CEREBRAL TOXOPLASMOSIS: REVIEW ARTICLE
Enas Yahia Abu-Sarea Mohamed
Parasitology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Beni Suief University
Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic disease caused by Toxoplasma gondii, an intracellular protozoan. Cerebral toxoplasmosis remains a prevalent disorder of the central nervous system; particularly among severely immunodeficient patients and neonatal affection with primary infection during pregnancy. The pathogenic mechanisms of nervous system involvement include necrosis of individual cells, delayed hypersensitivity, antigen-antibody reaction and infarction. The clinical picture of the disease can be divided into congenital and acquired infections. Timing of maternal infection plays a critical role in transmission of the parasite and in fetal outcome. In immunodeficient patients such as AIDS, reactivation of latent infection results more frequently in cerebral toxoplasmosis and is a life-threatening condition if lifted without diagnosis and treatment. Diagnosis of cerebral toxoplasmosis is based mainly on clinical and radiological features which must be differentiated from other infectious diseases in congenital infection and from multiple brain lesions in AIDS patients. The treatment of Toxoplasma encephalitis, meningoencephalitis and multiple brain lesions is almost exclusively medical. Surgical treatment is reserved for the patients harbouring single or double focal brain lesions associated with mass effect.