Toxoplasmosis is a disease caused by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii. More than 60 million people in the U.S. have the parasite. Most of them don't get sick. But the parasite causes serious problems for some people. These include people with weak immune systems and babies whose mothers become infected for the first time during pregnancy. Problems can include damage to the brain, eyes, and other organs.

You can get toxoplasmosis from

  • Waste from an infected cat
  • Eating contaminated meat that is raw or not well cooked
  • Using utensils or cutting boards after they've had contact with contaminated raw meat
  • Drinking infected water
  • Receiving an infected organ transplant or blood transfusion

Most people with toxoplasmosis don't need treatment. There are drugs to treat it for pregnant women and people with weak immune systems.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Symptoms of Toxoplasmosis

The following features are indicative of Toxoplasmosis:
  • body aches
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • headache
  • fever
  • fatigue
  • confusion
  • poor coordination
  • seizures
  • tuberculosis
  • blurred vision
  • jaundice
It is possible that Toxoplasmosis shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Toxoplasmosis

The following are the most common causes of Toxoplasmosis:
  • Toxoplasma gondii parasite

Risk Factors for Toxoplasmosis

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Toxoplasmosis:
  • eating poorly cooked food
  • exposure to infected cat feces
  • HIV
  • immunosuppressant drugs
  • pregnancy

Prevention of Toxoplasmosis

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Toxoplasmosis. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • avoid eating raw or undercooked meat
  • washing kitchen utensils thoroughly
  • do not drink unpasteurized milk
  • pregnant women should not clean cat litter boxes

Occurrence of Toxoplasmosis

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Toxoplasmosis cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Toxoplasmosis can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Toxoplasmosis can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Toxoplasmosis

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Toxoplasmosis:
  • Blood tests: To detect the presence of antibodies to the parasite
  • Amniocentesis: To diagnose the evidence of toxoplasmosis
  • Ultrasound scan: To determine whether your baby has certain signs of toxoplasmosis
  • Magnetic resonance imaging: To diagnose lesions or cysts in your brain
  • Brain biopsy: To evaluate toxoplasmosis cysts

Doctor for Diagnosis of Toxoplasmosis

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Toxoplasmosis:
  • Infectious disease specialist
  • Obstetrician
  • Perinatologist
  • Neonatologist

Complications of Toxoplasmosis if untreated

Yes, Toxoplasmosis causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Toxoplasmosis is left untreated:
  • blindness
  • encephalitis
  • hearing loss
  • mental disability

Self-care for Toxoplasmosis

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Toxoplasmosis:
  • Wash all fruits and vegetables: Helps in preventing toxoplasmosis
  • Wear gloves when you garden or handle soil: To prevent toxoplasmosis

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Toxoplasmosis

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Toxoplasmosis:
  • Use piper betle extract: Inhibits the parasite growth and treats the toxoplasmosis

Time for Treatment of Toxoplasmosis

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Toxoplasmosis to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • Within 1 year

Is Toxoplasmosis Infectious?

Yes, Toxoplasmosis is known to be infectious. It can spread across people via the following means:
  • blood transfusion
  • infected organ transplant

Related Topics

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Toxoplasmosis.

Related Topics

Parasitic Diseases

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