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toxoplasmosis miscarriages in pregnancy, stillbirth or disability and generally infested with cats It is believed to be an infection but this infection is not only transmitted by cats. Gynecology and Obstetrics Specialist Op. Dr. Alper Mumcu shares with you those who are curious about the subject.
: What is toxoplasmosis?
Kiss. Dr. Contact Alper directly Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii. First time in 1908 in Africa have gone called a species of rodent. Many species, including humans, cause infections in vertebrates all over the world. In contrast, only pets cats female and male intestines can come together to reproduce. Reproduction is not possible elsewhere. These infective parasites are excreted in the feces of the cat and are transmitted to other animals by the digestive system. In other words, the infection must enter through the mouth to infect humans or other animals.
: How is toxoplasmosis transmitted?
Kiss. Dr. Contact Alper directly Cats also receive this parasite when they eat an infected animal (such as a mouse) raw. The parasite then grows in the gut of the cat for about 2 weeks. In the following period, it is thrown out with the cat's faeces. In order for these parasites to be infectious, they must spend 24 hours in the outside world. They're not contagious before. An infected cat throws parasites with feces for about 2-3 weeks. There is no parasite in the cat's faeces in the following period.
Once a toxoplasma infection occurs, the cat gains immunity and will not be re-infected later and does not have infectious properties. A similar feature exists in humans. Once infected, a person gains immunity and does not get sick again. Stray cats usually get this infection very early in life and gain immunity. Therefore, infection from large stray cats is a very remote possibility. It is impossible to see the disease in home cats who do not feed on raw meat and eat only dry food and do not go out on the street.
the cat excrement Parasites that are thrown into the soil and become contagious within 24 hours pass into the digestive system of animals such as cattle, sheep, cows during feeding (eg in pastures). It then passes through the muscle tissue and infects the animal. When the meat of such an animal is eaten by a person without cooking or undercooking, it directly causes infection in that person. Another way of transmission is to eat fruits and vegetables that have come into contact with the soil with toxoplasma without proper washing.
As can be seen, toxoplasma can be transmitted to man in 3 basic ways.
1-) To contact an infected cat's feces and then bring the contact to the mouth without washing
2-) Eat the meat of an infected animal without thoroughly cooking
3-) Interference There is one more way of transmission in humans:
4-) Infected baby from an expectant mother during pregnancy
: How often it occurs
Kiss. Dr. Contact Alper directly There is no clear statistics about the incidence of toxoplasmosis worldwide. However, it is estimated that approximately 25-50% of people are in contact with the parasite and infected at any time in their lives. It is seen more in temperate climates. It is estimated that in France, where the disease is most prevalent, 65% of people experience this infection.
: What are the symptoms?
Kiss. Dr. Contact Alper directly Toxoplasma infections in adults usually do not show much symptoms. Most of the time, it is avoided as a mild cold, which does not require a visit to a doctor. Symptoms such as mild muscle and joint pain, weakness, fatigue, swelling of the lymph nodes may occur. Symptoms spontaneously regress within a few weeks to a few months. It can rarely cause eye infections. Immune system suppressed leukemia, lymphoma, AIDS patients and organ transplant patients may be much more severe and may even cause death.
: How is it diagnosed?
Kiss. Dr. Contact Alper directly Toxoplasmosis is established in the blood by detecting the presence of antibodies produced by the body's immune system against this parasite. In the examination, IgG positivity against toxoplasma means that the disease has been passed before and is immune. In such a case, it is not possible to catch the toxoplasm again. The presence of IgM in the blood may indicate the presence of an active new infection. In such a case, the diagnosis is made and treated with repeated increases in IgM levels. There is no disease in both IgG and IgM negativity and the person has never experienced this disease before and precautions should be taken in order not to catch toxoplasma.
: What are the risks for the baby?
Kiss. Dr. Contact Alper directly Only 30-40% of women who suffer from toxoplasma infection during pregnancy pass on this disease to their babies. The risk of maternal infection affecting the baby is directly related to gestational age. This risk is higher in the last trimester of pregnancy and can reach up to 70%, while this rate is around 15% in first trimester infections. However, in the first trimester, although the baby is unlikely to get an infection, the baby will have more harm. In other words, it is easier to infect the baby in the last 3 months but it is extremely unlikely to cause harm, whereas the infection which is very difficult in the first 3 months causes more serious problems. Early toxoplasma can cause miscarriages or stillbirths. Other effects of toxoplasmosis include brain damage, water retention (hydrocephalus), visual and hearing disorders, developmental delay, mental retardation and nervous system disorders such as epilepsy.
: What should be done if toxoplasma infection is detected during pregnancy?
Kiss. Dr. Contact Alper directly During Pregnancy Toxoplasma infection in the mothers during pregnancy does not necessarily mean that the baby will be a problem. In such a case, detailed ultrasonography is used to determine whether the infection is damaging the baby. After the 20th week of gestation, blood can be taken from the baby's umbilical cord (cordocentesis) and definitive diagnosis can be made. Here, the presence of IgM in infant blood is a definite sign of infection in the infant.
: What is the treatment?
Kiss. Dr. Contact Alper directly Treatment of toxoplasmosis in a non-pregnant woman is done with antibiotics. It is not clear whether the antibiotic administered in pregnant women prevents possible damage to the baby. If severe sequelae is detected in the baby, the method of choice is termination of pregnancy.
: What should be done if it is determined that there is no immunity to toxoplasmosis during pregnancy?
Kiss. Dr. Contact Alper directly In such a case, protection measures against toxoplasmosis should be taken into consideration and periodically the presence of antibodies against toxoplasmosis should be investigated.
: What are the ways of protection from toxoplasmosis?
Kiss. Dr. Contact Alper directly The most effective way to protect from toxoplasmosis is to comply with hygiene rules
• Wash your hands frequently.
• If you are dealing with soil, always wear gloves.
• Do not eat raw or undercooked meat (salami, sausage etc.)
• Wash hands after contact with raw meat
• Do not cut any raw material without washing thoroughly with the knife you cut raw meat
• Raw meat Do not do any further work on the cutting boards until you wash them thoroughly.
• Wash raw vegetables and fruits very well
• Preferably do not eat green leafy salads outside
• Do not drink unpasteurized milk, do not use products made from such milk
• Do not change the sand if there are cats at home
• Make sure the cat's sand changes at 24-hour intervals
• your cat Do not leave out
• Don't feed your cat raw meat