Treatment with pyrimethamine and sulfadiazine for the first year of a child’s life can lead to a lasting reduction in brain and ocular damage from congenital toxoplasmosis, according to a study.
Members of the Toxoplasmosis Study Group treated 120 infants with congenital toxoplasmosis with one of two different dose levels of pyrimethamine plus one dose of sufadiazine. Therapy began immediately after birth and continued for 12 months. The current mean patient age is 10.5 years old. At birth, 96 infants had clinical abnormalities, sometimes severe in nature.
Nine infants died from respiratory infections associated with the disease, and another two died without specific causes mentioned. None of the deaths was associated with the treatment, the group said. Most of the infants had ocular disease at the beginning of the study, with 85% having some type of visual impairment.
Of the children without substantial neurologic disease, 91% did not develop new eye lesions; 64% of those with moderate or severe neurologic disease also did not develop new eye lesions.
The study is published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.