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A toxoplasmosis test is a blood test that checks for antibodies to the Toxoplasma gondiiparasite. Your body's natural defence system (immune system) will make these antibodies only if you have been infected by this tiny parasite. The amount and type of antibodies you have shows whether your infection is recent or occurred in the past. More than one blood test may be done over several weeks.
For most people, toxoplasmosis isn't dangerous and goes away on its own. But if a pregnant woman becomes infected and passes it on to her growing baby (fetus), it can cause blindness and brain damage in the fetus.
You can be infected by eating food such as undercooked or raw meat from an infected animal or by handling an infected cat or its stool (feces). After you have been infected, you will have antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii.
To see if your growing baby is infected, the test can be done on a sample of the fluid that is around your baby (amniotic fluid) taken during amniocentesis.
A toxoplasmosis test is done to find out if a:
In general, there's nothing you have to do before this test, unless your doctor tells you to.
A health professional uses a needle to take a blood sample, usually from the arm.
When a blood sample is taken, you may feel nothing at all from the needle. Or you might feel a quick sting or pinch.
There is very little chance of having a problem from this test. When a blood sample is taken, a small bruise may form at the site.
Test results are usually ready in 1 to 3 days.
The results of the test are usually given in titres. A titre is a measure of how much the blood sample can be diluted with a saltwater solution (saline) before the antibodies can no longer be found.
Each lab has a different range for what's normal. Your lab report should show the range that your lab uses for each test. The normal range is just a guide. Your doctor will also look at your results based on your age, health, and other factors. A value that isn't in the normal range may still be normal for you.
Toxoplasmosis antibodies usually form within 2 weeks after a person is infected. The titre is the highest 1 to 2 months after infection.
Current as of: June 16, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Sarah Marshall MD - Family MedicineE. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineKirtly Jones MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Current as of: June 16, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
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