A Comprehensive Review of Toxoplasmosis: Serious Threat to Human Health

The Open Public Health Journal 12 Feb 2024 REVIEW ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/0118749445281387240202094637


Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic disease caused by Toxoplasma gondii. Despite infecting a major fraction of the global population, T. gondii rarely results in clinically significant disease. Cats are the only known definitive host for this parasite, which sheds millions of oocysts in its feces every day, which then sporulate and become infective in the environment. This comprehensive review article aims to explain the etiology, pathogenesis, epidemiology, transmission, clinical symptoms, diagnosis, risk factors, public health importance, economic effect, treatment, and prevention of toxoplasmosis. A search for various publications in English with the criteria of reviewing articles explaining toxoplasmosis was carried out. T. gondii reproduces through two life cycles, namely the sexual cycle and the asexual cycle. In general, consuming parasite cysts in tainted food or water is how humans and other warm-blooded animals become infected with T. gondii. Nearly every region of the world has reported incidences of toxoplasmosis in humans, and around one-third of people are susceptible to latent infection. According to the reports, the main ways through which diseases spread are by water, tainted food, eating tissue cysts or oocysts, and congenital transmission. Infected individuals may experience asymptomatic cervical lymphadenopathy during an acute systemic infection. Diagnostic evaluation is very important for early detection, prevention of transmission, and as a reference for treatment options for infected pregnant women. Consuming undercooked meat is traditionally seen as a significant risk factor for developing toxoplasmosis. The impact of toxoplasmosis is very significant in humans because it causes abortion and disease in newborns, resulting in serious economic losses. To treat toxoplasmosis, dihydropteroate synthetase and dihydrofolate reductase inhibitors are advised. Toxoplasma transmission to humans can be avoided by thoroughly washing your hands with soap after handling meat, poultry, or shellfish.

Keywords: Toxoplasmosis, Toxoplasma gondii, Cat, Maternal health, Human health, Parasite.
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