The objective of this investigation was to describe systems for the epidemiological surveillance of congenital toxoplasmosis implemented in European countries. In September 2004, a questionnaire, adapted from the evaluation criteria published by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was sent to a panel of national correspondents in 35 countries in the European geographical area with knowledge of the epidemiological surveillance systems implemented in their countries. Where necessary, we updated the information until July 2007. Responses were received from 28 countries. Some 16 countries reported routine surveillance for toxoplasmosis. In 12 countries (Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, England and Wales, Estonia, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Scotland and Slovakia), surveillance was designed to detect only symptomatic toxoplasmosis, whether congenital or not. Four countries reported surveillance of congenital toxoplasmosis, on a regional basis in Italy and on a national basis in Denmark, France and Germany. In conclusion, epidemiological surveillance of congenital toxoplasmosis needs to be improved in order to determine the true burden of disease and to assess the effectiveness of and the need for existing prevention programmes.
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