Toxoplasmosis – Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment

What Is Toxoplasmosis and Who Is Likely to Have It?

Toxoplasmosis is a disease that stems from a parasite infection called Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii). The parasite reproduces in the intestinal tracts of cats. Humans can get infected with this disease either by eating undercooked meat or coming into direct or indirect touch with cat feces.

The majority of infected individuals show no symptoms. The parasite nevertheless produces cysts in your body while your immune system fights it. In these cysts, the parasite may remain latent and remain inactive, waiting to reawaken and infect you later.

Although T. gondii can infect anyone, the majority of victims show no symptoms. Usually, the parasite is eliminated by your body without your knowledge. Pregnant women and individuals with weaker immune systems, such as those with HIV [1] or cancer [2], are most at risk from toxoplasmosis.

Although T. gondii need cats to breed, owning a cat does not appear to dramatically raise your risk of infection.

Toxoplasmosis in pregnancy

Toxoplasmosis can be transmitted to the fetus through the placenta if it occurs during pregnancy or just before conception. This raises your child’s risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, or other health issues. Born with toxoplasmosis increases the risk of vision issues, blindness, developmental delays, and learning disabilities.