ToxoplasmosisJAMA Toxoplasmosis is an infection that is caused by the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. The parasite is carried by cats, birds, and other animals and is found in soil contaminated by cat feces and in meat, particularly pork. The parasite can infect the lungs, retina of the eye, heart, pancreas, liver, colon, and testes. Once T gondii invades the body, it remains there, but the immune system in a healthy person usually prevents the parasite from causing disease. If the immune system becomes severely damaged, as in people with AIDS, or is suppressed by drugs, T gondii can begin to multiply and cause severe disease. The most common site of toxoplasmosis is the brain. When T gondii invades the brain, causing inflammation, the condition is called toxoplasmic encephalitis. While the disease can occur in persons with healthy immune systems, it can normally be cured successfully. See also Protozoa.
an opportunistic infection caused by the
microscopic protozoan Toxoplasma gondii, found in undercooked meat and
cat feces. Symptoms may include headache, lymphadenopathy, malaise, muscle
pain and fever. A common manifestation of the disease toxoplasmic encephalitis
(cerebral toxoplasmosis), characterized by brain swelling, dementia, confusion,
lethargy, seizures and coma; the eyes, heart and lungs may also be affected.
Toxoplasmosis is treated with pyramethamine, usually in combination with
other drugs; TMP-SMX may be used as prophylaxis.
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