Pregnant women and Toxoplasma gondii

Recently, several of my good friends have become pregnant or are preparing for pregnancy. Although I am not an obstetrician and gynecologist, I have become the object of their consultation.

One of the cat slaves was especially concerned about whether she could continue to keep a cat. Like all pregnant women, she was really scared by the terms found online-[Toxoplasma gondii] [cyst zygote] and [deformity]. However, there were different opinions on the prevention and harm of Toxoplasma gondii on the Internet, leaving her with no choice.

Toxoplasma gondii is what?

Toxoplasma gondii (Toxoplasma gondii) is a kind of parasitic parasite in cells, which is distributed all over the world and can infect birds, dogs and even human beings. Among them, the most important host of Toxoplasma gondii is cats, with an average infection rate of about 30% ~ 40%.

Unlike other parasites, Toxoplasma gondii has a rather strange reproduction cycle: cats are their only final hosts. If Toxoplasma gondii does not infect cats, it will quietly spend a lonely life in the form of cysts. If it is lucky, it can reproduce asexually in the form of tachyzoites and infect the next host. However, if you are lucky enough to enter the cat’s body, Toxoplasma gondii will carry out sexual reproduction and produce oocysts to reproduce.

So in order to be able to successfully counter attack, In sexual reproduction, Toxoplasma gondii has evolved a special affinity for the host’s brain tissue. It will affect the host’s life by affecting the host’s nerves so that it or its offspring can enter the cat’s body. For example, after infecting mice, Toxoplasma gondii will make mice no longer avoid cats, thus increasing the chances of mice being preyed on.

Diseases caused by Toxoplasma gondii

Toxoplasma gondii is an out-and-out opportunist. Generally speaking, A healthy person with a complete immune system is not afraid of Toxoplasma gondii infection. Toxoplasma gondii will secretly hide in the host’s cells and slowly wait for opportunities in the form of cysts. When the host’s immune system is destroyed, Toxoplasma gondii will begin to multiply in large numbers, forming tachyzoites and causing diseases to the host.

The most notorious thing about Toxoplasma gondii is that it affects the development of the fetus in the mother’s body, causing the fetus to malform or miscarry. Generally speaking, this kind of situation only occurs when the mother is infected with Toxoplasma gondii during pregnancy.

In addition, it is worth noting that even if the fetus infected with Toxoplasma gondii can be born healthily, it does not rule out the occurrence of latent infection and months or years after birth.

How to Prevent Toxoplasmosis

There are two common ways for people to infect Toxoplasma gondii, one is contact with cat feces with Toxoplasma gondii oocysts, the other is eating raw meat with Toxoplasma gondii oocysts. In addition, relatively rare ways include organ transplantation or Toxoplasma gondii infection in host saliva through surface wounds.

First of all, raw meat may not only carry Toxoplasma gondii, but also cause a lot of other parasitic infections. Especially for pregnant women, it does more harm than good to risk their own and baby’s health just for the sake of appetite.

Secondly, for families with pets, avoiding direct contact with pets and even fostering pets can indeed solve the problem, but it is not the only means:

If pets are really indispensable, Toxoplasma gondii infection in pets should be checked before pregnancy. When pregnant, be sure to leave your pet at home and feed the finished pet food or cooked food, so as not to let it go out to hunt or find a mate. Pregnant women should stay away from pet excrement, and others should wash their hands in time after cleaning excrement. In addition, you should avoid making too intimate moves with pets.

In this way, the chance of pregnant women contracting Toxoplasma gondii can be greatly reduced.