Risk factorsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Anyone can become infected with toxoplasmosis. The parasite is found throughout the world.
You're at risk of serious health problems if:
- You have HIV/AIDS. Many people with HIV/AIDS also have toxoplasmosis. In some cases, the infection is recent, and in others, an old infection has become active again.
- You're undergoing chemotherapy. Chemotherapy affects your immune system, making it difficult for your body to fight even minor infections.
- You take steroids or other immunosuppressant drugs. Medications used to treat certain nonmalignant conditions suppress your immune system and make you more likely to develop complications of toxoplasmosis.
- You're pregnant. If you have active toxoplasmosis, treatment can reduce the risk to your baby. If you've already had toxoplasmosis before becoming pregnant, you generally can't pass the infection to your baby.
- Toxoplasmosis frequently asked questions (FAQs). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/toxoplasmosis/gen_info/faqs.html. Accessed May 24, 2011.
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- Kasper LH. Toxoplasma infections. In: Fauci AS, et al. Harrison's Online. 17th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2008. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aid=2896423. Accessed May 24, 2011.
- McLeod R, et al. Toxoplasmosis (toxoplasma gondii). In: Kliegman RM, et al. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2007. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/linkTo?type=bookPage&isbn=978-1-4160-2450-7&eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-2450-7..50289-9. Accessed May 24, 2011.
- Pregnancy complications: Toxoplasmosis. March of Dimes. http://www.marchofdimes.com/Pregnancy/complications_toxoplasmosis.html. Accessed May 24, 2011.
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- FDA clears first test for recent infection with toxoplasmosis parasite. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm255922.htm. Accessed May 23, 2011.