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Long-term Impact of Treated Congenital Toxoplasmosis on Quality of Life and Visual Performance

Peyron, François MD, PhD*; Garweg, Justus G. MD, PhD; Wallon, Martine MD, PhD*; Descloux, Elodie MD*; Rolland, Muriel CRA*; Barth, Jürgen PhD

The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal: July 2011 - Volume 30 - Issue 7 - p 597-600
doi: 10.1097/INF.0b013e31820bb5f3
Original Studies

Background: Long-term evolution of congenital toxoplasmosis is not documented. We assessed the outcome of treated congenital toxoplasmosis in a cohort of adult individuals who had undergone ante- and postnatal treatment to provide information for pediatricians and parents on the evolution of the disease.

Methods: We conducted a questionnaire study on 126 adults with congenital toxoplasmosis (mean age: 22.2 years; age range: 18–31 years) monitored regularly until the time of inclusion. The main outcome measures were quality of life (Psychological General Well-Being Index) and visual function (VF14 questionnaire), and the outcomes were correlated with disease-specific factors.

Results: Of the 102 patients (80.9%) who were finally included in the study, 12 (11.8%) presented neurologic effects and 60 (58.8%) manifested ocular lesions; in the latter category, 13 individuals (12.7%) had reduced visual function. The overall global quality-of-life score (74.7 ± 14.2) was close to the expected normal range for the general population (73.7 ± 15.3). Overall, visual function was only slightly impaired (M = 97.3; 95% confidence interval, 95.8–98.8). Although disease-independent critical life circumstances were associated with a reduced Psychological General Well-Being Index, this index was not influenced by any of the clinical characteristics of congenital toxoplasmosis. Neurologic pathologies, reduced visual acuity, foveal location of the retinal lesion, and squinting contributed to decreased visual function at follow-up.

Conclusions: Our data reveal that treated congenital toxoplasmosis has little effect on the quality of life and visual function of the affected individuals. These encouraging findings may help to alleviate the anxiety of affected individuals and their parents.


From the *Department of Parasitology, Hôpital de la Croix-Rousse, Lyon, France; †Swiss Eye Institute, Clinic for Uveitis, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland; and ‡Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM), University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.

Accepted for publication December 14, 2010.

Supported partially by the URCAM du Rhône (to M.R.).

Address for correspondence: François Peyron, MD, PhD, Department of Parasitology, Hôpital de la Croix-Rousse, 103 grande rue de la Croix-Rousse, F-69317 Lyon, France. E-mail:

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© 2011 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.