Features

March 2010 Issue

The Truth About Toxoplasmosis

Experts discuss the truth — and the misinformation, as well — that surrounds this zoonotic disease.

Toxoplasmosis is a fairly common zoonosis (a disease that can be shared between humans and animals); 30 to 40 percent of adult humans, and roughly the same percentage of cats, have antibodies that indicate prior exposure to the organism that causes the disease. Prevention is Best. Nevertheless, its particulars are still unfamiliar to many people. The disease poses a threat primarily to fetuses and to immunosuppressed patients, but an understanding of the organism’s life cycle, how transmission occurs and can be avoided, and the signs of infection can greatly reduce the risk of serious disease.

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