A 22-year-old pregnant woman has just been diagnosed with toxoplasmosis.
Which of the following risk factors is most likely to have contributed to her diagnosis?a. Eating raw meat
Toxoplasmosis is caused by the intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii. This infection is usually asymptomatic and self limited, but can present with asymptomatic cervical lymphadenopathy, fever, malaise, night sweats, and myalgias. Symptoms occur in only 10% to 20% of immunocompetent adults. Human infection can result from ingestion of raw or under-cooked meat infected by the organism, or from contact with infected cat feces. The French, because their diet includes raw meat, have a higher incidence (but not the English). The incidence of vertical transmission through the placenta varies by trimester, with the highest risk of transmission in the third trimester. The earlier the fetus is infected, the more severe the disease.