Toxoplasmosis, caused by the obligate intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii, is a disease of great importance in public health due to its high prevalence in Latin America. The infection is mainly acquired by the consumption of water and oocyst-contaminated food in cats' feces, or by the ingestion of raw meat containing tissue cysts. The infection can be both prenatal and postnatal. In the latter, it is estimated that 90% of people are asymptomatic, while only 10% present symptoms, such as ocular manifestations resulting from intraocular infection. Retinal lesions of toxoplasmosis are a consequence of parasite activity in the ocular globe, in addition to the inflammatory reaction that its presence stimulates. Such lesions can reduce the visual acuity of these people and even cause blindness depending on the affected site. It is known that the disease is the main worldwide cause of posterior uveitis and one of the most common causes of childhood blindness in Brazil. Despite the high prevalence of toxoplasmosis in Brazil, there are not many studies on the frequency and characteristics of ocular lesions attributable to T. gondii, like epidemiological studies, based in tertiary hospitals or from ocular globes donated to Eye Bank. In this project, we will analyze the frequency and characteristics of ocular lesions attributable to T. gondii, as well as the frequency of anti-Toxoplasma antibodies present in peripheral blood from the ocular globes donated to the Ribeirão Preto Eye Bank.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: