toxoplasmosis and pregnancy
At the beginning of my pregnancy my Obs. asked me to stay at home, since she knew that I deal with cats daily. Toxoplasmosis and pregnancy
I thought that she was afraid of being exhausted, but it turned out she was concerned about Toxoplasmosis and pregnancy.
What is toxoplasmosis??
Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) is a single-celled parasitic organism that can infect most animals and birds.
Because T. gondii infectious organisms are excreted only in cat feces, wild and domestic cats are the parasite’s ultimate host.
But it affects all worm- blooded animals, Infection usually occurs by eating undercooked contaminated meat.
Exposure from infected cat feces, or mother-to-child transmission during pregnancy
What will happen if I get infected with toxoplasmosis during my pregnancy??
If you become infected for the first time just before or during your pregnancy
, you can pass the infection to your baby (congenital toxoplasmosis)
, even if you don’t have signs and symptoms yourself.
Your baby is most at risk of contracting toxoplasmosis,
if you become infected in the third trimester and least at risk if you become infected during the first trimester.
On the other hand, the earlier in your pregnancy the infection occurs,
the more serious the outcome for your baby.
Many early infections end in stillbirth or miscarriage.
Infants who survive are likely to be born with serious problems, such as:
- An enlarged liver and spleen
- Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice)
- Severe eye infections
Only a small number of babies who have toxoplasmosis show signs of the disease at birth.
Often, infants who are infected don’t develop signs:toxoplasmosis and pregnancy
which may include hearing loss, mental disability or serious eye infections — until their teens or later.
How the pregnant mom could be infected??
- Come into contact with cat feces that contain the parasite.
- Eat or drink contaminated food or water.
- Use contaminated knives, cutting boards or other utensils.
- Eat unwashed fruits and vegetables.
Prevention and control for pregnant mom
- Wear gloves when you garden or handle soil.
- Don’t eat raw or undercooked meat.
- Wash kitchen utensils thoroughly.
- Wash all fruits and vegetables.
- Don’t drink unpasteurized milk.
For cat lovers and pregnancy woman:
1- Help your cat stay healthy. Keep your cat indoors and feed it dry or canned cat food, not raw meat.
Cats can become infected after eating infected prey or undercooked meat that contains the parasite.
2- Avoid stray cats or kittens. toxoplasmosis and pregnancy
3- Have someone else clean your cat’s litter box.
How to diagnose toxoplasmosis for me or for my cat??
talk to your doctor about your doubts and fear ,
in general you will be tested for toxoplasmosis before your pregnancy or at the first trimester.
It’s a blood testing and we are looking for the IGg (the antibody for toxoplasmosis)
Ask your cat’s vet for the rapid test of toxoplasmosis which can be done at the clinic.
Our to be more accurate you can do the blood work test.
At the end we wish you a healthy pregnancy, and we hope not to consider your cat as a problem.
She needs your love , all what you need is to follow the prevention methods mentioned above