Toxoplasma gondii, IgG antibodies
Why this test?
To determine whether a woman planning pregnancy has been infected and whether she has immunity to this infection.
During pregnancy, the study is necessary if a possible infection is suspected.
To detect infection in immunocompromised people who are suspected of having toxoplasmosis or who have severe symptoms.
In what cases is it prescribed?
With symptoms of toxoplasmosis.
If the patient has been in contact with cat excrement, raw (poorly cooked) meat or contaminated water.
If the doctor wants to determine whether a woman has previously had toxoplasmosis.
At the stage of preparation for pregnancy to determine the intensity of immunity to this infection.
With symptoms of flu-like diseases in people with a weakened immune system.
T. gondii is a microscopic parasite whose primary host is the cat.
It can also be found in the soil. This infection does not cause any symptoms or occurs in the form of mild flu-like illnesses. In a fetus infected from the mother, or in a person with a weakened immune system, t. Gondi can lead to serious complications.
T. Gondi is very common. It is found all over the world, and in some countries up to 95% of the population is infected. According to WHO, about 23% of people over the age of 12 suffer from toxoplasmosis. Infection occurs when eating contaminated food (especially poorly cooked meat) or water, as well as when picking up cat litter, when the infection is transmitted from mother to child, and in rare cases during organ transplantation or blood transfusion. The final hosts for T. Gondi are wild and domestic cats.
After cats become infected by eating infected birds, rodents or raw meat, gondii undergo a sexual cycle of development, which leads to the formation of eggs enclosed in a protective shell (oocyst). During the activity of the pathogen, millions of microscopic oocysts can be released from the cat's feces in a few weeks. They become contagious within two days and can remain viable for several months. In all other hosts, including humans, T. gondii complete only a limited part of their life cycle and then form inactive cysts in the muscles, brain, and eyes.
The host's immune system protects the human body from further infection. The latent period can last throughout the life of the host until immunity declines. Primary or repeated infection with T. Gondi leads to pronounced symptoms of the disease in people with a weakened immune system, for example, in HIV / AIDS patients undergoing chemotherapy, patients after organ transplantation or taking immunosuppressants.
The eyes and nervous system can be affected, causing headaches, convulsions, confusion, fever, encephalitis, loss of coordination and blurred vision. When a pregnant woman is infected, there is a 30-40% chance that the infection will be transmitted to the unborn child.
Moreover, if the infection occurs at the beginning of pregnancy, it can cause miscarriages, stillbirths or lead to serious complications in newborns, including mental retardation, seizures, blindness and enlargement of the liver or spleen. Many infected children, especially those infected near birth, are born healthy, but several years later develop severe eye infections, hearing loss, and mental retardation. When a person comes into contact with T. gondii, their immune system reacts by producing antibodies against the parasite.
Two types of antibodies to Toxoplasma can be detected in the blood: IgM and IgG. IgG antibodies are produced by the body several weeks after initial infection to provide long-term protection. IgG levels increase during active infection and then stabilize as soon as the disease resolves and the parasite becomes inactive. Once exposed to T. Gondi, a person will have some measurable amount of IgG antibodies in the blood throughout their life. This test can be used, along with the IgM test, to help confirm the presence of acute or past Toxoplasma infection.