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Oliver Liesenfeld

and Eskild Petersen



This chapter was reviewed in December 2014 and minor changes made.

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date: 27 September 2021

Toxoplasma gondii is a protozoan parasite with worldwide distribution that infects up to one-third of the world’s population. Human infection is acquired through ingestion in water or food of oocysts shed by cats, or by ingestion of bradyzoites released from cysts contained in uncooked or undercooked meat (e.g. sheep, swine, cattle). Following invasion in the intestine, tachyzoites rapidly disseminate throughout the host. Immune mechanisms mediate the formation of cysts, primarily in the brain, eye, and skeletal and heart muscles, where they persist for the life of the host. Presence of infection may be established by direct detection of the parasite in clinical samples (often by polymerase chain reaction, PCR) or by serological techniques....

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