Toxoplasma bendii, or T. gondii, is also a protozoan parasite. It is possible that it may be related to the coccidian protozoa rather than giardia. It can infect any warm-blooded animal, even humans. T. gondii’s unique characteristic is that it requires a cat to complete the life cycle and become infectious. Toxoplasmosis infected animals rarely experience symptoms due to their ability to adapt. Many cats can be infected by toxoplasmosis without showing symptoms. The same symptoms can be seen in humans as it does in animals, except that they are immunocompromised and pregnant. Toxoplasmosis can cause severe illness in people with compromised immune systems.
T. gondii’s life cycle.
Toxoplasma can only be found in members of the feline household. The parasite cannot complete its life cycle without a feline host. Infected cats begin the life cycle. They will begin to shed their oocysts (eggs), within a few weeks. The oocysts will become infected if the feces are left to incubate for 1-5 days. They become infectious when they ingest contaminated soil, plants, or water. They become rapidly dividing tachyzoites when they are ingested and absorbed by an intermediate host. They begin to damage and affect the host’s tissues at this stage. T.gondii become bradyzoites after the tachyzoites stage (rapidly divisive). They now migrate into the muscles of the intermediate hosts and become cysts. The bradyzoites can become tachyzoites if the intermediate host is eaten. The whole life cycle can be restarted if the intermediate host is eaten by a cat.
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How does it get contracted?
After a cat sheds its oocysts, or eggs, and has reached the infectious stage of life, it can be taken in many ways.
Directly from feline feces – Keep your litter boxes clean! They are not contagious. To become infected, they will need to live for at least 24 hours. Eliminate the risk immediately and wash your hands.
Sandboxes should be covered – Cats can use sandboxes for their outdoor litter box. To prevent infection, it is best to cover them.
Garden/vegetable – Although this is less likely to cause the disease, it is still possible. Oocysts, or eggs from cats, can be released into your garden and contaminate the soil. Wash your vegetables before you eat them, and remove as soon as possible.
Consuming contaminated meats – Lamb, pork, and venison are all more likely to become infected by T. gondii. Make sure you cook your food at the right temperature. Clean and sanitize all cutting boards, surfaces, and preparation areas.
Toxoplasmosis caused by drinking contaminated water – There were 110 cases in Greater Victoria of toxoplasmosis due to drinking contaminated water. Victoria has taken steps to prevent it from happening again. Canada is very careful about drinking contaminated water.
What will this do to my pets?
Most pets will not notice the symptoms. T. gondii can spread if the immune system of the pet is compromised. The parasite can cause tissue damage. It can cause eye infection, diarrhea, liver disease, respiratory disease, liver disease or neurological symptoms.
What does T. gondii do to humans?
T. gondii can affect humans in the same way as it affects pets. There will not be any symptoms in healthy adults. It can continue to reproduce and cause death in people with compromised immune systems. As long as the woman was not exposed before becoming pregnant, there is no risk of the parasite being transmitted to her baby. The fetus can be at risk if she is exposed to it after becoming pregnant. It can lead to miscarriages or birth defects.
Is there a treatment for this condition?
Toxoplasmosis can be difficult to diagnose. Although blood tests can be done to confirm that the cat was exposed to the parasite at some point, this does not mean that the parasite is active at the time of testing. It is usually treated with antibiotics if the parasite is found.