Symptoms of toxoplasmosis

Symptoms of toxoplasmosis is a set of signs and manifestations that can be used to suspect the presence of a disease, reveal the clinical picture and make the correct diagnosis for effective subsequent treatment of this disease.

Toxoplasmosis is often asymptomatic, but if symptoms occur, it means that the stage of the disease or the patient’s immunity state is forced to attract attention and take appropriate measures.

First manifestations

In acute toxoplasmosis, the first manifestations can be very different, and not always a person can immediately understand what is happening to him.

Usually acquired toxoplasmosis of the acute type gradually begins to appear after the incubation period after 5-23, and more often 12-14 days from the moment of infection. The main complaints in the development of pathology are increased fatigue, decreased working ability, chills, weakness, hyperthermia to 38.5 degrees, weak pain in the head, joints and muscles. A little later there is an increase in the cervical, less often - axillary, supraclavicular, inguinal lymph nodes, an enlarged liver, sometimes an enlarged spleen. Lung inflammation, encephalitis, damage to the inner cardiac membrane (endocarditis), inflammation of the retina of the eye, eye vessels or eyeball vessels may begin.

Symptoms in children

In children, toxoplasmosis occurs more often with clinical manifestations, which is provoked by acute or chronic pathologies. For any clinical manifestations to treat the disease is extremely necessary. Acute toxoplasmosis in a child can begin both gradually and abruptly. In any case, it is manifested by indisposition, a feeling of weakness, muscle pain, chills, decreased performance, fever, enlarged neck lymph nodes. If the pathology manifests itself abruptly, then the body temperature immediately becomes above 38 degrees, and with a slow course, its gradual rise is usually fixed at subfebrile values ​​not exceeding 37.5 degrees.

The lymph nodes are well palpated and do not produce a sensation of soldering with the surrounding tissues. When pressing on them there is a slight pain. Very rarely, in children, the lymph nodes in the area of ​​the peritoneum may increase, causing the clinic of an acute abdomen, which can be confused with appendicitis, peritonitis, pancreatitis, and other diseases.

Symptoms during pregnancy

Toxoplasmosis is asymptomatic in 90% of all pregnant women, which is a form of healthy carriage. Clinical manifestations, if any, occur only in women who have a severely weakened immune system against the background of various bacterial pathologies, HIV infection and other things.

The incubation period of the development of the disease in pregnant women takes 1 to 3 weeks after the pathogen has entered the woman’s body. Acute toxoplasmosis in pregnant women occurs as a flu-like infection - with hyperthermia up to 38 degrees, malaise and weakness, headache, and an increase in lymph nodes. Much less likely to develop hepatosplenomegaly in a pregnant woman. But chorioretinitis, keratitis, conjunctivitis and iridocyclitis occur in pregnant women against toxoplasmosis very rarely. In cases of acute immunodeficiency, a pregnant patient develops hepatitis, encephalitis, pneumonia, or myocarditis.

Signs depending on the affected organ

In acute toxoplasmosis, various systems in the human body can suffer from damage. This will determine further clinical manifestations of pathology. Most often, the nervous system, eyes, lungs, and muscles are affected by toxoplasmosis. With involvement in the pathological process of different organs, the course of the disease is considered to be difficult.

Central nervous system lesions

Damage to the central nervous system during toxoplasmosis is characterized by the occurrence of arachnoiditis. The consequences of such a lesion are diencephalic and hypertensive syndrome, vegetative-vascular pathologies, epileptically-like convulsions. Less common may be myocarditis, myositis, or cardio dystrophy.

Toxoplasmosis of the central nervous system can develop exclusively in the presence of immunodeficiency states.

It is caused by the hematogenous method of infection or reactivation due to immunodeficiency of a local infection. This type of complication is the most frequent opportunistic infection process that causes encephalitis in patients with HIV infection.

The clinical picture of toxoplasmosis of the central nervous system first looks like a subacute inflammatory process with fever and headache. After a week, on average, a neurological focal type deficiency develops, or diffuse signs of brain damage occur. Rarely in patients, the clinic of the disease immediately begins with convulsions replaced.

Lung injury

Toxoplasmosis of the lungs is a lesion of the lung tissue caused by the microorganism Toxoplasma gondii and found in 10% of all cases of complications. This pathology can also be acute or chronic. The acute course is similar to the flu - the patient has headache and muscle pain, conjunctivitis, fever, a wet cough, wheezing in the chest. Then lymphadenopathy of a peripheral nature develops, and focal multiple shadows can be detected in the lungs using an X-ray method.

In the chronic course of this complication, pulmonary symptoms are not pronounced; basically, there are generalized lesions of the lymph nodes.

Eye damage

The most frequent complications of toxoplasmosis are damage to the human brain and eyes. Eye lesions may develop in the form of chorioretinitis, sometimes in the form of conjunctivitis, keratitis, retinitis, iridocyclitis, neuritis of the optic nerves. Acute myopia often occurs as a complication of the ocular form of toxoplasmosis.

Most often, the ocular form of toxoplasmosis does not have a vivid clinical picture, which leads to ignoring the need for its therapy in many cases.

Doctors say that it is necessary to regularly diagnose toxoplasmosis, especially when there are problems with the immune system in the body. This will avoid the development of serious chronic complications.

The most likely symptoms of toxoplasmosis retinitis include the occurrence of pigmented atrophic foci without visual impairment, which is detected only when patients complain about a decrease in visual acuity (due to macular pathologies). Also, focal retinitis can lead to loss of vitreous transparency and the appearance of visible defects. In the inflammatory process, detachment of the posterior membrane is possible. As an additional complication, an optic nerve head disorder sometimes occurs. All the above pathological processes are provoked by a weakening of the patient’s immune system.

In case of strong immunity, ocular toxoplasmosis is more often asymptomatic, less often it can cause soreness in the eye area when blinking, a decrease in visual acuity or the onset of complete blindness.

Symptoms of the disease

Acute form

In acute toxoplasmosis, the symptoms of the disease may resemble encephalitis, typhoid, and eye damage. The acute form lasts about a week. It begins with an increase in body temperature, cramps, headaches, nausea and vomiting. As the disease progresses in size, internal organs such as the spleen and liver can grow in size, sometimes inflammation of the lungs and various types of paralysis also occur.

Chronic form

Chronic toxoplasmosis may occur in a patient 2 weeks after infection. Sometimes this period can reach several months. This form of toxoplasmosis is the most common; for many years, its latent course or course with little symptoms may be hardly noticed by the patient. Acquired chronic toxoplasmosis is usually characterized by slight hyperthermia up to 37.5 degrees, which is not treatable and is observed for a long period, an enlarged liver, spleen, lymph nodes, pathologies of the nervous system, memory impairment, adynamia, weakness, headache, sleep disorders. The rest of the symptoms are usually determined by the organ that is most affected.

Article author:
Furmanova Elena Alexandrovna

Specialty: pediatrician, infectious diseases specialist, allergist-immunologist.

Total experience: 7 years.

Education: 2010, SSMU, pediatric, pediatrics.

Experience infectious diseases more than 3 years.

He has a patent on the topic “A method for predicting the high risk of the formation of a chronic pathology of the adeno-tonsillar system in frequently ill children”. As well as the author of publications in the journals of the Higher Attestation Commission.

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Watch the video: Toxoplasmosis. Acquired vs Congenital. Signs, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment (February 2020).