July 1980

Congenital Toxoplasmosis

Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics Room 609 CDLD Building University of Alabama in Birmingham University Station Birmingham, AL 35294

Am J Dis Child. 1980;134(7):635-637. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1980.02130190003001

Toxoplasmosis, an infection caused by the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii occurs in many species of mammals and birds throughout the world. In man, toxoplasmosis is a very common infection with a prevalence ranging anywhere from 5% to 95% among young adults living in different parts of the world.1 In the United States, by the end of the fifth decade of life, approximately 50% of the population is asymptomatically, yet chronically infected. Despite this high prevalence, the diagnosis of toxoplasmosis is only rarely entertained as the cause of illness. However, the clinical importance of this infection derives from the fact that it may mimic a variety of clinical syndromes, it may cause severe, even fatal infection in the immunologically compromised host, or as we are reminded by Dr Stray-Pedersen in this issue of the Journal (p 638) that, T gondii may be transmitted from mother to fetus.1-4