Seroepidemiological studies of pregnant women from four different regions in Sweden in the late 1980s revealed a significant trend in Toxoplasma seroprevalence from Gotland island (26%) through Orebro (18%) and Stockholm area (18%) to north Sweden (12%) (Figure 14.1) (Ljungstrom et al. 1995). A neonatal screening program was performed during 1997-1998 in the Stockholm and Malmo areas. Nearly 41000 children were studied. The prevalence of Toxoplasma IgG antibodies in pregnant women was 14.0% in the Stockholm area and 25.7% in Malmo (Evengard et al. 2001). Twelve seroconversions were detected and three children were congenitally infected giving a birth prevalence of congenital toxoplasmosis of 0.7 per 10000 children.

In the Nordic countries, the prevalence of Toxoplasma antibodies is rather low compared to the rest of Europe, varying from 6 to 26% among pregnant women. Immigrant women

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seem to have a higher prevalence. The incidence of infection in pregnancy varies from 0.5 to 5 per 1 000 seronegative women. This estimate may be less than the annual infection incidence in non-pregnant population because some of the pregnant women may take precautions to avoid acquiring Toxoplasma infection during pregnancy.

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