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Perinatal Infections


A. Organism: Toxoplasma gondii, an intracellular parasite

B. Epidemiology

1. Cats are the primary hosts for T. gondii toxoplasmosis

2. Modes of transmission

a. Contact with oocysts from the feces of an infected cat. These oocysts can be transported by insects, herpes, group B streptococcus, varicella, chicken pox

b. Consumption of cysts in

(1) Undercooked meat (a) Lamb (b) Pork

(2) Unpasteurized milk

c. Blood products, as well as organ transplants

3. In the United States, roughly 30% of women of childbearing age have serologic evidence of prior infection

a. This rate is much higher in some European countries

b. Approximately two per 1,000 pregnant women in the United States will seroconvert during their pregnancy

C. Clinical manifestations

D. The diagnosis in the adult generally relies on group B streptococcus, varicella, chicken pox serologic evaluation

Trimester Infants Infected Clinically