Medical Q&As

Sarcoidosis - toxoplasmosis connection?

Is there a connection between sarcoidosis and toxoplasmosis?

Sarcoidosis can affect any part of the body but most commonly it affects the lungs, skin and eyes. It appears in many forms and may only produce symptoms in one part of the body such as the lungs. Alternatively there may be radiological signs of sarcoidosis in the lungs but the affected person may not have any respiratory symptoms. Sometimes it may present as an eye complaint whereas on other occasions it may present as a florid multisystem disease. In other words there is a wide variety of possible presentations of the disease. Sarcoidosis and toxoplasmosis are totally separate diseases but they have many symptoms and signs in common. In particular they can both cause lymph gland enlargement and they can also cause uveitis, which is an inflammatory condition of the eye. Therefore when dealing with a case of uveitis or general lymph gland enlargement the investigating doctor will usually consider the possibility that the symptoms and signs could be due to either condition in addition to considering a long list of other conditions. Although sarcoidosis and toxoplasmosis can mimic each other in their manner of presentation they are distinct and separate conditions.