• Definition

    Toxoplasmosis is an infection due to the parasite Toxoplasma gondii.

    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    Toxoplasmosis is found in humans worldwide, and in many species of animals and birds. Cats are the definitive host of the parasite.

    Human infection may result from:

    • Blood transfusions or solid organ transplants
    • Carelessly handling cat litter, which can lead to accidental consumption of infectious particles
    • Eating contaminated soil
    • Eating raw or undercooked meat (lamb, pork, and beef)

    Toxoplasmosis also affects people who have weakened immune systems.

    The infection may also be passed from an infected mother to her baby through the placenta. See: Congenital toxoplasmosis