Toxoplasmosis in Human: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment
What Is Toxoplasmosis In Human?
Toxoplasmosis is a pathological condition that is caused by a parasite named Toxoplasma Gondii. This parasite is quite common and is found throughout the globe in abundance. Toxoplasmosis tends to cause very minimal if any symptoms. The maximum an affected individual may experience is flu like symptom, but this disease is potentially serious in infants who have been infected by their mothers and individuals with compromised immune system. Treatment for Toxoplasmosis is not necessary in a normally healthy individual, but if a female is pregnant or an individual has a compromised immune system then medications are available that may decrease the severity of the symptoms, although the best approach by far is preventing oneself from this disease.
What Are The Causes Of Toxoplasmosis In Human?
Toxoplasma Gondii is a unicellular parasite. This parasite is found to reproduce only in cats. When a human is infected with this parasite, it tends to form cysts almost anywhere in the entire body usually the brain or heart. Under normal circumstances, the parasite is kept quiet by the immune system of the body but in cases when the immune system is compromised like in the elderly population or in pregnant females this parasite becomes active causing potentially serious complications. A human can get infected with the parasite if he or she comes in contact with cat feces, which is infected, or if an individual has been gardening out in the yard and accidentally touches the mouth. People who eat pork, lamb etc. are more prone to get this disease. The parasite can be present in kitchen utensils which have been in contact with raw meat. Eating fruits without properly washing them is also a risk factor for getting Toxoplasmosis.
What Are The Symptoms Of Toxoplasmosis In Human?
In a healthy individual, Toxoplasmosis does not produce any symptoms but in immune compromised people there may be symptoms. Some of the symptoms of Toxoplasmosis are:
- Severe body pains
- Lymph node swelling
How Is Toxoplasmosis Diagnosed?
In United States, pregnant females are not checked during their pregnancy for Toxoplasmosis and neither are the infants screened and without proper screening this disease is difficult to diagnose. In case if the physician suspects Toxoplasmosis, then he or she will order blood tests to look for antibodies of the parasite and if found then Toxoplasmosis is more or less confirmed. If a pregnant female is diagnosed with Toxoplasmosis, then it becomes imperative to determine whether the baby is also infected or not. For that the following tests can be done:
Amniocentesis: This procedure can be safely done during the second trimester. The physician removes some fluid from the fluid in the amniotic sac surrounding the fetus and investigations are carried out.
Ultrasound scan: This test cannot diagnose Toxoplasmosis, but it can definitely tell the signs of the disease such as presence of hydrocephalus in the baby. Since this test does not rule out Toxoplasmosis, hence the newborn will need blood tests within the first year of life to exclude the diagnosis of Toxoplasmosis in case if the mother was infected.
What Are The Treatments For Toxoplasmosis In Human?
A healthy individual does not require any treatment for Toxoplasmosis, but in case of immune compromised people Daraprim or sulfadiazine may be prescribed.