Toxoplasmosis.Lancet. 2004 Jun 12; 363(9425):1965-76.Lct
Toxoplasma gondii is a protozoan parasite that infects up to a third of the world's population. Infection is mainly acquired by ingestion of food or water that is contaminated with oocysts shed by cats or by eating undercooked or raw meat containing tissue cysts. Primary infection is usually subclinical but in some patients cervical lymphadenopathy or ocular disease can be present. Infection acquired during pregnancy may cause severe damage to the fetus. In immunocompromised patients, reactivation of latent disease can cause life-threatening encephalitis. Diagnosis of toxoplasmosis can be established by direct detection of the parasite or by serological techniques. The most commonly used therapeutic regimen, and probably the most effective, is the combination of pyrimethamine with sulfadiazine and folinic acid. This Seminar provides an overview and update on management of patients with acute infection, pregnant women who acquire infection during gestation, fetuses or infants who are congenitally infected, those with ocular disease, and immunocompromised individuals. Controversy about the effectiveness of primary and secondary prevention in pregnant women is discussed. Important topics of current and future research are presented.