Thursday, December 11, 2008

Cats, Toxoplasmosis, and Pregnancy

The other night, my vet student roommates lectured me that we "human medicine" doctors need to stop scaring people about pregnant women getting toxoplasmosis from changing garfield's litter box. They claimed that kittens are the only ones to shed it in their feces. So I had to find some proof and here are the articles supporting their claim. In the limited time I spent, I didn't find an article specifically talking about kittens vs. cats, but this is just some of the articles that popped up on OMIM.

Sources of toxoplasma infection in pregnant women: European multicentre case-control study

This was a case control study performed in 6 European cities using 252 pregnant women w/either acute infection or w/IgM for anti-Toxoplasma gondii and 858 controls. Risk factors for infection included undercooked lamb, beef, or game, contact with soil, and travel outside Europe and the United States and Canada. Contact with cats was not a risk factor.

Article found on:

Prevention of toxoplasmosis in pregnancy: knowledge of risk factors.Kravetz JD, Federman DG.

Study was done to compare the knowledge of ocer 100 ob's, internists and fp's when counseling expectant mothers on risk factors for toxoplasmosis. It was found that ob's were more likely to give the appropriate information, but all groups "inappropriately advised avoidance of all cat contact".

Article found on OMIM taken from Infect Dis Obstet Gynecol. 2005 Sep;13(3):161-5.


DrJaymez said...

Certainly not something that I know a lot about. Perhaps our resident Nurse Midwife will throw us a bone?

DrJaymez said...

Link Cleaned Up

DrJaymez said...

Interesting. Gave it a read yesterday in the car on the way to Virginia. The only cat contact that approached significance in this study was with cats that hunt outdoors. Seems like cooking meat and washing vegetabes is more important. That said, any time you ask people after the event about their recollections you get somewhat distorted data. That said, they should remember whether they had a cat or not better than they remember some salami. However, the questionnaire may have been somewhat leading as well.