Toxoplasma gondii (PCR) Fecal Test


Toxoplasmosis is the most common parasitic infection worldwide affecting humans and a number of domestic animals. The organism that causes toxoplasmosis is Toxoplasma gondii - a single-celled organism in order Coccidia.

The cat is the only animal in which sexual reproduction of the organism occurs. Thus, cats are the only domestic animal that has the potential to shed the organism’s eggs. Although there is generally a high prevalence of infection in cats, most surveys show a less than 1% incidence of oocyst shedding. This is to be expected as infected cats generally do not re-shed oocysts following their first exposure to Toxoplasma gondii.

Dogs may transmit Toxoplasmosis to humans by rolling in foul-smelling substances and by ingesting fecal material. The fact that 50% of stray dogs and cats carry T. gondii antibodies suggests that they have been infected with the parasite. Reports show that dogs in shelters, dogs living in close contact with wild birds and rodents in rural areas, and dogs fed raw meat are at much higher risk for being infected by T. gondii.