Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: December 10, 1995
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Toxoplasmosis is a protozoan disease caused by Toxoplasma gondii. It is widely prevalent in humans and animals throughout the world, especially in Western Hemisphere. Virtually all warmblooded animals can act as intermediate hosts but the life cycle is completed only in cats, the definitive host. Cats excrete the resistant stage of T. gondii (oocysts) in faeces and oocysts can survive in the environment for months. Humans become infected congenitally, by ingesting undercooked infected meat, or by ingesting food and water contaminated with oocysts from cat faeces. It can cause mental retardation and loss of vision in congenitally infected children and deaths in immunosuppressed patients, especially those with AIDS. There is no vaccine to control toxoplasmosis in humans at the present time.