(redirected from Congenital toxoplasmosis)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.
Related to Congenital toxoplasmosis: Congenital rubella


Infection by the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii, manifested clinically in severe cases by jaundice, hepatomegaly, and splenomegaly.



a protozoan disease of man and animals that is caused by parasites of the genus Toxoplasma gondii. The sources of infection are more than 180 species of domestic and wild animals, including dogs, cats, rabbits, predators, herbivores, rodents, and birds. Human infestation occurs through consumption of insufficiently cooked meat products or eggs; it may also occur by means of the mucous membranes and skin injuries, or through transmission. Prenatal infestation has also been observed.

In man, toxoplasmosis may be congenital or acquired, and acute or chronic. Congenital toxoplasmosis may involve the prenatal death of the fetus, the death of the newborn from general infection, or affectation of the newborn’s nervous system, as well as of its eyes and other organs. The acute acquired form of toxoplasmosis has a course similar to that of typhus, with high temperature and enlargement of the liver and spleen. The acute acquired form may also affect primarily the nervous system, with accompanying headaches, convulsions, vomiting, and paralysis. Toxoplasmosis is often chronic, and in this form is marked by subfebrile temperature, headache, enlargement of the lymph nodes and liver, and impairment of working capacity. In the chronic form, the eyes, heart, nervous system, and other organs and systems may be affected. Toxoplasmosis also occurs in a latent form.

Toxoplasmosis is detected by means of serodiagnosis and intradermal allergic tests. The disease is treated with pyrimethamine and with sulfanilamide compounds. Infestation can be prevented by controlling toxoplasmosis in domestic animals, by observing proper sanitary measures when disposing of animal waste and processing food products, and by examining pregnant women for signs of toxoplasmosis.


Kovaleva, E. P. Toksoplazmoz. Moscow, 1967.
Domestic and wild mammals, as well as birds, are affected by toxoplasmosis. The disease is naturally endemic, and has been recorded in every country of the world. Infestation occurs by ingestión or contamination, and occasionally by means of airborne droplets. Prenatal infestation may also occur. The cysts of the parasites may remain alive within an animal for years, particularly in the brain and skeletal musculature.
In animals, the causative agent of toxoplasmosis is discharged from infected or recovered animals with aborted or stillborn fetuses, as well as with the amniotic fluid, placenta, and vaginal discharges. The causative agent also occurs in the milk, saliva, and discharges from the nose and eyes. In cats, the causative agent may be discharged with the feces.
Depending on the species of the animal affected, miscarriages, intestinal disturbances, and disorders of the skin and nervous system may develop in connection with toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis in animals may be acute or chronic; the disease sometimes results in the affected animal’s death. Diagnosis is based on the findings of epizootiology and is conducted by observing external symptoms, examining the blood serum, and studying animal discharges with a microscope.
References in periodicals archive ?
The rate of clinically apparent congenital toxoplasmosis in this study was lower than that found during the late 1980s through early 1990s in the New England Newborn Screening Program initially after birth (2 per 521,555 live births [3.
However, the vast majority of babies with congenital toxoplasmosis, particularly those infected later in pregnancy, seem normal at birth but may develop serious problems months or even years later.
However, the potentially devastating lifelong effects of congenital toxoplasmosis, and the recognized benefits of early identification and treatment, make a compelling case for systematic screening, the researchers said.
Ecological comparison of the risks of mother-to-child transmission and clinical manifestations of congenital toxoplasmosis according to prenatal treatment protocol.
children are born with congenital toxoplasmosis, which is more common than congenital German measles, syphilis, phenylketonuria (a disease that causes brain damage) and other maladies for which physicians routinely test.
Although I have met several individuals with cerebral palsy, we have yet to meet anyone who has both congenital toxoplasmosis and CP.
strains, which may cause life-threatening primary infection (case-patient 1) or severe congenital toxoplasmosis with atypical outcome of acquired toxoplasmosis in the mother (case-patient 3).
Gilbert R, Gras L; European Multicentre Study on Congenital Toxoplasmosis.
Genotype of 86 Toxoplasma gondii isolates associated with human congenital toxoplasmosis and correlation with clinical findings.
Epidemiology of congenital toxoplasmosis identified by population-based newborn screening in Massachusetts.
To estimate the prevalence of congenital toxoplasmosis, Chagas disease, cytemegalovirus, and rubella, blood samples on dried blood spot (DBS) from neonates (day 3-20 of life) were screened for immunoglobulin (Ig) M against Toxoplasma gondii, cytomegalovirus, rubella virus, and IgG against Trypanosoma cruzi by methods used for serum and adapted for use with DBS.
An estimated 400 to 4,000 cases of congenital toxoplasmosis occur each year in the United States (1).

Full browser ?