Toxoplasma gondii, PCR-quality
Why this test?
To determine the activity of toxoplasma infection in pregnant women and in patients with immunodeficiencies.
To assess the risk of fetal infection during pregnancy.
For the differential diagnosis of diseases that occur with fever, encephalitis and damage to the organs of vision.
In what cases is it prescribed?
In case of suspicion of toxoplasmosis infection (symptoms: fever, headache, neurological disorders, severe infectious lesions of the visual organs) or its carrier and in the presence of risk factors for contracting toxoplasmosis.
When toxoplasmosis is suspected in pregnant women and patients with pathology of the immune system.
When planning a pregnancy to prevent fetal infection.
With positive results of the test for antibodies to toxoplasma.
When examining children born to mothers with toxoplasmosis.
Toxoplasma gondii is a single-celled parasitic microorganism that is found in the soil and in the body of some animals and is capable of toxoplasmosis infectious disease causing.
Toxoplasma is very common throughout the world. Infectivity of the population in some countries is 95%. This parasite can infect mammals, rodents and birds. This is one of the so-called TORCH infections (translation of the first letters of the Latin names of toxoplasma, rubella, cytomegalovirus, herpes), which are dangerous for the fetus.
The route of infection with toxoplasma is usually oral. The microorganism enters the human body with water and food contaminated with parasites, especially with raw or undercooked meat. Since cats are a frequent carrier of infection, infection is possible when collecting the cat litter of an infected animal and not observing personal hygiene. The probable transplacental route of infection is from mother to child. A person can also become infected during blood transfusions and transplants of donor organs.
The life cycle of a microorganism takes place with a change of hosts. The domestic cat, as the final host, becomes infected by eating rodents and birds. In the intestines of cats, toxoplasma divides and forms oocysts. During an active infection, millions of microscopic oocysts are excreted in the cat's feces within several weeks. Oocysts become infectious after 2-3 days and remain viable for several months. In the body of other hosts, including humans, toxoplasmas pass a limited period of the life cycle and form inactive cysts in the muscles, brain and eyes. The immune system of the host is able to keep the cysts in a resting state and protect the body from the development of infection. The quiescent stage can last a lifetime until immunodeficiency occurs. In most healthy people, the entry of toxoplasma into their body can pass without symptoms or under the guise of a mild cold. Toxoplasma infection plays a role in the development of such mental illnesses as schizophrenia and psychosis. Chorioretinitis occurs when toxoplasmosis affects the organs of vision.
New or reactivated toxoplasmosis infection can be severe and cause complications in patients with a weakened immune system: patients with HIV, primary immunodeficiencies, patients receiving chemotherapy or immunosuppressive therapy after organ transplantation.
Signs of toxoplasmosis: prolonged fever, headache, enlarged lymph nodes, muscle pain, enlarged liver, hepatitis. Intrauterine infection leads to blindness, encephalomyelitis, growth retardation and even death of newborns. In patients with immunodeficiencies, the infection causes meningitis and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain with impaired consciousness, headache, fever). Early diagnosis plays a decisive role in the effectiveness of treatment. It is very difficult to get rid of the parasite during chronic infection.
When infected during pregnancy, the risk of transmission of toxoplasma to the fetus is 30-40%. Early infection leads to miscarriage, stillbirth or serious neurological disorders in the newborn. In most children infected late in pregnancy, symptoms of toxoplasmosis appear only a few years after birth: hearing loss, serious eye problems, and neurological deficits.
There are several ways to detect toxoplasmosis. The choice of technique and material depends on the clinical picture of the disease. To detect primary or secondary toxoplasma infection and determine its activity, the level of IgM and IgG antibodies in the serum is measured (serological method) and the DNA of the microorganism is recognized (PCR). The molecular genetic method has high sensitivity and species specificity - in the case of an active infection, Toxoplasma DNA can be determined with great accuracy.
The presence of T. Gond DNA in the blood and urine indicates an active infectious process.