ClinQuiz: Increase your zoonotic parasite prowess, answer 2C

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Sep 01, 2009
By dvm360.com staff

2) C–Correct.

Although infected cats can, for a brief time, shed oocysts into the environment that will become infective after 24 to 48 hours, individual pet cats are not a major source of infection to people at any point.8,9 Rather, people become infected when they ingest infective tissue cysts in undercooked meat or when they ingest sporulated oocysts in contaminated water or dirt.4 Oocysts present in the environment have been shed by the entire cat population, which includes pet cats allowed outdoors, feral cats, and wild felids such as bobcats and mountain lions.10

The risk of toxoplasmosis during pregnancy is best mitigated by comprehensive, evidence-based advice that encourages women to eat only thoroughly cooked meat and carefully washed produce; drink safe water (not potentially contaminated ground water); have someone else change the litter whenever possible, and if such assistance is not available, wear gloves and remove feces from the box daily and wash hands afterward; maintain adult cats (as opposed to acquiring new kittens) as pets; and keep pet cats indoors to minimize the risk of exposure to infected prey species.11

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