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In Austria, mandatory screening for the prevention of congenital toxoplasmosis stipulates a serological test for antibodies against as early as possible in pregnancy. In the case of a seronegative result, subsequent tests at intervals of 8 weeks are requested. We analysed serological data from Styria, an Austrian federal state, to determine the seroprevalence and incidence of infections. The study included 353,599 tests from 103,316 women during 158,571 pregnancies from 1995 to 2012. The age-adjusted seroprevalence decreased from 43.3% in 1995 to 31.5% in 2012, with a yearly decline of 0.84% (95% confidence interval (CI): 0. 79 -0.88). The intergravid incidence showed an annual decrease of 4.2%. The average yearly incidence of intragravid and intergravid seroconversions was 0.52% (95% CI 0.45–0.61) and 0.72% (95% CI 0.67–0.77), respectively. If the difference between these rates (p < 0.001) can be explained by the effect of primary prevention such as avoiding raw meat and taking hygiene precautions when encountering cats or preparing vegetables, only ca two of seven (28%) infections were avoided by hygiene measures taken by pregnant women. Primary prevention may therefore have its limits.


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