How do I know if my baby has toxoplasmosis?

Q: How is toxoplasmosis diagnosed? A: A blood test before or during pregnancy can determine if you have been exposed to the toxoplasma gondii parasite. If you are infected, another type of test can determine whether your baby is infected. In addition, fetal ultrasounds can determine if your baby’s organs are damaged.

What happens if my baby gets toxoplasmosis?

Toxoplasmosis can cause problems during pregnancy, including miscarriage, preterm birth or stillbirth. Most babies born with toxoplasmosis have no symptoms. Symptoms can include eye infections, swollen glands, liver or spleen, or jaundice.

Are babies tested for toxoplasmosis?

All babies born to women with confirmed toxoplasmosis in pregnancy will be monitored closely by paediatricians and receive blood tests during their first year.

Can toxoplasmosis be detected in an ultrasound?

A detailed ultrasound can’t diagnose toxoplasmosis. It can however, show whether your baby has certain signs, such as fluid buildup in the brain (hydrocephalus). However, a negative ultrasound doesn’t rule out the possibility of infection.

Can toxoplasmosis be cured in newborns?

Treatment. Babies born with congenital toxoplasmosis (TOXO) are treated with a combination of anti-toxoplasmosis medications (such as pyrimethamine, sulfadiazine, and leucovorin) for one year after birth. If certain symptoms of the eyes or nervous system are already present, steroids may be prescribed, as well.

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What birth defects does toxoplasmosis cause?

Infants with congenital toxoplasmosis usually don’t look sick at birth. Long-term studies show that up to 90% can develop problems over time, such as: vision loss, seizures, hearing loss, microcephaly (very small head and brain), hydrocephalus (too much fluid in the brain), or developmental delays.

How can a baby get toxoplasmosis?

Toxoplasmosis infection can be passed to a developing baby if the mother becomes infected while pregnant. The infection spreads to the developing baby across the placenta. Most of the time, the infection is mild in the mother. The woman may not be aware she has the parasite.

Has anyone had a baby born with toxoplasmosis?

Many (up to 90 percent of) babies born with congenital toxoplasmosis experience no immediate symptoms. However, one sign of infection is a premature birth or an abnormally low birth weight.

How easy is it to get toxoplasmosis?

You can catch it from contaminated meat that’s raw or not thoroughly cooked. You can also get toxoplasmosis by drinking contaminated water. In rare cases, toxoplasmosis may be transmitted through a blood transfusion or a transplanted organ. The parasite can also exist in feces.

Should I get tested for toxoplasmosis while pregnant?

They call for more education of pregnant women on toxoplasmosis. Doctors should watch carefully for symptoms. Mothers should get blood tests with the first prenatal visit in the first trimester and monthly afterward. Newborns should also be tested, writes Boyer.

Where is toxoplasmosis most commonly found?

Toxoplasmosis is most common in areas with warm, moist climates. More than 50% of the population in Central and Southern Europe, Africa, South America, and Asia are infected with toxoplasmosis. It is also common in France possibly due to the preference of minimally cooked and raw meat.

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How do you check for toxoplasmosis?

To find out if you have toxoplasmosis, your doctor can do a blood test to see if you have those antibodies. If you’ve been infected recently, your body may not have had time to make them. So even if your test doesn’t show any signs of them, your doctor may want to do another test a few weeks later to be sure.