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July 1965

Connatal Ocular Toxoplasmosis

Author Affiliations

Rotterdam, Netherlands
From the Central Pathological Laboratory, Municipal hospitals, Dr. Molewaterplein 36, Rotterdam.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1965;74(1):48-54. doi:10.1001/archopht.1965.00970040050012

The clinical picture of generalized Toxoplasma infection in the newborn is characterized by jaundice and enlargement of the liver and spleen: a condition resembling erythroblastosis fetalis, meningoencephalitis, and retinochoroiditis. The cerebral and ocular localization of the infection are in most instances not recognized before the second, often fatal stage of the disease in which internal hydrocephalus, intracerebral calcifications, and microphthalmia become apparent.

Postmortem examination reveals in the majority of these infants a striking contrast between the obvious active inflammatory processes in the brain and in the retina and the minor inflammatory or noninflammatory visceral lesions. This seems due to a delayed development of immunity in the central nervous system, permitting prolonged microbial proliferation. Frenkel (1962) found the antibody gradient between plasma and cerebrospinal fluid to be 500:1 in a patient, and 1,000:1 in a dog with chronic toxoplasmosis.

In eight out of 17 autopsy cases of connatal toxoplasmosis in this

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