Intermediate hosts (which may be virtually any mammal) may be infected either by eating cysts or oocysts: vertical transmission may also occur in some rodents. Humans become infected through contact with infected cat faeces or through eating raw or undercooked meat.
The formation of tissue cysts in the non-pregnant animal (or man) is usually not associated with the development of disease, though immunocompromised or elderly individuals may show clinical signs.
Infection of pregnant sheep causes abortion and birth of weakly lambs.
Infection of pregnant women can cause congenital infection and abnormalities of development in the foetus.
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