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Toxoplasma gondii

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Courtney Duke

on 15 June 2011

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Transcript of Toxoplasma gondii

Toxoplasma gondii Successful Toxoplasma gondii can infect almost any species of mammal and bird It can be found in any body tissue of the infected host Lifecycle Sexual Asexual Preferred Sites Tissue Cyst Sporulated oocyst Transmission Oocysts sporulate outside of the host. They take about 48 hours to become infectious Toxoplasmosis Tissue cysts in infected meat >85% among those over 50 years old Incidence 15.8% in the 12-49 age group Symptoms Immunocompetent usually asymptomatic but may present symptoms that mimic mono or the flu of a short duration though the parasite remains in the body Immunocompromised myocarditis encephalitis necrotic brain lesions Congenital blindness mental retardation stillbirth Behavioral Changes Toxoplasma has been found to alter the behavior of the host animal Infected Rats more active attracted to exposed areas slower response times attracted to cats Fatal Attraction rat urine rabbit urine damp straw cat urine Infected rats gravitated to the smell of cats Attraction is specific to cats Cats are the definative host Toxoplasma acts to increase predation hyperactive slow exposed attracted to cats Tissue cysts in the brain T-cells secrete interferon gamma indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase IDO degrades tryptophan needed by tachyzoites tryptophan degredation products accumulate excess dopamine and decreased serotonin Toxoplasma also affects humans People with toxoplasmosis are 2.5 times more likely to have a car accident than uninfected people Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression Incidence of toxoplasmosis is significantly higher among those with schizophrenia Certain anti-psychotic drugs used to treat schizophrenia inhibit growth of T. gondii Haloperidol Valproic acid treated rats showed a decrease in altered behavioral traits and brain tissue cysts Haloperidol was more effective than the anti-T. gondii drug Pyrimethamine-Dapsone slower reaction times poor concentration difference in seroprevalence of latent toxoplasmosis (%) between the representative sample of general Prague residents (controls) and the sample of Prague residents involved in traffic accidents between 1997–2000 (victims) The island of Papua New Guinea is home to very few felines. It is estimated that less than 2% of the population has toxoplasmosis. This island also has the lowest incidence of schizophrenia in the world. Toxoplasma gondii the tiny parasite with mind control powers Don't let this happen to you! Don't let this happen to you! It appears that the tiny parasite T. gondii has larger impact on human behavior than we'd like to think Might some of the benefit of anti-psychotics lie in their anti-parasite actions? One-third of the world's population body aches swollen lymph nodes fatigue fever sore throat confusion poor coordination seizures inflammation of the retina (ocular toxoplasmosis) seizures jaundice severe eye infections hearing loss Prevention wear gloves when handling soil don't eat undercooked meat cover children's sandboxes clean litter box daily wash utensils thoroughly
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