Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic zoonosis whose final host is the cat and intermediate hosts all mammals and birds, including humans.
Cats and other felines are the only definitive hosts.
Toxoplasmosis is one of the most important animal diseases in the world, but despite being very common, it rarely turns into a significant clinical disease.
Toxoplasmosis is a disease that is often misunderstood and causes fear because it represents a potential for significant zoonosis. It is caused by a protozoan named Toxoplasma gondii.
How to know if your cat is infected?
It is extremely difficult to make a diagnosis on the cat
The fecal analysis does not systematically reveal the disease, because in the carrier animal the parasite is only present for 2 weeks throughout its life. In addition, the animal has no clinical symptoms. Which makes it almost undetectable. A search for antibodies in the blood could give better chances in its detection.
It is assumed that about 70% of Western European cats are seropositive, but only 1% excrete eggs in the feces. The cat thus becomes infected either by eating contaminated prey (or their meat) or by swallowing eggs excreted fecally by a cat. It will in turn excrete eggs, which need more than 24 hours to sporulate so to become infectious! They even require preferably 2 or even 5 days to sporulate.
Transmission of toxoplasmosis by the cat for pregnant women
The risk is only valid for uninfected people. Mainly for young people, pregnant women and people who suffer from immune depression.
At the beginning of your pregnancy, a blood test (serology) will be proposed to check if you have already been in contact with the toxoplasm (the parasite).
- You are sero positive !! - -> No problem, you are immune because you have already been in contact with the parasite.
- You are sero negative! - -> NO PANIC !!
It is enough to respect some basic hygiene measures to avoid being contaminated by this parasite.
- Avoid contamination of cats by feeding them with industrial feeds and banning outings.
- Change bedding frequently and wash the crate with boiling water once a day with gloves.
- Wash your hands or avoid contact with potentially soiled items (soil, crate, fruits, vegetables, flowers, meat, meats).
- Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating them raw.
- Cook the meat well, do not consume deli meats.
- Wash the surface of instruments that have been in contact with raw meat or cold cuts..
Do not get rid of your cat even if you have pressure from some people, supposedly, qualified.
There is no reason to panic, just follow the hygiene measures mentioned above.
Talk to your gynecologist who in principle should confirm these measures.
There is less to fear from his pet cat than the tasting of undercooked meat, contaminated and uncooked plants as well as gardening activities (cats excrement deposited there from already several days can contaminate you)!