Congenital toxoplasmosis is a group of symptoms that occur when an unborn baby (fetus) is infected with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii.
Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors
The fetus can become infected with toxoplasmosis if the mother becomes infected with toxoplasmosis during the pregnancy. The infection may spread to the fetus during the pregnancy itself, or during labor or delivery.
For the mother, the toxoplasmosis infection is generally mild, and she may not be aware of it. Infection of the fetus, however, can cause severe problems. Infection early in pregnancy results in more severe problems than later infection.
Pictures & Images
Human infection with the toxoplasma gondii protozoan results from ingesting contaminated raw meat or soil, or careless handling of the contents of an infected cat’s litter box. An infected pregnant woman can transmit the infection to her fetus (congenital toxoplasmosis).
Review Date : 5/27/2009
Reviewed By : Benjamin W. Van Voorhees, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics and Psychiatry, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.