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Neglected Parasitic Infections in the United States: Toxoplasmosis
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    Toxoplasma gondii is a leading cause of severe foodborne illness in the United States. Population-based studies have found T. gondii infection to be more prevalent in racial/ethnic minority and socioeconomically disadvantaged groups. Soil contaminated with cat feces, undercooked meat, and congenital transmission are the principal sources of infection. Toxoplasmosis-associated illnesses include congenital neurologic and ocular disease; acquired illness in immunocompetent persons, most notably ocular disease; and encephalitis or disseminated disease in immunosuppressed persons. The association of T. gondii infection with risk for mental illness is intriguing and requires further research. Reduction of T. gondii in meat, improvements in hygiene and food preparation practices, and reduction of environmental contamination can prevent toxoplasmosis, but more research is needed on how to implement these measures. In addition, screening and treatment may help prevent toxoplasmosis or reduce the severity of disease in some settings.

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