Toxoplasmosis in Humans and Animals in Ghana (1962 – 2020): A Review

Main Article Content

Papa Kofi Amissah- Reynolds


Toxoplasmosis is a worldwide zoonosis caused by the ubiquitous, Apicomplexan parasite, Toxoplasma gondii. This disease remains a significant aetiologic factor in pregnant women and HIV patients. In Sub-Saharan African countries like Ghana, the low antiviral therapy coverage exacerbates the risk of HIV-related mortality resulting from concurrent infections like toxoplasmosis. This paper reviews published data on toxoplasmosis in both humans and animals in Ghana. Serological surveys in humans indicate high prevalence of toxoplasmosis (up to 92.5%) in a cross-section of Ghanaians, including pregnant women and their neonates, blood donors, as well as HIV and eye patients. Limited data from epidemiological surveys also show Toxoplasma infections in four food animals, with the prevalence ranging from 7.5% to as high as 64%. Molecular analyses in animals have also revealed three novel genotypes, TgCkGh1, TgCkGh2 and TgCtGh1. There are, however, no reports in other food animals like dogs, cattle and grass cutters in Ghana. The role of environmental matrices in the epidemiology of the disease also needs to be investigated. There is paucity of data in the Northern part of Ghana, with most reports concentrated on Southern Ghana, thus necessitating nationwide surveys under a ‘One-Health’ concept to inform management of the disease. Policies which mandate screening of expectant mothers and blood donors are recommended to limit disease transmission in Ghana.

Epidemiology, seroprevalence, Ghana, humans, animals, Toxoplasma gondii.

Article Details

How to Cite
Reynolds, P. K. A.-. (2020). Toxoplasmosis in Humans and Animals in Ghana (1962 – 2020): A Review. International Journal of TROPICAL DISEASE & Health, 41(14), 20-31.
Review Article


Saadatnia G, Golkar MJSJOID. A review on human toxoplasmosis. 2012. 44(11): p. 805-814.

Dabritz H, Conrad PAJZ. P. health, Cats and Toxoplasma: implications for public health. 2010;57(1):34-52.

Ahmadpour E, et al. Toxoplasmosis in immunocompromised patients in Iran: a systematic review and meta-analysis. 2014;8(12):1503-1510.

Dubey J, et al., A review of toxoplasmosis in humans and animals in Ethiopia. 2012;140(11):1935-1938.

Ohiolei JA, Isaac CJFP. Toxoplasmosis in Nigeria: the story so far (1950-2016): a review. 2016;63:1.

Tegegne D, Abdurahaman M, Yohannes MJBVR. Seroepidemiology and associated risk factors of Toxoplasma gondii in sheep and goats in Southwestern Ethiopia. 2016;12(1):1-6.

Pereira KS, Franco RM, Leal DA. Transmission of toxoplasmosis (Toxoplasma gondii) by foods, in Advances in food and nutrition research. 2010;1-19.

Singh SJTP. Congenital toxoplasmosis: Clinical features, outcomes, treatment, and prevention. 2016;6(2):113.

Derouin F, et al. Prevention of toxoplasmosis in transplant patients. 2008;14(12):1089-1101.

Sarkari B, et al. Seroprevalence and molecular diagnosis of Toxoplasma gondii infection among blood donors in southern Iran. 2014;8(04):543-547.

Zhou P, et al. Toxoplasma gondii infection in humans in China. 2011;4(1):1-9.

Kodym P, et al., Incidence, immunological and clinical characteristics of reactivation of latent Toxoplasma gondii infection in HIV-infected patients. 2015;143(3):600-607.

Lopes AP, Cardoso L, Rodrigues MJVP. Serological survey of Toxoplasma gondii infection in domestic cats from northeastern Portugal. 2008;155(3-4):184-189.

Anteson R, Techiwara M, Nyonator MJGMJ. Toxoplasmosis in Ghana. IV. Further evidence of congenital disease caused by Toxoplasma gondii infections. 1980;19(3):146-148.

Anteson RK, SS, Furukawa S, Quakyi IA. Studies on Toxoplasmosis in Ghana II. The Prevalence of Toxoplasmosis in a group of pregnant women and their neonates. A preliminary report. Ghana Med J. 1978;17:203-206.

Anteson RK, SS, Furukawa S, Takao Y, Nyanotor MA. Studies on toxoplasmosis in Ghana I. The prevalence of toxoplasmosis as measured by the haemagglutination (Eiken) test. Ghana Med J, 1978;17:147-149.

Arko-Mensah J, et al. The seroprevalence of toxoplasmosis in pigs in Ghana. 2000;76(1):27-31.

Bentum KE, et al. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma Gondii antibodies in sheep and goats slaughtered at the Kumasi Abattoir, Ghana. 2019;40(5):495-501.

Antwi P, et al. Detection of Toxoplasma gondii in goats at the Kumasi abattoir, Ghana. 2018;73:305.

Van der Puije W., et al. The prevalence of anti-Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in Ghanaian sheep and goats. 2000;76(1):21-26.

Dubey J, et al. Seroprevalence and isolation of Toxoplasma gondii from free-range chickens in Ghana, Indonesia, Italy, Poland, and Vietnam. 2008;94(1):68-71.

Pappoe F, et al. Prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in HIV-infected patients and food animals and direct genotyping of T. gondii isolates, Southern Ghana. 2017;116(6):1675-1685.

Ayi I, et al. Development of membrane-based tests for the detection of urinary antigens and antibodies in human toxoplasmosis: preliminary studies in Ghanaian patients. 2005;93(2):151-159.

Kourtis AP, Read JS, D.J.J.N.E.J.o.M. Jamieson. Pregnancy and infection. 2014;370(23):2211-2218.

Rostami A, et al. Acute Toxoplasma infection in pregnant women worldwide: A systematic review and meta-analysis. 2019;13(10):0007807.

Prusa AR, et al. The Austrian toxoplasmosis register, 1992–2008. 2015;60(2):4-10.

Peyron F, et al. Congenital toxoplasmosis in France and the United States: one parasite, two diverging approaches. 2017;11(2):0005222.

Helegbe GK, et al. Seroprevalence of malaria and hepatitis B coinfection among pregnant women in tamale metropolis of Ghana: a cross-sectional study; 2018.

Sefah-Boakye J, Frimpong E, A.J.I.J.M.A.I. Dompreh. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii Infection among Pregnant Women in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. 2016;4(1):70-74.

Ayi I, et al. Sero-epidemiology of toxoplasmosis amongst pregnant women in the greater Accra region of Ghana. 2009;43(3).

Mensah DA, et al. Seroprevalence and the associated risk factors of Toxoplasma gondii infection among pregnant women in the middle belt of Ghana; 2019.

Ayi I, et al. Toxoplasma gondii infections among pregnant women, children and HIV-seropositive persons in Accra, Ghana. 2016;44(1):17.

Blay EA, et al. Congenital toxoplasmosis and pregnancy malaria detection post-partum; effective diagnosis and effectiveness of approved chemotherapeutic regimens in ghana. In american journal of tropical medicine and hygiene. Amer soc trop med & hygiene 8000 westpark dr, ste 130, mclean, va 22101 USA; 2015.

Thulliez P, Daffos F, F.J.S.j.o.i.d.s. Forestier. Diagnosis of Toxoplasma infection in the pregnant woman and the unborn child: current problems. 1992:18-18.

Kwofie KD, et al. Indication of Risk of Mother-to-Child Toxoplasma gondii Transmission in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. 2016;20(12):2581-2588.

Ayeh-Kumi P, et al. Sero-prevalence of toxoplasmosis among patients visiting the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra, Ghana. 2010;1(3):147-150.

Basavaraju AJTP. Toxoplasmosis in HIV infection: an overview. 2016;6(2):129.

Ayi I, et al. Clonal types of Toxoplasma gondii among immune compromised and immune competent individuals in Accra, Ghana. 2016;65(3):238-244.

Opintan JA, et al. High rates of cerebral toxoplasmosis in HIV patients presenting with meningitis in Accra, Ghana. 2017;111(10):464-471.

Saavedra A, et al. Causes of death and factors associated with early mortality of HIV-infected adults admitted to Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital. 2017;27(1).

Ali H, et al. Ghana’s HIV epidemic and PEPFAR’s contribution towards epidemic control. 2019;53(1):59-62.

Atuahene K. Current Status of HIV in Ghana; 2019.

Kijlstra A, Petersen EJOI. Inflammation, Epidemiology, pathophysiology, and the future of ocular toxoplasmosis. 2014;22(2):138-147.

Park YH, HWJTKJOP. Nam, Clinical features and treatment of ocular toxoplasmosis. 2013;51(4):393.

Abu EK, et al. Epidemiology of ocular toxoplasmosis in three community surveys in the central region of Ghana, West Africa. 2016;23(1):14-19.

Ozgonul C, CGJOR. Besirli Recent developments in the diagnosis and treatment of ocular toxoplasmosis. 2017;57(1):1-12.

Abu EK, et al. Retinal microvasculopathy is common in HIV/AIDS patients: a cross-sectional study at the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital, Ghana; 2016.

Abu EK, et al. Associations between Polymorphisms within Interferon Gamma and Tumor Necrosis Factor Genes and Toxoplasma Retinochoroiditis in Ghanaian Patients. 2017;25(5):683-689.

Organization WH. Screening donated blood for transfusion-transmissible infections: recommendations. World Health Organization; 2010.

Kaltungo B, Musa IJISRN. A review of some protozoan parasites causing infertility in farm animals; 2013.

Adzitey FJTJOWSPR. Animal and meat production in Ghana-An overview. 2013;3(1):1-4.

Baah J, et al. Small ruminant production characteristics in urban households in Ghana. 2012;29(15):30-9.

Majekodunmi AO, et al. Integrated value-chain and risk assessment of Pig-Related Zoonoses in Ghana. 2019;14(11):0224918.

Amissah-Reynolds PKJIJOPR. Zoonotic Risks from Domestic Animals in Ghana. 2020;17-31.

Panadero R, et al. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum in wild and domestic ruminants sharing pastures in Galicia (Northwest Spain). 2010;88(1):111-115.

Dubey JJZ, Health P. Toxoplasma gondii infections in chickens (Gallus domesticus): prevalence, clinical disease, diagnosis and public health significance. 2010;57(1):60-73.

Tilahun G, et al. Prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii from free-range chickens (Gallus domesticus) from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 2013;99(4):740-741.

Tonouhewa ABN, et al. Toxoplasma gondii infection in meat animals from Africa: Systematic review and meta-analysis of sero-epidemiological studies. 2017;10(2):194.

Calero-Bernal R, SMJFIVS. Gennari, Clinical toxoplasmosis in dogs and cats: an update. 2019;6:54.

Schares G, et al. Oocysts of Neospora caninum, Hammondia heydorni, Toxoplasma gondii and Hammondia hammondi in faeces collected from dogs in Germany. 2005;35(14):1525-1537.

Lopes AP, et al. Toxoplasmosis in dogs: first report of Toxoplasma gondii infection in any animal species in Angola. 2014;108(7):344-346.

El Behairy A., et al. Genetic characterization of viable Toxoplasma gondii isolates from stray dogs from Giza, Egypt. 2013;193(1-3):25-29.

Amissah-Reynolds PK, et al. Prevalence of helminths in dogs and owners’ awareness of zoonotic diseases in Mampong, Ashanti, Ghana; 2016.

Johnson SAM, et al. Prevalence of gastrointestinal helminths and management practices for dogs in the Greater Accra region of Ghana. 2015;1(1):00023.

Okewole EJAA, A, Washburn KE, Saliki JT, Goetsch AL, Dawson LJ. Seroprevalence of Antibodies to Toxoplasma Gondii in Some Food and Companion Animals in The Southwestern Nigeria. 2007;113.

Joshua R, Akinwumi KJTV. Prevalence of antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii in four breeds of cattle at Ibadan, Nigeria. 2003;21(3):134-137.

Onyiche TE, IOJJOPD. Ademola, Seroprevalence of anti-Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in cattle and pigs in Ibadan, Nigeria. 2015;39(2):309-314.

Arene FJJOH. Epidemiology, microbiology, and immunology, Prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii among West African rodent, Thryonomys swinderianus from the Niger Delta. 1986;30(2):215-217.

Howe DK, Sibley LDJJOID. Toxoplasma gondii comprises three clonal lineages: correlation of parasite genotype with human disease. 1995;172(6):1561-1566.

Shapiro K, et al. Environmental transmission of Toxoplasma gondii: Oocysts in water, soil and food. 2019;15:00049.

Duedu KO, et al. A comparative survey of the prevalence of human parasites found in fresh vegetables sold in supermarkets and open-aired markets in Accra, Ghana. 2014;7(1):1-6.

Amissah-Reynolds PK, et al. Fresh Vegetables and Ready-to-eat Salads: Sources of Parasitic Zoonoses in Mampong-Ashanti, Ghana. 2020;47-55.

Amissah-Reynolds PK, et al. Parasitic Contamination in Ready-to-Eat Salads in the Accra Metropolis, Ghana. 2019;1-11.

Yan C, et al. Impact of environmental factors on the emergence, transmission and distribution of Toxoplasma gondii. 2016;9(1):1-7.