Waterborne toxoplasmosis--recent developments

Exp Parasitol. 2010 Jan;124(1):10-25. doi: 10.1016/j.exppara.2009.03.013. Epub 2009 Mar 24.


Humans become infected with Toxoplasma gondii mainly by ingesting uncooked meat containing viable tissue cysts or by ingesting food or water contaminated with oocysts from the feces of infected cats. Circumstantial evidence suggests that oocyst-induced infections in humans are clinically more severe than tissue cyst-acquired infections. Until recently, waterborne transmission of T. gondii was considered uncommon, but a large human outbreak linked to contamination of a municipal water reservoir in Canada by wild felids and the widespread infection of marine mammals in the USA provided reasons to question this view. The present paper examines the possible importance of T. gondii transmission by water.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Wild
  • Cat Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cat Diseases / parasitology
  • Cat Diseases / transmission
  • Cats
  • Felidae
  • Fresh Water / parasitology*
  • Humans
  • Prevalence
  • Seawater / parasitology*
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies
  • Toxoplasmosis / etiology*
  • Toxoplasmosis / prevention & control
  • Toxoplasmosis / transmission
  • Toxoplasmosis, Animal / epidemiology
  • Toxoplasmosis, Animal / transmission
  • Water Supply*
  • Zoonoses