Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer
Published: 2023-05-19

The community knowledge, awareness, and practices influencing transmission of toxoplasmosis in Mbeya District, Tanzania

Department of veterinary Medicine and Public Health, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P. O. Box 3021, Morogoro, Tanzania.
Department of Microbiology, Parasitology and Biotechnology, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P.O.Box 3019, Morogoro, Tanzania
Institute of Pest Management, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P. O. Box 3110, Morogoro, Tanzania
Department of veterinary Medicine and Public Health, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P. O. Box 3021, Morogoro, Tanzania


Background: Toxoplasmosis caused by Toxoplasma gondii is an important but neglected zoonotic disease of global distribution. The study aimed at evaluating community knowledge, awareness, and practices linked to transmission and control of the disease among the residents of urban and peri-urban areas of Mbeya District, Tanzania. 

Methods: A cross-section study was conducted from January 2022 to March 2022 in the Mbeya district. A semi-structured questionnaire was self-administered to gather information on social demographic characteristics, knowledge, and risk behaviors related to toxoplasma infection, chi squire was employed to test the difference where p-value < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results: A total of 100 respondents were recruited. The majority (38.0%) of the respondents were aged 26 - 35 years and (49.0%) had attained primary education. The average mean age was 35.6 (+ 11.5 SD), 57% were male while 43.0% were female. Only 22 percent of the respondents were aware of toxoplasmosis and among them, 10 percent were aware of the clinical manifestations of the disease and 20 percent knew the mode of the disease transmission. Identified risk practices include lack of deworming in cats (81.0%), outdoor cats management (60.0%), disposal of cats' faces in gardens (36.0%), use of cats in controlling rodents (41.0%), and not wearing gloves during gardening (77.0%). Children are noted to be at the highest risk of contracting the disease as they are greatly involved in caring for cats. (49.0%). The knowledge of the disease was found to be associated with sex (males) p value= of 0.041, occupation (medical employees) p-value =0.002, and high level of education of the respondents' p value =0.000.\.

Conclusion: The study revealed a low level of knowledge of the participants and practiced risky behaviors for disease transmission. Thus, we recommend to relevant authorities to offer education to the community concerning Toxoplasmosis.


Download data is not yet available.


  1. Alzaheb RA. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii and its associated risk factors among women of reproductive age in Saudi Arabia: a systematic review and meta-analysis. International journal of women's health. 2018 Sep 21:537-44. Doi: 10.2147/IJWH.S173640
  2. Calero-Bernal R, Gennari SM. Clinical toxoplasmosis in dogs and cats: an update. Frontiers in veterinary science. 2019 Feb 26; 6:54. Doi: 10.3389/fvets.2019.00054
  3. Gontijo da Silva M, Clare Vinaud M, de Castro AM. Prevalence of toxoplasmosis in pregnant women and vertical transmission of Toxoplasma gondii in patients from basic units of health from Gurupi, Tocantins, Brazil, from 2012 to 2014. PLoS One. 2015 Nov 11;10(11):e0141700. Doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0141700
  4. Stelzer S, Basso W, Silván JB, Ortega-Mora LM, Maksimov P, Gethmann J, Conraths FJ, Schares G. Toxoplasma gondii infection and toxoplasmosis in farm animals: Risk factors and economic impact. Food and Waterborne Parasitology. 2019 Jun 1; 15: e00037. Doi: 10.1016/j.fawpar.2019.e00037
  5. McAuley JB. Congenital toxoplasmosis. Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society. 2014 Sep 1; 3(suppl_1):S30-5.Doi: 10.1093/jpids/piu077
  6. Hampton MM. Congenital toxoplasmosis: a review. Neonatal Network. 2015 Jan 1; 34(5):274-8. Doi: 10.1891/0730-0832.34.5.274
  7. Khurana S, Batra N. Toxoplasmosis in organ transplant recipients: Evaluation, implication, and prevention. Tropical Parasitology. 2016 Jul; 6(2):123. Doi: 10.4103/2229-5070.190814
  8. Strang AG, Ferrari RG, do Rosário DK, Nishi L, Evangelista FF, Santana PL, de Souza AH, Mantelo FM, Guilherme AL. The congenital toxoplasmosis burden in Brazil: Systematic review and meta-analysis. ActaTropica.2020 Nov 1; 211:105608.Doi: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2020.105608
  9. Smith NC, Goulart C, Hayward JA, Kupz A, Miller CM, van Dooren GG. Control of human toxoplasmosis. International Journal for Parasitology. 2021 Feb 1; 51(2-3):95-121.Doi: 10.1016/j.ijpara.2020.11.001
  10. Furtado JM, Smith JR, Belfort Jr R, Gattey D, Winthrop KL. Toxoplasmosis: a global threat. Journal of global infectious diseases. 2011 Jul;3(3):281. Doi: 10.4103/0974-777X.83536
  11. Wang ZD, Liu HH, Ma ZX, Ma HY, Li ZY, Yang ZB, Zhu XQ, Xu B, Wei F, Liu Q. Toxoplasma gondii infection in immunocompromised patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Frontiers in microbiology. 2017 Mar 9; 8:389. Doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2017.00389
  12. Dupont D, Fricker-Hidalgo H, Brenier-Pinchart MP, Garnaud C, Wallon M, Pelloux H. Serology for Toxoplasma in immunocompromised patients: still useful? Trends in parasitology. 2021 Mar 1; 37(3):205-13. Doi: 10.1016/
  13. Retmanasari A, Widartono BS, Wijayanti MA, Artama WT. Prevalence and risk factors for toxoplasmosis in Middle Java, Indonesia. EcoHealth. 2017 Mar; 14:162-70. Doi: 10.1007/s10393-016-1198-5
  14. Schoonman LB, Wilsmore T, Swai ES. Sero-epidemiological investigation of bovine toxoplasmosis in traditional and smallholder cattle production systems of Tanga Region, Tanzania. Tropical Animal Health and Production. 2010 Apr; 42:579-87. Doi: 10.1007/s11250-009-9460-2
  15. Mose JM, Kagira JM, Kamau DM, Maina NW, Ngotho M, Karanja SM. A review on the present advances on studies of toxoplasmosis in eastern Africa. BioMed Research International. 2020 Jul 6; 2020. Doi: 10.1155/2020/7135268
  16. Onduru OG, Rumisha SF, Munyeme M, Phiri AM. Evaluation of the level of awareness of congenital toxoplasmosis and associated practices among pregnant women and health workers in Tanzania’s Temeke district in Dar es Salaam. African Health Sciences. 2019; 19(4):3027-37. Doi: 10.4314/ahs.v19i4.24
  17. Mboera LE, Kishamawe C, Kimario E, Rumisha SF. Mortality patterns of toxoplasmosis and its comorbidities in Tanzania: a 10-year retrospective hospital-based survey. Frontiers in Public Health. 2019 Feb 19; 7:25. Doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2019.00025
  18. URT (United Republic of Tanzania) Mbeya Region Socio-economic Profile. The Planning Commission Dar-es-Salaam and Regional Commissioner's Office Mbeya. 1997.
  19. (visited on 10/ June/ 2022)
  20. National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) ‘Data visualization: Basic demographic and social economic indicators, population size, growth and distribution. Institute for health metrics and evaluation2012.] site visited on 12/10/2022
  21. Tanzania metrological authority: visited on 10/6/2021
  22. Kothari CR. Research methodology: Methods and techniques. New Age International; 2004.
  23. Iqbal J, Khadadah N, Mohammed A. Knowledge, attitude and preventive behavior towards toxoplasmosis among Kuwaiti women with/without pregnancy experience: A cross sectional study 2021,
  24. Ait Hamou S, Laboudi M. An analytical study on the awareness and practice relating toxoplasmosis among pregnant women in Casablanca, Morocco. BMC Public Health. 2021 Dec; 21(1):1-9. Doi: 10.1186/s12889-021-10474-9
  25. Ait Hamou S, Lamhamdi B, Hayah I, Belbacha I, Sadak A, Laboudi M. The level of knowledge about toxoplasmosis among university students in Rabat in Morocco. Journal of Parasitology Research. 2021 Jul 26; 2021. Doi: 10.1155/2021/5553977
  26. Al-Hellaly EM, Chyad RT. Knowledge of Iraqi pregnant woman about toxoplasmosis and their practice towards its prevention. Journal of university of Babylon for pure and applied sciences. 2019 Sep 22;27(3):308-15.
  27. Lema GB. Toxoplasma gondii infection among outpatients attending Dodoma regional referral hospital in central Tanzania: prevalence and associated risk factors in central Tanzania (Doctoral dissertation, Sokoine University of Agriculture) 2020.
  28. Efunshile AM, Elikwu CJ, Jokelainen P. Toxoplasmosis–Awareness and knowledge among medical doctors in Nigeria. PloS one. 2017 Dec 19; 12(12): e0189709. Doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0189709
  29. Ebrahimi M, Ahmadi A, Yaghfoori S, Rassouli M, Azizzadeh M. Evaluating the prior knowledge of toxoplasmosis among students of Ferdowsi University of Mashhad. Medical Journal of the Islamic Republic of Iran. 2015; 29:163.
  30. Lushina M, Mushi V, Tarimo D, Babafemi EO. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii and associated risk factors among pregnant women attending antenatal care in Ilala Municipality, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
  31. Alrashada N, Al-Gharrash Z, Alshehri F, Al-Khamees L, Alshqaqeeq A. Toxoplasmosis among Saudi female students in Al-Ahssa, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Awareness and risk factors. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2016 Aug 26; 6(8):187-95.
  32. Kijlstra A, Meerburg BG, Mul MF. Animal-friendly production systems may cause re-emergence of Toxoplasma gondii. NJAS: Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences. 2004 Sep 1;52(2):119-32.
  33. Davies RH, Lawes JR, Wales AD. Raw diets for dogs and cats: a review, with particular reference to microbiological hazards. Journal of Small Animal Practice. 2019 Jun;60(6):329-39. Doi: 10.1111/jsap.13000
  34. Ogendi E, Maina N, Kagira J, Karanja S, Ngotho M, Mbugua G. Questionnaire survey on the occurrence of risk factors for Toxoplasma gondii infection amongst farmers in Thika District, Kenya. Journal of the South African Veterinary Association. 2013 Jan 1; 84(1):1-6. Doi: 10.4102/jsava.v84i1.191
  35. Nyambura Njuguna A, Kagira JM, Muturi Karanja S, Ngotho M, Mutharia L, Wangari Maina N. Prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii and other gastrointestinal parasites in domestic cats from households in Thika region, Kenya. BioMed Research International. 2017 Oct; 2017. Doi: 10.1155/2017/7615810
  36. Robertson ID, Irwin PJ, Lymbery AJ, Thompson RC. The role of companion animals in the emergence of parasitic zoonoses. International journal for parasitology. 2000 Nov 1; 30(12-13):1369-77. Doi: 10.1016/s0020-7519(00)00134-x
  37. Purewal R, Christley R, Kordas K, Joinson C, Meints K, Gee N, Westgarth C. Companion animals and child/adolescent development: A systematic review of the evidence. International journal of environmental research and public health. 2017 Mar; 14(3):234. Doi: 10.3390/ijerph14030234
  38. Sheppa SP. Seroprevalence of toxoplasma infection in goats and sheep and associated risk factors in Mvomero district, Tanzania (Doctoral dissertation, Sokoine University of Agriculture).2016.
  39. Hussein ZA. Nurses Knowledge of Toxoplasmosis in Al-Najaf province/Iraq. Al-Kufa University Journal for Biology. 2017 Jun 5.
  40. Fesseha H, Abebe F. Assessment of community knowledge, attitude, and practice on common zoonotic diseases in Jinka town, Southern Ethiopia. Journal of Gaz Medical Science. 2020; 1:18-29.
  41. Ode SA, Jubril AJ, Emikpe BO. Awareness and habits of Nigerians towards toxoplasmosis and risk factors. PAMJ-One Health. 2021 Apr 20; 4(15).

How to Cite

Chalo SL, Mafie E, Katakweba A, Mkupasi E. The community knowledge, awareness, and practices influencing transmission of toxoplasmosis in Mbeya District, Tanzania. jidhealth [Internet]. 2023 May 19 [cited 2023 Sep. 22];6(2):836-4. Available from: