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Toxoplasmosis
Diagnosis

Diagnostic methods

Parasitological diagnosis
Oocysts are only found in cats and other felids! Therefore serological methods are of great importance. The parasite (cysts or trophozoites) may be found in tissue biopsies. Free tachyzoites may be found in bronchoalveolar lavage samples.

Molecular diagnosis
Nested PCR and recently also real-time PCR are used to detect Toxoplasma in cerebrospinal fluid or tissue samples

Antigen detection
Only few reports on the detection of circulating antigens during acute infection

Antibody detection
Serology is the traditional method to detect Toxoplasma infections. Specific IgM antibodies are the most frequently used serological marker for a recent infection. However, false-positive results and the persistence of IgM antibodies complicate the interpretation. As an alternative approach, the measurement of the avidity of IgG antibodies against T. gondii by the titration method in patients with detectable IgM antibodies can efficiently define the stage of infection.

 

Diagnostic strategies

In-depth serological investigations are the cornerstone of all diagnostic approaches!

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