Agustin Iskandar, M.Kes., Sp.PK(K): Recognize and Prevent Toxoplasma Infection

Agustin Iskandar, M.Kes., Sp.PK(K) at the Talkshow Bincang Sehat in the context of Community Service of the Department of Medicine FK-UB

Lecturer of the Faculty of Medicine Universitas Brawijaya (FK-UB) dr. Agustin Iskandar, M.Kes., Sp.PK(K) conveyed information about toxoplasma at Bincang Sehat Talk Show at a radio station in Malang, Thursday (07/07/2022). This activity is a series of Community Service series from the Department of Medicine, FK-UB.

Agustin explained, Toxoplasma or scientifically called Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite that lives and breeds in cats and can infect humans as an intermediary and can cause certain diseases in humans.

Parasites that live in the cat’s intestines will come out with cat feces in the form of cysts, and can enter the human body through the air.

“The air that carries these cysts can be inhaled or polluted human food and drink or eaten by the livestock that we consume until it enters the blood,” said the lecturer at the Department of Parasitology.

Toxoplasmosis, or the presence of this parasite in the human blood circulation, does not provide specific clinical symptoms until the cysts settle in organs such as muscles and brain, causing muscle and brain function disorders.

“Therefore, in the condition of toxoplasmosis, pregnant women receive special attention since these cysts can penetrate the placenta and infect the fetus,” she said.

Pregnant women who experience toxoplasmosis in the first trimester are at risk of miscarriage, while infection in the second and third trimesters can cause fetal defects.

“So a blood test to see the presence of toxoplasma is highly recommended for women who are getting married or planning a pregnancy, especially for women who keep cats,” she explained.

Although toxoplasmosis can be treated, Agustin advised that prevention is better than cure. Prevention can be done by maintaining personal and environmental hygiene, always washing hands before activities, keeping the cage or cat feces disposal area clean, and conducting routine screening for individuals at risk. [FK-UB/Irene/ Humas UB/ Trans. Iir]