Treatment of toxoplasmosis

Babill Stray-Pedersen

Toxoplasma infections in immune-competent individuals are usually asymptomatic and unrecognized, and treatment is not discussed. In cases with symptoms infection is most often self-limiting and treatment is unnecessary. Only in the few patients where the infection affects vital organs, for example, brain, lung, liver, and heart, should therapy be given. Also, in cases with prolonged lymphadenopathy, fever, malaise, and fatigue, treatment may lead to improvement of the condition, although most patients will recover without therapy.

In pregnant women, however, Toxoplasma infection acquired at any time during pregnancy should be treated in order to reduce infection of the placenta and to prevent or to modify the infection in the foetus (Stray-Pedersen 1993). Two other groups should also be considered for treatment: patients with ocular toxoplasmosis and immuno-compromised individuals with infections. In these cases re-activation of a pre-existent latent infection may occur and therapy is needed in those with cerebral or disseminated toxoplasmosis ( McCabe and Oster 1989; Joss 1992).

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