Toxoplasmosis: A history of clinical observations

Int J Parasitol. 2009 Jul 1;39(8):895-901. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpara.2009.02.004. Epub 2009 Feb 13.


It has been 100 years since Toxoplasma gondii was initially described in Tunis by Nicolle and Manceaux (1908) in the tissues of the gundi (Ctenodoactylus gundi) and in Brazil by Splendore (1908) in the tissues of a rabbit. Toxoplasma gondii is a ubiquitous, Apicomplexan parasite of warm-blooded animals that can cause several clinical syndromes including encephalitis, chorioretinitis, congenital infection and neonatal mortality. Fifteen years after the description of T. gondii by Nicolle and Manceaux a fatal case of toxoplasmosis in a child was reported by Janků. In 1939 Wolf, Cowen and Paige were the first to conclusively identify T. gondii as a cause of human disease. This review examines the clinical manifestations of infection with T. gondii and the history of the discovery of these manifestations.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections* / history
  • Acute Disease
  • Animals
  • Chronic Disease
  • Encephalitis / history
  • Encephalitis / parasitology
  • Female
  • History, 20th Century
  • Host-Parasite Interactions
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Lymphatic Diseases / history
  • Lymphatic Diseases / parasitology
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Parasitic* / history
  • Rabbits
  • Recurrence
  • Serologic Tests
  • Toxoplasma / isolation & purification
  • Toxoplasmosis / epidemiology
  • Toxoplasmosis / history*
  • Toxoplasmosis / immunology
  • Toxoplasmosis, Ocular / history
  • Toxoplasmosis, Ocular / pathology