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Toxoplasma gondii Christina Drazan. Geographic Distribution Worldwide, one of the most common human infections More common in warm climates High prevalence.

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Presentation on theme: "Toxoplasma gondii Christina Drazan. Geographic Distribution Worldwide, one of the most common human infections More common in warm climates High prevalence."— Presentation transcript:

1 Toxoplasma gondii Christina Drazan

2 Geographic Distribution Worldwide, one of the most common human infections More common in warm climates High prevalence in France and C. America High prevalence in France seems to be due to the preference for eating raw or undercooked meat In C. America, it seems to be related to the frequency of stray cats in a climate favoring survival of oocysts and soil exposure

3 Definitive Host/Intermediate Host Cats are the only definitive host It can infect nearly all warm-blooded animals but they are considered intermediate hosts

4 Life Cycle

5 T. gondii

6 T. gondii Cyst in the Brain

7 Sites of Infection Definitive host – breeds in the small intestine, Vector– travels in the blood and attacks other tissues inside-me-toxoplasma-parasite.html inside-me-toxoplasma-parasite.html

8 Pathogensis/Clinical Signs In cats Anorexia Weight loss Lethargy Labored breathing Ocular signs Fever

9 Pathogensis/Clinical Signs In humans Most do not have symptoms 10-20% develop sore nodes and muscle pains that eventually go away Once infected, always infected Go dormant as tissue cysts but reactivate when a person becomes sick with another disease or takes immunosuppressive drugs Can cause blindness if the parasite reaches the eye If a woman is infected during pregnancy, she can transmit the disease to her unborn child This can cause: A miscarriage or stillborn baby The baby can be born with signs of toxoplasmosis (ex. Abnormal enlargement or smallness of head)enlargement The baby could have brain or eye damage which can develop later in life

10 Diagnosis Is typically made by serologic tests by detecting immunoglobulin antibodies within several weeks of infection (in both humans and cats) Living parasites can also be found in a sample of blood, cerebrospinal or other body fluids but the process is more difficult so rarely used Congenital infections – detecting T. gondii DNA in amniotic fluid using molecular methods such as PCR

11 Treatment for Humans Combinations of pyrimethamine with Trisulfapyrimidines or sulfadiazine Folinic acid in the form of leucovorin calcium to protect the bone marrow from the toxic effects of pyrimethamine Combination of sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim For pregnant women First four months – spiramycin After four months – sulfadizain/pyrimethamine and folinic acid Congenitally infected babies are treated with sulfonamide and pyrimethamine

12 Treatment for Cats Antibiotic called Clindamycin Pyrimethamine with sulfadizine

13 Control Measures Do not allow cats to hunt or roam Do not eat raw or undercooked meat, and don’t drink water from the environment Keep your cat from using the garden or children’s play area (i.e. sandbox) as a litter box Remove feces from litter box daily, and wash hands after Pregnant women should not clean the litter box Control rodent populations and other potential intermediates


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