The Toxoplasma gondii

Compostable materials that pose a risk to health.  


Some well-intentioned people wanting to reduce their volume of domestic waste decide to include their cat litter with compost materials. This practice may have some health risks if the temperature of the decomposing matter has not reached a temperature high enough and long enough to sterilize the compost materials. Indeed, domestic animal feces may contain certain pathogens and parasites. Cats are often infested with pests or diseases that may be transmitted to humans. Among these infections, there is a toxoplasmosis  caused by a small unicellular organism. This is a protozoan parasite, the Toxoplasma gondii. When a human is infected with the Toxoplasma, over time, it will slowly migrate deep into the tissues of the body. Very often it will move inside the muscles, the brain and even in our eyes. Once properly installed, it will remain in a latent form of bradyzoites within a cyst. It can remain in the host organism in this form for years.

Most people do not even realize they are infected with Toxoplasma gondii. They do not present any symptoms. However, in some elderly or those with a weakened immune system, the parasite can wake up and cause symptoms resembling a strong flu and even complicate and cause death.

For pregnant women, toxoplasmosis can be transmitted to the fetus and cause serious problems.


How to protect against infection by Toxoplasma?


During your gardening activities, it is best to wear gloves and then, wash your hands. After changing the cat litter box  wash also your hands. Avoid touching your mouth while gardening. In fact, simply avoid swallowing oocytes (eggs) of the parasite.