Causes and Risk Factors of Toxoplasmosis

What is Toxoplasmosis?

Toxoplasmosis, also called “toxo”, is a parasitic disease caused by a one-celled organism Toxoplasma gondii. Studies show that it is mostly caused by consuming infected food or by unknowingly coming in contact with cat feces. The parasite can be transferred via various methods, including mother to child during pregnancy, and less commonly, during an organ or stem cell transplant.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that about 11% of the U.S. population older than five have been infected with Toxoplasma gondii. This percentage accounts for about 39 million people. Although the condition does not lead to a lot of symptoms, it can affect the immune system and lead to death in some people.

To avoid infection and treat the infection properly, there are certain steps that healthcare providers advise to take. Understanding the risk factors and causes of the conditions are important in treating the condition properly.