Congenital toxoplasmosis


How does a pregnant woman get toxoplasmosis?

There are two common ways for pregnant woman to "catch" toxoplasmosis (become infected with the parasite that causes the disease). First, eating raw or undercooked meat that has the parasite in it can cause toxoplasmosis. Pork, mutton (sheep), and wild game (such as deer) are meats that are commonly infected with the parasite. About half of all toxoplasmosis infections in the United States are caused by eating raw/undercooked meat. The other way common way to become infected is through coming in contact with cat feces (poop) that is infected with the parasite. This happens most frequently by cleaning a litter box or by coming in contact with dirt that a cat pooped in (for example, from gardening, on unwashed fruit/vegetables, or in unfiltered water).

Jones, J., Lopez, A. and Wilson, M. (2003) Congenital toxoplasmosis. Am Fam Physician 67(10): 2131-2138.

Toxoplasmosis: Patient information handout. (2003). American Family Physician.

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