Parasites - Toxoplasmosis (Toxoplasma infection)

Toxoplasma gondii in mouse ascitic fluid. Smear


Toxoplasmosis is considered to be a leading cause of death attributed to foodborne illness in the United States. More than 40 million men, women, and children in the U.S. carry the Toxoplasma parasite, but very few have symptoms because the immune system usually keeps the parasite from causing illness. However, women newly infected with Toxoplasma during or shortly before pregnancy and anyone with a compromised immune system should be aware that toxoplasmosis can have severe consequences.

Toxoplasmosis is considered one of the neglected parasitic infections of the United States, a group of five parasitic diseases that have been targeted by CDC for public health action.

Image: Toxoplasma gondii in mouse ascitic fluid. Smear. (Credit: DPDx)