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Infez Med. 2010 Mar;18(1):48-52.

Acute pericarditis and myocarditis by Toxoplasma gondii in an immunocompetent young man: a case report.

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Department of Infectious Diseases, Second University of Naples, Italy.


Infection due to protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii is highly prevalent among humans throughout the world. Acquired primary infection is seldom severe in immunocompetent people while it can be life-threatening in immunodeficient ones. We report a case of acquired toxoplasmosis in an immunocompetent healty 32-year-old man, presenting as acute pericarditis and myocarditis. The patient complained of intense chest pain, asthenia, arthralgia, low-grade fever, neck lymphadenopathy. Increased seric cardiac enzymes, electrocardiografic anomalies of repolarization and the presence of pericardic effusion on echocardiogram needed anti-inflammatory and anti-arrhythmic drugs and a close monitoring. The aetiological diagnosis, supported by serological tests positive for toxoplasmosis, recommended an antibiotic therapy as additional treatment (spiramycin 9MU/day for one month). Full symptoms remission and normalization of serological values suggested, however, that no more effective anti-protozoan treatment was needed. Thus, the infection by Toxoplasma gondii should be taken into account in the aetiology of either acute pericarditis or myocarditis, because a specific treatment is available, which can improve on the prognosis of the disease.

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