Braz J Infect Dis. 2007 Oct;11(5):496-506.
Toxoplasma gondii infection in pregnancy
Lopes FM, Gonçalves DD, Mitsuka-Breganó R, Freire RL, Navarro IT
Post-graduate School, Animal Science, Department of Preventive Veterinary Medicine, State University of Londrina.
Toxoplasmosis is caused by an intracellular protozoan, Toxoplasma gondii, which has a wide geographical distribution. The main infection routes are ingestion of cysts from raw or badly-cooked meat, ingestion of oocysts from substrates contaminated with the feces of infected felines and congenital transmission by tachyzoites. The congenital form results in a severe systemic disease, because if the mother is infected for the first time during gestation, she can present a temporary parasitemia that will infect the fetus. Many of the clinical symptoms are seen in congenitally-infected children, from a mild disease to serious signs, such as mental retardation. Early diagnosis during the pregnancy is highly desirable, allowing prompt intervention in cases of infection, through treatment of pregnant women, reducing the probability of fetal infection and consequent substantial damage to the fetus. Conventional tests for establishment of a fetal diagnosis of toxoplasmosis include options from serology to PCR. Prevention of human toxoplasmosis is based on care to avoid infection, understanding the disease and serological exams during gestation. Pregnant women should be tested serologically from three months gestation, until one month after childbirth. Inclusion of serology for congenital toxoplasmosis along with the basic Guthrie test for PKU is of fundamental importance for early diagnosis of infection and so that treatment is initiated, in order to avoid possible sequels in the infant.
PMID: 17962877 [PubMed - in process]