iraqi women with Toxoplasmosis were collected and included in this study. The results of investigations were compared with those for 79 apparently healthy volunteers (control group) with no previous abortion. This study reveals that there is a highly significant increment in seropositivity rate of toxoplasma-specific IgM antibodies (67 cases; 69.8%), and Alpha-fetoprotein (72 cases; 75%) in sera of infected aborted women in comparison to healthy controls (P= 0.032). The current results showed that there was highly significant elevation in the levels of AFP (129.23±16.76) as well as Toxoplasma gondii-specific IgM antibodies (1.294±0.559 Ng/ mL) in comparison with control group (10.65±5.2 and 0.43±0.2 Ng / mL for AFP and Toxoplasma gondii-specific IgM antibodies, respectively) (P=0.001 for both). Moreover, in spite of its highly significant efficiency in comparison with control group (P=0.001), application of ROC test for AFP evaluation showed that the values of the sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy for AFP were 75%, 73.4% and 74.23%, at an optimum concentration of 10 Ng/ mL. Regarding the Toxoplasma-specific IgM antibodies, the sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy values were 100%, 69%, and 83.49%, respectively at optimum concentration of 1 Ng/ mL (P= 0.001). In view of the above results, it could be concluded that α-fetoprotein may be beneficial for screening congenital abnormalities and abortion during toxoplasmosis; while anti-Toxoplasma gondii IgM is considered the best and golden standard test for detection of toxoplasmosis.