Toxoplasma gondii – the facts
Pablo David Jimenez Castro
Thursday, May 2, 2019
The protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii was initially isolated from the rodent Ctenodactylus gundi, and it has been found worldwide from Alaska to Australia with nearly one third of the human population having been exposed to this parasite. All warm-blooded hosts, including humans, can be infected by any one of its three infective stages: tachyzoites, bradyzoites, and sporozoites. Felids are the definitive hosts of this intracellular pathogen. Although it usually causes mild disease or asymptomatic infection in immunocompetent adults, this parasite can cause devastating disease in congenitally infected children and those with depressed immunity. Because of its zoonotic potential, toxoplasmosis triggers the interest of the diverse medical and veterinary specialities. Consciousness needs to be increased that this disease can produce clinical cases not only in immunocompromised patients or through vertical transmission, but also in healthy patients. In this article, we will review the biology and the epidemiology of this parasite.
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