toxoplasma gondii perhaps the most successful parasite in the world today. This microscopic organism can infect any mammal or bird and is infected by people on all continents.
After infection, a person carries it toxoplasmosis For life. So far, we do not have drugs to kill parasites. There is no approved vaccine for humans.
It is estimated that 30-50 percent of the world’s population is infected toxoplasmosis – Infections may increase in Australia. In the 1970s, surveys of blood banks and pregnancy clinics across the country found that the infection rate was 30 percent.
However, a recent community-based study in Western Australia found that 66 percent of people were infected.
The disease caused by this parasite can scar the back of the eye. Our new research looked for signs of disease in healthy people and found a significant number of symptoms toxoplasmosis.
We don’t just get it from cats
The cat is the main owner toxoplasmosis.
Cats catch parasites when they eat infected food. For a week or two, they carry large numbers of parasitic worms in their feces so that they can survive in the environment, even in severe weather.
When animal feces are swallowed in the pasture, the parasite settles in the muscles and lives there after the animal is slaughtered. Humans can be infected by eating meat, eating fresh foods, or drinking contaminated water.
A woman who is infected for the first time during pregnancy can also infect her unborn child.
During infection toxoplasmosis The most common, most important health statistic is the rate of disease caused by an infection called toxoplasmosis.
How it affects the eyes
toxoplasmosis really loves the retina, the multilayered nerve tissue. Infection can lead to recurrent attacks of inflammation of the retina and permanent scarring. This eye is called toxoplasmosis.
Unlike most reports on ocular toxoplasmosis, medical studies have shown that this condition affects healthy people. However, it can be more severe in the elderly or in people with weakened immune systems, or when infected during pregnancy.
An attack of active inflammation creates “flippers” and blurred vision. When inflammation develops into scars, vision can be lost forever.
In a study of patients with ocular toxoplasmosis seen at a large ophthalmological clinic, we reduced the eye to a driving level of more than 50 percent, and 25 percent of the eyes were irreversibly blind.
How many eyes?
Ophthalmologists and optometrists are well versed in the management of ocular toxoplasmosis. However, the scale of the problem is not widely recognized by the medical community. The number of Australians with ocular toxoplasmosis has never been measured.
We wanted to study the prevalence of ocular toxoplasmosis in Australia, but we knew it would be difficult to fund a major study of this neglected disease.
Thus, we used the data for a different purpose: as part of Busselton’s Healthy Aging study, more than 5,000 children in Bouleston, Western Australia, were photographed in a boomerang (born 1946-64).
Images were collected to look for other eye diseases, macular degeneration and glaucoma.
By screening these retinal images, we assessed the prevalence of ocular toxoplasmosis in one in 150 Australians. This may seem strange, but it is consistent with the way people behave toxoplasmosis.
In addition to pets, Australia has a large number of feral cats. Australia, on the other hand, is home to much of the world’s agricultural land, including more than 50 percent of the world’s organic land.
Most importantly, many Australians prefer to eat red meat infrequently, which puts them at real risk.
How the condition is treated
To diagnose toxoplasmosis of the eye, it is necessary to examine the retina in case of dilated pupils.
Damage to the retina is easily seen on the back of the road toxoplasmosis It activates retinal cells to produce certain proteins and an ophthalmologist or optometrist can immediately recognize the appearance. A blood test is usually done to make a diagnosis.
If the condition is mild, the doctor may allow the body’s own immune system to control the problem, which can take months. However, usually a combination of anti-inflammatory and antipyretic drugs is prescribed.
Stop the spread
toxoplasmosis The infection cannot be cured, but it can be prevented. There may be a meat campaign selling in Australian supermarkets toxoplasmosis. Cooking meat to an internal temperature of 66 ℃ or freezing it before cooking is a way to kill parasites.
Wash fresh fruits and vegetables before eating and avoid drinking untreated water (for example, from rivers or streams). When replacing cat litter, wear gloves and then wash your hands.
The World Health Organization and other international and national health authorities are promoting a method called One Health for diseases that plague humans, animals and their environment. This includes various sectors that work together to promote health.
Now that we know how prevalent eye toxoplasmosis is in Australia, there is a real reason to use One Health to combat it. toxoplasmosis Infections in this country.
Justin R. Smith, Professor of Eye & Vision Health at Flinders University, and Joao M. Furtado, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, University of São Paulo.
This article was reprinted from The Conversation magazine under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.