General Features and Laboratory Diagnosis of Toxoplasma gondii Infection

Turkiye Parazitol Derg. 2020 Jun 2;44(2):94-101. doi: 10.4274/tpd.galenos.2020.6634.


Toxoplasmosis is a common infection worldwide caused by Toxoplasma gondii, an intracellular parasite. The prevalence of Toxoplasmosis ranges from 17.5% to 69.5% in Turkey. Toxoplasmosis is mostly asymptomatic. It may cause fetal mortality in case of vertical passage. The most common clinical findings in congenital toxoplasmosis are chorioretinitis, hydrocephalus and cerebral calcification. Another group of susceptible patients for Toxoplasma gondii are immunesuppressive patients. Reactivation of a latent infection in the case of immunodeficiency can lead to fatal toxoplasmic encephalitis. Serological diagnostic methods based on the detection of specific antibodies for Toxoplasma gondii are the most commonly used diagnostic methods. However, it may be difficult to interpret the results in pregnant women, neonates, and the patients receiving treatment. It is stated that using more than one method together to improve the reliability of the diagnosis is a more accurate approach. In the prenatal diagnosis of congenital toxoplasmosis, in patients with immunodeficiency, in ocular toxoplasmosis, the polymerase chain reaction is seen as having a higher sensitivity. The aim of this review is to present the general features, diagnostic methods and current approaches in toxoplasma infection, an important public health problem.

Keywords: Toxoplasmosis; diagnosis; seroprevalence.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Protozoan / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Parasitic / diagnosis*
  • Pregnancy Complications, Parasitic / epidemiology
  • Prenatal Diagnosis
  • Prevalence
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Toxoplasma / immunology*
  • Toxoplasmosis / diagnosis*
  • Toxoplasmosis / epidemiology
  • Toxoplasmosis, Congenital / diagnosis*
  • Toxoplasmosis, Congenital / epidemiology
  • Toxoplasmosis, Congenital / transmission
  • Turkey / epidemiology


  • Antibodies, Protozoan