Toxoplasma gondii is a protozoa, which are unicellular eukaryotic organisms.
The disease is transmitted to humans via consumption of undercooked meat containing cysts or ingestion of cysts from cat feces.
The immunocompromised can develop severe disease including encephalitis and brain abscesses due to cyst formation in the tissue.
Classically, brain abscesses caused by Toxoplasma gondii appear as multiple ring-enhancing lesions on imaging. Toxoplasma gondii is the most common cause of ring-enhancing lesions in the brain of HIV patients.
The protozoa can cross the placenta of pregnant women and have detrimental effects on the growing fetus. Therefore this organism is one of the causes of congenital TORCH infections.
The protozoa can cross the placenta of pregnant women and have detrimental effects on the growing fetus. Therefore this organism is one of the causes of congenital TORCH infections and infants present with classic triad of symptoms including chorioretintiis, hydrocephalus, and intracranial calcifications.
Pyrimethamine is a medication used for protozoal infections. This drug interferes with tetrahydrofolic acid synthesis by inhibiting the enzyme dihydrofolate reductase, which is necessary for DNA and RNA synthesis in many species including protozoa.
Sulfadiazine is a sulfonamide antibiotic that is used in combination with pyrimethamine to treat toxoplasmosis.
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