Table of contents:
- Features of the spread of Toxoplasma
- How does infection occur
- Prevention of toxoplasmosis
- Preventing infection in pets
Video: Toxoplasmosis - How Is Toxoplasmosis Transmitted, Modes Of Transmission And Methods Of Treatment
Last updated 22 June 2017 at 11:42
Reading time: 6 minutes
Everyone should know how toxoplasmosis is transmitted, whether it is possible to protect oneself from it, and how not to get infected with toxoplasmosis. The methods and routes of infection with toxoplasmosis are especially important for pregnant women to keep in mind since the infection can cause abortion, contribute to the occurrence of congenital malformations of the fetus and even lead to death.
- 1 Features of the spread of Toxoplasma
- 2 How does infection occur
3 Prevention of toxoplasmosis
- 3.1 Compliance with the rules of personal hygiene
- 3.2 Compliance with cooking technology
- 3.3 Systematic examination by specialists
4 Prevention of infection in pets
4.1 Similar articles
Features of the spread of Toxoplasma
According to the World Health Organization, toxoplasmosis is one of the most dangerous zoonotic infections for humans. The disease is characterized by ubiquitous distribution, regardless of natural conditions and has no geographical boundaries of extension.
The difference between toxoplasmosis and many other infections is that it affects all mammals. But it is the felines that can be a source of infection - only in their body does Toxoplasma reproduce sexually and form dangerous cysts.
The cyst is a kind of "egg", under the strong shell of which the parasitic infection can persist for up to several years. Cysts from cat feces are carried with sand, dust, get on garden and garden plants, grass, and other animals.
The parasite is characterized by two ways of reproduction:
- asexual - inside one organism, without the formation of stable cysts - such a "carrier" of infection is not contagious and does not pose a danger to others;
- reproductive pathway occurs only in the intestines of the feline family with the formation of cysts that are resistant to environmental influences. Having left the organism of the "host", they are viable for a long time, tolerate drying and temperature extremes well, keeping the danger of infection of other organisms.
When Toxoplasma enters the body of an adult, a healthy person, the immune defense turns on and the disease does not develop. Many carriers of the infection do not even suspect that they have had toxoplasmosis. This form of the disease is called "latent".
A person - a carrier of infection at this time is not contagious. This is how toxoplasmosis develops in most people. In rare cases, in people with reduced immunity, after infection, an acute form of the disease develops, which is dangerous with serious complications for the whole body.
Categories of people at risk for Toxoplasma infection:
- newborns and children under the age of seven;
- aged people;
- pregnant women (because of the danger to the fetus);
- people undergoing drug therapy associated with a temporary decrease in the immune status of the body, for example, with anti-cancer treatment, organ transplantation, etc.;
For the above categories of people, toxoplasmosis infection can lead to serious consequences: disturbances in the nervous system, cause damage to internal organs and eyes.
Infection of a pregnant woman is especially dangerous with the risks of abortion, the birth of a dead fetus or a child with congenital malformations.
How does infection occur
Medicine distinguishes two ways of transmission of toxoplasmosis: acquired and congenital. A congenital form of the disease or intrauterine infection is dangerous with possible serious consequences for the baby.
In this case, the infection of the fetus occurs through the mother's blood. If a woman becomes infected in the first trimester of pregnancy, and leads to damage to the embryo, the pregnancy will be terminated. Disease in the second trimester is also dangerous due to miscarriage or the development of fetal malformations.
Toxoplasmosis causes visual impairment, a disease of the nervous system, and provokes hearing loss. Often, a congenital form of infection with an infection causes the death of a newborn.
According to gynecologists, the longer the gestation period, the lower the likelihood of serious consequences for the body of the unborn child.
The acquired route of infection is considered the safest. According to statistics, only one person in a hundred has complications when infected with toxoplasmosis.
The following alimentary routes of infection with this form of the disease are distinguished:
Oral route of infection. Toxoplasmosis is carried by animals. Therefore, most often the disease is transmitted through the ingestion of contaminated foods. This method of transmission is ubiquitous. It is important not to forget this when visiting developed European countries with a high food culture. Bloody steak, tartar - any meat that has not undergone serious heat treatment carries a threat of infection.
Poorly peeled vegetables, fruits, herbs are also a common cause of infection. Even drinking raw tap water, and even more so from natural springs, can contribute to the transmission of infection. Industrial filters do not help in this case. Children can become infected by eating raw cow's or goat's milk.
The second way the infection spreads to a person is called the medical term percutaneous, or subcutaneous. In this case, the causative agent of the disease enters the human body through wounds and scratches on the skin. Therefore, it is important, in the presence of even minor injuries, to thoroughly clean and disinfect any skin wounds. Subsequent dressings will prevent Toxoplasma cysts from getting into the wounds.
Infection with Toxoplasma cysts is often possible during work with the soil. The reason is that it is the land that can serve as the second stage in the chain of infection. Typically, infected cat excrement ends up in the soil, and from there is carried everywhere. The owners of their own summer cottages and vegetable gardens are at risk.
The next method of infection - when transplanting donor organs, is much less common, mainly due to the fact that the very category of such operations is very expensive and not widespread in our country. There is a risk of infection from transfusion of blood that is infected with cysts.
It was previously thought that all cat owners were at increased risk of contracting toxoplasmosis. Infectious disease specialists advised pregnant women to get rid of pets. In fact, as mentioned above, only representatives of the feline family are animals, in the intestines of which infection can multiply with the formation of germ cells - cysts.
But there are several peculiarities: just like in humans, not all infected cats are dangerous.
In addition, the ability to become infected in cats appears approximately one week after infection. In this case, the infection can be transmitted within 2–3 weeks.
Toxoplasmosis includes such ways of infection by cats as eating infected rodents and birds, infected raw meat, grass with cysts.
Prevention of toxoplasmosis
It is especially important to regularly get tested for toxoplasmosis for people at risk. If the examination showed you are immune to Toxoplasma, then you do not have to worry - the period of the disease has already been transferred by you.
If the result is negative, you just need to be more attentive to yourself and at the first suspicion of infection to undergo an examination, therapy will be prescribed if necessary.
In the absence of immunity to the causative agent of the disease, compliance with all preventive measures and regular examination are required during the entire period of bearing the child.
Preventing infection in pets
It is unrealistic to prevent the disease in cats that are on the street, and it is quite within your power to prevent the infection of a pet. You should be careful about feeding it, do not give raw meat, especially pork and lamb. The cat should not be allowed to catch rats, mice and insects.
Despite the widespread occurrence of toxoplasmosis, its development rarely takes on dangerous forms. Strengthening immunity, timely diagnosis and preventive measures will prevent infection, and regular examination of pregnant women by specialists will prevent dangerous consequences for the unborn child.