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Circular 1389

National Wildlife Health Center

Toxoplasmosis

By Dolores E. Hill and J.P. Dubey

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (4.69 MB)Abstract

Toxoplasmosis (Toxoplasma gondii), one of the better known and more widespread zoonotic diseases, originated in wildlife species and is now well established as a human malady. Food- and waterborne zoonoses, such as toxoplasmosis, are receiving increasing attention as components of disease emergence and resurgence. Toxoplasmosis is transmitted to humans via consumption of contaminated food or water, and nearly one-third of humanity has been exposed to this parasite. The role of wildlife in this transmission process is becoming more clearly known and is outlined in this report. This zoonotic disease also causes problems in wildlife species across the globe. Future generations of humans will continue to be jeopardized by toxoplasmosis infections in addition to many of the other zoonotic diseases that have emerged during the past century. Through monitoring toxoplasmosis infection levels in wildlife populations, we will be better able to predict future human infection levels of this important zoonotic disease.

First posted April 10, 2014

For additional information, contact:
Director, National Wildlife Health Center
U.S. Geological Survey
6006 Schroeder Road
Madison, WI 5371-6223
http://www.nwhc.usgs.gov/

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Suggested citation:

Hill, D.E., and Dubey, J.P., 2014, Toxoplasmosis: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1389, 84 p., 1 appendix, http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/cir1389.

ISSN 1067–084X (print)

ISSN 2330–5703 (online)



Contents

Overview

Background

Causative Agent

Geographic Distribution

Species Susceptibility

Obtaining a Diagnosis

Disease Ecology

Points to Ponder

Disease Prevention and Control

Glossary

Appendix 1. Common and Scientific Names for Species Cited


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