Toxoplasmosis - Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment

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Toxoplasmosis - Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment
Toxoplasmosis - Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment

Video: Toxoplasmosis - Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment

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Video: Toxoplasmosis | Acquired vs Congenital | Signs, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment 2023, February
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Toxoplasmosis - causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment Toxoplasmosis is a dangerous infectious disease. There are two forms of toxoplasmosis: congenital and acquired. Acquired toxoplasmosis may not manifest itself in any way for a rather long time, congenital usually leads to serious consequences and even early death of an infected child. Acute toxoplasmosis occurs with febrile intoxication syndrome, lymphadenopathy, hepatosplenomegaly, skin rashes; in severe cases - with the development of myocarditis, encephalitis, encephalomyelitis. The diagnosis of toxoplasmosis is established using bacteriological culture, PCR, ELISA. Treatment of toxoplasmosis includes the use of etiotropic antiparasitic drugs, desensitizing, fortifying agents, toxoplasmin immunotherapy.What is toxoplasmosis Toxoplasmosis is an infectious disease caused by the simplest parasite Toxoplasma gondii and is characterized mainly by a chronic course, enlarged lymph nodes, liver, spleen, lesions …

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Toxoplasmosis is a dangerous infectious disease. There are two forms of toxoplasmosis: congenital and acquired. Acquired toxoplasmosis may not manifest itself in any way for a rather long time, congenital usually leads to serious consequences and even early death of an infected child. Acute toxoplasmosis occurs with febrile intoxication syndrome, lymphadenopathy, hepatosplenomegaly, skin rashes; in severe cases - with the development of myocarditis, encephalitis, encephalomyelitis. The diagnosis of toxoplasmosis is established using bacteriological culture, PCR, ELISA. Treatment of toxoplasmosis includes the use of etiotropic antiparasitic drugs, desensitizing, fortifying agents, toxoplasmin immunotherapy.

The content of the article:

  • 1 What is toxoplasmosis
  • 2 Causes of toxoplasmosis
  • 3 How does toxoplasmosis infection occur
  • 4 Diagnosis of toxoplasmosis
  • 5 Manifestations of toxoplasmosis

    • 5.1 Congenital toxoplasmosis
    • 5.2 Acquired toxoplasmosis
  • 6 Symptoms of toxoplasmosis
  • 7 Treatment of toxoplasmosis

    7.1 Traditional medicine recipes

  • 8 Prevention of toxoplasmosis

What is toxoplasmosis

Toxoplasmosis is an infectious disease caused by the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii and is characterized mainly by a chronic course, enlarged lymph nodes, liver, spleen, muscle damage, nervous system, heart and eyes.

toxoplasmosis
toxoplasmosis

Among infectious diseases caused by protozoa, toxoplasmosis is one of the most widespread and most dangerous for expectant mothers. The prevalence of toxoplasmosis in the world is incredibly high, mainly due to the countries of Africa, as well as Latin and South America, in which the infection rate of the population reaches 90%.

Rates in Europe and North America are below 25-50 percent of the population. Russia occupies the average position in Europe; up to 30% of the country's population is infected, approximately one infant in a thousand is infected with toxoplasmosis.

Toxoplasmosis is an insidious disease. It can be completely invisible and cause unpleasant complications during pregnancy. It can cause severe visual impairment or seizures. That is why it is better to know everything about toxoplasmosis. This is especially important if there is a cat or dog in the house, because pets are often very close to us, they need to be properly looked after and, if necessary, treated.

Causes of toxoplasmosis

Infection with human Toxoplasma occurs from domestic animals, most commonly cats. Such an infection is especially dangerous for pregnant women, so it is better for them not to contact cats.

Infection can also occur when eating meat products, eggs from infected animals that have not undergone sufficient heat treatment. Toxoplasma can enter directly into human blood through damaged skin or be transmitted by blood-sucking insects. Finally, there are cases of intrauterine infection.

Factors that can contribute to the appearance of the parasite in the body and increase the risk of toxoplasmosis:

Touch your mouth with dirty hands after touching the ground, after cleaning the litter box, or any other contact with cat feces.

Eat raw or undercooked meats, especially pork, lamb, or venison.

toxoplasmosis
toxoplasmosis

Touching your mouth after touching raw or undercooked / uncooked meat.

Organ transplant or blood transfusion (very rare).

If a woman is pregnant and contracted toxoplasmosis, the infection can be transmitted from her to the child, which can lead to serious consequences.

How does toxoplasmosis infection occur?

Human infection occurs either when eating the meat of infected animals, or when the feces of an infected cat enter the human body (most often with street dust or with the ground).

According to some reports, up to 25% of meat products are infected with toxoplasmosis, most often it is found in lamb, pork and venison. With careful heat treatment, the parasite dies and no infection occurs.

From a cat, a person most often becomes infected by the fecal-oral route, that is, eating food contaminated with cat feces, inhaling particles of this excrement when cleaning the cat litter, children often become infected through toys that the cat has come into contact with, or in the yard in a sandbox.

toxoplasmosis
toxoplasmosis

In addition, infection can occur when the pathogen comes into contact with damaged skin or mucous membranes (the parasite does not enter the body through intact skin). If the cat scratches you, infection can also occur, as the cat does not always wash its paws after using the toilet.

In general, sadly, cat feces with Toxoplasma surround us everywhere, and it is extremely difficult to protect ourselves from the disease. But this has its advantages: most women, even before pregnancy in a latent form, had had toxoplasmosis, have immunity, and now, even while expecting a baby, they are not afraid of any cats.

It should be noted that fresh faeces are not contagious. To acquire the ability to become infected, the pathogen needs maturation in the external environment. Therefore, fresh cat feces are not dangerous. If you clean the litter box right away and wash it clean with soap (and not just shake off poop in the toilet), then you will not get infected this way.

The cat itself becomes infected with toxoplasmosis by eating infected mice and birds, raw pork or lamb, kindly offered by the owner. Veterinarians believe that most cats that have ever walked outdoors are infected with toxoplasmosis.

toxoplasmosis
toxoplasmosis

Only cats that have contracted toxoplasmosis within the past three weeks are contagious. But it is worth remembering that a cat can be infectious for some time with each new infection. Nevertheless, in defense of cats, I would like to say that infection rarely occurs directly from a sick animal. The main source is still uncooked meat and street dust. When cat feces enter the external environment, the pathogen remains active for up to two years.

A person can also get infected from a dog, because a dog goes outside every day, can eat all kinds of nasty things from the ground, and then lick the owner, bring home Toxoplasma on its paws or on wool. Like humans, a dog can itself get sick with toxoplasmosis, since it is also an intermediate host of the parasite. Many veterinarians believe that a person gets infected from dogs at least as often as from cats.

Diagnosis of toxoplasmosis

When planning a pregnancy, it is important for a doctor not only to determine the presence of an infection in the body, but also to determine whether it is fresh or old. For this, immunoglobulins of class M and G (IgM and IgG) are determined in the blood.

If IgM is detected, but IgG is not, this is the most unfavorable situation, since it indicates that the infection has occurred recently.

If there are both IgM and IgG, it means that the infection occurred within a year (in this case, it is recommended to repeat the study after 3 weeks. An increase in IgG indicates an acute process).

The most common situation is IgG, no IgM. This suggests that sometime in the past there was contact with an infection, at present it does not pose a danger, since you have immunity.

toxoplasmosis
toxoplasmosis

If immunoglobulins are not found at all, then you do not have immunity to toxoplasmosis, and all precautions should be taken so as not to become infected with them during pregnancy.

To diagnose toxoplasmosis, blood PCR is sometimes prescribed. Diagnostics by PCR method is quite accurate, but its disadvantage is that it does not indicate the age of infection.

In order to accurately determine whether the fetus is infected (when a primary infection is detected in the mother), it is recommended to study the amniotic fluid by amniocentesis (the fetal bladder is pierced with a thin needle through the anterior abdominal wall). However, it should be remembered that Toxoplasma gets into the amniotic fluid a month after the mother is infected, therefore, the fetus can be diagnosed only after this period.

In some cases, the doctor, even after learning that a cat has been living in your house for many years, may not send you for analysis. The fact is that cat owners in 90% of cases have immunity to toxoplasmosis (the longer the cat lives, the more likely it is to be immune). Therefore, if the doctor, on the contrary, begins to insist that you part with a cat that has been living in your house for 5 years and is a member of the family, then it will be easier to part with the doctor.

Manifestations of toxoplasmosis

Distinguish between congenital and acquired toxoplasmosis.

Congenital toxoplasmosis

A particular danger is the likelihood of intrauterine infection of the fetus. Toxoplasma is able to cross the placenta and cause illness in an unborn child. But this is only possible if the mother becomes infected with toxoplasmosis during pregnancy. If she became infected even before pregnancy, nothing threatens the unborn child.

toxoplasmosis
toxoplasmosis

With congenital toxoplasmosis, organ damage is very significant. So, congenital malformations of the eyeball are possible, up to the development of blindness, underdevelopment of the brain and spinal cord. The severity of fetal damage is closely related to the timing of pregnancy - the younger the fetus, the more severe the disease.

As a result of congenital toxoplasmosis, the fetus either dies as a result of deformities incompatible with life, or is born with symptoms of acute congenital toxoplasmosis - intoxication, fever, jaundice, lesions of the liver, spleen, lymph nodes and central nervous system (encephalomyelitis).

But toxoplasmosis can affect the fetus only once, all subsequent pregnancies will be reliably protected by the antibodies formed in the mother.

Acquired toxoplasmosis

Acquired toxoplasmosis often occurs in a latent (latent) form; the acute form may resemble typhus or encephalitis, and eye damage is not uncommon. The acute stage lasts for about 7 days. Acute toxoplasmosis begins with high fever, headache, seizures, and vomiting. The liver and spleen are enlarged, pneumonia and paralysis can join.

toxoplasmosis
toxoplasmosis

The most frequent is the chronic form of the disease, with a prolonged increase in temperature to 37.2-37.8 degrees, headaches, enlarged liver, spleen, lymph nodes; muscle and joint pain. Carriage of infection is also possible.

Chronic form and carriage often turn into an acute form against the background of stress, pregnancy, decreased immunity of various nature. The severity of the manifestations of toxoplasmosis is significantly influenced by the general state of health, immune status. In people with immunodeficiency (including AIDS), the disease is extremely difficult, often fatal.

Symptoms of toxoplasmosis

Distinguish between acute and chronic forms of toxoplasmosis. The incubation period can last from 3 days to several months. Only general weakness, muscle pain, dyspeptic disorders, malaise, decreased performance are possible. In some cases, with an acute form of toxoplasmosis, the temperature rises to 38 ° C; often enlarged lymph nodes, which are welded together.

The increase occurs painlessly, but the density of the nodes increases noticeably (the size of the lymph nodes in toxoplasmosis is from 0.5 to 4 cm). At the same time, there is an increase in different groups of peripheral lymph nodes (cervical, axillary, inguinal, etc.). There may be an increase in the lymph nodes of the abdominal cavity, mediastinum.

Sometimes a rash in the form of papules, vaguely resembling roseola, is detected. Often, the liver and spleen enlarge, sometimes a picture of myocarditis develops, which has an infectious-allergic origin. Pains in the heart, palpitations, shortness of breath appear. The onset of the disease can be hidden.

toxoplasmosis
toxoplasmosis

In more severe cases of toxoplasmosis, the central nervous system may be damaged in the form of encephalitis or meningoencephalitis (sharp headache, vomiting, seizures with loss of consciousness, damage to the cranial nerves, various mental disorders). Clouding syndromes are characteristic.

Acute acquired toxoplasmosis sometimes becomes chronic with local lesions of organs and systems. The complaints of patients are similar: headache, weakness, emotional instability, slightly increased temperature. Concomitant diseases may develop: myocarditis, chronic pneumonia, bronchitis, chronic gastritis, enterocolitis, cholecystitis, hepatitis, arthralgia, myositis, muscle atrophy, in women - adnexitis, endometritis, which is accompanied by menstrual irregularities, infertility.

In chronic acquired toxoplasmosis, brain damage occurs over many years. Exacerbations occur periodically. The symptoms of the disease are diverse: they include impaired intelligence, memory, asthenia, encephalitis, meningoencephalitis, arachnoiditis, encephalomyelopolyradiculoneuritis.

The latent period of infection is up to two weeks. Symptoms of toxoplasmosis in humans in the initial period of the disease are almost not manifested, or they go unnoticed. The pathogenesis of the disease determines its nature - acquired or congenital, manifested by an acute course, chronic and latent.

  1. The acute course of the disease is characterized by a sudden onset with severe symptoms of body intoxication and fever, possible manifestation of hepatomegaly (enlarged liver) and splenomegaly (enlarged spleen). Sometimes there are skin rashes, signs of encephalitis and meningoencephalitis.
  2. The current is heavy. Complicated by focal or widespread inflammatory reactions of the myocardium, symptomatic manifestation of neuropsychiatric and cognitive functional disorders (memory, mental functions, etc.), often fatal.

The chronic course is characterized by a long sluggish picture. Sometimes with asymptomatic course, or with gradually increasing symptoms.

  1. Chronic course of intoxication.
  2. Prolonged low-grade fever (a month or more).
  3. Visual impairment - the development of progressive myopia.
  4. Symptoms of damage to the central nervous system (convulsions, seizures, hysteria, imbalance and suspiciousness).
  5. Failure in endocrine functions - impotence, decreased thyroid and adrenal functions, changes in the menstrual cycle.
  6. On the part of cardiac disorders, there are signs of tachycardia, heart pain, and a decrease in blood pressure.
  7. Symptoms of damage to the central nervous system (convulsions, seizures, hysteria, imbalance and suspiciousness).
  8. More than half of patients with chronic toxoplasmosis are diagnosed with hepatomegaly and splenomegaly. The liver responds to palpation with pain. Its functional pathology is significantly manifested.
  9. An increase in a large group of peripheral and mesenteric lymph nodes. When palpated, they are initially soft and painful, over time the pain goes away, they decrease, but their structure becomes dense.
  10. Muscle and joint pains - with muscle lesions, in addition to inflammatory processes, painful compacted areas caused by the formation of calcifications are felt in the muscle tissues.
  11. Dysfunction of the gastrointestinal tract with the manifestation of intoxication, xerostamia (dry mouth), apathy for food, pain in the epigastric zone, constipation and weight loss.

With a latent course, even a thorough diagnosis can reveal only residual old signs of sclerosed foci of lymph nodes or calcifications in muscle tissue. The diagnosis can only be confirmed by an OCP study, or an intradermal test for antibodies to toxoplasmosis.

Toxoplasmosis treatment

Treatment of acute and chronic toxoplasmosis is carried out with chloridine in combination with sulfanilamide drugs (sulfadimezine, sulfapyridazine, sulfadimethoxine, etazole, norsulfazole) in cycles of 5 days with intervals of 7-10 days between them. Usually 3 cycles are prescribed, which is one course of treatment.

toxoplasmosis
toxoplasmosis

Adults are prescribed chloridine at a dose of 0.025 g: on the first day - 4 times, on the following days - 2 times a day. Sulfadimezin should be taken according to the following scheme: on the first day - 3-4 g in 3-4 doses, on the following days - 2-3 g per day. To prevent the side effects of chloridine, folic acid is prescribed.

Contraindications to the use of chloridine and sulfanilamide drugs are diseases of the blood, kidneys, decompensation of cardiac activity. After the transferred toxoplasmosis, irreversible consequences may remain in the form of disturbances in the functioning of the brain, eyes, internal and genital organs, leading to disability.

Everyone should know this! To protect against toxoplasmosis, you should strictly follow the rules of personal hygiene: wash your hands after contact with raw meat, eat meat products that have been heat-treated. Tasting of raw minced meat is not recommended.

During long-term storage, raw meat should be frozen at -20 ° C for at least a day: under such conditions, tissue cysts die. In cat feces, oocysts with sporo-zoids enclosed in them remain viable for up to 2 years. Domestic cats should not be fed raw meat. Feces must be removed daily.

Congenital toxoplasmosis develops as a result of intrauterine infection of the fetus from a mother with toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasma circulating in the blood of the fetus is carried into all organs and tissues. The defeat of the fetus leads to miscarriages, the birth of a still child, as well as to severe organ damage, often incompatible with life. Chronic toxoplasmotic endometritis in the mother is especially dangerous for the fetus. In the fetus, areas of necrosis (dying tissue) and widespread infiltrates appear in all affected organs.

Traditional medicine recipes

Apply the funds offered for the treatment of alveococcosis.

toxoplasmosis
toxoplasmosis

1 tsp dry chopped herb of mad cucumber pour 1 glass of boiling silicon water, insist in a sealed container in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes, cool at room temperature for 45 minutes, drain. Take 1 tbsp. l. 3 times a day 15 minutes before meals. The plant is poisonous.

1 tsp Pour 1 cup of boiling silicon water over dry crushed leaves of the common beetroot, insist in a sealed container in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes, cool at room temperature for 45 minutes, drain. Take 1 tbsp. l. 3 times a day 15 minutes before meals. Internal use of gristle, as a poisonous plant, requires caution.

1 tsp yellow jaundice seeds pour 1 glass of boiling silicon water, insist in a sealed container in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes, cool at room temperature for 45 minutes, drain. Take 1 tbsp. l. 3 times a day 15 minutes before meals. Internal use of jaundice, as a poisonous plant, requires caution.

The powder of the roots of the European hoof is effectively taken at 0.2-0.5 g 2-3 times a day before meals. Internal use of the hoof, as a poisonous plant, requires caution.

1 tsp Pour 2 cups of boiling silicon water over dry crushed herb of common groundwort, leave for 1 hour, drain. Take 1 tbsp. l. 3 times daily before meals. Internal use of the wild rose, as a poisonous plant, requires caution.

toxoplasmosis
toxoplasmosis

The juice of the herb of the oak tree, as well as the common groundwort, diluted in a ratio of 1:10 with cool boiled silicon water, take 1 tbsp. l. Internal use of the wild rose, as a poisonous plant, requires caution.

1 tbsp. l. For ripe alder buckthorn (brittle) buckthorn fruits, pour 1 glass of boiling silicon water, insist in a sealed container in a boiling water bath for 30 minutes, cool at room temperature for 10 minutes, drain. Take 1/4 cup 3 times a day 30 minutes before meals. Internal use of buckthorn as a poisonous plant requires caution.

1 tbsp. l. Pour 1 cup of boiling silicon water into dry crushed roots of the medicinal plant, insist in a sealed container in a boiling water bath for 30 minutes, cool at room temperature for 10 minutes, drain. Take 1 tbsp. l. 3 times a day 30 minutes before meals. Internal use of the bush, as a poisonous plant, requires caution.

1 tsp Pour dry chopped milkweed herb with 2 cups of boiling silicon water, insist in a sealed container in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes, cool at room temperature for 45 minutes, drain. Take 1 tsp. 3 times a day 15 minutes before meals. The infusion also has a laxative, diuretic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, choleretic effect. Internal use of milkweed, as a highly poisonous plant, requires great care.

Prevention of toxoplasmosis

Good hygiene in food preparation is one of the main measures to protect against contamination.

Considering the possibility of a sexual route of infection, it is advisable to use barrier methods of contraception, antiseptic sprays. Particular attention to the prevention of toxoplasmosis should be paid in families where there are pets (in particular cats).

Do not let cats run on tables, limit your interaction with a cat, wash your hands thoroughly after contact with animals. Do not bring the animal to your face, much less kiss it. Have other family members change cat litter. Compliance with preventive measures can significantly reduce the risk of infection.

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