Epidemic toxoplasmosis associated with infected cats

N Engl J Med. 1979 Mar 29;300(13):695-9. doi: 10.1056/NEJM197903293001302.


In October, 1977, an outbreak of toxoplasmosis occurred in patrons of a riding stable in Atlanta, Georgia; 37 became ill with toxoplasmosis or had serologic evidence by indirect fluorescent-antibody test of acute infection with Toxoplasma gondii (titer greater than or equal to 1:4096 or a positive fluorescent-antibody test for toxoplasma antibodies). Forty-nine additional patrons did not become ill. Two of the three adult cats from the stable were seropositive for toxoplasma, which was also recovered from the tissues of two kittens and four mice trapped near the stable. Patrons who spent most of their time at the end of the stable where a cat had defecated had the highest incidence of infection. Patrons who attended the stable daily had a higher attack rate than those who attended less frequently. No common meals were consumed, and dietary histroy eliminated meat as the source of infection. The data suggest that toxoplasma oocysts were the source of the infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Animals
  • Antibodies / analysis
  • Cat Diseases / immunology
  • Cat Diseases / transmission*
  • Cats
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Female
  • Georgia
  • Horses
  • Housing, Animal
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Sports
  • Toxoplasma / immunology
  • Toxoplasmosis / epidemiology
  • Toxoplasmosis / immunology
  • Toxoplasmosis / transmission*
  • Toxoplasmosis, Animal / immunology
  • Toxoplasmosis, Animal / transmission*
  • Zoonoses*


  • Antibodies