Toxoplasmosis

Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic infection by small, intracellular protozoa. It invades and multiplies within the cells of its host, which can be any warm-blooded animal.

Infection can occur by eating raw or undercooked food, which contain the cysts of these parasites, by transplacentally (mother to foetus), or most importantly by handling soil contaminated with cats feces.

If contracted during pregnancy it can lead to a miscarriage or stillbirth. Babies born with the disease have a poor prognosis and can suffer chronic destructive disorders of the Central Nervous System, as well as risk being born blind or suffer Hydrocephalus or Microcephaly.

The disease is rarely fatal in infected adults. Chronic Toxoplasmosis can cause eye disorders e.g. retinochoroiditis (posterior uveitis), muscle weakness, weight loss, headache and diarrhea.

The diagnosis is always confirmed by blood tests establishing antibody levels. Treatment involves using oral doses of drugs such as sulphadiazine in conjunction with pyrimethamine. Regular blood counts are needed, as the latter is extremely toxic.

Additional Medical Conditions: 

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