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Toxoplasmosis - direct diagnosis - PCR

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Eurofins Biomnis code


Clinic significance

A normally benign infection with symptoms resembling those of infective mononucleosis or no symptoms at all. Toxoplasma organisms persist in the host's body as cysts in the tissues. The immune response is strong and protective against secondary infection. Toxoplasma infection can be serious in two populations. The first of these is immunodeficient subjects (e.g. with AIDS) in whom the infection can reactivate in the lungs or the central nervous system. The second is pregnant women infected for the first time. Classically, infection of the embryo is rare but when it occurs it can have dire consequences (in utero death or major birth defects). Foetal infections are more common and less dangerous (chorioretinitis can be a late sequela of congenital toxoplasmosis). Toxoplasma organisms can be detected after the inoculation of mice or in tissue culture but the analysis of amniotic fluid for parasite DNA by PCR assay is becoming a routine diagnostic modality for suspected infection in pregnant women. In immunodeficient patients, specimens of BAL material or CSF are assayed. Neverthless, diagnosis still usually depends on serological analysis of a series of different parameters. IgG and IgM antibodies are assayed in order to be able to date the infection. Assaying specific IgA antibodies has been proposed but measuring the avidity of IgG antibodies may be more useful insofar as the stronger the binding, the more long-standing the infection. The Sabin-Feldman dye test is of purely historical interest. In France, the law requires that all serologically negative, pregnant women have to be regularly tested for seroconversion. The serological status of any newborn baby who might have been infected in utero should be closely followed.


  • Bronchial secretions, BAL, aqueous humor, lymph node biopsy, cerebral biopsy, 1ml EDTA whole blood (for new born babies only) 0.5 ml (minimum) CSF: FROZEN

Further information

  • Swab samples require the use of a virus transport medium supplied upon request M4RT (REMEL)
  • All histological fixatives are forbidden.
  • Biopsies must be placed in a dry tube as they are or with an M4RT transport medium.
  • The use of the S14UK transport bag is Mandatory.
  • other biological samples must not be diluted, to be sent in a plain tube
  • .

Specific equipment available

K1: Virus screening kit by culture or PCR


Real-time PCR

Turnaround time

3 days

Pathologist(s) in charge
Biomnis Lyon
Dr Véronique JACOMO
Dr Xavier NAUDOT
+334 72 80 47 43
+334 72 80 73 01

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