Background: Toxoplasmosis remains a neglected common opportunistic infection in immunocompromised individuals, who are mainly people living with HIV (PLWHIV) in whom reactivation of toxoplasmosis may occur with advanced HIV conditions in resource-limited settings (RLS). Our objective was to evaluate the correlation between the anti-toxoplasmic IgG (Tg-IgG) concentration and the immuno-virological status of PLWHIV.
Methods : A prospective and cross-sectional study was conducted among PLWHIV aged>18 years from February to November 2018 at the Chantal BIYA international Reference Centre. Blood samples were collected from eligible consenting PLWHIV; Tg-IgG level was assessed by quantitative ELISA, CD4-T lymphocytes counts were measured by flow cytometry and HIV-1 plasma viral load (PVL) measurement by real-time-PCR. Data were analysed using Excel and Graph Pad softwares; with p<0.05 considered statistically significant.
Results : A total of 100 PLWHIV were enrolled: 56% seropositive for IgG anti- Toxoplasma gondii, 33% seronegative and 11% indeterminate results. According to viremia, 100% (19/19) of those with PVL>1000 copies/mL were seropositive to Tg-IgG versus 52.85% (37/70) of those with PVL<1000 copies/mL (median [IQR] IgG concentration 152.78 [139.24-444.43] versus 34.44 [13.04-36.47] IU/mL, respectively); p<0.0001. According to CD4, 100% (11/11) of those with T-CD4<200 cells/µL were seropositive to Tg-IgG versus 57.69% (45/78) of those with T-CD4>200 cells/µL (median IgG [IQR] 432.92 [145.06-450.47] versus 35.01 [15.01-38.01] IU/mL, respectively); p<0.0001. Interestingly, there were moderate-positive and strong-negative correlations respectively with HIV-1 PVL (r = 0.54; p<0.0001) and T-CD4 (r = -0.70; p<0.0001) as compared to Tg-IgG concentration. After adjusting for age, gender, immune status and PVL in logistic regression, only poor immune status (T-CD4<200 cells/µL) was independently associated to Tg-IgG seropositivity (p=0.0004).
Conclusion : In a typical RLS like Cameroon, about half of PLWHIV might be seropositive to Tg-IgG. Of relevance, decreasing immunity appears with risk of increasing IgG anti- T gondii concentration, which suggests a relapse of toxoplasmosis. Thus, in the context of immunodeficiency, routine quantification of Tg-IgG would alleviate the programmatic burden of this opportunistic infection in RLS with generalized HIV epidemics.