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What causes Toxoplasmosis

Toxoplasma Gondii


Symptoms of Toxoplasmosis

Acute Toxoplasmosis
Latent Toxoplasmosis


Infection of Toxoplasma gondii during pregnancy

Can lead to miscarriage or severe disease in the newborn
-developmental delays, blindness, epilepsy
-younger the fetus the worse the results
-fetus is only vulnerable if mother (seronegative) comes into contact w/Toxoplasma for first time


Infection of Toxoplasma gondii of weakened immune system

-advanced HIV, cancer treatment, after organ transplant
-disease reactivation
-In advanced HIV individuals, inflammation of brain (encephalitis) is common unless long term preventative meds are taken
-poor coordination and seizures


Intended host of Toxoplasmosis

-are the only host that shed an environmentally resistant form of the organism
-only shed the organism for 2 weeks of its life



-Eating poorly cooked food that contains cysts
-exposure to infected cat feces
-congenital toxoplasmosis
-not spread between people


Whos most at risk for infection by Toxoplasmosis

People who eat undercooked meat, drink untreated water, or exposed to contaminated cat feces or soil


Acute Toxoplasmosis

-usually asymptomatic
-influenza like: swollen lymph nodes, headaches, fever, fatigue, muscle aches, pains that last a month


Acute Toxoplasmosis in Immunocompromised individuals

-symptoms: headache, confusion, poor coordination, seizures, lung problems, blurred vision
-may develop severe toxoplasmosis which can result in encephalitis (damage to the brain) or the eyes


Transmission in pregnant women

More chances of acquiring Toxoplasmosis from:
1) unwashed vegetables or fruits
2) Undercooked meat
3) contaminated dirt and not washing hands
then from own CAT


Transmission cycle of definitive host

1) infection comes through eating intermediate host
2) Toxoplasma multiply in the bowel wall
3) infectious materials (oocysts) are emptied w/feces
4) Toxoplasma continues to invade the body and disperse allover
5) Immune system fights back and turns oocysts into cysts which are dormant forms


Diagnosis of Toxoplasmosis

Blood work
-seropositive- has been in contact w/Toxoplasma
-seronegative- never seen toxoplasma


Treatment of Toxoplasmosis

Medication is only useful in acute Toxoplasmosis when its dispersing in the body
-cysts will not respond to meds


Treatment of cats

meds reduce the amount of infectious materials produced in feces


Transmission cycle of intermediate host

1) humans ingests feces containing oocysts
2) toxoplasma multiply in the bowel wall
3) Toxoplasma invades the body and disperses all over
4) Immune system fights back and turns oocysts into cysts and are dormant

Humans do not excrete oocysts (infectious material) in waste


Toxoplasmosis Mind control study

Personality altered and brain manipulated by parasite
-symptoms: fearful, slower reflexes
-Men and women respond differently to toxoplasma gondii; men have lower IQ's when infected while women have higher IQ's when infected

Populations w/high levels of toxoplasma tend to be more neurotic