Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Effect of Toxo on Animal Behavior

Schizophr Bull. 2007 Jan 11; [Epub ahead of print]

The Effect of Toxoplasma gondii on Animal Behavior: Playing Cat and Mouse.

Webster JP.

2Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Imperial College Faculty of Medicine, St Mary's Hospital Campus, Norfolk Place, London, UK.

A convincing body of evidence now exists to indicate that the ubiquitous protozoan Toxoplasma gondii can cause permanent behavioral changes in its host, even as a consequence of adult-acquired latent infection. Such behavioral alterations appear to be the product of strong selective pressures for the parasite to enhance transmission from its intermediate host reservoir, primarily rodent, to its feline definitive host, wherein sexual reproduction can occur and the life cycle completed. This article reviews evidence of behavioral alterations in animal hosts and considers what these may elucidate about the potential mechanisms involved and what implications such alterations could have on animal and human health.

PMID: 17218613 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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