Toxoplasmosis Blood Test
Toxoplasma Igm Antibodies, T Gondii
Toxoplasmosis IgM Blood Test is used to aid in the diagnosis of infection by the parasite Toxoplasma Gondii. This test looks for IgM antibodies which typically develop as a response to infection 1-2 weeks after the initial exposure. In most people IgM antibodies will no longer be detectable after several months. In cases where the virus reactivates after being dormant for a time, detectable levels of IgM antibodies may be produced again. The CDC estimates that about 23% of people in the United State over the age of 12 have toxoplasmosis. Most infections occur from consuming contaminated food or water, especially raw or undercooked meat. Toxoplasma Gondii is also commonly found in cat feces. Failing to properly wash your hands after cleaning a litterbox or handling objects which may have come in contact with cat feces can cause infection.
For most healthy individuals, infection causes only mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. Typical symptoms are flulike and may include headache, fever, fatigue, aches and swollen lymph nodes. After initial infection, the immune system keeps the parasites inactive and provides immunity from future infection. The primary health concern from toxoplasmosis is to infants who may contract the disease from their mother during pregnancy or people with weakened immune systems. Infants who are infected during pregnancy have a greater risk of severe complications including stillbirth, birth defects, and learning disabilities. People whose immune systems are compromised due to chemotherapy, recent surgery, AIDS or certain medications may experience headaches, confusion, seizures, loss of vision, lack of coordination and lung problems.
The IgM antibodies test is ordered to determine if a person has a recent or acute Toxoplasmosis infection. This test may be ordered when a person is having typical symptoms of infection, especially if they have a condition which results in a weakened immune system. Pregnant women who show signs of an infection may be tested to determine if they are at risk of passing the infection to their infant.