Features of congenital toxoplasmosis

Congenital toxoplasmosis occurs when a pregnant woman becomes infected with the Toxoplasma gondii parasite and passes it to her unborn child. The features of congenital toxoplasmosis can vary widely depending on the timing of the infection during pregnancy, the severity of the infection, and other factors. Here are some common features:

  1. Hydrocephalus: Enlargement of the ventricles of the brain due to accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which can lead to increased intracranial pressure.
  2. Microcephaly: Abnormally small head size due to incomplete brain development.
  3. Intracranial calcifications: Calcium deposits in the brain, often seen on imaging studies such as ultrasound or MRI.
  4. Chorioretinitis: Inflammation of the retina and choroid layer of the eye, which can lead to vision problems or blindness if left untreated.
  5. Hepatosplenomegaly: Enlargement of the liver and spleen due to inflammation and tissue damage.
  6. Jaundice: Yellowing of the skin and eyes due to liver dysfunction.
  7. Developmental delays: Delays in reaching developmental milestones, such as sitting up, crawling, or walking.
  8. Seizures: Abnormal electrical activity in the brain leading to seizures, which can manifest as jerking movements, staring spells, or loss of consciousness.
  9. Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR): Slowed growth and development of the fetus while in the womb, leading to low birth weight.
  10. Neurological abnormalities: Various neurological manifestations such as intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, or hearing loss.

It’s important to note that not all infants with congenital toxoplasmosis will display all of these features, and the severity of the condition can vary widely from mild to severe. Early detection and treatment are crucial for minimizing complications and improving outcomes for affected infants.