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toxoplasmosis (EN)

GC: n

S: WHO - http://whqlibdoc.who.int/hq/1993/WHO_CDS_VPH_93.114.pdf?ua=1(external link) (last access: 25 November 2014); EncBrit - http://global.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/601271/toxoplasmosis(external link) (last access: 27 November 2014).

N: 1. From toxoplasma, form of Greek of toxon + plasma + osis.
2. Infection by the protozoon Toxoplasma gondii, transmitted in oocysts in the feces of cats (the definitive host), usually by contaminated soil, exposure to feces, tissue cysts in the infected meat, or tachyzoites in blood. Most human infections are asymptomatic; when symptoms do occur, they are often a mild disease resembling mononucleosis. Occasionally toxoplasmosis becomes a fulminating, disseminated disease, usually in an immunocompromised patient or a fetus infected transplacentally; this may cause extensive damage to the brain, eyes, skeletal muscles, heart, liver or lungs. In domestic animals, toxoplasmosis may be any of several nonfatal conditions such as a type of infectious abortion in ewes.
3. Cultural interrelation: In the Scottish film Trainspotting of 1996, directed by Danny Boyle, based on the novel with the same title, written by Irvine Welsh in 1993, one of the main characters, “Tommy” died of toxoplasmosis. In this particular case, the disease formed a large abscess (pocket of infected tissue) in Tommy’s brain, which likely caused one or more seizures and interfered enough with his brain function to kill him. As we have seen, toxoplasmosis is especially dangerous to people who have suppressed immune systems, like Tommy who contracted HIV.

S: 1. OED - http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=toxoplasmosis&searchmode=none(external link) (last access: 27 November 2014). 2. DORLAND p. 1944. 3. IMDB - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117951/faq(external link) (last access: 27 November 2014).

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CR: AIDS, HIV, zoonosis (EN).


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