Toxoplasmosis is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Emergency Consult.

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  • Toxoplasma gondii—intracellular protozoan parasite:
    • 3 forms:
      • Tachyzoite: Asexual invasive form
      • Tissue cyst: Persists in tissues of infected hosts during chronic phase
      • Oocyst: Contains sporozoites and produced during sexual cycle in cat intestine
  • Transmission:
    • Ingesting tissue cysts or oocysts:
      • Ingesting undercooked meat
      • Vegetables contaminated with oocysts
      • Contact with cat feces, through cat or soil
    • Transplacental
    • Blood product
    • Organ transplantation


  • 70% of adults seropositive
  • Asymptomatic in most immunocompetent patients
  • Worldwide; cats are the common host
  • Incubation is 7 days with a range of 4–21 days

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