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Toxoplasmosis is a common worldwide parasitic disease caused by the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii. It is usually an asymptomatic infection, but it is related to several sequelae when acquired in utero, or related to cerebral abscesses due to its reactivation in immunocompromised patients (e.g. HIV/AIDS).
Please refer to the following articles for further discussion:
25-30% of the world's population is estimated to be infected by T. gondii, with a large range of prevalence between countries (10-80%) 1.
Patients typically present with fever, headache, and malaise. They may later develop personality changes and seizures.
Human infection occurs via three primary routes 3:
ingestion of infected meat that has been inadequately cooked
ingestion of oocysts contained within feces passed by an infected cat
direct transmission from a woman to her fetus
Please refer to the following articles:
History and etymology
The parasite was first described by Charles Nicolle and Louis Manceaux in 1909 2.
- 1. Robert-Gangneux F, Dardé ML. Epidemiology of and diagnostic strategies for toxoplasmosis. Clin. Microbiol. Rev. 2012;25 (2): 264-96. doi:10.1128/CMR.05013-11 - Free text at pubmed - Pubmed citation
- 2. Ajioka JW, Morrissette NS. A century of Toxoplasma research. Int. J. Parasitol. 2009;39 (8): 859-60. doi:10.1016/j.ijpara.2009.02.006 - Free text at pubmed - Pubmed citation
- 3. Preventing Congenital Toxoplasmosis. National Center for Infectious Disease. Free text at the CDC