Clinical symptoms of this parasitic infection, depend on the immune status of the individual. Clinical pictures will thus differ between the immune-competent and the immune-incompetent individual. This chapter will therefore be divided into these two main groups.
It is established that cell-mediated immunity is, to a high degree, responsible for the immune reactions against Toxoplasma gondii infection. B-cells are stimulated to antibody production, which may be used for the purpose of diagnosis.
Thus, individuals with impaired cell-mediated immune response of CD4+ cells and of CD8+ cells might have a more severe, and sometimes lethal, outcome while the immunocompetent individual might hardly notice the infection. A special situation occurs when pregnant women suffer a primary infection. The foetus lacks immuno-competence, which develops gradually during the course of pregnancy. Thus maternal toxoplasmosis may lead to foetal infection, the severity of which is dependent on the degree of intra-uterine development and the time of infection.
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