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Toxoplasma gondii

Parasitology Dept.


- obligate intracellular coccidian parasite

- complex life cycle; intestinal and tissue phases

About Toxoplasma gondii

An obligate intracellular parasite Has very low host specificity, probably infect almost any mammal (warm bloodedanimals) Has also been reported from birds Two phases of life cycle: intestinal/enteroepithelial and extraintestinal phases

About Toxoplasma gondii

Intestinal phase occurs in cats only (both wild and domesticated ones) produces oocyst Extraintestinal phase occurs in all infected animals produces tachyzoit (trophozoit) and zoitocyst (bradyzoit)

About Toxoplasma gondii

Oocyst: produced in cats intestine through gametogony (sexually reproduction). Each oocyst contains two sporocysts 6

About Toxoplasma gondii

Tachyzoites: note the characteristic crescent type! It can infect any cell and body tissue but erythrocyte

About Toxoplasma gondii

Zoitocysts filled with bradyzoites


Life cycle



What is Toxoplasmosis?
Toxoplasmosis is a disease caused by

Toxoplasma gondii
Toxoplasma infection is common, but fullblown disease is rare Its important because virtually all warmblooded animals, including man, can become infected with it


What is Toxoplasmosis?
Cats have 20% to 60% infection rate with

Toxoplasma gondii
Its most common in cats less than two years old, possibly because of their poorly developed immune response In older cats, recurrent infections may be due to the presence of feline leukemia virus or feline immunodeficiency virus, which suppress its immune response

What is Toxoplasmosis?
Two ways of infection: 1. Transplacental (congenital) has been the greatest concern. In mothers who first acquire Toxoplasma infection during their pregnancy, about 1/3 to of their infants are also infected, and more severe if it occurs during the first trimester

What is Toxoplasmosis?
2. Acquired Toxoplasmosis, occurs via oocysts or bradyzoits. Infection via oocysts occurs through cats feces, and via bradyzoits occurs when human ingested, inhaled, or inoculated with raw or undercooked meat product


Pathology of Toxoplasmosis
In healthy children and adults, toxoplasmosis may cause no symptoms at all, or may cause a mild illness (swollen lymph glands, fever, headache, and muscle ache) Under some conditions, it may cause a serious pathology, including hepatitis, pneumonia, blindness, and severe neurological disorder. This is especially true in immunocompromised host (e.g. AIDS patients)

Pathology of Toxoplasmosis
Transplacentally toxoplasmosis can be resulting in a spontaneous abortion, a still born, or congenital disorders In symptomatic individuals, symptoms may appear at different times: at birth, or weeks, months, or even years after (undiagnosed in younger age), and subclinical infection



Congenital Toxoplasmosis
Clinical symptom of congenital toxoplasmosis is called Tetrad Sabin: 1. hydrocephalus 2. chorioretinitis 3. cerebral calcification 4. mental retardation



Congenital Toxoplasmosis
Subclinical acquired toxoplasmosis (silent infection) TORCH as one of the causes Not every infected female suffers of symptoms Silent infection may cause infertility


Cerebral Toxoplasmosis General Etiology : Toxoplasma gondii

Cerebral toxoplasmosis is one of the most common opportunistic neurological infections in AIDS patients. It is also directly related to the prevalence of anti-T gondii antibodies in the general population

DEWI M.DARLAN 1/26/2009


Cerebral Toxoplasmosis
Cerebral toxoplasmosis usually represents reactivation of chronic infection.

Reactivation possibly results from the rupture of a cyst.

Normally the bradyzoites destroyed by the hosts immune responses. In immunosuppressive patient, rupture of cyst may result in renewed multiplication.

1. 2. 3. 4. Tissue biopsy or body liquid punction Culture in chicken embryo Mice inoculation Serologic analysis: Sabin Feldman Dye test, Toxoplasmin skin test, CF test, hemaglutination, immunofluoresence


Prevention of Toxoplasmosis


Preventive Treatment
Restrict pet cats from rodents, birds, and undercooked meat, and scavenge in garbage cans Cook meat until well done Eliminate cross-contamination from raw foods


Preventive Treatment
Wash hands thoroughly after working with soil, before and after handling foods, and before eating Immunocompromised persons and pregnant women should be particularly careful to avoid contact with cat feces and soil and to avoid ingestion of undercooked meats


Pyrimethamine Sulfadiazine Pyrimethamine + sulfadiazine Sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprime Spiramycin, Clindamycin No vaccine is available as yet


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