A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Efficacy of Anti-Toxoplasma gondii Medicines in Humans

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No effective drug and definitive “gold standard” treatment for Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) infection has been available so far, though some medicines have been commonly used in the treatment of T. gondii infection, such as spiramycin, azithromycin, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), pyrimethamine- sulfadiazine (P-S), trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMX), and pyrimethamine-clindamycin (P-C). A systematic review and meta-analysis were performed to compare the efficacies of these conventional medicines in the treatment. Cohort studies for the treatment of acute T. gondii infection were searched from PubMed, Google Scholar, ect. All the cases number for different group extracted from each included literature were input to meta-analysis 3.13 software to calculate the pooled negative conversion rate (NCR), cure rate (CR) or vertical transmission rate based on their sample size and weight. The pooled NCR with 95% confidence intervals (CI) was used to evaluate the overall rate of a diagnosis positive result conversion to a negative result after treatment, which of spiramycin, azithromycin and TCM were 83.4% (95%CI, 72.1%-90.8%), 82.5% (95%CI, 75.9%-87.6%), and 85.5% (95%CI, 71.3%-93.3%) respectively, with no statistical difference between them. The pooled CR with 95% CI was used to evaluate the overall rate of complete disappearance of clinical symptoms for toxoplasmic encephalitis after therapy, which of P-S, TMP-SMX, and P-C were 49.8% (95%CI, 38. 8% -60.8%), 59.9% (95%CI, 48.9%-70.0%), and 47.6% (95%CI, 24.8%-71.4%) respectively, with no statistical difference between them. Primary T. gondii infection in pregnancy was treated mainly with spiramycin alone or combined with other drugs, and the pooled rate of vertical transmission was about 9.9% (95%CI, 5.9%-16.2%) after therapy. Toxoplasmic encephalitis in AIDS patients was usually treated with sulfonamides combined with other drugs and the pooled CR was 49.4% (95%CI, 37.9%-60.9%).