Mar 31, 2011
What is toxoplasmosis
Response from Dr. McGowan
Thanks for the question.
Toxoplasmosis is a type of parasitic infection that can be acquired at birth or through ingestion (undercooked meat) or contact with animals, such as cats (changing kitty litter, etc). It is not a bacteria or a fungus or a virus but a single celled organism which must live inside its host. The usual host is the cat, but sometimes it gets into humans were it cannot complete its life cycle (basically making babies) and ends up where it does not belong. It can cause infections in the eyes, the brain or the lungs. Luckily the problem usually only arises in people whi have a CD4 count below 100. Prevention with bactrim or mepron is efefctive and treatment is available to suppress the disease if it occurs. Getting on HIV meds to keep the CD4 count up is best approach to avoid having disease from toxo.
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