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TOXOPLASMOSIS

Publicado el 19 Ee diciembre Ee 2018 a las 0:00





Hoy hablamos de la la TOXOPLASMOSIS, ya que hace muy poco , se nos ha dado éste caso en una de nuestras adopciones, por lo que he visto muy necesario ofrecer " algo de información " sobre un tema creo que bastante desconocido en nuestros días... Tras leer, consultar artículos y plasmar los conocimientos de dos magníficos profesionales de nuestro centro veterinario colaborador : Mascotas Consulta Veterinària ..espero que sea de utilidad.

TOXOPLASMOSIS: ¿A qué tenemos pánico ?

Ante la llegada de un bebé, muchos dueños de gatos tienen dudas acerca de la compatibilidad entre los felinos y los niños. A los futuros padres les preocupa, sobre todo, la toxoplasmosis, una enfermedad causada por el parásito unicelilar , Toxoplasma Gondii. 

¿Qué es la toxoplasmosis?

La toxoplasmosis es una enfermedad causada por éste parásito , una zoonosis, es decir, una enfermedad que se transmite de forma natural de un animal al ser humano.

¿Qué produce la toxoplasmosis en las personas?

Los síntomas dependen mucho del sistema inmunitario de cada persona. Por lo general, en un individuo sano no suele dar síntomas pero, en aquellas personas que tienen un sistema inmunitario debilitado como los afectados por el VIH, puede conllevar problemas muy graves e incluso causar la muerte por encefalitis. También puede ser peligrosa en mujeres embarazadas.


Es importante, tener en cuenta que, tras la primera infección con el parásito, las personas inmunocompetentes se vuelven resistentes al parásito...pero ¿qué pasaría con las mujeres embarazadas?

Un porcentaje muy alto de mujeres tiene anticuerpos del Toxoplasma gondii porque ya han pasado la infección, que en muchos casos es asintomática. En estos casos, no tendrían que temerla, puesto que tal y como he comentado anteriormente, se trataría de personas resistentes a la toxoplasmosis.

El peligro de la toxoplasmosis para las mujeres embarazadas, reside solamente en aquellas que se infecten con el parásito por primera vez durante su embarazo, pudiendo en este caso causar abortos o malformaciones fetales.


¿Pero por qué tanto pánico a los gatos con respecto a la toxoplasmosis?


Porque no se conoce el ciclo biológico del parásito ni sus vías de infección más importantes hacia el ser humano.


La pregunta más importante que nos tenemos que hacer es , ¿cómo se contagian la mayoría de las personas? Para poder responder a esta pregunta tenemos que conocer al parásito (T. Gondii) y entender el ciclo de vida del mismo. 

CICLO BIOLÓGICO DE LA TOXOPLASMOSIS:

Debemos saber que el gato es un hospedador definitivo de T. Gondii. Esto significa que el parásito solamente puede cerrar su ciclo biológico en el intestino felino y, por lo tanto, el gato es el único individuo que puede eliminar formas parasitarias infectivas de T. Gondii.

Los gatos se infectan generalmente ingiriendo agua o comida contaminada con ooquistes (“huevos de toxoplasma”o ingiriendo carne/tejidos que contengan taquizoítos o bradizoítos (“huevos enquistados en el músculo”, es decir, ingiriendo carne contaminada con Toxoplasma Gondii (quiste tisular). De este modo, el gato se infecta principalmente cazando presas contaminadas por el parásito e ingiriendo su carne, la cual contiene quistes tisulares de Toxoplasma.

Tras haber ingerido el parásito, éste invade el intestino del gato donde se multiplica y termina su ciclo. Finalmente, el gato excretará miles de ooquistes (“huevos infectivos de Toxoplasma Gondii en sus heces, contaminando así el medio ambiente que le rodea. Los ooquistes que se encuentran en el medio ambiente pueden ahora ser ingeridos por mamíferos (tales como roedores, cerdos, ovejas o personas) y por aves. En ellos, el parásito se enquistará en sus tejidos esperando que algún día un gato las ingiera para poder cerrar otra vez su ciclo biológico.

Esta excreción de ooquistes por parte del gato dura aproximadamente, de 1 a 2 semanas y, tras este periodo, el felino se vuelve inmune a la toxoplasmosis. Esto quiere decir que, aunque se infecte nuevamente (al ingerir nuevas presas o alimentos contaminados), no volverá a eliminar formas infectivas del parásito. De este modo, debemos tener en cuenta que, un gato sólo elimina ooquistes de T. Gondii una vez en su vida.

¿Cómo suelen infectarse las personas?

Las dos principales vías de transmisión de la toxoplasmosis, por orden de importancia, son las siguientes:

 

a) Ingestión de carne de vacuno, cordero o cerdo cruda o poco cocida que contenga

quistes tisulares (incluyendo el jamón serrano curado de menos de 14 meses).


b) Ingestión de ooquistes maduros presentes en el suelo, agua o vegetales contaminados.


Entonces, ¿por qué tanto miedo al gato?

 

No todos los gatos tienen toxoplasmosis, para ello, el animal se tiene que infectar previamente. De este modo, si tenemos un gato, podemos encontrarnos con dos situaciones:


- Gato doméstico sin acceso al exterior y que solamente ingiere alimentos preparados y agua apta para el consumo humano: nunca se contagiará de toxoplasmosis, puesto que no tendrá acceso al parásito.

- Gato con acceso al exterior (o alimentado con comida cruda o agua no tratada con desinfectantes): en este caso sí podría infectarse de toxoplasmosis, aunque solamente excretaría el parásito una vez en su vida, durante unas pocas semanas.

Es muy importante saber que, cuando un gato excreta el parásito, los ooquistes necesitarán entre 24 horas y 5 días en el ambiente para adquirir la capacidad de ser infectivos (necesitan estar en contacto con el aire más de 24horas). En esta situación, es crucial tener en cuenta los hábitos higiénicos de los gatos, puesto que son animales muy limpios, que están constantemente acicalándose y eliminando los posibles resto de suciedad que hayan quedado en su cuerpo. Generalmente, este tipo de hábitos higiénicos no permite que las heces permanezcan en su piel por periodos de tiempo lo suficientemente largos como para provocar la esporulación del ooquiste. Según un estudio, no se ha podido aislar el parásito en la piel de gatos que habían eliminado millones de ooquistes 7 días antes.


¿Cómo podemos evitar infectarnos?


El contagio de la toxoplasmosis se puede evitar si se siguen unas pautas muy sencillas:

- Evitar realizar trabajos en el jardín o el huerto, donde hipotéticamente podría haber excrementos infectados.


- Si tenemos un gato en casa,ebemos evitar darle comida cruda, evitar que pueda cazar y administrarle agua de bebida apta para el consumo humano.

- Eliminar las heces del gato a diario y lavar asiduamente con agua caliente su bandeja (de ese modo no dará tiempo a que los ooquistes puedan volverse infectivos).


- Emplear guantes o palas para recoger las heces (evitar el contacto oral con las heces) y si alguien puede hacer el trabajo por tí...sería perfecto tomar otra medida extra.


- Higiene básica: lavarse la manos antes de comer y tras recoger las heces del gato.


- Hábitos alimentarios: cocinar bien la comida (Tª>70ºC), lavar abundantemente los alimentos que nos vayamos a comer crudos (frutas, verduras), no beber agua que no haya sido tratada adecuadamente.


Esperamos haber dado un poco de luz, sobre la temida toxoplasmosis que tantos abandonos de gatos ocasiona y sobretodo ¡Te deseamos todo lo mejor a tu familia y a ti!


RAFAEL GUERRA ,NOEMÍ GARCÍA, (VETERINARIOS )


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