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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #382497

Research Project: Detection and Control of Foodborne Parasites for Food Safety

Location: Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory

Title: Congenital toxoplasmosis in humans: an update of rate of congenital infections and management

item Dubey, Jitender
item MURATA, FERNANDO - Non ARS Employee
item Kwok, Oliver
item VILLENA, ISABELLE - Laboratoire Parasitologie-Mycologie

Submitted to: Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/8/2021
Publication Date: 6/18/2021
Citation: Dubey, J.P., Murata, F.H., Cerqueira-Cezar, C., Kwok, O.C., Villena, I. 2021. Congenital toxoplasmosis in humans: an update of rate of congenital infections and management. Parasitology. 1-11.

Interpretive Summary: Toxoplasmosis is a worldwide zoonosis. The USDA provided the veterinary, clinical, and public health communities an indispensable resource by disseminating up to date scientific information on toxoplasmosis and its prevention. Humans become infected mostly by ingesting food and water contaminated with oocysts or by eating infected under cooked meat. Congenital toxoplasmosis can cause serious disease and death in children. It has a high social and economic impact with enormous costs to society. The rate of congenital toxoplasmosis varies from 1 infected child per 100-10,000 births. Here, authors compare congenital toxoplasmosis rates and severity of disease among different countries. Preventive measures are discussed. No experiments or surveys were performed since the redirection of USDA’s program on toxoplasmosis.

Technical Abstract: Infections by the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii are widely prevalent in humans and animals in Brazil. The burden of congenital toxoplasmosis in humans is considered to be very high. Most of these infected children are likely to develop symptoms or signs of clinical toxoplasmosis. Sequelae in fetus resulting from T. gondii infections in women who become infected with this parasite can be devastating and enormous efforts are directed in some countries to prevent these consequences. Here we provide an update on congenital toxoplasmosis in humans, especially rate of congenital infections in humans worldwide. Most information on rate of congenital transmission is from France and Brazil. Because of compulsory national screening program to detect and treat women with recently acquired T. gondii infection anti-toxoplasma therapy, the rate of congenital transmission and the severity of disease in children are declining. The severity of clinical toxoplasmosis in Brazilian children is very high may be associated with the genetic characteristics of T. gondii isolates prevailing in animals and humans in Brazil. Virtually little or no information is available on this topic from half of the world population that includes China, India, and Asia. Preventive measures are discussed.