Recent Blog Articles
Improving access to hearing aids
Can mindfulness change your brain?
Five lifestyle factors that can help prevent gastroesophageal reflux disease
Transient ischemic attacks: Varied symptoms, all important
5 inflammation-fighting food swaps
Is IBD an underrecognized health problem in minority groups?
Sickle cell disease in newborns and children: What families should know and do
COVID-19 vaccines for children and teens: What we do - and don’t - know
Happy trails: Take a hike, now
Sleep well — and reduce your risk of dementia and death
What Is It?
Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic infection that infects a large proportion of the world's population, but rarely causes disease. Certain people, however, are at high risk of severe or life-threatening disease from this parasite. They include infants who are infected at birth, people with AIDS, people with cancer, and people who have had bone marrow or organ transplantation.
Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by Toxoplasma gondii, a single-celled parasite that spends most of its life cycle inside cats. Because an infected cat can pass millions of Toxoplasma parasites daily in its feces, toxoplasmosis can spread easily to almost any other animal that shares the environment with cats. In humans, Toxoplasma parasites usually enter the body by being swallowed. This can happen when people touch their mouth with soiled hands, especially after changing cat litter, or if they eat pork, lamb or venison that has not been cooked thoroughly.
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.