Chart: 6 zoonoses you should know -- Toxoplasmosis

Chart: 6 zoonoses you should know -- Toxoplasmosis

source-image
Mar 12, 2010
veterinary_hookworm veterinary_tapeworm veterinary_roundworm veterinary_toxoplasmosis veterinary_cryptosporidiosis veterinary_lyme_disease

Common disease name

Toxoplasmosis
(Toxoplasmosis involves a protozoon parasite that infects virtually all warm-blooded vertebrates.)


Scientific name

Toxoplasma gondii


Method of infection

Cats: Ingestion of oocysts in feces, ingestion of tissues of intermediate host (e.g. rodents)

People: Ingestion of uncooked meat, exposure to infected cat feces (food, water, soil); usually not from shedding cat. Oocysts must sporulate in the environment before becoming infective.


Signs

Cats: Rarely causes clinical signs, but may cause lymphadenitis, encephalitis, coughing, dyspnea, weight loss, and lethargy

People: Rarely causes clinical signs, but may cause flu-like symptoms; in people with deficient immune responses it can lead to death, congenital malformation, or mental retardation


Treatment

There are no approved treatments, but clindamycin hydrochloride, pyrimethamine and a sulfonamide, and a trimethoprim-sulfonamide combination have been used with success.


People most at risk

Everyone is at risk, but especially immunosuppressed people, including pregnant women, fetuses, and children


Prevention

  • Keep cats indoors to prevent ingestion of infected animals and feces.
  • Avoid feeding uncooked meats or viscera to cats.
  • Remove feces from litter box daily.
  • Wash litter boxes with scalding water or steam.
  • Allow only immunocompetent, nonpregnant people to clean litter boxes.
  • Wash hands thoroughly after exposure to soil, sand, raw meats, and unwashed vegetables.
  • Wear gloves when gardening.
  • Cover children's sandboxes when not in use.

ADVERTISEMENT

Photo galleries

Guess what's wrong with GiGi

FIRSTLINE - Sep 01, 2015

By dvm360.com staff

Technicians at CVC in Kansas City spent a little time with GiGi, our stuffed pooch who was "rescued" from a local thrift store.

How old is my pet in human years?

FIRSTLINE - Aug 27, 2015

By C.A. Tony Buffington, DVM, PhD, DACVN

Share these quick facts to start a conversation about the care pets need as puppies and kittens and on through adulthood to senior life.

5 reasons your boss isn’t paying you more

FIRSTLINE - Aug 20, 2015

By Karen E. Felsted, CPA, MS, DVM, CVPM

Whining about your pay gets you nowhere. Learn why your bosses aren’t paying you more. Then bust through their excuses (ahem: reasons) to earn more at your veterinary practice.