Toxoplasmosis is a protozoan disease caused by Toxoplasma gondii. Cats are the definitive hosts, shedding oocysts that become infective a few days later. Many animals may be infected to become intermediate hosts, carrying infective cysts in various organs including muscles. Closing the cycle, cats typically become infected when eating rodents that contain cysts. Humans acquire infection from ripe oocysts or eating meat from infected animals (e.g. pork). In immunocompetent persons and pregnant women, infection rarely produces symptoms (like lymphadenitis). Within a few weeks, infection is limited to a few cysts followed by life-long specific immunity unless hampered by severe immunodeficiency.
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Last date updated on June, 2014