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Serological status for TORCH in women of childbearing age: a decade-long surveillance (2012-2022) in Italy

  • Autori: Palazzotto, Emilia; Bonura, Floriana; Cala', Cinzia; Capra, Giuseppina; Pistoia, Daniela; Mangione, Donatella; Mascarella, Chiara; Mini', Giuseppe; Enea, Marco; Giammanco, Giovanni; Ferraro, Donatella; De Grazia, Simona
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2023
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


Introduction. Serological screening and seroprevalence data for TORCH infections represent a key instrument to estimate immunity and vaccination levels and exposure rates to prevent and treat TORCH congenital infections.Hypothesis. Serology allows us to identify women susceptible to primary infection.Aim. Assess the prevalence of women at risk of primary infections by TORCH pathogens in Palermo, Sicily, Italy, in the decade 2012-2022. Methodology. A retrospective study was performed to evaluate the serological status (IgG and/or IgM) of 2359 women of childbearing age (WCBA), ranging from 16 to 46 years, attending the AOUP 'P. Giaccone' University Hospital of Palermo.Results. The results showed an overall prevalence of anti -TORCH IgG of 90.5 % for herpesvirus (HSV), 81.2 % for rubella virus (RV), 72.1 % for cytomegalovirus (CMV), 20.9 % for Toxoplasma gondii (TOX) and 4.8 % for Treponema pallidum (TP). IgM positivity was 16.9 % for HSV2, 10.3 % for TOX, 4 % for CMV and, 2 % for RV. A recent/active infection by TP was confirmed in 28.3 % of the seropositive women. Our results indicate that only a small percentage of WCBA were subjected to a comprehensive TORCH serological screening, while most WCBA were only tested for a single pathogen. In addition, no significant differences were found in terms of the overall TORCH IgG seroprevalence among different age groups (P>0.05).Conclusion. Identifying WCBA at risk of exposure during pregnancy allows us to prevent and reduce possible congenital infections, providing detailed guidelines and instructions. The results of this study showed that in Italy the risk of acquiring a primary infection by a TORCH agent is still high, therefore effective prevention strategies, including serological screening, should be implemented.