Toxoplasmosis is a disease which seems to be, most of the time, not serious for humans (according to Wikipedia, up to a third of the world’s human population is estimated to be infected). After being infected for the first time, humans produce antibodies which prevent further infections.

But Toxoplasmosis can be very serious for unborn childs if the woman gets infected while being pregnant.

At the question Can contact with cat feces be harmful for pregnant women? Hilmar answered:

If you have not been infected and planning to get pregnant consider getting yourself infected on purpose. The infection has mild symptoms, if any, and afterwards you and your baby will be completely safe. Discuss with your doctor (if you can find one that knows about this).

What do you know about this? Do (some) physicians recommend this?

If so, it could be a long-term preparation for becoming a parent.

  • 3
    Having recently almost lost one eye vision due to toxoplasmosis that I acquired at unknown time, I can tell you that it's not fun at all. Commented Oct 28, 2013 at 12:10
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    @woliveirajr disagreements don't matter, it's holding onto them that matters.. every day is a new day and a new beginning :)
    – user21179
    Commented Oct 29, 2013 at 12:54
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    I think it is a great question! The danger is only in not having the right answer. Other people may find this important information because Unor asked this valuable question!
    – MJ6
    Commented Oct 29, 2013 at 15:13
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    @Skippy: I don’t understand how it could be dangerous to ask. Quite the contrary, I think it would be dangerous not to ask.
    – unor
    Commented Nov 1, 2013 at 12:47
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    Just because something is an insanely stupid idea doesn't mean the question is too. Commented Nov 2, 2013 at 21:18

2 Answers 2


No! While symptoms may be mild or nonexistent at onset, the existence of antibodies may be a contributor to a whole host of psychological and nervous conditions.

Authors of an article titled Latent Toxoplasmosis and Humans (retrieved from the National Institute of Health database) review 42 studies of latent toxoplasmosis (asymptomatic), which established links between toxoplasmosis antibodies and "schizophrenia and depressive disorders, obsessive–compulsive disorder, Alzheimer's diseases and Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, headache and or migraine, mental retardation and intelligence quotients..."

And this is from the abstract of another such article (Influence of latent Toxoplasma infection on human personality, physiology and morphology: pros and cons of the Toxoplasma-human model in studying the manipulation hypothesis):

The parasitic protozoan Toxoplasma gondii infects about one-third of the population of developed countries. The life-long presence of dormant stages of this parasite in the brain and muscular tissues of infected humans is usually considered asymptomatic from the clinical point of view. In the past 20 years, research performed mostly on military personnel, university students, pregnant women and blood donors has shown that this 'asymptomatic' disease has a large influence on various aspects of human life. Toxoplasma-infected subjects differ from uninfected controls in the personality profile estimated with two versions of Cattell's 16PF, Cloninger's TCI and Big Five questionnaires. Most of these differences increase with the length of time since the onset of infection, suggesting that Toxoplasma influences human personality rather than human personality influencing the probability of infection. Toxoplasmosis increases the reaction time of infected subjects, which can explain the increased probability of traffic accidents in infected subjects reported in three retrospective and one very large prospective case-control study. Latent toxoplasmosis is associated with immunosuppression, which might explain the increased probability of giving birth to a boy in Toxoplasma-infected women and also the extremely high prevalence of toxoplasmosis in mothers of children with Down syndrome. Toxoplasma-infected male students are about 3 cm taller than Toxoplasma-free subjects and their faces are rated by women as more masculine and dominant. These differences may be caused by an increased concentration of testosterone. Toxoplasma also appears to be involved in the initiation of more severe forms of schizophrenia. At least 40 studies confirmed an increased prevalence of toxoplasmosis among schizophrenic patients. Toxoplasma-infected schizophrenic patients differ from Toxoplasma-free schizophrenic patients by brain anatomy and by a higher intensity of the positive symptoms of the disease. Finally, five independent studies performed in blood donors, pregnant women and military personnel showed that RhD blood group positivity, especially in RhD heterozygotes, protects infected subjects against various effects of latent toxoplasmosis, such as the prolongation of reaction times, an increased risk of traffic accidents and excessive pregnancy weight gain. The modern human is not a natural host of Toxoplasma. Therefore, it can only be speculated which of the observed effects of latent toxoplasmosis are the result of the manipulation activity of the Toxoplasma aimed to increase the probability of its transmission from a natural intermediate to the definitive host by predation, and which are just side effects of chronic infection.


I will add to Mary Jo Finch's excellent answer that toxoplasmosis can make you quite miserable if you get it. It is one of the three known pathogens that cause symptoms that we know as mononucleosis. And as you probably know, the older you are, the longer the immune reaction (i.e. horrible tiredness) is likely to last. From the wiki page:

Enlarged lymph nodes will resolve within one to two months in 60% of cases. However, a quarter of those affected take two to four months to return to normal, and 8% take four to six months. A substantial number (6%) do not return to normal until much later.[12]

This refers just to those who do develop symptoms. If you happen to be one of them, it is no fun at all.

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    T. gondii is an apicomplexan parasite, not a virus.
    – Vikki
    Commented Mar 1, 2020 at 19:03

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