Relevant aspects of human toxoplasmosis
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Considering the great importance that the infection by Toxoplasma gondii has in public health, the aim of this article was to demonstrate some aspects about this disease in human being. This parasite can cause several behavioral changes and many cases of reactivation of this disease are associated with Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome – AIDS. Major cases of human infections by T. gondii are assymptomatic and the main clinical manifestation in the acute phase of this zoonosis is lymphadenopathy, usually in the cervical area. There may also be fever, night sweats, myalgia, maculopapular rash lymphocytic atypia and chorioretinitis. The congenital and/or acquired chronic latent cerebral toxoplasmosis play an important role in the development of some types of neurodegeneration, like Alzheimer disease and Down Syndrome. Humans and animals should not consume raw or undercooked meat, unpasteurized or not boiled dairy products, water without being treated and poorly washed fruits and vegetables. Educational programs focused on reducing T. gondii environmental contamination are essential for the congenital infection control. Due to the severity of this kind of infection and its sequel, it is critical that those responsible for the community’s health establish prevention programs to avoid such a situation, obtaining results in the medium and long term, and particularly preserving the involved population’s welfare. A lack or incomplete prenatal treatment was identified as an important risk factor for congenital toxoplasmosis, reinforcing the need of improvement of prenatal care. In this study was demonstrated the importance of implementing prevention programs to guide pregnant women to prevent the infection. Preventive measures like information and health education; screening of pregnant women and infants; limiting harm from risk behaviour; treatment of risk cases and vaccination are recommended. Serum monitoring throughout pregnancy, so as detect cases of maternal seroconversion allowing for early maternal treatment is also basic. Some countries have adopted control programs of human toxoplasmosis, however, this issue should be of world attention, considering its relevant aspects of public health, requiring the establishment of community education campaigns and monitoring of pregnant women in the pre and neonatal, especially in a preventive action to reduce the pathogenic effects of this disease.
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