Management of Toxoplasma gondii infection during pregnancy

Clin Infect Dis. 2008 Aug 15;47(4):554-66. doi: 10.1086/590149.


Acute infection with Toxoplasma gondii during pregnancy and its potentially tragic outcome for the fetus and newborn continue to occur in the United States, as well as worldwide, despite the fact that it can be prevented. The infection can be acquired through ingestion of infected, undercooked meat or contaminated food or water. Transmission to the fetus occurs almost solely in women who acquire their primary infection during gestation and can result in visual and hearing loss, mental and psychomotor retardation, seizures, hematological abnormalities, hepatosplenomegaly, or death. Systematic education and serological screening of pregnant women are the most reliable and currently available strategies for the prevention, diagnosis, and early treatment of the infection in the offspring; this is largely because toxoplasmosis in pregnant women most often goes unrecognized. Treatment of the infection in the fetus and infant during the first year of life has been demonstrated to significantly improve the clinical outcome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Protozoan / blood
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Parasitic* / diagnosis
  • Pregnancy Complications, Parasitic* / drug therapy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Parasitic* / parasitology
  • Pregnancy Complications, Parasitic* / prevention & control
  • Prenatal Diagnosis
  • Spiramycin / therapeutic use*
  • Toxoplasma* / drug effects
  • Toxoplasma* / genetics
  • Toxoplasma* / immunology
  • Toxoplasma* / isolation & purification
  • Toxoplasmosis* / drug therapy
  • Toxoplasmosis* / parasitology
  • Toxoplasmosis* / prevention & control
  • Toxoplasmosis* / transmission
  • Toxoplasmosis, Congenital / diagnosis
  • Toxoplasmosis, Congenital / drug therapy
  • Toxoplasmosis, Congenital / parasitology
  • Toxoplasmosis, Congenital / prevention & control


  • Antibodies, Protozoan
  • Spiramycin