Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a tiny organism called a protozoon. Many people are infected with this protozoon. However, few people have any symptoms or problems from it.
Toxoplasmosis is passed from animals to humans. People can contract it by:
- Touching infected cat feces or something that has had contact with cat feces, such as soil or insects
- Eating undercooked, infected meat, or by touching your mouth after touching the meat
- In rare cases, receiving a blood transfusion or an organ transplant
A pregnant woman who gets toxoplasmosis for the first time may pass it to her unborn child. Active infection usually occurs one time in a person’s life, although the protozoon remains inactive in the body. Generally, if a woman has become immune to the infection before getting pregnant, she will not pass the condition to her baby.
Last reviewedNovember 2012by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.