Toxoplasmosis is a zoonosis (a disease transmitted from animals to humans), with cats being the predominant source of infection. It is caused by the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii.
Most T. gondii infections are asymptomatic or present with a transient febrile illness, often with lymphadenopathy. However, primary infections acquired during pregnancy can cause stillbirth or congenital abnormalities, including blindness, encephalomyelitis, impaired brain functions and convulsions in the newborn. Infections can also be more severe in individuals who are infected with HIV or who are otherwise immunocompromised.
Toxoplasmosis can be treated with antibiotics but early detection of the disease is crucial for effective therapy.
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