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Cerebral toxoplasmosis in an immunocompromised host. A precise and rapid diagnosis by electron microscopy. Am J Clin Pathol 1986 Jan;85(1):104-10 PMID: 3940413

Pubmed ID



In immunocompromised patients with cerebral toxoplasmosis, the tachyzoite forms rather than cystic and bradyzoite forms of the protozoon are commonly seen. These tachyzoites are minute, scattered among cellular debris, sometimes lodged inside macrophages and neutrophils, and difficult to visualize by light microscopy, even with special stains. Immunodiagnostic tests may be falsely negative due to inability of the host to produce appropriate antibodies. Isolation of the organism is dangerous because Toxoplasma gondii is highly infective. In this situation, transmission electron microscopy (EM) may be a diagnostic tool of choice. It demonstrates the fine definitive features of the protozoon and can be expedited to give results in five hours. Further evaluation of EM for diagnosing possible toxoplasmosis in immunocompromised patients is indicated.

Author List

Tang TT, Harb JM, Dunne WM Jr, Wells RG, Meyer GA, Chusid MJ, Casper JT, Camitta BM


Bruce M. Camitta MD Clinical Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Michael J. Chusid MD Professor in the Pediatrics department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Brain Diseases
Microscopy, Electron
jenkins-FCD Prod-353 9ccd8489072cb19f5b9f808bb23ed672c582f41e