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Even mild infectious disease in pregnant women can cause congenital abnormalities in their babies. The ‘Tox HA’ blood test tests for toxoplasmosis. This infection is caused by a parasite carried by infected soil, unpasteurised and cured foods, and animals - particularly cats. It is not spread by human-to–human contact. Toxoplasmosis causes few symptoms, such as a sore throat or a fever. Many people do not realise they have it. The infection can cause a higher-than-normal risk of miscarriage or an increased chance of a child developing eye infections or learning difficulties. Around 2,000 pregnant women in the UK contract toxoplasmosis each year. The infection is treated with antibiotics. This test was made by Wellcome Reagents Limited. It contains enough chemicals to perform 100 tests.

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Glossary: haematology

The study of the structure of the blood and blood forming tissues.

Glossary: haemagglutination kit

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