Toxoplasmosis is a worldwide zoonotic infectious disease caused by Toxoplasma gondii. This infection is estimated to affect about a third of the world's population. The aim of this study was to evaluate the knowledge of Italian women about toxoplasmosis and its forms of transmission, clinical manifestations, diagnosis and prevention through two different modalities (e-research and traditional research). In a cross-sectional study, 808 Italian women were interviewed, using a self-administered questionnaire, through two different modalities: an e-research or web survey and a traditional paper research and 84% reported to have heard about toxoplasmosis, but from most of the sample, it resulted that the knowledge of the protozoan disease was superficial and incomplete.
The assessment of the dimensionality related to the toxoplasmosis knowledge's instrument showed that the scale is composed by two stable and reliable factors which explain 58.6% of the variance: (a) the basic knowledge (α = 0.83), which explains the 45.2% of the variance and (b) the specialist knowledge (α = 0.71), which explains the 13.4% of the variance. The variance and the multiple linear regression data analysis showed significant predictors of correct basic knowledge of toxoplasmosis: the highest age, the highest degree of study, to have previously contracted illness or to know someone who had contracted it, to be working or to be housewives. In conclusion, this study showed limited awareness of toxoplasmosis and suggested the implementation of effective education and learning programs. The results also showed that online data collection, in academic research, might be a valid alternative to more traditional (paper-and-pencil) surveys.