A brief review on toxoplasmosis in pregnancy [Abstract in English]

Maria Regina Reis Amendoeira, Léa Ferreira Camillo-Coura


AIMS: This is a brief guide on toxoplasmosis in pregnancy and on congenital toxoplasmosis for public health students and professionals. Its aims are to present key points of the transmission and diagnosis of Toxoplasma gondii infection, and to summarize the evidences about management of pregnant women and infants with suspected or proven toxoplasmosis.
SOURCE OF DATA: Studies were identified from PubMed (1990-2009), and through contact with experts in the field, including our Congenital Toxoplasmosis Research Group.
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS: Review of studies shows that preventive measures reduce the risk of congenital Toxoplasma gondii infection and improve the perinatal outcomes and the prognosis of children. Being usually asymptomatic, or having inespecific clinical manifestations, acute primary toxoplasmic infection almost always goes unnoticed. Therefore, its detection is based on routine serology. Serological screening for toxoplasmosis during pregnancy should start at the first prenatal visit, to detect cases of acute infection (and to start treatment as soon as possible) and cases of seronegative pregnant women (who must be monitored throughout pregnancy and receive education about primary prevention measures).
CONCLUSIONS: This review highlights the importance of prevention and diagnosis of toxoplasmosis during pregnancy, as well as of monitoring neonates born to mothers with serological tests compatible with acute infection, even in the absence of signs and symptoms of toxoplasmosis.

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