Accidentally swallowing Toxoplasma gondii eggs from soil or other contaminated
surfaces. This can happen by putting your hands to your mouth after gardening,
cleaning a cat's litter box, or touching anything that has come into contact
with cat feces.
Eating raw or partly cooked meat, especially pork,
lamb, or venison, or touching your hands to your mouth after touching the
If you are pregnant when first infected with
Toxoplasma gondii, you can give the infection to your
You may also receive it through an organ transplantation or
a transfusion, although this is rare.
What are the symptoms?
Most people with
toxoplasmosis don't have symptoms. When symptoms are present, they are often
flu-like and may include swollen
lymph glands or muscle aches and pains that last for a
few days to several weeks.
Severe toxoplasmosis results in damage to the eyes or
the brain. Infants who became infected before birth may be born with serious
mental or physical problems.