A toxoplasmosis test is used to detect a current or past infection with the microscopic parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Most often it may be performed for: A woman prior to or during a pregnancy to determine if she has been previously exposed to Toxoplasma gondii and during a pregnancy if exposure is suspected. An individual who has a weakened immune system (immunocompromised) and has flu-like symptoms. A person who has signs or symptoms of toxoplasmosis. An unborn baby, in which case, amniotic fluid may be tested.
If you have a weakened immune system, get a blood test for toxoplasmosis. If your test is positive, your doctor can tell you if and when you need to take medicine to prevent the infection from reactivating. If you are planning on becoming pregnant, you may consider being tested for toxo. If the test is positive, there is no need to worry about passing the infection to your baby (since you should have immunity against the parasite). If you are already pregnant, you should discuss your risk of toxoplasmosis with your doctor who may order a blood sample for testing. Wear gloves when you garden or do anything outdoors that involves handling soil since cats often use gardens and sandboxes as litter boxes. Wash your hands well with soap and warm water after outdoor activities, especially before you eat or prepare food. Have someone else handle raw meat for you. If this is not possible, wear clean latex or nitrile gloves and thoroughly wash with soap and hot water any cutting boards, sinks, knives, and other utensils that might have touched the raw meat. Wash your hands well with soap and warm water afterward.
Most healthy people don't require toxoplasmosis treatment. But if you're otherwise healthy and have signs and symptoms of acute toxoplasmosis, your doctor may prescribe the following drugs:
Pyrimethamine (Daraprim). This medication, typically used for malaria, is a folic acid antagonist. It may prevent your body from absorbing the B vitamin folate (folic acid, vitamin B-9), especially when you take high doses over a long period. For that reason, your doctor may recommend taking additional folic acid.
Other potential side effects of pyrimethamine include bone marrow suppression and liver toxicity.
Sulfadiazine. This antibiotic is used with pyrimethamine to treat toxoplasmosis.