Sunday, November 05, 2006

Welcome to the Anti-Toxo!

The Anti-Toxo is a blog dedicated to the nefarious protozoan pathogen Toxoplasma gondii. This single-celled microbe infects nucleated cells of warm-blooded vertebrates. In humans, infection may cause congenital birth defects or lead to serious disease (toxoplasmosis) in AIDS or other immunocompromised patients. Toxoplasma, or Toxo for short, is a permanent infection for which there is no known cure. While the acute phase of the infection is controlled by a normal healthy immune response, this does not eradicate the infection. Rather, Toxo stays in the bodily tissues (including the heart and brain) as a cyst that can be reactivated during times of immunological suppression. Consequently, tens of millions of people are unwittingly walking around with this parasite in their heads!

Toxo infection is acquired from handling cats (the definitive host), ingesting contaminated food/water products, or contaminated soil. For more info, go here.

The Anti-Toxo is designed to be a “one-stop” site where researchers can grab the latest news and reports concerning this and related parasites (such as Plasmodium (malaria) or Cryptosporidium). If you have news you wish to share, please contact us. In addition, we would encourage the posting of job opportunities or meeting announcements related to Toxo research.

The blog is moderated by Dr. Bill Sullivan at the Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM). Contact:

1 comment:

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