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Toxoplasmosis

21:56 - 4 May , 2021

Disease

What is Toxoplasmosis?

It is a disease caused by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, which is usually acquired mainly by consuming raw or semi-cooked meat previously contaminated, by accidentally ingesting cat excrement particles with the parasite, or from the mother to the baby during pregnancy. Other ways of getting infected are blood transfusions or transplants of infected organs. Toxoplasma gondii is a very common parasite present in many animals, but when it infects you, it forms cysts that can damage various organs, including the brain and heart. Toxoplasmosis is usually divided into four groups:
  • Congenital: when the mother transmits it to the fetus causing neurological problems, skin conditions, and liver and spleen enlargement.
  • Weakened immune system: occurs when a previous infection is reactivated, causing conditions in the central nervous system.
  • Ocular: the infection is passed from the mother to the baby and affects the retina.
  • Strengthened immune system: when the body's defenses are solid, the infection can be asymptomatic or cause mild symptoms.

Symptoms

In most cases, people infected with Toxoplasma gondii do not show symptoms, but when they do, they are usually mild, such as:
  • Tiredness.
  • Weakness.
  • Headaches
  • Muscle pains.
  • High fever.
  • Swollen glands.
In individuals with a depressed immune system, characteristic symptoms include:
  • Lung diseases.
  • Seizures.
  • Mental confusion.
  • Headache.
  • Eye pain
  • Hemiplegia.
  • Balance disorders.
  • Blurred vision.
In babies, the symptoms are:
  • Seizures.
  • Enlarged spleen and liver.
  • Jaundice.
  • Eye infection.

Diagnosis and treatment

Once your doctor analyzes your symptoms and medical history, they will perform a physical examination and request an antibody test to detect the parasite presence. In babies, the isolation or localization of the parasite in the tissues is also required. If the diagnosis of toxoplasmosis is confirmed, but your immune system is in optimal condition, it is most likely that you will be prescribed conventional antibiotics and that you will recover without any setbacks. In the case of pregnant women, people with AIDS, and patients who have received chemotherapy or immunosuppressive drugs, the treatment will consist of reducing the risks and complications of the disease and seeking to prevent the infection from reactivating. You can help prevent toxoplasmosis:
  • Avoid eating raw or semi-cooked meat.
  • Refrain from consuming unpasteurized dairy products.
  • Performing constant hand hygiene.
  • Washing fruits and vegetables.
  • Wearing gloves when gardening or cleaning cat litter boxes.
  • Deworming your cats periodically.
At the ABC Medical Center Internal Medicine Department we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies, of chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.

Fuentes:

  • topdoctors.es
  • mayoclinic.org
  • medlineplus.gov
  • cun.es
  • msdmanuals.com
  • medigraphic.com
  • Cruz QM, Hernández CA, Dorta CAJ. El nexo entre biología, respuesta inmune y clínica en la infección por Toxoplasma gondii. Rev Cubana Invest Bioméd. 2019;38(4):1-23.
  • Lara-Palacios IA, Canché-Chi V, Ortiz-Zolozabal P. Toxoplasmosis cerebral en un paciente con recién diagnóstico de VIH/SIDA. Salud Quintana Roo. 2018;11(39):16-20.
  • Gómez-Toscano V, Linares-López KA, Arce-Estrada GE, et al. Toxoplasmosis congénita en el valle de México. Resultados de una serie de casos. Acta Pediatr Mex. 2018;39(6):321-333.
  • Borges PSM, Pérez BE, Ayllapan AN, et al. Comportamiento clínico serológico de la toxoplasmosis ocular. Rev Acta Médica. 2017;18(2):.

						

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