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March 11, 1961


JAMA. 1961;175(10):901-902. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040100065016

Congenital as well as acquired toxoplasmosis may be a diffuse infection that spares no organ or system in the body. The etiologic agent (Toxoplasma gondii) responsible for the malady was discovered independently in 1908 by Nicolle and Manceaux of Tunis in a north African rodent, the gondi, and by Splendore of Sao Paulo, Brazil, in the rabbit. The first proved human infections were reported by Wolfe, Cowen, and Paige in New York City in 1939. The malady, a newcomer to contemporary clinical medicine, was claimed initially by the pediatrician because the first recognized cases represented congenital infections. The most obvious clinical symptoms are related to infestation of the eye and involvement of the central nervous system. Thus, the interest of the pediatrician came to be shared with the ophthalmologist and neurologist. Studies in recent years have disclosed generalized tissue dissemination of Toxoplasma in the heart, lungs, nasopharynx, abdominal organs, and

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