Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic disease caused by Toxoplasma gondii. Infections with toxoplasmosis usually cause no symptoms in adult humans. Occasionally there may be a few weeks or months of mild flu-like illness such as muscle aches and tender lymph nodes. In a small number of people, eye problems may develop. In those with a weak immune system, severe symptoms such asseizures and poor coordination may occur. If infected during pregnancy, a condition known as congenital toxoplasmosis may affect the child.
Toxoplasmosis is usually spread by eating poorly cooked food that contains cysts, exposure to infected cat feces, and from a mother to a child during pregnancy if the mother becomes infected. Rarely the disease may be spread by a blood transfusion. It is not otherwise spread between people. The parasite is only known to reproduce sexually in the cat family. However, it can infect most types of warm-blooded animals, including humans. Diagnosis is typically by testing the blood for antibodies or by testing theamniotic fluid for the parasite's DNA.
Prevention is by properly preparing and cooking food. It is also recommended that pregnant women not clean cat litter boxes. Treatment of otherwise healthy people is usually not needed. During pregnancy spiramycin or pyrimethamine/sulfadiazine and folinic acid may be used for treatment.
Up to half of the world's population are infected by toxoplasmosis but have no symptoms. In the United States about 23% are affectedand in some areas of the world this is up to 95%.About 200,000 cases of congenital toxoplasmosis occur a year. Charles Nicolle and Louis Manceaux first described the organism in 1908. In 1941 transmission during pregnancy from a mother to a child was confirmed
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http://www.aafp.org/afp/2003/0515/p2131.html congenital toxoplasmosis jeffrey jones, m.d., m.p.h., adriana lopez, m.h.s., and marianna wilson, m.s., centers for disease control and prevention, atlanta, georgia am fam physician. 2003 may 15;67(10):2131-2138.
http://www.hindawi.com/journals/joph/2014/273506/ meredith harrell and petros e. carvounis, “current treatment of toxoplasma retinochoroiditis: an evidence-based review,” journal of ophthalmology, vol. 2014, article id 273506, 7 pages, 2014. doi:10.1155/2014/273506
http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jst/2011/971968/ michael j. brumlik, srilakshmi pandeswara, sara m. ludwig, kruthi murthy, and tyler j. curiel, “parasite mitogen-activated protein kinases as drug discovery targets to treat human protozoan pathogens,” journal of signal transduction, vol. 2011, article id 971968, 16 pages, 2011. doi:10.1155/2011/971968
singh s. mother-to-child transmission and diagnosis of toxoplasma gondii infection during pregnancy. indian j med microbiol [serial online] 2003 [cited 2016 jul 25];21:69-76. available from: http://www.ijmm.org/text.asp?2003/21/2/69/7978