Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: June 14, 2004
Publication Date: July 6, 2005
Citation: Dubey, J.P., Hill, D.E., Sreekumar, C. 2005. Toxoplasmosis, in Kahn, C.M., eds. The Merck Veterinary Manual nineth editiion, Publication Services, Merck and Co., White House Station, New Jersey, 549 p.
Interpretive Summary: Infection by the single-celled parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, is common in livestock and humans. Scientists at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center review information on toxopasmosis in animals. This information will be useful to veterinarians and parasitologists.
Toxoplasma gondii is a protozoan parasite of warm-blooded animals including humans. It has a worldwide distribution. Cats, including all felines, are its definitive hosts and excrete environmentally-resistant oocysts in their feces. Hosts become infected by ingesting food or drink contaminated with oocysts or by ingesting undercooked meat infected with T. gondii. It causes mental retardation and loss of vision in congenitally-infected children and abortion in livestock. This chapter describes life cycle, epidemiology, diagnosis and prevention of T gondii.