Foodborne transmission of Toxoplasma gondii infection in the last decade. An overview

Res Vet Sci. 2021 Mar:135:371-385. doi: 10.1016/j.rvsc.2020.10.019. Epub 2020 Oct 24.


Toxoplasmosis is a zoonotic disease of global distribution and importance. It is caused by the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii, the only species in the Toxoplasma genus. This parasite can infect most warm-blooded animals, including humans and livestock. Main routes of transmission are by ingestion of tissue cysts in raw or undercooked meat of infected animals, ingestion of raw vegetables or water contaminated with T. gondii oocysts from cat feces, and transplacental. Around one-third of human beings are chronically infected with T. gondii. Most infections appear to be asymptomatic in immunocompetent persons, but toxoplasmosis can be fatal to the fetus and immunocompromised adults. Water and foodborne outbreaks have been caused by this parasite worldwide, but few are well documented. Importantly, T. gondii is a parasite of high importance in animal health, causing reproductive failure, particularly in small ruminants, and clinical toxoplasmosis in many species. This overview discusses the knowledge of T. gondii infections in the last decade focusing on the foodborne transmission of this parasite.

Keywords: Control measures; Diagnosis; Epidemiology; Foodborne; Outbreaks; Symptomatology; Toxoplasma gondii.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Food Parasitology*
  • Humans
  • Toxoplasma
  • Toxoplasmosis / etiology*
  • Toxoplasmosis / parasitology*
  • Toxoplasmosis / transmission
  • Water / parasitology
  • Zoonoses


  • Water