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Toxoplasma gondii

Reviewers: Elliot Weisenberg, M.D. (see Reviewers page)
Revised: 23 September 2011, last major update September 2011
Copyright: (c) 2003-2011, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.


● Associated with AIDS, immunosuppression including therapy and hematologic malignancy
● May be transmitted in utero
● Ubiquitous intracellular coccidian parasite that causes focal parenchymal necrosis, diffuse interstitial pneumonia
● Cats are definitive hosts, humans are intermediate
● Very high prevalence in France; in US, from 3 to 20% depending on geography, ethnic group
● Humans acquire transmission from ingestion of material contaminated with cat feces or cysts contained in undercooked meat (pork, beef, mutton); infection may be acquired in utero
● Most disease in CNS, eye and heart; pulmonary involvement is in 70% of disseminated cases
● Pulmonary involvement is indicative of disseminated disease and risk of death from CNS disease or bronchopneumonia
● May cause severe morbidity or death in affected neonates

Gross description

● Lungs heavily congested, combined weight approximately 2000 grams

Micro description

● Organisms present in histiocytes, alveolar lining cells, endothelial cells and pseudocytes abundant in necrotic areas

Positive stains

● GMS, Giemsa and Gram-Weigert

End of Lung-nontumor > Infections > Toxoplasma gondii

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