More than half of Brazilians already had contact with toxoplasmosis

In Rio de Janeiro, the index found by researchers to test positive for the disease in the population was 56%

One in each two Brazilians already had contact with toxoplasmosis and had positive serology for the disease. The data is the researcher Maria Regina Reis Almond, head of the Laboratory for Toxoplasmosis of the Oswaldo Cruz Institute (IOC) of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz).

In Rio de Janeiro, the index found by researchers to test positive for the disease in the population was 56%. Higher number was recorded in the South, according to research carried out in an inland city gaucho. Have positive serology indicates that the person, at some point in his life, was exposed to the disease-causing, not necessarily meaning that got sick.

In Erechim in Rio Grande do Sul, were studied 2700 pregnant women were detected and there were seropositive for 73%. In this municipality, 17.7% of the population with the infection had ocular toxoplasmosis, which also affects babies for congenital pathways.

Although the disease is not extremely severe, it may in certain cases lead to blindness, or death. Toxoplasmosis is a self-limiting disease. About 90% of people who have contact with the parasite have no symptoms or have a very bland. The most common is to have a headache, muscle and joint pain, fatigue. Simulates the flu has a fever and lymph node infarction [lumps], ie, it can be anything. Any infection can give it.

More severe cases affecting immunocompromised persons, for chemotherapy against cancer, recent transplants or AIDS, which can be put to death. Toxoplasmosis can be easily detected by a blood test, as it is already part of prenatal examinations.

Currently, the researcher developed a survey to map the extent of disease in the Pantanal region, where the presence of large wild cats, which can transmit the parasite to the large cattle - they eat grasses and water contaminated with oocysts [a type of Immature Egg] toxoplasmosis - and then to humans.

<b> Disease </ b>

Caused by a protozoan (Toxoplasma gondii) that is reproduced in the feline digestive system and can cause blindness, miscarriages and even lead to death, transmission to humans occurs by ingestion of undercooked meat or poorly washed vegetables and fruits, as well contact with the parasite.

The cats eliminate the environmental oocyst, which goes to the tissue of the ox and the cyst form. There will be those carnivores that feed these animals, as the man who makes a barbecue rare, may become infected with the flesh, the researcher explained.

Another way is propagating through irrigation of vegetables with water contaminated by feces of cats with oocysts. Not sanitized for consumption, the vegetables end up infecting humans. Furthermore, the researcher warns that domestic cats should not sleep in bed with their owners and not climb on the table, because they can bring their paws oocysts of the parasite.

Research indicates that 16% of cats who have owners, but usually spend time outside the residence in contact with other cats and possibly other animals hunting, show the toxoplasmosis parasite. Have cats that eat only feed and never leave home have almost zero chance of having the disease.

No need to get rid of the cat. Just be careful. Especially the woman who never had contact with the disease. Because if it contaminates during pregnancy can pass to the baby, leading to abortion or leaving sequelae such as hydrocephalus and ocular toxoplasmosis, which can cause blindness.

With information <i> Agency Brazil </ i>