A: A blood test before or during pregnancy can determine if you have been exposed to the toxoplasma gondii parasite. If you are infected, another type of test can determine whether your baby is infected. In addition, fetal ultrasounds can determine if your baby’s organs are damaged.
What can toxoplasmosis do to an unborn baby?
Caught during pregnancy, toxoplasmosis can cause miscarriage, stillbirth or damage to the baby’s brain and other organs, particularly the eyes. However, most babies born with toxoplasmosis have no obvious damage at birth but develop symptoms, usually eye damage, during childhood or even adulthood.
Can toxoplasmosis be detected in an ultrasound?
A detailed ultrasound can’t diagnose toxoplasmosis. It can however, show whether your baby has certain signs, such as fluid buildup in the brain (hydrocephalus). However, a negative ultrasound doesn’t rule out the possibility of infection.
How often does toxoplasmosis occur in pregnancy?
If you get toxoplasmosis during pregnancy, you have a 3 in 10 chance (30 percent) of passing the infection to your baby. The later in your pregnancy you get infected, the more likely it is that your baby gets infected.
Should I get tested for toxoplasmosis while pregnant?
Feb. 8, 2005 – All pregnant women and newborns should be screened for a serious infection called toxoplasmosis, says one group of researchers. They say that the majority of women with the infection have no symptoms.
What birth defects does toxoplasmosis cause?
Infants with congenital toxoplasmosis usually don’t look sick at birth. Long-term studies show that up to 90% can develop problems over time, such as: vision loss, seizures, hearing loss, microcephaly (very small head and brain), hydrocephalus (too much fluid in the brain), or developmental delays.
Should I worry about toxoplasmosis?
Of those who are infected however, very few have symptoms because a healthy person’s immune system usually keeps the parasite from causing illness. However, pregnant women and individuals who have compromised immune systems should be cautious; for them, a Toxoplasma infection could cause serious health problems.
How do they test for toxoplasmosis when pregnant?
Amniocentesis. Your doctor can perform an amniocentesis after the first 15 weeks of pregnancy. They’ll use a very fine needle to remove a small amount of fluid from the amniotic sac, which is the sac that surrounds your baby. A laboratory will then test the fluid for signs of toxoplasmosis.
How do you find out if you have toxoplasmosis?
The diagnosis of toxoplasmosis is typically made by serologic testing. A test that measures immunoglobulin G (IgG) is used to determine if a person has been infected.
Can you get toxoplasmosis from breathing in cat litter?
As the cat feces dry, the oocysts may become aerosolized. They can thus be inhaled by a person changing cat litter or just walking in an area where cats have defecated. An outbreak of toxoplasmosis among patrons of a riding stable was thought to have occurred in this manner.
Where is toxoplasmosis most commonly found?
Toxoplasmosis is most common in areas with warm, moist climates. More than 50% of the population in Central and Southern Europe, Africa, South America, and Asia are infected with toxoplasmosis. It is also common in France possibly due to the preference of minimally cooked and raw meat.
Has anyone got toxoplasmosis while pregnant?
(If you had toxoplasmosis in the past, you won’t get it again, and your baby will be protected by your immunity.) Fortunately, the number of women who contract the infection during pregnancy is still relatively small, and not all of them transmit it to their babies.
How do you kill toxoplasmosis?
Most healthy people recover from toxoplasmosis without treatment. Persons who are ill can be treated with a combination of drugs such as pyrimethamine and sulfadiazine, plus folinic acid.
Can you breastfeed if you have toxoplasmosis?
A breastfeeding mother with toxoplasmosis can continue to breastfeed her infant, but should be cautious if her nipples are cracked or bleeding. Toxoplasmosis is a disease caused by a single-celled parasite called Toxoplasma gondii.
Do indoor cats carry toxoplasmosis?
It is unlikely that you would be exposed to the parasite by touching an infected cat because cats usually do not carry the parasite on their fur. In addition, cats kept indoors (that do not hunt prey or are not fed raw meat) are not likely to be infected with Toxoplasma.
Is toxoplasmosis curable during pregnancy?
The Toxoplasma infection can be treated during pregnancy with antibiotic medication. The earlier the infection is identified and treated, the greater the chance of preventing infection of the unborn child. If the child has already been infected, treatment can make the disease less severe.