A parasitic infection toxoplasmosis may have same symptoms as flu. Toxoplasma gondii is very well known parasite and may develop very dangerous complications, and with pregnant women i.e. if mother is infected, baby is infected too. Overall healthy people usually do not need any treatment against toxoplasmosis. Decreased immunity and possible pregnancy may sustain toxoplasma, and drugs may reduce really strong infection, but prevention of toxoplasma is of course, the best.
Toxoplasmosis patients usually are not aware that they have it. But some people may develop symptoms of toxoplasmosis during the life, and some again are simple infected by someone else. Toxoplasmosis symptoms are very alike to mononucleosis or flu: symptoms like headache, fever, ache of body, sores, lymph nodes that are swollen, fatigue etc.
Patients with HIV/AIDS that are getting chemotherapy, or if the patient had organ transplantation are at high risk to develop symptoms of really bad toxoplasmosis infection such as a bad coordination, headache, confusion, seizures, blurred vision cause of a bad inflammation of retina and lung problems that may be just like tuberculosis pneumocystis carinii or pneumonia.
Many patients with symptoms do not need any toxoplasmosis treatment. But if there a slight suspicious of having acute toxoplasmosis, there are drugs to be taken, for instance sulfadiazine-antibiotic with pyrimethamine and pyrimethamine-daraprim (it is a folic acid antagonist, the drug used against malaria). There is a side effect of pyrimethamine taking and that is liver toxicity and a suppression of bone marrow.
Drugs sulfadiazine, pyrimethamine and folic acid are taken together if patients are suffering from AIDS. Or pyrimethamine with clindamycin , cause it has antibiotic effect.
These medications are just like in case of HIV to be used entire life, although in some cases it is necessary to stop with toxoplasmosis drugs, if doctor recommends.
Pregnant women and babies
If patient has AIDS or if she is pregnant or intend to be pregnant, it is good to agree on test for toxoplasmosis. Severe symptoms of toxoplasmois are bad coordination, blurred vision, a slight confusion, weaken immunity etc. Pregnant women can have toxoplasmosis but their babies do not have to be affected with the infection. In such cases doctor prescribes antibiotic spiramycin to a mother. The drug may prevent baby to inherit toxoplasmosis from the mother.
It is often for mother to be treated with sulfadiazine and pyrimethamine, even if pregnant women do not take any drugs. Pregnant women who get infected with toxoplasmosis during the pregnancy have about 30% to do infect their babies with toxoplasmosis and in such case it is called congenital toxoplasmosis. It depends of the stage of pregnancy i.e. when the infection has occurred. Early pregnancy infection, the more risk for unborn baby to have it. And sometimes it might end with miscarriage or stillbirth.
Children who are infected with toxoplasmosis and are born may have serious medical problems such as yellow skin or jaundice, seizure, bad eye infection, enlarged liver or enlarged spleen etc. Some babies may not show or develop toxoplasmosis symptoms until they get to a teen period and then they get certain level of mental retardation, hearing loss and a bad eye infection that results with blindness.