What is known about the prevention of congenital toxoplasmosis?
The French programme for the prevention of congenital toxoplasmosis consists of the diagnosis and treatment with spiramycin of acute infections during pregnancy and monthly follow-up of all identified seronegative women. The major flaw is that the efficacy of spiramycin in preventing contamination of the fetus, or at least in reducing the extent of the infection, has never been evaluated in a randomised placebo-controlled clinical trial. Its evaluation would require the follow-up of children born to mothers contaminated during pregnancy for more than 6 months, a goal that is difficult to obtain in current practice. The cost of the programme depends largely on the proportion of non-immune women of childbearing age. Since the modes of contamination are known and are linked to living habits, it should be possible to reduce the risk of infection during pregnancy by adequate health education. This approach is still to be evaluated.