Dangers and prevention of toxoplasmosis in pregnancy

Dangers and prevention of toxoplasmosis in pregnancy

When expecting a child, it is very important for the mother-to-be to undergo regular checkups and perform noninvasive screening tests or prenatal diagnostic examinations, to constantly monitor her own health status and that of her unborn child.

The prevention pathway includes targeted blood tests, performed to detect possible infections and to check the pregnant woman&#8217s immunity to rubella and toxoplasmosis. The development of the fetus could be at risk if the mother-to-be contracts these diseases 1 .

The toxoplasmosis is caused by the Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite found in cats and felines in general 2 .

To contract toxoplasmosis in pregnancy is to risk transmitting it to the unborn child. The more advanced the stage of pregnancy, the more frequent the infection 3 . In addition, the severity of toxoplasmosis is related to when one contracts it: if the expectant mother gets sick early in pregnancy, the damage to the fetus will be greater 4 . Contact with cat feces and intake of raw or undercooked meat may be responsible for infection.

How you can do prevention against toxoplasmosis risk?

It is recommended to wash fruits and vegetables (including prepackaged ones) well, to cleanse hands well before meals or their preparation. Do not consume sausages, meats or fish that are raw or not fully cooked. According to some research, the intake of raw or undercooked meat is the main reason for toxoplasmosis infection in pregnancy 5 .

It is recommended not to touch surfaces or soils potentially contaminated with cat feces, and if necessary, wear protective gloves and always wash hands thoroughly.

Prevention helps avoid infection during pregnancy. Medical examinations and blood tests, included in the screening plan, are recommended for all pregnant women to.

From the 10th week of gestation, the mother-to-be can undergo fetal DNA testing, a noninvasive prenatal screening test that detects major trisomies (ex. Down syndrome), chromosomal alterations, and the more common microdeletions.