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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases
Volume 7 (1996), Issue 4, Pages 259-263
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/1996/678145
Original Article

A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Prenatal Screening for Toxoplasmosis

Vic S Sahai and Heather Onyett

Sudbury and District Health Unit, Sudbury, and Hotel Dieu Hospital, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Received 16 October 1995; Accepted 14 February 1996

Copyright © 1996 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The objective of this study was to examine critically the validity of a toxoplasma prenatal screening program, in the context of a cost-benefit analysis, as it relates to the Canadian experience. Recently, studies have suggested that early treatment of infected infants with a combination of pyrimethamine and sulfadiazine is effective in reducing the sequelae of toxoplasmosis. It was concluded that a carefully planned screening program for detecting and treating infants infected with Toxoplasma gondii during pregnancy is cost beneficial. The cost of delivering a screening and treatment program is less than half of what it would cost to provide comprehensive long term medical, educational and other social services for the estimated 1000 children born each year with congenital toxoplasmosis. Even if an incidence as low as two infected infants per 1000 pregnancies is assumed and only 400 children were affected, the screening and preventive therapy program would be justified.